Mike Curb Foundation, Regions Foundation Offer $1 Million Donation To National Museum Of African American Music

The National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) announced a joint gift of $1 million from the Regions Foundation and the Mike Curb Foundation, marking another milestone for the interactive new museum, slated to open in downtown Nashville later this year as part of the Fifth+Broadway development.

Each organization is contributing $500,000 toward the museum’s construction – which will feature ambitious and evolving displays in tribute to America’s most dynamic and transformative African American artists and movements. Representatives from NMAAM, the Regions Foundation and the Mike Curb Foundation were joined by elected officials and community leaders, including Senator Marsha Blackburn, state Senator Brenda Gilmore and Nashville Mayor David Briley, to announce the significant gifts and unveil new details of what the expansive, 56,000 square foot museum will share with its guests.

The museum will be home to traveling exhibits and five permanent galleries featuring 25 interactive displays that chronicle the history of African American music from the 1800s to the present day. More than 1,400 artifacts have already been collected to be showcased in the space.

“Today’s event marks a major fundraising milestone for us,” said H. Beecher Hicks, III, president and CEO of NMAAM. “After years of planning and discussions, this project will soon become a reality. We are so grateful to the Regions Foundation and the Mike Curb Foundation for helping to make this pioneering museum a reality.”

The donations made by the Regions Foundation and the Mike Curb Foundation put the museum in closer reach of its nearly $50 million fundraising goal prior to opening in early 2020. Currently, fundraising has reached nearly 75 percent of the target. In appreciation of the commitment by Regions, the grand foyer of the Museum will be named in honor of the Regions Foundation.

Pictured (L-R): Lee Blank, Nashville Market Executive for Regions Bank; David Briley, Mayor of Nashville; Marsha Blackburn, US Senator; H. Beecher Hicks, III, president and CEO of NMAAM; Brenda Gilmore, TN State Senator; Jim Ed Norman, Mike Curb Foundation

“Regions Bank and the Regions Foundation are committed to making a positive impact in the communities we serve, and the National Museum of African American Music will add to the vitality of the Nashville area by honoring and recognizing the impact of African American contributions to modern American music,” said Lee Blank, Nashville Market Executive for Regions Bank. “This gift represents our support of this living, lasting legacy, which celebrates the unique journeys and immense talent of artists who have shaped music history. We know that the people of Middle Tennessee and visitors from throughout the globe will enjoy what this museum will offer for generations to come.”

Tuesday’s announcement unveiled artifacts that will be part of the permanent exhibition – one of which included sheet music by Grammy Award-winning artist Stevie Wonder.

“We’ve decided to name our gift in honor of the Fisk Jubilee Singers and highlight the impact they’ve had on our city’s rich musical history,” says Jim Ed Norman of the Mike Curb Foundation. “We think it’s fitting that all visitors to the museum will now see the ‘Fisk Jubilee Singers’ name at the Broadway entrance as it will serve as a reminder of the musical influences in our great city.”

Regions Foyer at National Museum of African American Music.


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Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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