Hall of Fame Nomination Procedure/Guidelines


A vital part of the MAEEx (The MAX) is the Hall of Fame (HoF), honoring the most influential and illustrious Mississippi artists. While The MAX exhibits honor artists and their work – the famous and not so famous –the Hall of Fame is reserved for Arts and Entertainment (A&E) icons and trailblazers who have made a recognized and lasting contribution to Mississippi, the nation and the world. The information below details the process for selecting HoF inductees.


Selection Process


1. Nomination of Candidates

Nominations must fall in one of five categories:

Actor – Movie, Radio, Television, Theatre, etc.

Author – Essayist, Journalist, Novelist, Playwrights, Poets, Screenwriter, etc.

Music – Arranger, Disc Jockey, Instrumentalist, Producer, Singer, Songwriter, etc.

Visual Arts – Architect, Basket Maker, Graphic Artist, Painter, Photographer, Potter, Quilter, Sculptor, etc.

Other – Comedian, Culinary, Entertainment Entrepreneur/Executive, Non-Acting Movie (i.e. Cinematographer, Director, Producer, Stunt Performer, etc.), Reporter, Speaker, etc.

Candidate Eligibility

  • A candidate must have made significant and noticeable contributions to the field of A&E.
  • A candidate must have a solid connection to the State of Mississippi, either by birthright, moving to the state at an early age, or living in Mississippi for a significant portion of his/ her career.

The Hall of Fame Nominating Committee

The MAX HoF Nominating Committee will prepare a slate of 50 eligible candidates (from a list of over 900 names suggested by content experts) in consideration for inclusion in the HoF. Posthumously considered candidates must have been deceased one year prior to nomination.

The inaugural HoF Nominating Committee will consist of seven voting members (representing all five regions of the state) from the various art genres honored by The MAX and four ex-officio non-voting members adhering to the following conditions:

  • The MAX Board of Directors will appoint all HoF Nominating Committee Members.
  • The MAX Board Chairman, MAX President/CEO, MAX HoF Executive Director and the MAX HoF Committee Chairman, will serve as ex‑officio non‑voting members of the HoF Nominating Committee.
  • The HoF Nominating Committee will elect its own Chair.
  • During the inaugural year, four HoF Nominating Committee members will serve one two-year term and three members will serve one three-year term. Each year, before the expiration of the terms of members of the HoF Nominating Committee, The MAX HoF Committee will present names to The MAX Board of Directors for ratification at a regularly scheduled Board meeting as determined by the Board. After the inaugural appointments, all HoF Nominating Committee Members will serve one three-year term. A member whose term expires may again serve after the passage of three years.
  • No member of the HoF Nominating Committee will be eligible for nomination to the HoF while serving on the HoF Nominating Committee.

2. Election of Inductees

  • The HoF Electors will be charged with the responsibility of electing HoF honorees. Inductions will be scheduled at a time and place to be announced by The MAX Board of Directors.
  • For the inaugural year, by majority vote conducted by secret ballot, a minimum of ten and a maximum of fifteen inductees will be selected by the Electors from a slate of 50 eligible candidates (including write-ins) offered by the HoF Nominating Committee.
  • Each subsequent year, the Electors will by majority vote conducted by secret ballot, select no less than five nor more than ten HoF inductees from a slate of 25-50 eligible candidates (including write-ins) offered by the HoF Nominating Committee.

Panel of Electors

The inaugural HoF Electors will consist of the aforementioned seven Nominating Committee members; one fan vote representing the results of a nationwide fan vote; and eleven individuals representing arts and entertainment artists, experts, instructors, media, etc. for a total of nineteen votes.  The Panel of Electors’ procedure is as follows:

  • The MAX Board of Directors will appointment individuals representing arts and entertainment artists,  experts, instructors, media, etc. to the Panel of Electors by a majority vote from a roster of recommended names prepared by The MAX HoF Committee. Any Board member may suggest additional names for consideration. These individuals must have participated actively in some genre of arts and entertainment for at least 10 years and must themselves merit respect and recognition for their accomplishments and/or knowledge in one or more of the art categories they are voting on. While not an absolute necessity, membership in one or more distinguishable arts and entertainment organizations (local but hopefully state or national) is preferred.
  • Electors will be appointed on an individual basis, not as a panel. Electors will serve one three-year term or until replaced.
  • Additional appointments may be made to the panel of Electors as deemed necessary by The MAX Board to maintain a sufficient number and balance of Electors.
  • Members of The MAX Board may serve as Electors, but this role is not automatic.
  • Electors failing to vote two consecutive years will automatically be considered incapacitated their names dropped from the Panel. Written request will be required for reinstatement.

Candidate Criteria

The Electors in accordance with the criteria below will appraise eligible candidates for HoF induction:

  • Basic Standard – A candidate is to be judged on the degree of his/her contribution to A&E and on the indelibility of his/her impact.
  • Scope of Activity – Flexible authority is vested in the Electors in identifying the scope of a candidate’s activity in A&E.  The candidate may have excelled in a narrow, specific sphere, such as a screenwriter, cinematographer, director, producer, actor, etc., or may have been active in several areas.  In any event, a candidate must have achieved definitive leadership in his/her field of A&E activity. It is not mandatory to honor artists in every field related to A&E.  The HoF is not “category” driven but should induct the most deserving artists across all genres that meet the eligibility criteria.
  • Span of Influence – The time factor of a candidate’s impact on A&E is completely flexible. It may cover an uninterrupted span of many years or it may cover two or more distinct and separate time cycles. Conceivably, a candidate may earn HoF recognition by one transient act, momentary in time, providing the impact on A&E is deemed significant enough. Longevity of one’s career in A&E, therefore, does not in itself warrant recognition in the HoF.
  • Influence on Others – A most significant criterion in evaluating a candidate is his/her inspirational effect on others; the degree to which he/she multiplies their influence through others to create an impact on A&E or the State of Mississippi far beyond his/her own direct individual contribution.
  • Quantity vs. Quality – A candidate’s ability to expand the popularity of A&E is a quantitative virtue. The professionalism of his/her activity is a “qualitative” one. Both quantitative and qualitative criteria are to be considered equally and separately important; conceivably, one may be present without the other.
  • Devotion to Others – Furthering A&E by selfless devotion to the interests of others may enhance the candidacy of a candidate but it is not essential to induction. The activities of a candidate may be completely self‑devoted and still be considered significant enough to warrant recognition.
  • Professional Conduct and Image – A candidate is expected to have practiced the highest caliber of professional conduct in order to enhance the public image of themselves and the A&E field in which they participate.
  • Personal Morals and Behavior – The selection process is not a judgment of personal morals and behavior, providing the latter does not negatively affect the professional conduct of the candidate and the public image.
  • Personal Participation – The candidate will make every effort to attend the HoF ceremony if selected. If being posthumously recognized, efforts will be made to contact the candidate’s closest family/representative to invite them to the ceremony. Posthumous awards require a one-year waiting period following date of death.


The voting will entail a total of nineteen ballots:

  • Seven ballots from the aforementioned HoF Nominating Committee;
  • Eleven ballots from arts and entertainment artists, experts, instructors, media, etc. appointed by The MAX Board of Directors; and
  • One (1) ballot representing the results of a nationwide fan vote (Fans vote at www.msarts.org any time from December 1, 2016 to February 17, 2017 with inductions in December 2017).

All nineteen ballots will be received and tabulated by the independent accounting firm of Rea, Shaw, Griffin & Stuart, LLP.