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Delta Blues Museum awarded $1.5M grant

The Delta Blues Museum will use a $1.5 million grant to fund a significant expansion.

The museum, housed in the former Clarksdale railroad depot since 1999, will add 2,700 square feet of permanent educational exhibit space with the money from the Mississippi Department of Transportation.

Museum director Shelly Ritter said part of the new space likely will be used to house Muddy Waters’ cabin, which had been too tall to display in the current building.

The Delta Blues Museum is the state’s oldest music museum. It was founded in 1979 and has been housed at 1 Blues Alley, a train depot built in 1918.

Now that the grant has been secured, planning will get under way and construction must begin by September 2009.

Ritter said she hopes will have a significant affect on the museum.

“I think the museum is going to be empowered to realize its potential,” she said. “We’re finally going to have some resources to really honor the artists and give them what they deserve.”