Options have been secured to purchase a downtown site for what will become the Marty Stuart Congress of Country Music, which incorporates the historic Ellis Theater, the country music legend said Tuesday morning.
Stuart, a Neshoba County native, called the site selection a dream come true.
“As soon as the papers are signed we are going to jump up and down with the happy dance,” he said. “It is exactly the right location after years of kicking tires and studying.”
Once the properties are secured, Stuart said it would be time to seek private donations across the nation and around the world to fund construction.
“The very first donation was made by a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and his wife,” he said. “Steve Miller was our first private donator, unsolicited.”
Stuart hopes the center will be in operation in four to five years.
A market and financial analysis by Owens Economics, LLC, showed that the it would attract between 28,000 and 49,000 visitors annually.
The Marty Stuart center will showcase Stuart’s vast collection of country music memorabilia, including some belonging to such stars as Patsy Cline, Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash. Stuart’s vast photography collection as well as his and wife Connie Smith’s personal memorabilia will also be included.
UPDATE: This week's Neshoba Democrat has more details including that the center is hoped to be in operation in four to five years.