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The National Blues Museum



The National Blues Museum (NBM) is kicking off its $12 million fundraising campaign on October 14 at the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis’ Downtown Ball. Net proceeds for this year's Ball, which will be held in the newly restored Peabody Opera House, will benefit the NBM and will go toward matching an anonymous challenge grant of $100,000. Kim Wilson of the Fabulous Thunderbirds, and The Blues All-Stars featuring Anson Funderburgh will be the national headliners at the event.

Tickets for the Ball are available online at www.downtownstl.org/downtownball or www.downtownballstl.org.

As the new, national home for America’s original music, the non-profit museum will tell the story of Blues as the foundation of American music and showcase its role in the creation of musical genres ranging from rock ‘n’ roll to hip hop. The NBM will celebrate the genre's myriad styles and pay tribute to the musicians who created, sustain and continue to advance the art form. The 23,000-square foot facility, targeted for opening in 2013, will feature technology and artifact-driven exhibits, a theater and special event space.

In addition, the National Blues Museum will offer a variety of public programs including acoustic performances, lectures, screenings of documentaries/films, and Q&A sessions with national artists and music industry professionals. The facility’s educational programming will include onsite and in-classroom opportunities to explore the history of Blues music and its influence on rock and roll, hip hop, jazz, gospel, and R&B.

To be located in the emerging Mercantile Exchange (MX) District in downtown St. Louis, the National Blues Museum will be located at the corner of 6th Street and Washington Avenue in the former Dillard’s building. The historic building, renamed the Laurel, is part of the MX District. A variety of leading consultants are part of the NBM team, such as local fundraising maven Donna Wilkinson of The Wilkinson Group, LLC and international museum designer Patrick Gallagher, president/founder of Gallagher & Associates.

The project also boasts the assistance of Robert Santelli, executive director of the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles. Santelli, who is working with the National Blues Museum as a volunteer consultant, is the former CEO of Seattle’s Experience Music Project museum and was the Vice President of Education and Public Programs at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum. Anson FunderburgHe has written and contributed to more than a dozen books, including: “The Big Book of Blues;” “Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues: A Musical Journey;” “American Roots Music;” and “The Best of the Blues: The 101 Essential Blues Albums.”

“We’re very fortunate to have assembled such an impressive collection of professionals for this project,” said Robert Endicott, chairman of the NBM board of directors. “Everywhere we turn, there are people who are anxious to help with the process of building this museum and seeing the project succeed. We expect to continue seeing that level of cooperation and can-do spirit once we begin the fundraising campaign.”

The new world class cultural attraction is expected to draw music fans from all around the world. For more information about the National Blues Museum, visit www.nationalbluesmuseum.org.

For more information contact:

Dawne Massey
Project Director
National Blues Museum
906 Olive Street, Suite PH-5
St. Louis, MO 63101
O: (314) 231-0400, ext. 7
C: (314) 691-4309
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