Q: What is NMAAM?

A: NMAAM (or the National Museum of African American Music) is to be the only museum dedicated to preserving the legacy and celebrating the accomplishments of the many music genres created, influenced, or inspired by African Americans. Being built in Nashville, the Museum will share the story of the American Soundtrack by integrating history and interactive technology to bring the musical heroes of the past into the present.

NMAAM is set to open its doors in 2019.

Q: Why Do We Need a Museum Dedicated to African American Music?

A: From production to songwriting to performance to consumption, this country’s musical landscape was formed by a distinct group who created, influenced and inspired more than 50 genres of music. NMAAM’s purpose is to tell the story that has never been told before. One that shares how Africans play a critical role in shaping our country’s heritage and culture.

This story will expose the history, struggles, triumphs, and culture. It’s a story of a people with remarkable resilience and artistry. NMAAM will showcase how many of today’s artists are connected to the traditions born out of the African American experience with captivating scenes, interactive technology, quotes, artifacts and creative educational programming.

We’ve all been touched by this music. The artists, genres, songs, dances and the history from which they emerged are the soundtracks of our lives. And the narrative will unfold right here in NMAAM!

No place tells the entire story until NMAAM!

Q: What Can I Expect When NMAAM Opens in 2019?

A: An in-depth look at over 50 genres of music translated throughout five different galleries and the impression they made on American culture. Visitors will experience everything from call-and-response spirituals and work songs in the 1600s to the mesmerizing sounds of saxophones, trumpets, and snares during the modern era of jazz.

African American music is an intricate fold in the American fabric. The exhibitions and galleries at NMAAM have been designed with the theme “Rivers of Rhythm.” It expresses the American Soundtrack, highlighting the role that African Americans have played in creating this pivotal part of American culture. There is no institution or publication currently bringing to life this connection between the people, the music, and the nation.

It’s a narrative that must be shared for those who helped create it.

Q: What Does NMAAM Do?

A: NMAAM delivers innovative educational programs and events. Additionally, it will serve as an experiential and vibrant place for the preservation, education, and performance of music. While the museum is currently under construction, we host events around the country. In 2016, our programs reached over 8,000 people.

[Check out our Events and Programs pages for more information.]

Q: How Can I Get Involved During Construction?

A: There are several ways to support NMAAM:

Q: Who Works On The NMAAM Project?

A: We are a committed team of music enthusiasts, dedicated to cultural preservation. But, most importantly, we are dedicated to telling an accurate story of the African American contribution to the American soundtrack. We have experts, industry leaders, award-winning artists and many more who are assisting NMAAM to move us forward.

[Learn more by visiting our leadership page for a full list of our members]

Q: How Has The Process Unfolded For Developing the Museum?

A: On average, it takes ten years to build a museum. As of now, we are scheduled to open in 2019.

[For more details on our journey, please also look at our Progress/Timeline page]

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