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Glitz and glam: MSU's Templeton Ragtime and Jazz Festival kicks off with popular Gatsby Gala fashion show
STARKVILLE, Miss. — Mississippi State University Libraries is inviting students, faculty, staff and visitors to dress the part and be transported back to the 1920s on Thursday [Feb. 27] during the seventh annual Gatsby Gala.
As the official kickoff event for the 14th annual Charles H. Templeton Ragtime and Jazz Festival, the 6 p.m. fashion show at Mitchell Memorial Library will feature 1920s-inspired apparel designed and created by MSU fashion design and merchandising students and modeled by MSU Fashion Board members. The students have worked on their designs under the guidance of Rachel Buchanan Woodward, a lecturer in MSU's School of Human Sciences. She was a Gatsby Gala participant in previous years while pursuing an MSU bachelor's in human sciences/apparel, textiles and merchandising. Also holding an MSU master's in fashion design and merchandising with a concentration in design and product development, Woodward now is a Starkville-based fashion designer and owner of RBW Designs.
Admission is free to the event, which takes place in the library's second-floor lobby. Attendees are encouraged to dress in their best 1920's-inspired outfit.
Parking is available at the Old Main Academic Center parking garage on Barr Avenue. Patrons also can use MSU's S.M.A.R.T. shuttle system for transportation to and from the festival.
MSU Libraries Associate Dean Stephen Cunetto said the Gatsby Gala is an outreach effort designed to incorporate the talents of MSU students. The popular event is the brainchild of former MSU Libraries employee Leilani Salter, who currently serves as assistant director of special events for MSU President Mark E. Keenum's office.
Internationally renowned pianist and seventh-year artistic director Jeff Barnhart of Mystic, Connecticut, will provide music for the gala, which will conclude with a reception.
"This festival is first-class from start to finish, with the care that we performers get from the library staff and the welcome that we receive from the school and the community. The instruments are first-class, too," he said. "We ask everybody to come have a great time with us because this music is something you'll never forget once you've heard it."
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