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Funk Music Hall of Fame opening in downtown Dayton after long battle

The genre embraced by funkateers will soon have its own brick and mortar home in Dayton.

Funk Music Hall of Fame & Exhibition Center plans to celebrate its grand opening this March at 113 E. Third St. in downtown Dayton’s Fire Block District.

Volunteers already have started moving the museum’s artifacts in to its new 7,000-square-foot space.

The location is part of properties being developed by the Ellway Group.

>>MORE: A look inside downtown Dayton's Fire Block District

 “We are going to be there for a long time,” hall of fame president David Webb said.

David R. Webb is president of the Funk Music Hall of Fame and Exhibition Center.

The museum’s artifacts had been on display at the Dayton Metro Library’s new Northwest Branch at 2410 Philadelphia Drive.

Webb said the Third Street location, brokered in part by Peter Benkendorf of The Collaboratory, a creative think tank, further legitimizes the museum.

“We like to give back to the community,” Webb said. “Our organization believes in harmony.”

 >> MORE: Investors intend to renew Fire Block District in Dayton

The funk music museum has publicly been in the works for two years, but has been a longtime dream of Webb and several other fans of funk.

“A lot of people thought we wouldn’t pull it of,” Webb said.  

The funk music genre put Dayton on the map as the Land of the Funk in the 1970s and '80s thanks to a stable of groups that included the Ohio Players, Steve Arrington’s Hall of Fame, Zapp, Faze-O, Heatwave, Sun, Slave and Lakeside.

>>MORE: 8 Dayton acts you should give a funk about

Funk artists from the Miami Valley and around the world will be celebrated in the Funk Music Hall of Fame & Exhibition Center, Webb said. 

The non-profit museum currently run by a seven-member, grass-roots volunteer board is seeking public donations and a government grant, he said. 

Webb said the goal is to expand the board to 9 to 11 members.

A future phrase in the museum’s development will be announced soon, he said.  

The center is currently in need of display cases and mannequins to display artifacts collected from funk pioneers. 

David R. Webb is president of the Funk Music Hall of Fame and Exhibition Center.

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