Marty Stuart shares vision for making Philadelphia a country music home

PHILADELPHIA, Miss, (WCBI)- Grammy award-winning country and bluegrass singer-songwriter Marty Stuart’s “Congress of Country Music” is one step closer to opening in Philadelphia.

Inside the historic Ellis Theater in downtown Philadelphia, you’ll find Marty Stuart himself helping complete the finishing touches on a major renovation project.

“It’s great to see Philadelphia coming back to life in a whole new way. People are painting their buildings, buying buildings downtown that have been disenfranchised or over many years written off,” said Stuart.

The site will become Stuart’s Congress of Country Music. A museum showcasing the thousands of country music collections Stuart’s gained over his five decades of songwriting and performing. An idea he says he got after playing for B.B. King.

“On the way out of Indianola I thought, I know exactly what to do with these 20,000 pieces that I have, it needs to go to Philadelphia, Mississippi, and establish itself and the spiritual home of country music in the Magnolia State,” said Stuart.

Stuart describes it as setting a spaceship in the middle of nowhere. It’s a big project that’s been 15 years in the making.

“Year after year, believer after believer, this thing has been built with one handshake at a time, it’s coming to life and I couldn’t be happier,” said Stuart.

The first part of the project is complete. In three to four years an education center and the museum exhibit will be built. He says throughout his career he’s never forgotten his roots. He wants his home to be Mississippi’s home for country music.

“I never, ever, ever, ever lost sight of home, the people here, my family, everywhere else is the house, but this is home,” said Stuart.

The $30 million project will create a 50,000-plus-square-foot campus featuring the historic and recently renovated Ellis Theater, a newly constructed museum, classrooms, a community hall, meeting and event space, and a rooftop performance venue. MSCCM will embrace the roots of country music in its educational curriculum and programming.

The Ellis will celebrate its reopening with four nights of show-stopping performances.

December 8th, catch Marty Stuart, Connie Smith, Ricky Skaggs, & Kentucky Thunder. On the 9th, two shows with Vince Gill. Then on Sunday, The Gaither Vocal band.

Tickets are on sale now.

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