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Delta Blues Museum

Director's Note

September 13, 2019


Clarksdale, Mississippi

Happy Fall!

We are thrilled to report that Budget Travel named us the "Best Museum in Mississippi". Also, we were nominated in three categories of River Travel's “Best of the River Road” in River Travel Magazine and were among the five finalists in all of them: #1 Best Roadside Attraction; #1 Best Education Center; and #5 Best Interpretive Center.

The Mississippi Arts Commission (MAC) is supporting the museum with a general operating grant of $23,100 for FY2020. Read the press release here. Their support is vital to ongoing museum operations. We are grateful for MAC's ongoing support of the Delta Blues Museum and the arts in Mississippi.

Beginning on September 28, there will be a festival or two every weekend in Clarksdale. Visit our events page for the festivals and dates. On October 19, during the Deep Blues Festival, we will be hosting the "Deep Blues Festival 5k Fun Run" to benefit the Delta Blues Museum. Registration forms for the run are online. Please sign up to run, or just to get the t-shirt - either way you will be supporting the Delta Blues Museum.

Visitors to the Delta Blues Museum this quarter included a tour group from the Association of African American Museums. We are thrilled that they chose to meet in Mississippi and that the Delta Blues Museum was one of the selected destinations.

Since our last communication, more work has been done on the new permanent exhibits, generously funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Here are a few glimpses, but they don't really do it justice - come see for yourself!


Speaking of our new exhibits, we are still raising funds to make these plans a reality. You can help us by purchasing a blues brick; becoming a member of the Delta Blues Museum or donating to our "Deeper Roots" fund.

The Delta Blues Foundation is one of the designated charities on the upcoming Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise October 26th - November 02, 2019 sailing on Holland America's ms Eurodam from San Diego, CA to Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta & Manzanillo. We are grateful to the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise staff, Big City Blues Magazine, and Gimme 5 for this opportunity. During the cruise there will be opportunities to support the museum in the silent auction. I will be moderating a panel discussion with Christone "Kingfish" Ingram, James "Super Chikan" Johnson, Mr. Sipp and Latimore.

Our Arts & Education students have been busy working on a new CD. The recordings have been completed and we are currently working on the artwork and licensing. Stay tuned for the CD release date. This CD is made possible thanks to a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Delta Blues Museum Band will be performing live in downtown Marks, MS at the September Song Festival from 1 pm - 2 pm on September 28. If you are in the Delta, come check it out!

So many great things have been happening during our 40th Anniversary celebration. We are forever grateful to Sid Graves and the Carnegie Library Board of Trustees for having the vision to start the Delta Blues Museum on January 30, 1979. We sincerely appreciate all our supporters around the globe. We hope that you have been able to celebrate with us in person or via social media. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Please comment and share our posts.

DBM Band members and teachers after
a full afternoonof recording for their new CD
"Deep Down in Blues Alley".

I look forward to seeing you in the gallery, at a festival, and/or on the Legendary Blues Cruise.

Shelley Ritter, Director


About the Delta Blues Museum

Established in 1979 by the Carnegie Public Library Board of Trustees and re-organized as a stand-alone museum in 1999, the Delta Blues Museum is Mississippi's oldest music museum and the nation's first museum dedicated to the American art form known as the Blues. A 2013 recipient of the IMLS National Medal for Museum and Library Services - the nation's highest honor for museum and library service to the community - and a 2014 winner of the National Arts & Humanities Youth Program Award, 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 the unique American musical art form, the Blues. The Museum is honored to be a Great River Road Interpretive Center.

The "Delta Blues Foundation" is a qualified 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that supports the work of Delta Blues Museum. All funds solicited through the Delta Blues Foundation are raised to benefit 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.

For more information on events or programs, please call (662) 627-6820, or visit the Museum web site at

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This newsletter is supported in part by funding from the Mississippi Arts Commission, a state agency, and,
in part, from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.