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Marty Stuart Announces Congress of Country Music Project in Mississippi

Musician presented renderings of proposed museum, library and performing arts center to be built in his hometown of Philadelphia, Mississippi

Marty Stuart

Marty Stuart announced plans for the Congress of Country Music, an educational, music-based museum in his hometown of Philadelphia, Mississippi.

Robin Little/Getty Images

In addition to his Grammy-winning career as one of country music’s most versatile musicians, Marty Stuart has long been a tireless advocate for the preservation of the genre’s rich history. At a news conference in Jackson, Mississippi, on Wednesday morning, the longtime Grand Ole Opry member announced plans for his Congress of Country Music.

Stuart, whose personal collection includes more than 20,000 country music-related artifacts comprising the largest private collection of its kind in the world, presented digital renderings of the project at the Mississippi State Capitol. The Congress of Country Music will be built in Stuart’s hometown of Philadelphia, Mississippi, incorporating the town’s historic EllisTheater and will include a concert venue, museum and the MartyStuartCenter, an educational facility where students can learn about the wide array of available careers in the music industry. The center is already endorsed by the GrammyMuseum, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History and the Library of Congress.

“There could not be a more meaningful location for the Congress of Country Music than downtown Philadelphia,” Stuart said, according to Jackson‘s WAPT-TV. “Congress means ‘gathering place,’ and that is exactly what we intend to create here. The Congress will be a beacon to country music fans, history lovers and all those invested in the future of American music.”

Among the vast collection of artifacts Stuart has collected through the years are custom rhinestone-laden suits worn by such iconic performers as Hank Williams and Porter Wagoner, vintage musical instruments, posters and other one-of-a-kind memorabilia.

According to officials, the next step in the process is securing funding for the project. This summer, Stuart will stay busy as a supporting performer on Chris Stapleton’s All-American Road Show Tour.

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