CLEVELAND, Miss.–The Mississippi Grammy Museum is being built in Cleveland, on the campus of Delta State University. When it opens, it will, at least for now, be the only Grammy museum outside of Los Angeles. Mississippi’s music tourism industry is about to reach a new level.
Monday afternoon crews worked on putting together the steel skeleton. Inside the new walls will be 20,000 sq. ft. of the most technologically advanced exhibits in the world.
“This is a unique opportunity for Delta State University and for the state of Mississippi to be attached to a global brand, a brand that may be one of the most recognizable in the world,” said Tricia Walker, director of the Delta Music Institute at DSU, the school’s entertainment and music engineering school. “It will bring some exposure, in a very good way, to all the great musicians who have come from Mississippi.”
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Walker said there are more Grammy winners per capita from Mississippi than from anywhere else and that eight percent of the Grammy lifetime achievement winners are from the state, so the museum will be a fitting tribute.
“We can rightfully claim that we’re the birthplace of America’s music and now we’ll have a museum that will champion that idea.”
The museum will have a section that will tell the story of Mississippi’s music, then a part that will tell the story of the Grammy Awards.
“There will be exhibits that change from every six months. We will have the opportunity if there’s an exhibit in the Los Angeles museum, once it finishes its run there, they can package it up, send it to us, we’ll uncrate it, put it in ou museum, keep it here for six months.”
Walker, who is also a performer and songwriter, said the thinking is that people who might not make it to LA, could make it to Mississippi to see exhibits that they might not otherwise could have seen.
The museum will cost about $18 million total. About $6 million of that is from state funds.
“As far as an institutional outreach and support where you see millions of dollars invested in state projects like the Grammy Museum or the B.B. King Museum, that is something that has occurred in the last 20 years really,” said Don Allen Mitchell, associate professor of English at Delta State, and coordinator of the new Delta Blues curriculum.” That is kind of cool to see that it’s become mainstream to embrace this kind of music.”
When asked why Mississippi would be a place for what is expected to be a well-attended facility, Walker said she thinks it’s about what people want in the music they love.
“I think tourists are looking authenticity. They’re looking for something that’s not manufactured. I think they can find it in the music and the culture and the food and the art and the places in Mississippi”.
The museum could open as soon as September.