Chicago planners have announced that they hope to open the first major gospel music museum in 2020. The planned $37.2 million National Museum of Gospel Music will be housed on a site once occupied by Pilgrim Baptist Church, known as the birthplace of gospel. Don Jackson, founder and producer of the Stellar Gospel Music Awards and former chair of the DuSable Museum of African American History is leading the project. The Gospel Museum has already been incorporated as a nonprofit. The proposed 40,000-square-foot design would include exhibitions, an auditorium, and a research library.
“Chicago is the birthplace of gospel music and the perfect home for the new National Museum of Gospel Music,” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. “The museum will pay further tribute to the home-grown genre that’s given life to legends like Thomas Dorsey, Mahalia Jackson, Albertina Walker, Jerry Dixon, Shirley Caeser, and so many more.”