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LT. GOV. LANDRIEU ANNOUNCES WORLD-CLASS JAZZ MUSEUM -- 01/05/2009
Office of Lieutenant Governor
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 8, 2009
LT. GOV. LANDRIEU ANNOUNCES WORLD-CLASS JAZZ MUSEUM
Louisiana State Museum's Old U.S. Mint to become live music venue
New Orleans, La. - Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu and Lynn Scarlett, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, today announced the creation of a world-class jazz museum at the Old U.S. Mint, part of the Louisiana State Museum.
"This museum will draw jazz enthusiasts from around the world to New Orleans," said Lt. Governor Landrieu. "We are transforming our museums, like the Old U.S. Mint, into hubs of social and musical activity. This museum is one more way to experience the birthplace and history of jazz."
As part of the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park, the museum will include a 4,000 square foot state-of-the-art jazz performance venue designed by New Orleans design studio Eskew+Dumez+Ripple. The performance space will host live music featuring local and national acts. The new museum is expected to open in spring 2010 and will also house exhibition and educational spaces.
"Our goal is to preserve the origins, early history, development and progression of jazz, and
to allow visitors to know the sights, sounds, and places where jazz evolved," said Lt. Gov. Landrieu. "This project will create an important new asset in Louisiana's diverse cultural economy."
The state provided $2 million in funding for the project, which the National Park Service matched for a total of $4 million.
Home to the world's largest collection of jazz artifacts, the Old U.S. Mint was severely damaged in Hurricane Katrina. Collection highlights include Louis Armstrong's first cornet and bugle, given to him at the Municipal Waif's Home for boys (1913-14), a cornet owned by Bix Biederbecke as a young music student, and a Dizzy Gillespie trumpet with the trademark "bent" bell.
Since Katrina, the Mint has undergone a $2 million restoration, which is nearly complete.
The project is a partnership between the Louisiana State Museum, the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, the National Park Service and the Department of the Interior as part of the National Parks Service's Centennial Initiative. The Centennial Initiative is a 10-year effort to prepare national parks for another century of conservation, preservation, and enjoyment, by the agency's 100th anniversary in 2016.