A museum dedicated to blues music, a genre with deep historical ties to Chicago, could open as soon as spring 2019 in the Loop, according to a report from Cran’s.
The Chicago Blues Experience, a for-profit, privately run, exhibit on the legendary precursor to rock n’ roll, will consist of a 50,000-square-foot museum built near Millenium Park, Crain’s reports, citing the museum’s organizers and city officials.
The museum will also boast a lounge to host about 150 people offering small bites and a house band playing blues music, the report says.
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"The black music tradition of Chicago has shaped world music, yet we haven't honored it, we haven't celebrated it, we haven't focused on it," Mark Kelly, commissioner of the city's Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, told Crain’s. "This gives us an opportunity to do that."
Terry Stewart, a former Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum president in Cleveland, will move to the Windy City to head up the Chicago Blues Experience, which will display historical artifacts to help tell the story of how the blues were born.
Crain’s reports the museum will bring about 110 jobs to the downtown area not including the “several hundred” construction jobs to build it. The museum also expects to bring in more than $99 million in revenue to the city of one year, the report says.
The Chicago Blues Experience is announced at a time when the Chicago Blues Festival will move from Grant Park to the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park.
"We have to push for something greater and create a new culture, and the Chicago Blues Experience just gives a big push in that direction," Kelly told Crain's.