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Lack Of Funding Shutters Oklahoma Music Hall Of Fame In Muskogee

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It's the place where Oklahoma proudly boasts of its musical greats. It's the place where Oklahoma proudly boasts of its musical greats.
Country superstar Vince Gill made a contribution which helped get the museum up and running for the children's program. Country superstar Vince Gill made a contribution which helped get the museum up and running for the children's program.
MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma -

The music has stopped at the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in Muskogee. The hall's board says they just don't have the funding to keep the museum open.

The Muskogee-based Hall of Fame president says private and corporate donations are no longer enough. Two employees were put on non paid status. The museum is now closed.

It's the place where Oklahoma proudly boasts of its musical greats. But the music has come to a screeching halt for the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame was forced to cut paid staff and severely limit its hours of operation.

"But when it comes to long term sustainable revenue is very hard to find in this down economy," said Andrea Chancellor, who chairs the OK Music Hall of Fame Board.

President Jim Blair says while the Hall of Fame has enjoyed national recognition, a growth in museum visits and an expansion of music programs.

These initiatives have never raised enough revenue to cover the costs. Costs like the concert and induction ceremony held in the fall, which is not a fundraiser.

"It's not. The concert and induction ceremony costs a lot of money to produce. When you produce something of that quality, it costs a lot of money. The night's events barely pay for themselves," Chancellor said.

Board Chair Andrea Chancellor says they are seeking new funders and hope to increase memberships and sponsorships.

"I'd love to make a million bucks. I'd love for it to happen tomorrow but we are talking about a significant amount of money over the long term that we can count on to run our day to day operations," Chancellor said.

Until that happens the Hall of Fame is silenced.

"We know this project works. We know this is an appreciated event for Oklahoma. We know Oklahoma appreciates its music. We just need to get our financial footing back in place and head on down the road," Chancellor said.

The organization says inductees are aware of the Hall of Fame's status. Andrea Chancellor says they've stepped in to help before.

Country superstar Vince Gill made a contribution which helped get the museum up and running for the children's program.

The organization is still accepting limited bookings as an events venue. But will remain closed otherwise.

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