Nina Simone’s childhood home to be preserved

The building in Tryon, North Carolina, USA has been given ‘National Treasure’ status.

There’s good news for Nina Simone fans as the home of the Civil Rights icon and revolutionary musician and singer, was named a National Treasure by the United States’ National Trust for Historic Preservation. The property in Tyrone, North Carolina was recently purchased by four African American artists who specifically wanted to maintain Simone’s legacy. In recent years, the three-room, 660-square foot clapboard pier and beam house had fallen in disrepair but now a campaign will be undertaken through the National Trust’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, an initiative with the Ford Foundation and actress Phylicia Rashad.

The property is where Simone taught herself the piano (from age 3), performed in public for the first time (at the neighbourhood church where her mother preached), and where she experienced the constraints placed on black females in the rural Jim Crow South - a theme that would deeply inform her music and political activism.

“The artistic and social impacts of Nina Simone reach every corner of the world, and her birthplace is an important symbol of that legacy,” said Joshua David, president and CEO, World Monuments Fund. “We are proud to join forces with the National Trust and other partners to underscore the global cultural significance of the Nina Simone House and help ensure it can become a beacon for future generations.”

If the project is a success, the US National Trust says they’re looking to secure other buildings of musical significance, including R&B label King Records in Cincinnati, and John Coltrane’s house in New York, where the legendary saxophonist wrote A Love Supreme.

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