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Grand Opening Edition

Greetings from the Director
On behalf of the Board of Directors, staff and volunteers, we are honored to welcome you to the National Blues Museum. I can’t tell you how excited we are for you to come visit your museum and see the living history of the blues first-hand. The outpouring of support from the St. Louis community and beyond is positively overwhelming and we’re glad to be in good company with so many other cultural institutions that make this city a top destination.

We are grateful to our Grand Opening Weekend Sponsors – Ameren, Edward Jones, Steward Family Foundation and World Wide Technology Foundation – allowing the museum to welcome nearly 2,500 visitors through our doors. And thanks to our many hotel partners – Embassy Suites, HoteLumière, Magnolia Hotel, Drury Inn & Suites and the Hampton Inn - for providing our guests a warm welcome and comfortable stay.
Because of their generosity, grand opening day guests were treated to an all-out Blues fest featuring musical guests Phi, David Dee, Kiersi Wisecarver, Renee Smith, Jim McClaren, the Marquise Knox Band, Mickey Rogers and the Jeremiah Johnson Band.

Since the Grand Opening, we’ve welcomed nearly 6,000 visitors, from 25 states and five countries, including Australia, Canada and England. We’ve conducted tours for 500+ students from elementary to college-aged kids and have hosted tours for over 350 adults from local area civic and church groups. And tourism season hasn’t even started!

We believe our success lies in all that the museum offers and its appeal to a wide audience. Simply put, if you’re a music lover, history buff, art connoisseur, pop culture enthusiast, local or tourist, we think you’ll find something of interest and inspiration here at the National Blues Museum.

For us, it’s not just about “a visit” to the museum; we want you to come back, and even offer ways for you to get involved (read our section about how to become a volunteer). We know that ongoing programs and new exhibits are key to keeping our guests engaged. You’ll see in this edition some of the special events that we hosted in our first month, along with the launch of two ongoing programs – Live Music on Saturdays and our “Last Saturdays” Panel Series.

And, we hope you’ll stop in to see our inaugural traveling exhibit by artist H.C. Porter “Blues @ Home: Mississippi’s Living Blues Legends” in the Scott and Diane McCuaig, and Family Gallery. The exhibit is on view until June 1.

In closing, we hope this grand opening edition inspires you to come, to come back and tell your friends and family to come! As always, we look forward to seeing you soon at your National Blues Museum.
Dion Brown


The Museum celebrates its Grand Opening April 2

Dave Beardsley, Sirius XM 'Bluesville' host Big Llou Johnson, Bobby Rush, NBM Board Chair Rob Endicott, NBM Executive Director Dion Brown, Mayor Francis Slay, and board member Barbara Hammeran cut the ribbon to officially open the National Blues Museum on Friday, April 2, 2016. Photo by Peter Newcomb,


Pictured from left to right: Dave Beardsley, Sirius XM 'Bluesville' host Big Llou Johnson, Bobby Rush, National Blues Museum Board Chair Rob Endicott, Executive Director Dion Brown, Mayor Francis Slay, and board member Barbara Hammerman cut the ribbon to officially open the National Blues Museum on Saturday, April 2, 2016. Photo by Peter Newcomb.


Bobby Rush gave an amazing performance at Friday's 'Rock N Blues' Concert Fundraiser at Lumière Live. Photo by Peter Newcomb.

Big George Brock and Shemekia Copeland also wowed the crowd as part of the fundraiser.
Photo by Peter Newcomb.

Students from the Normandy High School Marching Band were some of the first visitors to try out our Jug Band Room! The Band led a procession down Washington Avenue as part of our opening day celebration. Photo by Peter Newcomb.

