MEMPHIS, TN. – The Stax Museum of American Soul Music was awarded $47,500 to create a new program in 2018/2019 titled “Give A Damn: Stax Records and Social Justice, 1968-75,” the National Park Service announced yesterday.
“Through the African American Civil Rights Grant Program, we’re helping our public and private partners tell unique and powerful stories of the African American struggle for equality in the 20th Century,” National Park Service Acting Director Michael Reynolds said.
According to Stax Museum director Jeff Kollath, “’Give A Damn’ illustrates the depth of Stax Records’ commitment to social justice through its music, through its activism, and through the involvement of its artists in communities, including and beyond Memphis.”
A temporary exhibition will be on display from February-December 2018. Related educational programming will include community conversations, concerts, forum discussions with former artists and Stax employees, and the development of curricular materials,
“This grant from the National Park Service will allow the Stax Museum to connect Stax Records’ activist past with Memphis’ present, drawing close parallels to modern social justice movements,” Kollath added. “It will use Stax Records’ rich past to inspire a new generation of musicians, artists, and citizens to speak up, to get involved, and to improve their communities.”
Congress appropriated funding for the new NPS African American Civil Rights Grant Program in 2016 through the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF). The HPF uses revenue from federal oil leases on the Outer Continental Shelf to provide assistance for a broad range of preservation projects without expending tax dollars.
States, Tribes, local governments, and non-profit organizations, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities, applied for a broad range of planning, preservation, and research projects for historic sites associated with the Civil Rights Movement and the African-American experience. The competitive grant program is funding 39 projects worth $7,750,000, including surveys, documentation, interpretation, education, oral histories, planning, and bricks and mortar preservation.
A 2008 National Park Service study, Civil Rights in America: A Framework for Identifying Significant Sites, served as the principal reference for determining the eligibility of proposed projects for the grant program.
The Stax Museum of American Soul Music is financed in part by a grant from the National Park Service, Department of Interior. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of the Interior. The Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on its federally funded assistance programs. If you believe you’ve been discriminated against please contact the Office of Equal Opportunity, National Park Service, 1849 C. St. NW, Washington DC 20240.
The Stax Museum of American Soul Music is a program of the nonprofit Soulsville Foundation, which also raises funding for and operates the Stax Music Academy and The Soulsville Charter School. The Stax Museum seeks to present, preserve, promote and interpret the art, history, culture and heritage of American Soul Music, specifically the Memphis Sound and its influences internationally.