(ST. LOUIS) – The National Blues Museum (NBM) announced today it will receive a major donation that will serve as the foundational contribution for its capital campaign. Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. and Lumière Place Casino and Hotels will contribute $6 million to the museum’s soon to be announced capital campaign to raise the remainder of the funds.
The 23,000-square-foot National Blues Museum in downtown St. Louis will offer an interactive experience that includes a mix of artifacts and technology-driven exhibits. This emerging cultural attraction will showcase the Blues as the foundation of modern American music and illustrate its rich history. Upon opening, projected for 2014, the museum will include aperformance venue, highly interactive touch screen exhibits and educational programming that 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. Public programs will feature intimate performances, lectures, screenings of documentaries and other films, and Q&A sessions with national artists and music industry professionals.
“Thanks to Pinnacle Entertainment and Lumière Place’s generous donation, the National Blues Museum will be able to begin construction much sooner than anticipated,” said Robert Endicott, chairman of the National Blues Museum and partner at Bryan Cave. “This contribution is a tremendous start for our capital campaign. We are extremely appreciative to Pinnacle Entertainment for helping make the National Blues Museum a reality for St. Louis and for Blues music fans everywhere.”
Project advisors include Patrick Gallagher of Gallagher & Associates, a firm that has provided museum exhibition design and master planning for such institutions as the B.B. King Museum, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, the World War II Museum, International Spy Museum, and the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. Live; and Bob Santelli, a noted Blues author, historian, and executive director of the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. Live. Santelli has worked with NBM as a volunteer consultant providing strategic direction, a suggested narrative for the museum, and guidance in the development of the project’s public programs and educational initiatives.
St. Louis Blues History
For nearly a century, St. Louis has played a central role in the development of Blues music. As early as 1916, the city and the music were linked together through the publication of W.C. Handy’s “St. Louis Blues,” a tune that has since gone on to become the most widely covered Blues song in the world. In the 1920s and 1930s, St. Louis was home to some of the Blues world’s earliest stars, including Lonnie Johnson, Walter Davis, Roosevelt Sykes, Peetie Wheatstraw and many more. In the 1950s and 1960s, St. Louis was home to such towering figures as Chuck Berry, Ike Turner, Albert King and Little Milton who would not only modernize the Blues, but push the music into such new forms as rock, soul and funk.
The National Blues Museum is a proposed 23,000-square foot educational and cultural institution in St. Louis, Missouri. Located adjacent to the America’s Center convention complex, the interactive museum will feature a collection of technology- and artifact-driven exhibits that explore the Blues and celebrate the genre as the foundation of all modern American music. The National Blues Museum is organized as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) Missouri corporation and is governed by a volunteer board of directors. The museum will be located within the new Mercantile Exchange (MX) District in the heart of downtown St. Louis and within walking distance of a variety of attractions including the Gateway Arch, Lumière Place, and Busch Stadium.