Construction of Museum of African-American Music Planned for 2015

The museum will honor Black artists past and present. 

Posted: 04/07/2014 01:25 PM EDT

A new museum chronicling African-American music legends will begin construction as early as 2015, after years of fundraising efforts in Nashville. The National Museum of African-American Music will be part of the redevelopment of the Nashville Convention Center, according to the

The planned 16,000 square-foot institution will pay homage to Nashville’s Jefferson street, also known as “Music Row” where Little RichardJimi Hendrix and local artists like Freddie Waters and Earl Gaines played at various venues along the strip.

President and CEO H. Beecher Hicks of the museum says the building will honor Black artists past and present who have impacted popular music, from Aretha Franklin and B.B. King to Beyoncé. The museum has already started hosting programs for children to educate them about early instruments.

"We've reached already several thousand kids and adults with the program we're doing," Hicks said to The Tennessean. "That's beginning to turn the light bulb on for people, and they're beginning to see us tell the story already even before the construction starts."

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(Photo: Courtesy National Museum of African American Music)