The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has launched a $1.1 million fundraising campaign to defray costs associated with its acquisition of instruments which once belonging to Maybelle Carter, Johnny Cash and Bill Monroe. The Precious Jewel Fund opened with leadership gifts including a $150,000 donation from Scott Siman of RPM Management and a $300,000 gift from the Academy of Country Music. Siman and Museum Board President Steve Turner will co-chair the campaign geared toward the music and business communities, while Ricky Skaggs will lead the national appeal to music fans.
The fund will go toward making the four instruments a permanent part of the Museum’s collection. The priceless artifacts have been the subject of a drawn-out legal debate because, unbeknownst to the Hall, they were originally purchased with a donation obtained by allegedly fraudulent means.
Under terms of an agreement finalized last week in court, the Museum is required to pay a $750,000 settlement for the instruments by Feb. 22. Arrangements for a loan to supplement pledges not received before the settlement due date are in place with the Music Row branch of SunTrust Bank.
Tax-deductible contributions may be made by mail (Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, 222 Fifth Avenue South, Mail Drop DP, Nashville, TN 37203), telephone (615-416-2050), and will soon be available online. Checks should be made out to the Country Music Foundation—Precious Jewel Fund.