Bronzeville concert supports push for National Museum of Gospel Music

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A concert Thursday in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood will join the push for the construction of the National Museum of Gospel Music.

Israel Houghton is just one of several of the gospel music world's biggest artists performing in support of the construction of a National Gospel Music Museum in Chicago.

The effort is being spearheaded by Don Jackson, the successful businessman behind the creation of the well-known Stellar Gospel Music Awards. He said the project will cost around $37 million.

"We intend to show how it's going to be a safe haven for our community meaning our youth," Jackson said.

The 45,000 square foot facility would be located at 33rd and Indiana Avenue on the city's South Side.

The new museum will feature a research and listening library, a cafe, and retail space along with a 350-seat auditorium and TV production space.

It will be constructed at the site where Pilgrim Baptist Church, which was destroyed by fire about 12 years ago, once was as an effort to pay tribute to 127-year old church's long time music director Dr. Thomas Dorsey, who is hailed as the father of Gospel music.

"To take on what Dr. Dorsey started, i think is a phenomenal thing to do," said gospel artist Tamela Mann.

The Raise The Roof concert, which is free, is taking place at the Apostolic Faith Church.

The church's pastor said among those inside the 3,000 seat sanctuary will be special seating for families touched by violence.

"When you get in the sanctuary tonight and hear the music and those families. They will get a sense of the future can be much different than the past," said Bishop Horace Smith.
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