The National Blues Museum is proud to announce our next exhibit: “Pandemic Blues.” This exhibit traces the 1918 Influenza Pandemic’s effect on blues musicians and the music industry to the COVID-19 pandemic. Join us for wine and cheese plus a special piano performance by Ethan Leinwand playing the sheet music from the exhibition.
Exploring the devastation brought about by the “Spanish Flu” of 1918 and its impact on artists materially and personally, the exhibit highlights how musicians, entertainers, record companies, and ordinary citizens dealt with the realities of a global pandemic, from social distancing and theater closures to the writing of Flu-inspired songs. In 2020, the arrival of COVID-19 signaled a similar wave of changes in music and left thousands of performers out of work. Comparing how artists in both periods adapted and banded together to sustain their livelihood, “Pandemic Blues” will work to encourage vaccination and the unity required for an active, healthy world of live music.
Thanks to the support from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ (IMLS) Communities for Immunity program. Communities for Immunity provides funding awards and support to museums and libraries engaging their communities to boost COVID-19 vaccine confidence. The initiative is led by the Association of Science and Technology Centers and the American Alliance of Museums.