NEWARK, N.J., Feb. 23 (UPI) -- A museum celebrating the sounds and rhythms of the African experience in the United States is being planned in Newark, N.J.
The Smithsonian Institution is working with Newark's Lincoln Park-Coast Cultural District on plans for a facility to honor the nation's musical history -- from early gospel sounds to jazz clubs throughout the 20th century, and including singers from Sarah Vaughan to today's rappers.
Organizers are assembling an advisory board and raising funds for the project, The Smithsonian relationship will give the new Museum of African-American Music access to the institute's extensive collections and professionals.
"The museum will enshrine the musical titans of the past and inspire the musical talents of the future," Mayor Sharpe James told the Newark Star-Ledger.
The design by Hillier Architecture incorporates a new park called "Arts Park." A redevelopment plan also calls for new housing and shops in the area.
Architect Roger Smith said the interactive museum will also focus on the relationships between music genres.
Said Smith: "You want people to see the linkages between hip hop and other forms of music. It's about the larger history and social and political conditions at the time the music was made."