JAMM: Jacksonville American Music Museum
Create a vision for a Music Museum
In June 2020, Cohort 001 and Cohort 002 began their collaboration with the Jacksonville Historical Society (JHS) to work on a brand-new museum of music in Jacksonville Florida. The goal of this museum is to showcase the city's remarkable music history across many time periods and genres. Equally important, the museum seeks to bring unity and urban pride to a city that is fractured across racial, economic, and generational divides; it highlights all of the city’s incredible musical history and how it came from a melting pot of different influences.
Working closely with the JHS and other stakeholders in the community, C/Corps Associates generated a mission statement and supplementary documents signaling the direction the museum should and has continued to move towards. While absolutely spotlighting the well-known Southern Rock groups that have come from Jacksonville (such as the Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Molly Hatchet), the museum also had to highlight the incredible history of blues, jazz, and other genres of music in Jacksonville. James Weldon Johnson, a native of Jacksonville, wrote "Lift Every Voice and Sing," a song considered to be the Black National Anthem and performed by artists such as Beyonce and Alicia Keys; it now is frequently sung before National Football League games. Jazz pioneers such as Jelly Roll Morton and Ray Charles began their careers in Jacksonville. And according to some historians, the Blues were first recorded in the River City. Rock and pop standards such as "Heartbreak Hotel and "Strangers in the Night" were composed by Jacksonvillians. The cohorts presented their findings to the JHS board in August 2020.
Since then, C/Corps cohorts have continued their collaboration with the JHS. They have prepared protocols for and conducted oral history interviews with musicians, roadies, promoters and other relevant people that have witnessed and been part of Jacksonville’s rich history. Cohorts have created promotional and fundraising materials in both written and visual mediums and have continued to update and maintain the Jacksonville Area music Museum (JAMM) website (insert link here). In conference with historians they have mapped out music history sites in Jacksonville for virtual and actual music history tours. As the museum continues towards dispersed pop-up exhibits and prepares its permanent bricks and mortar location-- a converted casket factory-- Normal Next and C/Corps will continue to work to move the vision along into reality.