Fundraising for National African American Museum of Music In Nashville Behind Schedule

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A year after officials announced that the National African American Museum of Music in Nashville was on its way toward a 2013 opening date, the effort is still millions of dollars away from its fundraising goal.

Paula Roberts, executive director of the foundation that will oversee the museum, now says that it is too soon to discuss when the facility will break ground.

"Proper planning for any startup venture remains vital to a successful outcome. It would be premature to discuss dates, events or even milestones for the project at this time," said Roberts, who was hired in 2009 to lead the African American History Foundation of Nashville Inc.

That is a different tone than the one expressed last September, when the foundation said in a press release that the project was "on-track towards a planned open of 2013."

Though Roberts declined to discuss the status of fundraising for the $47.5 million project, the foundation's tax records indicate that generating money to build the museum is still far short of the goal.

In the tax year ending June 30, 2011, the African American History Foundation of Nashville Inc. reported that it had collected just more than $3 million in gifts, grants and contributions, including governmental grants. The foundation raised $192,601 in the 2010 tax year, the last year for which information was available.

Roberts told the state building commission last year that the museum has collected about $23 million so far. It is unclear how that figure was derived, but museum officials in the past have included in their collection estimates the $10 million promised to the project by Metro, the $3 million value of the site and a $500,000 state grant.

Metro has made $1.8 million of its $10 million available to the museum for engineering, design and other preliminary work.

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SOURCE: Memphis Commercial Appeal
Jaquetta White
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