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Museum Honoring African-American Music Coming to Nashville

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B.B. King performs on stage during the 2013 Crossroads Guitar Festival at Madison Square Garden on April 12, 2013 in New York City. (Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

B.B. King performs on stage during the 2013 Crossroads Guitar Festival at Madison Square Garden on April 12, 2013 in New York City. (Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

By Kevin Rutherford

A new museum in Nashville will honor African-American contributions to music, both locally and nationally.

According to Rolling Stone, the National Museum of African American Music is planned to be built in Music City as part of the redevelopment of the former site of the downtown Nashville Convention Center, with construction starting as soon as 2015.

The museum will feature exhibits on artists like B.B. KingMarvin Gaye and Otis Redding, but that’s not all; in addition to nationally-acclaimed musicians, it’ll also include some recognition of black musicians who made their mark in Nashville.

The Tennessean notes that the location the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce settled on has been the third potential spot for the museum since it originally created a task force to gauge interest in 2000. Museum President/CEO H. Beecher Hicks says the museum is about two-thirds of the way to its fundraising goal of $25 million, though that number does not necessarily have to be met before construction begins.

In light of its building, the museum has begun community outreach programs including school visits teaching children about the use of instruments like spoons and washboards, as well as a concert series. An April 10 fundraising concert will honor Outkast.

The museum could bring to light another side of music in a city prominently known for its contributions to country music, particularly with the Country Music Hall of Fame.

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