Donations will support first-of-its-kind museum in Music City honoring influential musicians of color who have helped shape the music industry.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Feb. 21, 2019)– The National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) today announced a joint gift of $1 million from the Regions Foundation and the Mike Curb Foundation, a major step forward for the trailblazing and interactive new museum, slated to open in downtown Nashville later this year.
Each organization is contributing $500,000 toward the museum’s construction – which will feature ambitious and evolving displays in tribute to America’s most dynamic and transformative African American artists and movements. Representatives from NMAAM, the Regions Foundation and the Mike Curb Foundation were joined by elected officials and community leaders, including Senator Marsha Blackburn, state Sen. Brenda Gilmore and Nashville Mayor David Briley, to announce the significant gifts and unveil new details of what the expansive, 56,000 square foot museum will share with its guests.
“Today’s event marks a major fundraising milestone for us,” said H. Beecher Hicks, III, president and CEO of NMAAM. “After years of planning and discussions, this project will soon become a reality. We are so grateful to the Regions Foundation and the Mike Curb Foundation for helping to make this pioneering museum a reality.”
The donations made by the Regions Foundation and the Mike Curb Foundation put the museum in closer reach of its nearly $50 million fundraising goal prior to opening in early 2020. Currently, fundraising has reached nearly 75 percent of the target.
In appreciation of the commitment by Regions, the grand foyer of the Museum will be named in honor of the Regions Foundation.
“Regions Bank and the Regions Foundation are committed to making a positive impact in the communities we serve, and the National Museum of African American Music will add to the vitality of the Nashville area by honoring and recognizing the impact of African American contributions to modern American music,” said Lee Blank, Nashville Market Executive for Regions Bank. “This gift represents our support of this living, lasting legacy, which celebrates the unique journeys and immense talent of artists who have shaped music history. We know that the people of Middle Tennessee and visitors from throughout the globe will enjoy what this museum will offer for generations to come.”
Tuesday’s announcement unveiled new renderings of the museum and artifacts that will be part of the permanent exhibition – one of which included sheet music by Grammy Award-winning artist, Stevie Wonder.
NMAAM is under construction in the heart of downtown Nashville in the Fifth + Broadway development. The project’s construction is being overseen by Skanska. After the exterior shell is completed this summer, NMAAM will move in and begin exhibit installation and design for the interior of museum, that will have entrances along Broadway as well as Fifth Avenue near the historic Ryman Auditorium.
“We’ve decided to name our gift in honor of the Fisk Jubilee Singers and the highlight the impact they’ve had on our city’s rich musical history,” says Jim Ed Norman of the Mike Curb Foundation. “We think it’s fitting that all visitors to the museum will now see the “Fisk Jubilee Singers” name at the Broadway entrance as it will serve as a reminder of the musical influences in our great city.”
The museum will be home to traveling exhibits and five permanent galleries featuring 25 interactive displays that chronicle the history of African American music from the 1800s to the present day. More than 1,400 artifacts have already been collected to be showcased in the space.
About The National Museum of African American Music
The National Museum of African American Music, set to complete construction in late 2019, will be the only museum dedicated solely to preserving African American music traditions and celebrating the influence African Americans have had on music. Based in Nashville, Tenn., the museum will share the story of the American soundtrack by integrating history and interactive technology to bring musical heroes of the past into the present. For more information, please visit www.nmaam.org.
About Regions Foundation
Regions Foundation is an Alabama nonprofit corporation with offices located at 1900 5th Avenue North, Floor 22, Birmingham, Alabama, 35203. It is exempt from Federal income tax as an organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Regions Foundation is funded primarily through contributions from Regions Bank. It engages in a community grant making program focused on priorities including economic and community development; education and workforce readiness; financial wellness; and related initiatives fostering inclusive growth across the communities it serves.