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National Museum for African American Music – Vanderbilt Partnership

The National Museum of African American Music is a premier global destination and Nashville cultural treasure just two miles from our campus, so we are delighted to support educational experiences and research opportunities that highlight the rich contributions of African American composers, performers and supporters.  Below are just a few ways that Vanderbilt and the museum are partnering together.


Free Student Access to the Museum

Through the partnership between Vanderbilt University and the National Museum of African American Music Vanderbilt undergraduate and graduate students have free admission to the museum’s galleries and exhibitions.  Valid student IDs are required. Avoid parking and ride share costs, consider riding to the museum for free with WeGo Transit.

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Academic Archive Purchasing Fund

Included in the partnership with the museum is a collaboration with the university’s Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries to support an expanded collection of books, scores, sound recordings, and material objects related to African American music.  This collection will be available for loan, display, and study at the museum and will also serve as an important resource for scholarly research on Vanderbilt’s campus. Faculty are invited to submit collection acquisition requests which will require collaboration with a university librarian and a museum representative.  Contact Claire Campbell the Office of the Provost for more information. Collections already acquired through the NMAAM partnership include those of musicians Dizzy Gillespie and Rissi Palmer.

Click here learn more about the Academic Archive Purchasing Fund application process or contact Claire Campbell .

Palmer Songbooks

Arts, Discovery, and Innovation Fund 

Vanderbilt’s long-term partnership with the National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) aims to enrich educational and research opportunities around African American music and culture and their intersection with other arts (literary, performance, and visual cultures), history, law, and social justice/movements. The partnership includes collaborative programming between Vanderbilt and the museum that will necessarily enhance processes of discovery and innovation in the arts.   

All full-time, VU-employed staff and Provost-reporting faculty and staff are eligible to partner with the museum on innovative projects. In an effort to foster interdisciplinary and cross-college/school synergies, collaborations must include at least two faculty members from different colleges/schools (Arts & Science, Blair, Divinity, Law) and a museum representative. Faculty from different colleges/schools may also seek out collaboration with the Curb Center. All proposals nonetheless require a museum representative. Proposals must also include a strategy for student and community engagement. Teams and groups are welcome to apply. The funding opportunity is open to all disciplines, with award amounts not to exceed $10,000. The deadline for submissions for fall programs is October 14, 2022. The deadline for submissions for spring programs is February 17. All programming must occur during the academic year. While one-time program proposals are eligible, sustained (semester and year-long) thematic programming is also encouraged.

For questions about the Arts, Discovery, and Innovation Fund, please contact Claire Campbell, in the Office of the Vice Provost for Arts and Libraries.

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Event Facility Use

Vanderbilt University may request to use meeting or event space at the museum free of charge twice per year.  Please reach out to Sally Parker in the Division of Government and Community Relations to learn more.

To connect with the museum in other ways please reach out to the Division of Government and Community Relations or the Office of the Vice Provost for Arts and Libraries to be pointed in the right direction.