Welcome to the land where blues began

Delta Blues Museum Strategic Plan 2020 - 2025

Updated and adopted by the Board of Trustees, February 11, 2020

The Mississippi Delta has influenced popular music and culture with its unique American musical art form known as the Blues. And since its creation a quarter of a century ago, the Delta Blues Museum has strived to preserve, interpret, and encourage a deep interest in the story of the musical style known as the Blues and those who shape, play and preserve it. A public and private funded institution, the museum enriches the lives and broadens the perspectives of its local, national, and international visitors.

Our Mission

The Delta Blues Museum is dedicated to creating a welcoming place where visitors find meaning, value and perspective by exploring the history and heritage of this unique American musical art form known as the Blues.

Our Vision

As a public educational institution, the museum's vision is to encourage a deep interest in the story of the musical style known as the Blues and those who shape, play and preserve it; establish a clear and a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between the Blues and other forms of American music; provide relevant, creative educational programs, performances, exhibits and visitor experiences, and create a museum environment where ideas are shared with objectivity and respect for our diverse audiences.

Our Values

The Delta Blues Museum values the preservation of our music community's unique cultural resources; spirit of cooperation, trust and open communications between ourselves, our visitors and those who continue to preserve the Blues traditions, and the highest professional standards and institutional integrity in all organizational endeavors.

Goals

This plan commits the Delta Blues Museum to pursuing new goals that advance our mission and re-commits us to continuing to grow and evolve our work in areas that advance our mission.

Focus Areas

As we pursue our goals, we will focus on topics that are vital to the future viability, relevance and sustainability of the Delta Blues Museum including:

  • Diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion in all aspects of museum structure and programming
  • Our expanding role in life-long learning
  • Business models for the museum's financial sustainability

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I. The goal of the Delta Blues Museum is to create a working partnership between the museum and local schools and businesses to support, through planning, programs and teacher education, an integration of education about Blues music at all grade levels in the classroom curriculum. While this goal is a stand-alone issue, we continue to reinforce this service through all of our endeavors.

We will strive to:

Extend partnership/collaboration opportunities to Head Start, Lee Academy, and Clarksdale Collegiate Public Charter School.

II. Board support and involvement is essential to the future success of the Delta Blues Museum. In keeping with this goal, the board has committed itself to advancing the museum and establishing the institution as a recognized professional entity in the community.

We will strive to:

  • Offer in-house board training
  • Utilize our national advisory committee
  • Attend professional museum meetings and workshops at the state, regional, and national levels
  • Provide financial support through annual giving, solicitation of corporate support, and partnerships

III. Use the Blues to support the development of the Clarksdale community.

We will strive to:

  • Expand our arts and education program through community partnerships including symposiums and concerts of Blues and related music
  • Recruit non-arts community organizations for Blues based projects
  • Create partnerships with community nonprofits
  • Create committees to assist and advise the staff and board on various aspects of the museum's operations
  • Create new and build upon existing partnerships

IV. Update our publications, website and social media to promote lifelong learning engagement and networking.

We will strive to:

  • Continue distribution of a newsletter to members putting out at least four issues annually
  • Develop an exhibits guide to the new permanent exhibits
  • Further our educational outreach to Blues fans and scholars via existing website features (Explore and Learn), and create new features such as: enhanced online lesson plans, multi-media tutorials, and even the possibility of an entirely independent online class
  • Create live Podcasts of our DBM Band performances
  • Use the social media platforms to link with other like-minded museums and programs

V. Strengthen education in and about the history and culture of the Blues. Education is an essential component of the Delta Blues Museum's mission.

We will strive to:

  • Recruit more schools to visit the museum
  • Create and utilize an educational packet for teachers and home schools to be used in pre and post visits to the museum
  • Work with local schools and businesses to develop exhibits, programs, and workshops
  • Strengthen the museum's partnerships with the private sector
  • Increase our physical range of influence
  • Reach out to local educators to be a part of their classroom activities and out of class excursions
  • Improve our Arts and Education Program by providing more opportunities for our students

VI. Increase knowledge of and pride in the unique American art form known as the Blues. Traditionally, Blues artists have learned their skills from within their community. The Delta Blues Museum's Arts and Education program is devoted to keeping this tradition alive.

