Black Prairie Blues Museum on track

Jeremy Klutts of the Black Prairie Blues Society, with Phil Paramore and Steve Finley of Museum Arts of Dallas, Texas, and Deborah Mansfield, who painted the mural on the building. (Photo by Donna Summerall DTL)
Staff Writer

The Black Prairie Blues Museum still needs some funding and a lot of work to become the great tribute to the legends of America's original music. Mississippi is the birthplace of many of those pioneering bluesmen.

Phil Paramore and Steve Finley of Museum Arts of Dallas, Texas, are friends of local artist Deborah Mansfield. They became interested in the Black Prairie Blues Museum Project and were in West Point looking at the building that will house the museum.

"I met them in Galveston at the Bryan Museum," Mansfield said. "They wanted to see what we were working with. I'll be working with them on some artwork, like the front mural. I did a sketch and used a grid method on the wall."

Paramore said the high ceilings on the inside of the building are great for exhibits.

"Our focus is design and development for internal exhibits," Finley said. "We help create museum exhibits all over the country for educational and entertainment museums. This falls right into our category."

Jeremy Klutts of the Black Prairie Blues Society, said the museum should reach completion in approximately two years.

"I think we can revitalize this building and bring out the story the Black Prairie Blues Society wants to tell," Finley said.

Paramore said they want to create something that will draw music lovers to West Point. They plan to make this museum unique, completely different form the other museums in Mississippi.

"But we still need to raise the money to make this museum a reality," Mansfield said. "So we will be sponsoring several fundraisers. The first one is a fun night of food, music, a silent auction and revealing some conceptual ideas."

The Kick Off Fundraiser will be from 6 - 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, at the museum on Commerce Street.

"The Magnolia and Anthony's will be providing the food, so you know it will be great," Mansfield said. "We are still in the planning stages. Admission will be $150 per person, and tickets for the event will be limited. We will provide more information closer to the event. "