The National Museum of African American Music will be a 56,000 square foot facility located at the Avenue of the Arts in the redevelopment project of the former Nashville Convention Center. Situated in the heart of downtown Nashville NMAAM is within walking distance to the Country Music Hall of Fame, Bridgestone Arena, and the Ryman Auditorium. We anticipate receiving 200,000 annual visitors and will showcase over 50 music genres such as spirituals, hip-hop, classical, and country.

Why Nashville?

Since its establishment, Nashville has always had deep roots in music. The city’s musicality has been a common thread connecting the life and soul of the city and its people. Since that time, Black people have played a critical part in shaping music. From production to consumption, African Americans have played a significant role in assisting Music City earn its moniker.

Tennessee’s rich history has played an integral part in shaping, changing, and cultivating the sounds of American music. Memphis, home of the iconic Beale Street, Chattanooga, and, of course, Nashville, home of the legendary Jefferson Street, have paved the way for many musicians to go from relative obscurity to international superstardom. The historic corridors of Beale and Jefferson streets made it possible for artists such as B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Stevie Wonder, Louis Armstrong, Jimi Hendrix and more to gain critical acclaim and fans worldwide. The Volunteer State can count music pioneers such as DeFord Bailey, Little Richard, Tina Turner, Arrested Development, Bobby Jones, Donna Summer, BeBe & CeCe Winans, Three 6 Mafia, 8Ball & MJG as being a part of the state’s musical heritage.

The art of these Americans has inspired musicians of different races and ethnicities to create and cultivate more sounds that add to the many songs on America’s soundtrack. From the Fisk Jubilee Singers to the Tennessee State University Aristocrat of Bands, music in Nashville has had a profound influence on the music industry. The National Museum of African American Music is building on the successes of Tennessee’s diverse culture and nationally recognized music museums and institutions including the Country Music Hall of Fame, Graceland, The Grand Ole’ Opry, The Stax Museum of American Soul Music, and The Bessie Smith Museum among several others. While the Museum’s interactive galleries will play along with the American soundtrack, it will also illuminate Nashville’s significant influence and share how it inspires others around the world.

Today Nashville is proud to boast many of the world’s greatest songwriters, producers, and performers. It is also home to many industry titans such as ASCAP, BMI, CMT, The Recording Academy, Warner Music and more. Nashville is at the epicenter of American music, and it is the perfect city for the National Museum of African American Music to call home.

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