Delta Blues Museum Logo

Delta Blues Press Release

June 5, 2014



The nation's first museum dedicated to the Blues is among only
50 U.S. museums recognized for outstanding youth programming


[Clarksdale, Mississippi - June 5, 2014] - The President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and its cultural partners--the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services--has named the Delta Blues Museum's Arts and Education Program as a 2014 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award Finalist. The Museum's education program is being recognized as one of 50 outstanding programs across the country for its work in providing excellent arts and humanities learning opportunities to young people. Of the finalists, 12 award winners will be selected and announced later this month.

The National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award is the Nation's highest honor for out-of-school arts and humanities programs that celebrate the creativity of America's young people, particularly those from underserved communities. The award recognizes and supports excellence in programs that open new pathways to learning, self-discovery and achievement. Each year, the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards recognize 12 standout programs in the United States, from a wide range of urban and rural settings. A complete list of finalists is available on the NAHYP website.

Recipients receive a $10,000 grant and the opportunity to visit the White House and accept the award from First Lady Michelle Obama.

Awardees also receive a full year of capacity-building and communications support, designed to make their organizations stronger. In addition, 38 exceptional youth-focused arts and humanities programs across the United States receive a Finalist Certificate of Excellence.

"Our program is unique," offers Museum director Shelley Ritter, "because we encourage students to learn all the instruments - drums, guitar, bass, and keyboard. In doing this the students also develop rhythmic skills, a deeper understanding of science - i.e tuning an instrument and how that tuning responds to changes in temperature and climate; and social skills. Learning all the instruments not only makes for a better, more well-rounded musician, it also gives the students a perspective on the importance of each instrument to the collective whole."


More about 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-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.

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

Members of the press may register in the PRESS ROOM on the Museum's website to access further information, downloadable images and related materials.

~ ends ~

2013 imls award

Shelley Ritter, Director

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.