The hometown of Grammy Hall of Famers Paul Simon, Whitney Houston, Sarah Vaughan, and Franki Valli will now be directly connected to the music world’s most prestigious award.
8,000 square feet of Newark’s Prudential Center will house the Grammy Museum Experience. The surefire attraction adds to the recently announced 'Mulberry Commons' project, which will transform lots and warehouse space on the arena’s Mulberry Street side into a 22-acre park with commercial and retail space. Museum Executive Director Bob Santelli says to expect exhibits and tributes to New Jersey music icons.
“It’s one thing to see the great gowns and the guitars from Grammy artists, but the biggest most important thing is the education. So you’re going to see us right away starting next month we’ll be interacting with Newark school teachers to get their take on what they want in the museum to be an educational resource,” said Santelli.
That’s welcome news to members of the Newark community. 17-year-old Kefi Mutume of Newark, a singer from the afterschool performance program All-Stars Project of New Jersey says the museum will influence the city’s young musicians.
“Just to use this museum as a sense of inspiration for ourselves, a way to influence our music. To see all of these people who are Grammy winners and Grammy nominated and to see how far they’ve come as inspiration for ourselves,” Mutume said.
Daniel Cherry, Chief Marketing Innovation Officer for Prudential Center and the NJ Devils says famous New Jersey music artists are invited to create educational programs.
“You see the artists here we have Cissy Houston, we have Naughty By Nature, Queen Latifah, Faith Evans, Bruce Springsteen, all of the great artists from Jersey are going to have access to create, to program, students and citizens of Newark. While we have events here all of the time multiple days of the year, almost 200 events, we’re going to make sure that this is open 365 [days a year] to all Newark residents.”
Robert “Kool” Bell, a founding member of Jersey City’s Kool & the Gang says he's on board.
“Me and my wife, we have a foundation that we started last year called ‘The Kool Kids Foundation’. One of the things that she’s pushing is bringing music back to the schools. Something like this with the Grammy Museum coming here to Newark should be a wonderful thing. I’m very for it and supportive and looking forward to the grand opening in October.”
With locations already in California, Mississippi, and Tennessee, Newark will be an east coast destination for people who love those Grammy moments.