[JPL] LT. GOV. LANDRIEU ANNOUNCES $6M FOR JAZZ MUSEUM AT OLD U.S. MINT

Dr. Jazz drjazz at drjazz.com
Fri Apr 25 10:46:03 EDT 2008


  */Partnership with U.S. Dept. of Interior Results in National Park 
Service Centennial Challenge funding/*

BATON ROUGE - Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu today announced $6 million in 
state and federal funding that will make a world-class Jazz Museum at 
the Old U.S. Mint a reality.

"I'm honored that the Department of the Interior has named the Jazz 
Museum at the Old U.S. Mint as one of 100 projects it is funding in the 
National Park Service Centennial program this year. I want to thank 
Secretary Dirk Kempthorne for his support," said Lt. Governor Landrieu. 
"This news couldn't come at a better time as New Orleans prepares to 
celebrate its 38th annual Jazz Fest -- a cultural tradition whose 
significance is felt worldwide. The Jazz Museum will be a great cultural 
asset for our community and will showcase Louisiana's rich history as 
the birthplace of jazz."

The National Park Centennial Challenge is the public- private matching 
element of the President's National Park Centennial Initiative to 
prepare national parks for a second century of excellence in time for 
the National Park Service's 100th anniversary in 2016.

The Jazz Museum has been a top priority of the Lt. Governor and is part 
of his overall mission to grow the cultural economy. Lt. Gov. Landrieu 
met with the Department of the Interior and White House officials in 
2007 to convey the state's commitment to the creation of the Jazz 
Museum. Working with Louisiana musicians, including jazz legend Wynton 
Marsalis, and creating a strong partnership with the National Park 
Service at Armstrong Park helped to secure Louisiana's award in the 
Centennial Challenge.

"This project showcases what the National Park and the State Museum each 
do best to create a great venue and visitor experience that neither 
could do as well alone. The Park brings interpretive programs complete 
with regular musical performances while the Museum brings exhibits and 
curatorial knowledge. Together they offer a world class jazz museum and 
performance center for local residents, schools and the visiting public 
to enjoy," said New Orleans Jazz National Park Superintendent John Quirk.

The funding will be used to transform the 71,000 square-foot Mint into a 
Jazz Museum through building improvements and exhibition development. 
The creation of performance space for musicians will allow visitors to 
understand more fully the influence of jazz on Louisiana's and the 
nation's heritage.

"The Jazz Museum in partnership with the National Park Service will help 
grow our state and nation's cultural economy and will draw tourists 
worldwide to experience all things jazz," said Lt. Gov. Landrieu. "New 
Orleans has a very authentic and distinct culture that isn't duplicated 
anywhere in the nation. New Orleans gave birth to jazz. It's only 
fitting that Louis Armstrong's horn and other important jazz artifacts 
find a permanent home in the Jazz Museum at the U.S. Mint."

The Mint was heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina, but restoration 
efforts were completed in October 2007. At the core of the Louisiana 
State Museum's Music Collection is its internationally-known Jazz 
Collection, the largest and most comprehensive of its kind in the world. 
The exhibit has been stored since being evacuated from the storm. It 
will return as an integral part of the Centennial Project.

The Jazz Collection chronicles the music and careers of the men and 
women who created, enhanced and continue the tradition of New Orleans 
jazz at the local, national and international levels. It consists of 
instruments, pictorial sheet music, photographs, records, tapes, 
manuscripts and other items ranging from Louis Armstrong's first cornet 
to a 1917 disc of the first jazz recording ever made. It includes the 
world's largest collection of instruments owned and played by important 
figures in jazz - trumpets, cornets, trombones, clarinets and saxophones 
played by jazz greats such as Bix Beiderbecke, Edward "Kid" Ory, George 
Lewis, Sidney Bechet, and Dizzy Gillespie.

The jazz museum is projected to be completed by 2010.

-- 
Dr. Jazz
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