The mission of The Louisiana Music and Heritage Experience, Inc. is to provide dynamic, multi-dimensional exhibits and music programing that tell the story of Louisiana’s many music forms; to celebrate the legacies of its greatest music innovators in an inspirational manner; to provide educational resources for teachers, academics, and students; to initiate educational and public programs that provide access to and, seek to help inform our audience as, to the importance and value of Louisiana music; to explore the creative process of those artists whose contributions to American music are significant; and to complement existing music-related institutions.
The location of The Louisiana Music & Heritage Experience is set to be across the street from The New Orleans Convention Center, on the corner of Convention Center Boulevard and Henderson Street. It is expected that New Orleans' newest cultural institution be in a newly constructed building with all the contemporary features of a modern museum, including state-of-the-art exhibit space, a performance theater or soundstage, a research/archival area, facility sales space, an attractive lobby, museum store, and classroom/education areas will be incorporated into the museum. In addition, a music club and a music-themed restaurant will sit adjacent to the museum, providing local musicians regular residencies, and tourists with a place to hear genuine New Orleans/Louisiana music and eat local fare. The music entertainment heard on the club’s stage will be integrated into the museum experience, so that live music is part of each person’s visit.
The entire building will be approximately 120,000 square feet. The exhibit space will be about 40,000 square feet. Adequate parking for cars and school and tourist buses will be nearby.
New Orleans and Louisiana are not receiving the proper credit for the role they have played and continues to play in contemporary American popular music.
Tourism and economic development officials in New Orleans and Louisiana see the value of a new tourist attraction that would complement the critically acclaimed World War II Museum, re-igniting tourism in the post-pandemic era.
Such a museum would go a long way toward unifying the city’s and the state’s complex music communities, hopefully elevating their artistic output and solidifying their role in the ongoing story of American music.
The Louisiana Music & Heritage Experience will serve as the anchor for the soon to be launched Louisiana Music Trail, much like the ones in nearby Mississippi.
Teachers see the educational value of such a museum, since much of Louisiana and even American history can be taught through the lens of American music history. The museum’s many education and public programs would be created in conjunction with the goals and needs of teachers throughout the state.
In 1995, with the advent of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, numerous other music museums opened as America truly started preserving and celebrating its vast music heritage. Major institutions such as Experience Music Project in Seattle; GRAMMY Museums in Los Angeles, Mississippi, and Newark; American Jazz Museum in Kansas City; Musical Instrument Museum in Scottsdale; Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum and Stax Museum in Memphis; National Museum of African-American Music and Musicians Hall of Fame in Nashville; and many more have become cultural centerpieces as well as tourist attractions in their respective cities.
Virtually every major American music form—from folk to hip hop—is now represented in a music museum in the United States. This is true except for the most important music city/state in America—New Orleans and Louisiana. While the state does several smaller music museums, Louisiana’s music creators played a major role in the development of major American music forms: rock & roll, blues, soul, funk, rhythm & blues, gospel, hip hop, Cajun music and zydeco. New Orleans even played a major role in America’s opera and classical music traditions, having built one of the very first opera houses in America and having developed one of the very first true American composers, Louis Gottschalk.
The “great hole” in the American music story—one that is told in music museums throughout the country—is the hole that is New Orleans and Louisiana. It is the final frontier of music museum development. The state’s vast and colorful music history, not to mention America, is incomplete without the Louisiana Music & Heritage Experience.
The Louisiana Music & Heritage Experience, celebrates and interprets the rich musical legacy of New Orleans and greater Louisiana by way of thought-provoking exhibitions, dynamic public programs and performances, and engaging educational workshops, tours and seminars.