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ACA hoping to create new Louisiana Music Museum in Lafayette

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Posted at 9:03 PM, Dec 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-07 22:06:51-05

Acadiana Center for the Arts is planning to create a new museum in Lafayette that would pay homage to the state's rich musical culture and history.

The center is currently under contract to purchase the historic Lafayette Hardware Store at 121 W. Vermilion Street, immediately adjacent to the ACA. It would serve as "a new permanent home for the diverse stories of Louisiana music, told from a distinctly 'Acadiana' perspective.

"The old hardware store is one of the most classic, beautiful buildings in Lafayette, and we are excited to take the first steps towards developing it as a new national destination for lovers of Louisiana's music and culture," said AcA Executive Director Samuel Oliver.

Oliver said the ACA has secured financing to buy the property from the Lafayette Public Trust Financing Authority, and has started to approach partners to help make the total renovation of the building a reality. The estimated total project cost is estimated at $3.5 million, including property acquisition, design and engineering, construction, and exhibition design.

ACA envisions the 10,000 sq. ft. building, which is on the National Historic Register, serving as both a museum with daily visitors and a functional Cajun/Creole dance hall, where visitors and locals can gather to celebrate the legacy of Louisiana's musical heritage.

"Although the creation of such a museum, with Cajun and Creole music at its core, has long been a daydream of many in Acadiana's cultural sector, it is our belief that the AcA's current plan represents the best and most appropriate route for making it a reality," says UL Center for Louisiana Studies Director Joshua Caffery.

The ACA's Board of Directors has formed a committee to represent a diverse group of stakeholders and guide the development of the museum's exhibitions and programs once open. If you're interested in serving on the committee, email nominations@acadianacenterforthearts.org, where the committee will be accepting members as the project progresses.

Read more about the plans here.

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