February 08, 2016 / 3:47 PM

Stay Connected

Trending News

Nashville set to open National Museum of African American Music

Stevie Wonder: Probably a future honoree. (Photo : Facebook-StevieWonder)

It's been a long time coming, but Nashville has finally formalized plans for a National Museum of African American Music. Reports indicate that construction may begin as soon as 2015. 

Like Us on Facebook

The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce first introduced the idea when it created a task force to research the concept during 2000. They initially set budget goals for $43 million, which has since been reduced. The city itself offered $10 million to the project circa 2006, and the current mayor, Karl Dean, has pledged to stick to the commitment. 

I believe there is strong interest and demand for this type of museum, and the planned location is in a vibrant section of our downtown," he said.

The current for the budget for the project is $25 million, according to president and CEO of the museum, H. Beecher Hicks. He estimates that the museum has about two-thirds of the suggested budget, but that construction will be able to start before all the money has been raised. Hicks comes from a business background, having served as a partner in a Nashville-based private equity investment firm. Hicks' role, which he's filled since 2013, has apparently pushed the project forward. 

"There is a new focus, direction and opportunity that puts the organization in an optimal position,"  said interim board chairman Kevin Lavender.  "With Henry's leadership, the museum is moving forward at such a pace that many of us who have been close to this project are reengaged and energized. It's a very exciting time and I am honored to again serve the organization in this capacity."

The museum promises to be a more encompassing view of African-American music. Museums dedicated to R&B (Cleveland, unrelated to the Roc and Roll Hall of Fame) and jazz (New York) exist, and a hip-hop hall of fame is in development for New York City. 

See More

// Don’t Miss

Real Time Analytics