To see more photos, visit our Facebook page.
Visit our inaugural traveling exhibit, H.C. Porter's "Blues @ Home"

The museum is pleased to welcome its first traveling exhibition, "Blues @ Home: Mississippi's Living Blues Legends." Musician Denise LaSalle (right, with artist H.C. Porter) is one of the 31 featured blues artists in the exhibition. The exhibit will remain on view in the Scott and Diane McCuaig and Family Gallery through June 1. Learn more by visiting the museum's Traveling Exhibits page. Photo by Pat O'Malley.
The Museum is hosting live music
Join us every Saturday in the Lumière Place Legends Room to see great live performances by top blues talent! Concerts are included with museum admission ($5 for concert attendance only). Since our grand opening, we've had the pleasure of having Eugene Johnson & Company, Eric McSpadden and Larry Griffin, and Uvee Hayes perform live shows inside the museum. For a full listing of future performances, check out our online Events Calendar.
Become a Volunteer!

Do you love people? Love music?
Want to give your time to a great organization?

Join the National Blues Museum volunteer team!

Volunteers are one of the most integral resources within the day-to-day operations of the museum. They greet and interact with visitors on the museum floor, answer questions, and help demonstrate how to have a fun, interactive time on their visit. Volunteers also help with group tours, special events and outside gatherings scheduled by businesses and civic organizations.

Book your next event at the Museum!
The museum has two great spaces for events - the Lumière Place Legends Room and the Scott and Diane McCuaig and Family Gallery. Both spaces have ample room for your next reception, meeting, or civic event. We also offer special rates for nonprofits. In April, the museum was proud to host the following: Ameren, BNY Mellon, Left Bank Books and author James McBride, the world premiere of "Moonshine & Mojo Hands," St. Louis Convention and Visitors Center, St. Louis Council Regional Chamber Board, and Ernst & Young.

Community Programs: 
"Last Saturday" Panel Series
The museum was pleased to host its first panel discussion, "Father & Sons," on Saturday, April 30. On the panel were Eric Luther Ingram, son of R&B singer Luther Ingram; Alonzo Townsend, son of Blues singer Henry Townsend; and Lou Thimes (The Real J.R.), son of radio DJ Lou "Fatha" Thimes. The event was moderated by Bernie Hayes.

On Saturday, May 28, the museum will host its next panel discussion "Mothers & Daughters." This discussion includes Neuka Mitchell, daughter of R&B singer Fontella Bass; Dr. Marabeth Gentry, daughter of Gospel pioneer Mother Geneva Gentry; and Mar-Yam-Yahrib Aaten, daughter of legendary Jazz singer Mae Wheeler. The discussion will be held from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. inside the Lumiere Place Legends Room and will be moderated by the museum's Director of Internal Affairs Jacqueline K. Dace.

Visit our
Facebook page for updates.
School and Group Tours
The museum offers self-guided and interpreter-led group tours. In April, we welcomed Shalom Church, Norwalk High School Band, Schmersahl Treloar and Company, Chesterfield Presbyterian Church, Lafayette High School Jazz Band, Missouri History Museum, Notre Dame Academy, Laclede Oaks Retirement Home, Zion's Corner Seniors Building, Ames High School Choir, Brimfield High School Band, and the Melodic Rhythms Music Institute.
NBM in the News

HEC – TV: National Blues Museum Grand Opening

St. Louis American - National Blues Museum strengthens St. Louis’ bond with genre
American Blues Scene - National Blues Museum Opens on a High Note in St. Louis
Here & Now -
St. Louis Opens A Museum Dedicated To The History Of Blues

Belleville News-Democrat -
National Blues Museum will have you playing the blues in St. Louis

Who To Contact


Volunteering: Dave Beardsley, Interpretative Coordinator 
Group Tours:  
Sherry Nash, Director of External Affairs.
School Group Tours:
Dr. Rosalind Norman, Assistant Interpretative Coordinator
Event Rentals:
Casey Jolley, Sales & Events Manager

Hours of Operation: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesday - Friday
Noon - 5 p.m. Sunday - *Monday

*Closed on Mondays November - March

Copyright © 2016 National Blues Museum, All rights reserved.

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