Houston Matters

The Long Saga Over Establishing an Official Texas State Music Museum

Since 2005, the establishment of an official Texas State Music Museum has been a tumultuous road. An allotment of funds had been set aside for it but then had to be used to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina. Then, once the funds were reacquired, a competitive vetting process between Houston and Austin saw Houston as […]

Photo: Michael Hagerty, Houston Public MediaSince 2005, the establishment of an official Texas State Music Museum has been a tumultuous road. An allotment of funds had been set aside for it but then had to be used to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina. Then, once the funds were reacquired, a competitive vetting process between Houston and Austin saw Houston as the designated city to receive the funds for the museum. However, then-Gov. Rick Perry would not allow TxDOT to deliver those funds to the Houston group that would establish it, which was led by Stephen Williams.

And just this year, the Texas Legislature was considering bills in both houses that would establish the museum in Austin and would have Gov. Greg Abbott on the nonprofit board that would oversee its development. Williams and a coalition of music museums around the state banded together to try to keep the bills from passing, and they didn’t.

Now, we catch up with Williams about his coalition’s efforts, their plans for the museum and accompanying tourism trail, and what’s to come in the future.

MORE: Houston’s Often Forgotten Contributions to the Music World (Houston Matters, Sept. 29, 2016)

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Abner Fletcher

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