The National Blues Museum has set April 2, 2016, as its opening day. The project intends to tell the history of blues music through exhibits and community outreach.
Dave Beardsly, Mike Kociela and Rob Endicott, who heads the museum’s board, launched the project more than two years ago. The new museum will fill 23,000 square feet in the Mercantile Exchange building downtown. Multiple blues musicians and celebrities such as Buddy Guy and Jack White have supported the project and helped raise funds. Initially, supporters hoped the museum would open in 2014.
In January, 2014 Edicott said the project was still in a design phase.
“We’ve started the ball rolling with the exhibit designers, and the designs are really coming along,” he said. “We’re now figuring out how to translate what’s on paper into what can be done with hammer and nails.”
The next projected opening was slated for late 2015 but the recent announcement finally nails down a date.
In a statement released by the museum Endicott attributed the museum's realization to supporters.
“We are thrilled to bring this project to completion after many years of planning and fundraising. We could not have completed this without the amazing support of private and public supporters in the St. Louis region and beyond,” he said.
This spring Dion Brown was named the museum’s executive director. He came from the B.B. King Museum in Indianola, Miss. At the time he explained why the country needs a museum devoted to the blues : “To learn the history, it gives more insight into why we listen to the music we do,” he said.
With the museum opening this spring, St. Louisans should have a new way to gain that insight.