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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Georgia Music Hall of Fame: staying open, and in Macon

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Image courtesy the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.

Despite budget cuts, huge expenses and fewer-than-expected visitors, the Georgia Music Hall of Fame will stay open, and stay right where it is.

The Music Hall faced the possibility of closing; it never brought in as much money as expected and the state could no longer afford to cover its expenses. Today was the deadline to raise $225,000 to keep the doors open. They’ve raised $139,000 and made cuts to more than make up the rest, AJCer Howard Pousner reports.

Although some suggested moving the Hall to Atlanta, where attendance would likely be greater, the public and private support holds them to Macon, said Jim Gillis, chairman of the state hall of fame authority.

From Howard’s article:

“We’ve seen a lot of people talk about trying to move the hall to Atlanta, and while that would most likely lead to some larger attendance numbers, we feel the overall cost of moving and then raising money to operate [would be greater] than raising an endowment to keep it here” while increasing outreach across the state, said Gillis, an Athens-based investment adviser.

Although attendance was low, visitors reported they enjoyed the museum. Since it opened in 1996, it  has expanded, adding components for children and continuing to celebrate musicians and artists. The 2008 inductees were Dinah and Fred Gretsch, Dottie Rambo, Hamp Swain, Keith Sweat, Ludacris and Widespread Panic. It has more than 30,000 artifacts, aand currently includes an exhibition, “Johnny Mercer: Too Marvelous for Words.”

What do you think? Is staying in Macon the best decision for the museum and for Georgia? What should it do to draw more visitors or earn more money?

Want to go? Georgia Music Hall of Fame, 200 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Macon. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesdays-Saturdays. $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, military and college students, $3.50 for people ages 4-17, free for children 3 and younger. (478) 751-3334, www.georgiamusic.org.

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