Located in St. Louis, Missouri, the National Blues Museum opened in 2016. Constructed in a renovated historic building downtown, the museum cost $14 million to build, intending to celebrate the musical history, particularly the impact of blues music over the years.
From jazz to folk to country to pop, Blues is a complex, rich style of music that has served as a basis for the American music we love today. Originating in the deep South long ago, Blues music originated from African American culture and came from a place of deep emotion. Blues music has always revealed much about a musician’s heart and does well at capturing life from all different angles and points of view.
History and Exhibits at the National Blues Museum, St. Louis, Missouri
The museum itself is 23,000 square feet, located in the MX District of St. Louis. It was designed by Gallagher & Associates, an international museum design firm based in San Francisco. Robert Santelli, Executive Director of the Grammy Museum, also offered his assistance.
The National Blues Museum encompasses over 15,000 square feet of history and music. Among the many exhibits are interactive technology, artifacts, theatrical productions, and classrooms for education.
Each of the exhibits goes further into depth about Blues music in different regions throughout history. The exhibits examine the different styles and musicians who created this influential genre. The National Blues Museum also hosts many public events such as music performances, lectures, and films.
A large part of the National Blues Museum is the educational aspect. According to the museum’s official website, the goals of the education program are to “provide an enhanced museum experience for students and educators, facilitate the creation of classroom resources and traveling exhibits to demonstrate the power of music and America’s rich musical heritage, engage children and families to encourage musical appreciation and expression, increase access to music programs in underprivileged communities, address race, diversity and culture through the Blues, serve as a center for education and collaboration and creating partnerships with other museums and educators.”
From the many educational programs held thus far at the National Blues Museum, over 5,000 children have benefited from learning the rich history of this style of music. The educational programs tie together America’s social and musical histories for an enriching learning experience.
The National Blues Museum is located at 615 Washington Ave. St. Louis, MO 63101. The museum is opened year-round except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Operating hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday and Monday from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Admission is $15 for those 18 years of age or older. Those over the age of 65 can purchase tickets for $12, as well as those who have served in the military. Children ages 5 through 17 are admitted for $10 and college students who present a valid ID. Group tours of 20 or more adults can purchase admission for $12, while school group tours of 20 or more can purchase admission for $5 each.
The museum also offers an interpreter-guided tour which is $40 for a group of 20 people.
For information about parking, visit the National Blues Museum’s official website.