Groundbreaking at the Cleveland, Miss., site of the only official GRAMMY Museum location outside of Los Angeles, took place June 11 at Delta State University. The 20,000-plus square-foot Museum is expected to open in summer 2015.
The ceremony was the latest milestone in a five-year process that has raised $12.5 million of the $18 million project. GRAMMY Museum Mississippi is planned to be the most technologically advanced music-themed museum in the world, according to the project design team supervised by Bob Santelli, Executive Director of the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles.
"Mississippi's influence can be heard everywhere," said Santelli. "The music born in Mississippi has shaped the development of popular music in America and beyond. The GRAMMY Museum Mississippi will help the rest of the world recognize Mississippi's contribution to American music culture."
"It is so exciting to reach this major milestone in the GRAMMY Museum Mississippi project," said Lucy Janoush, president of the Cleveland Music Foundation. "The community has been hard at work and anxiously awaiting this moment."
"We've been honored to showcase Mississippi's musical heritage for the last three years at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles," said Rita George, Deputy Director of the GRAMMY Museum Mississippi. "The artists who have participated in our Mississippi Nights during GRAMMY Week have perfectly highlighted the tremendous range of Mississippi's musical legacy. We are thrilled to continue to help demonstrate this talent in Cleveland."
GRAMMY Museum Mississippi will be housed on 4.5 acres at the south end of the Delta State University golf course along Highway 8. The Cleveland Music Foundation, the nonprofit organization spearheading the project, secured the property through a 99-year lease with the Board of Trustees for Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning.
Additionally, students studying at the Delta Music Institute will receive credit hours for work at the GRAMMY Museum Mississippi and will participate in an exchange program with college and university students from the area, sponsored by the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. Live, GRAMMY Museum Mississippi is expected to further fuel awareness and tourism, drawing more visitors from around the world to the region.
Jon Hornyak, Senior Executive Director of The Recording Academy Memphis Chapter and a member of the GRAMMY Museum Mississippi Board of Directors, anticipates the project's next steps with optimism.
"As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Recording Academy Memphis Chapter, in which music makers from Mississippi continue to play such a vital role, I'm excited about the many possibilities of a new GRAMMY Museum Mississippi and the impact it will have not only on our music community but the community at large," said Hornyak.
The GRAMMY Museum Mississippi Board of Directors also includes GRAMMY winners B.B. King, Marty Stuart, Eddie "Chank" Willis, and Cassandra Wilson, among others.