NATIONAL BLUES MUSEUM IN ST. LOUIS
A new National Blues Museum is opening in St. Louis, Missouri, telling the story of the blues through interactive exhibits that emphasize the genre's roots and influence on music around the world.
One exhibit explores the blues' roots in the rhythms of Africa brought to the American South by slaves. An introductory video at the museum has rocker Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin explaining how the blues of the Mississippi Delta region sparked the music of the Beatles, Rolling Stones and other British bands. A quote in another exhibit from Muddy Waters says, "The blues had a baby and they named it rock and roll."
The Great Migration of African-Americans from the rural South to urban centers in the Midwest and North during the first half of the 20th century also helped spread the blues, as the museum tells it. St. Louis was one of the cities where some of those migrants settled.
The museum also looks at how evolving technology fostered the spread of the blues across regions, continents and oceans, from sheet music to jukeboxes to digital downloads and social media.
Several exhibits offer different versions of the same song — Blind Lemon Jefferson, Carl Perkins and the Beatles playing "Match Box Blues" for example.
Visitors begin their tour by writing their own lyrics on a screen and then adding musical riffs on guitar, harmonica and piano at different stations as they go through the museum. The museum emails the unique compositions to their creators.
In the Jug Band Room, a studio invites visitors to play rhythm instruments like spoons, shakers and washboard. A computer adds your face to a real jug band performing on a screen.
The $14 million museum's 23,000 square feet also includes an art gallery, along with a performance stage and full bar in a nightclub setting that will host live music.
The museum opens Saturday in a refurbished downtown department store building at Washington and Sixth streets, walking distance from the Gateway Arch. Next door visitors will find a popular barbecue restaurant, Sugarfire Smoke House.
Regular hours for the museum will be Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday-Monday, noon-5 p.m., adults, $15, seniors, $12, students and children, $10, http://www.NationalBluesMuseum.org/.
OMGB CAMPAIGN FROM GREAT BRITAIN
Travelers are posting thousands of images on social media using the #OMGB hashtag to document the sights and scenes of Great Britain.
The campaign was launched by VisitBritain as part of its 2016 tourism marketing effort. Images can be hashtagged #OMGB — for oh my Great Britain — and uploaded to VisitBritain's Twitter, Instagram or Facebook channels. The tag line for the campaign is "Home of Amazing Moments" and participants are encouraged to share images of travel moments that evoke the heritage, countryside and culture of the United Kingdom.
Images shared so far range from gardens, castles and high tea, to attractions like the London Eye and destinations like the Isle of Skye.
DESIGN FESTIVAL IN NEW YORK CITY
The fourth annual NYCxDESIGN festival takes place in New York City this year May 3-17. The festival will include hundreds of events — exhibitions, installations, trade shows, talks, launches and open studios — around the city representing 17 design areas, including fashion, digital, furniture, graphic, architecture, product, industrial, landscape and urban design.
New York City is home to more than 40,000 practicing designers, nearly 4,000 design firms and 10 design and architecture schools. Participants in the festival include BKLYN DESIGNS, Collective Design, the Cooper Hewitt, National Design Museum, Frieze Art Fair, ICFF, Museum of Arts and Design, Parsons School of Design, Pratt Institute, Sight Unseen OFFSITE and WantedDesign.
This year, Interior Design magazine and ICFF, the International Contemporary Furniture Fair, will present NYCxDESIGN Awards recognizing excellence in design achievement. Winners will be announced May 14 at the Museum of Modern Art. The ICFF takes place during NYCxDesign at the Javits Center, May 14-17,
A hub for the festival will unfold May 7-15 on Astor Place in Greenwich Village, where Design Pavilion will host interactive displays, structures and other immersive exhibits designed to entertain the public and showcase the power of design.
Details at http://nycxdesign.com/ .