We are thrilled to announce the opening of the Armstrong Center and our newest exhibition, Here to Stay, curated by award-winning pianist, composer and Kennedy Center Artistic Director for Jazz, Jason Moran.
Here To Stay looks at Louis Armstrong’s five-decade career as an innovative musician, rigorous archivist, consummate collaborator and community builder. For Moran, the exhibition is “a declaration of Louis Armstrong’s infinite love of music and humanity.”
The Center is the permanent home for the 60,000-piece archive of Louis and Lucille Armstrong, and it houses a 75-seat venue offering performances, lectures, films, and educational experiences.
Caples Jefferson Architects designed the 14,000-square-foot building, staying mindful of the Armstrongs’ love for their community and their neighbors on the block.
“In a neighborhood comprised of modest two-story houses, we wanted to keep the building in the scale of its surroundings while creating an urban precinct that notes the singular work of the man whose music underlies so much of what we listen to today,” explain Sara Caples and Everardo Jefferson of Caples Jefferson Architects. “The design of the museum is simultaneously exuberant and restrained, and is, in every way, a celebration of the legacy of Louis Armstrong.”
We invite musicians, jazz fans, scholars from around the world–and our closest neighbors here in Corona, Queens–to discover Louis and Lucille Armstrong’s story from a new perspective.
Thanks to our longstanding partners, Queens College and the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, and with a growing list of members, supporters and programmatic collaborators, we look forward to the Center becoming a hub for inspiration and learning, economic development and tourism.
The Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation donated the Armstrong archives in the 1980s and provided the funds to purchase the lot on which the new Center sits. CUNY and Queens College officials, working with state and city legislators and executive offices, led the advocacy for the funding of the $26 million building across the street from the original Armstrong home. Funds were awarded by the Office of the Governor, the New York State Senate, New York State Assembly, Office of the New York City Mayor, Office of the Queens Borough President, and the New York City Council. The Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (DASNY) led the construction project. The staff and board of the museum for the past 15 years, including former Director, Michael Cogswell, worked tirelessly to ensure the new building’s success.
The Armstrong Center will help LAHM expand its vision to not only preserve Armstrong’s legacy, but to live the Armstrong values of Artistic Excellence, Education and Community. Our four pillars:
Preserving the Legacy: Sustaining and promoting the cultural, historical, and humanitarian legacy of Louis Armstrong.
Artistic Excellence: Featuring musicians, multi-disciplinary artists and contemporary thinkers to create innovative performances.
Education: Providing on-site, online and classroom experiences for K – 12 students and beyond.
Community: Engaging Queens communities in programming for mutual learning and support.
The Armstrong Corona campus is a Queens-based hub for inspiration and learning, economic development and tourism. For local neighbors, city, national, and international visitors, the new campus will permanently establish Armstrong’s legacy as one of the most influential figures in American and Global History.
Discover more in our 2023 Organization Profile.