Although many local artists have brought Mississippi and Clarksdale national and international attention, the artists and their music is not always appreciated within Clarksdale and the State of Mississippi. The Delta Blues Museum seeks to broaden awareness and support of the Blues and the artists through public education with exhibits, performances, and programming.

We will strive to:

  • Encourage local support of the Blues - publicly document, interpret, honor and celebrate Blues artists and their music
  • Provide opportunities for Blues artists to present and perform their art
  • Increase the number of DBM Band performances at festivals and at community venues such as senior activity centers

VII. Sustain the Museum's Effectiveness The museum must be effectively managed in order to carry out the strategic plan. In addition to the dedicated tax millage, the museum will seek additional funding from state and federal agencies, foundations and fundraising efforts.

We will strive to:

  • Disseminate information about the museum's activities
  • Enable staff to participate in professional development
  • Maintain membership in state, national and regional museum organizations
  • Administer and monitor implementation of the strategic plan and report on progress to the DBM Board of Trustees
  • Continually evaluate the effectiveness of the Delta Blues Museum's programs and exhibits
  • Create a sustainability fund to ensure the future of museum operations

VIII. The Museum recognizes that the gift shop is key to museum operations for revenue, guest services, and visitor relations.

We will strive to:

  • Offer more professional training to Staff, from customer service to POS
  • Upgrade and fully utilize up-to-date POS
  • Expand online store
  • Develop new products
  • Improve data analysis to guide operations
  • Deliver more revenue at economical cost
  • Support DBM mission, programs, and exhibits with appropriate educational items for sale

IX. Professional Standards The Museum will develop new in-house exhibits and traveling exhibits.

We have engaged a nationally recognized museum-planning firm to assist in the conceptualization and implementation of new interpretive exhibits.

We are currently establishing criteria for our future staffing, exhibitions, and collections management.

We will strive to:

  • Expand our collection holdings
  • Become accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM)
  • Implement inclusion, diversity, equity and access in all facets of our work

Guiding Principles The Delta Blues Museum's programs are guided by certain principles that are applicable in all areas of service, regardless of changes in goals, strategies, or management.

They include:

  • Celebrating and honoring Clarksdale and Coahoma County's unique Blues Story through educational exhibits and programs for lifelong learning
  • Supporting Delta Blues artists by educating the public about their contribution to arts and culture
  • Seeking and developing creative partnerships to further our mission
  • Seeking additional funding and responsibly managing our resources
  • Communicating with and educating the public about the value of the Blues' contribution to arts and culture through traditional means and social media
  • Evaluating the impact and performance of our programs
  • Developing and integrating current technology and social media into our work
  • Implementing Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) into all facets of our work in keeping with our missin of creating a welcoming place. The Delta Blues Museum respects, values and celebrates the unique attributes, characteristics and perspectives that make each person who they are. We believe that our strength lies in our diverse audience. We consider diversity and inclusion a driver of institutional excellence and seek out diversity of participation, thought and action. It is our aim, therefore, that our members, partners, key stakeholders reflect and embrace these core values.

The Delta Blues Foundation is a qualified 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. All funds solicited through the Delta Blues Foundation are raised on behalf of benefiting the Delta Blues Museum. On-line tax deductible contributions to the Delta Blues Foundation include the Deeper Roots program and the General Fund (a monetarily unrestricted contribution made to the foundation in support of the museum). Memberships and the Buy a Brick program are funded directly to the Delta Blues Museum and are not considered tax deductible.

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This site made possible through the support of Mississippi Arts Commission, National Endowment for the Humanities and the Rock River Foundation.




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This site made possible through the support of Mississippi Arts Commission, National Endowment for the Humanities and the Rock River Foundation.

Support for the Delta Blues Foudation, Inc has been provided by explore.org, a direct charitable activity of the Annenberg Foundation.

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Museum Contact information

1 Blues Alley
Clarksdale, MS 38614
Phone: 662-627-6820
Email: info@deltabluesmuseum.org