"This GRAMMY® Museum is starting to come together," said Cleveland Alderman Gary Gainspoletti at Tuesday's board of aldermen meeting. "The city of Cleveland is certainly going to get a lot of attention from this and we all need to cherish it because it is going to be a real big thing for Cleveland."
"I almost have to pinch myself," said Mayor Billy Nowell. "The GRAMMY® name recognition is beyond imagination. It really carries a lot of value and I think that we have a lot of reasons to be proud of the hard work and efforts that have been put forward in bringing this project here."
These statements came on the heels of a visit from Rita George, deputy director of GRAMMY® Museum in Los Angles, who spoke at the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce's Annual Chamber Banquet Monday.
"The GRAMMY® Museum explores and celebrates the enduring legacies of all forms of music; the creative process; the art and technology of the recording process; and the history of the GRAMMY® Awards, the premier recognition of recorded music accomplishment," said George.
With a grand opening target of the end of 2014 for the GRAMMY® Museum in Mississippi, George said that there is much legwork to still being done.
"We have still been in the fundraising frame of mind, and there was some confusion from the Mississippi Governor's Office on the amount of legislative support that was going to be given to the project."
Mississippi Sen. Willie Simmons, D-Cleveland, said that a letter addressed to the Bob Santelli, Executive Director of GRAMMY Museum L.A. from Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant states that the project would receive the $6 million in funding initially granted during the legislation's session in January.
"The governor, lieutenant governor and leadership in the house and senate have committed to supporting the cause," said Simmons.
In January, the legislature agreed to make a $3 million contribution this year and another $3 million contribution in 2013.
In Bryant's letter, the governor has changed the allocation schedule of when the foundation will receive the funding.
"One million dollars has been allocated to the Cleveland Music Foundation this year," said Simmons. "The remaining five million will be coming in payment by next year.
"I should really give thanks to the governor, lieutenant governor, chairman of the allocations committee and speaker of the house for stepping up and guaranteeing the funding that we needed to make this project a reality."
"Now that much of the funding sources for the project have been identified, a location for the museum has been chosen and an exhibit architect has been hired.
"We find ourselves now in the process is figuring out the legal structure of the project," said George.
Cleveland Attorney Kirkham Povall said that since the foundation has already acquired 501(c)3 charitable status, the remaining legal steps are customary to a project of this size.
"We are in the legal process of finding partnerships and coming to standard agreements," Povall said. "The project is moving forward and is on schedule."
See tomorrow's edition of The Bolivar Commercial for more on Cleveland's GRAMMY® Museum project.