Nashville mayor David Briley and National Museum of African American Music president/CEO H. Beecher Hicks III on Thursday, August 29, 2019. Briley and Hicks signed a lease officially granting the museum control over its space in the Fifth + Broadway commercial development. (Photo: Submitted)
After decades of dreaming, planning and fundraising, the National Museum of African American Music officially has a home in downtown Nashville.
On Thursday, Nashville mayor David Briley and museum president/CEO H. Beecher Hicks III signed a lease, officially granting the museum control over its space in the Fifth + Broadway commercial development.
“This is an extremely gratifying moment for me and for everyone associated with our museum,” Hicks said, noting that the project had been more than 20 years in the making.
“This is a dream that has been long deferred, but today, that day has come.”
Briley and Hicks signed the papers at the Nashville Visitor Center — which sits just across the street from Fifth + Broadway building, still under construction.
Metro officials required that the museum be included in the $450 million development, and in recent months, the museum’s fundraising efforts were bolstered by a total of nearly $12 million in donations from the Music City Center, Vanderbilt University
“The city’s investment in the museum, and the community’s investment in the museum is all about telling a fuller story about what Music City is all about,” Briley said.
“To be honest, I’m afraid that if the city hadn’t really pushed hard, and the museum hadn’t been so persistent for so many years, this story might not ever be told in the city of Nashville.”
Following the signing, Briley, Hicks, members of the media and others took a hard-hat tour of the space at Fifth + Broadway.
The 56,000-square-foot facility will feature five permanent themed galleries — dedicated to gospel, blues, jazz, R&B and hip-hop — a 200-seat theater and traveling exhibits.
The museum now plans to open of Summer 2020. To learn more, visit NMAAM.org
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