With the Tennessee State Museum badly in need of new space — and with the National Museum of African American Music eyeing the existing Nashville Convention Center as a possible home — we wondered the following: Could the state museum, a new building for which has long been proposed for the North Capitol area, lease space in the convention center?
When asked, Lois Riggins-Ezzell, Tennessee State Museum executive director, provided this response.
“This is the first we've heard of any suggestions regarding the old convention center as a potential home for the new museum," Riggins-Ezzell told the Post in an email message. "The future of the new state museum lies solely with Governor Haslam's administration, the TN General Assembly and the State Museum Commission.”
A quick scan of the HVS Convention, Sports & Entertainment Facilities Consulting study —conducted to determine the economic impact of the proposed National Museum of African American Music — reveals some interesting information.
HVS, based in Chicago, determined the museum projects to annually produce $9.1 million in new revenue, 133,000 visitors per year and about 117 permanent jobs, information Nashville Post reported previously.
Of note, the study compares the planned NMAAM with existing museums of all genres, including six in Nashville, and with eight of the nation’s major African-American-themed museums. But it is the study comparing NMAAM to 10 music-themed museums that is most interesting. These include the following (with approximate annual attendance listed in parentheses; revenues per facility are not listed as ticket prices vary):
• the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Nashville (420,000 visitors)
• the American Jazz Museum, Kansas City (300,000)
• the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland (477,000)
• the Rock n Soul Museum, Memphis (50,000)
• the Experience Music Project, Seattle (511,000)
• the Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix (200,000)
• the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Memphis (42,500)
• the Grammy Museum, Los Angeles (64,900)
• the B.B. King Museum and the Delta Interpretive Center, Indianola, Miss. (25,000)
• the International Bluegrass Music Museum, Owensboro, Ky. (24,500)
The 10 aforementioned civic attractions average about 212,000 visitors per year. So the projected 133,000 visitors the NMAAM is expected to draw would seem reasonable.
Other key study findings include the following:
• The size of the proposed NMAAM would be well below the average size of the 10 comparable facilities.
• NMAAM is expected to charge an adult admission ticket price below those of industry-leading music museums.
• Most of the comparable African American-themed museums are located in densely populated areas. On average, eight million residents live within two hours of these comparable venues, as compared to approximately 3.4 million living within a two-hour drive of downtown Nashville. However, with the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles removed from the calculation, the average population within a two-hour drive time to the comparable music-themed museums is approximately 3.2 million.
• Many visitors to the $47.5 million NMAAM will include tourists, both national and foreign. The study notes that in recent years, foreign tourists have increasingly attended music-themed museums, particularly those in the southeastern United States.
• Music-themed museums offer a significantly greater number of weekly hours of operation than those with a focus on African American culture and history (which the NMAAM was to have been in its original iteration).
HVS conducted a similar study, submitted in January 2010, regarding the then-planned Music City Center convention facility.
The proposed National Museum of African American Music is projected to annually produce $9.1 million in new revenue, 133,000 visitors per year and more than 100 permanent jobs, project officials announced Wednesday.
HVS Convention, Sports & Entertainment Facilities Consulting conducted the study. Some Nashvillians will recall HVS as the Chicago-based company that conducted a similar study, submitted in January 2010, regarding the then-planned Music City Center convention facility.
The HVS economic impact analysis predicts many visitors to the $47.5 million museum will include tourists, both national and foreign. Additionally, the study forecasts 117 permanent jobs and more than 200 indirect jobs created.
“We’re pleased to confirm, with the results of this study, that NMAAM is a viable entity, providing substantial economic impact as the newest member of the Music City landscape,” Paula Roberts, NMAAM executive director, said in a release.
The stud reveals that, in addition to benefiting from Nashville’s tourism and convention activity, NMAAM has the potential to expand the city’s market base and attract a greater share of meetings and conventions, NMAAM proponents said. Of note, HVS compiled data on 24 local Nashville and comparable national museums to "inform and test the reasonableness of demand forecasts."
The Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau recently identified more than 50 ethnic and multi-cultural events and 75,000 attendees that have been lost (or will be lost) to other cities for events occurring between 2008 and 2015. Lost business includes national professional organizations, religious conventions, fraternity and sorority national conventions, family reunions, and sporting events.
"This study further demonstrates that the museum has enormous potential to draw new visitors and to strengthen and diversify our tremendous brand,” Butch Spyridon NCVB president, said in the release.
Though a groundbreaking has yet to be announced, the NMAAM has events planned for 2013.
In September 2011, NMAAM announced a name change (originally it was proposed as the Museum of African American Art, Music and Culture) to reflect an opportunity to solely feature the impact African American’s have made on music. That announcement was the latest in a string of updates since the project was first visualized in 2001.
The NMAAM is to be located on the southwest corner of Jefferson Street and Rosa Parks Boulevard.
Designed by Nashville-based Tuck Hinton Architects, the building’s exterior will showcase a contemporary façade incorporating celebrated African American musicians and a 64-foot-tall drum.
Backers of the proposed Museum of African American Music Art & Culture at the north end of Bicentennial Mall have refocused their efforts to focus only on the music element. Joey Garrison reports the $47.5 million project is still scheduled to open in late 2013 and has brought on board some heavy-hitter board members, including AT&T Tennessee President Gregg Morton and Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis partner Waverly Crenshaw.