National Blues Museum to Begin Construction on Museum
When the National Blues Museum announced on December 11 that it had completed financing and was ready for construction in downtown St. Louis, music fans around the metro region became overly excited for a world-class tribute to the blues.
The National Blues Museum in St. Louis construction of the state-of-the-art museum and educational facility will begin within two weeks. The Museum’s supporters include Blues icons and GRAMMY Award winners Buddy Guy, Jack White, Robert Cray and Derek Trucks.
“Finally the blues, its rich, storied history, its unique cast of characters and its mojo has a home we can all be very proud of. This genre of music which has influenced so many artists throughout the last century is so very deserving of this museum,” said Devon Allman. Allman, a member of the National Blues Museum board, is an international touring and recording artist, a guitarist and singer with the Royal Southern Brotherhood, and son of Gregg Allman of the legendary musical Allman family. Allman’s enthusiasm for the project has been echoed by many others, including leading female artists, Shemekia Copeland and Denise LaSalle, film and television star, John Goodman, and Academy Award Winner, Morgan Freeman. Freeman recently provided the Museum’s most recent video endorsement.
Opening in late 2015 in downtown St. Louis, the 23,000-square-foot National Blues Museum will include more than 16,000 square feet of highly interactive technology and artifact-driven exhibits, a theatre, special event space and classrooms. The Museum will explore and preserve the historic significance of the Blues as the foundation of American music and celebrate the musicians who both created and advance the art form.
The National Blues Museum will explore the various Blues styles and trace its history and American roots music from the Mississippi Delta through St. Louis to Chicago, its expansion across the U.S. and internationally. From the experience, Museum visitors will understand how the Blues deeply influenced Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famers including the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin and more.
Beyond the galleries and exhibits, the National Blues Museum will host public programs and activities, already underway. Educational programming, a major component of the Museum’s mission, will focus on providing on-site curriculum-based music education as well as virtual educational opportunities accessible to all.
While additional funding is needed to enhance technology, expand exhibits, deepen the impact of community and educational programs, and create accompanying curriculum, initial exhibits will include:
- Blues History: tracing the Blues from its late 19th Century origins in the Delta to cities. Experience highlights will articulate differences between major Blues cities of the 1930s, ‘40s, and ‘50s and document the arrival of Blues rock in the 1960s, its arrival in Europe, and the expansion of Blues rock in America. Connections to other historical trends will be interwoven.
- The Creation of Blues Lyrics and Chord Structures: demonstrates and teaches the intricacies of the Blues, enabling visitors to create their own songs. Whether an experienced musician or exploring the basics, visitors can create a recording, preserving and carrying forward the legacy of the Blues.
- Blues Legends: those who significantly contributed to Blues history and its sounds will have their stories told through sophisticated multimedia.
An additional performance area will serve multiple purposes, providing classroom and private event space, and evening programs (screenings, readings, and intimate music performances). A temporary exhibit gallery will respond to visitors’ curiosity on many levels, showcasing exhibits from collections of other institutions.
For more information, visit nationalbluesmuseum.org.