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With plans finalized, Black Music Walk of Fame to open in July 2022 at The Banks

This gravel lot will be developed into a park honoring Black musicians, including a Black Music Walk of Fame.
Becca Costello
This gravel lot will be developed into a park honoring Black musicians, including a Black Music Walk of Fame.

Cincinnati and Hamilton County officials Wednesday announced a finalized agreement to develop a gravel lot at The Banks into a park honoring Black musicians from the area.

Mayor John Cranley says the idea came from Commission Vice President Alicia Reece.

"The Commissioner said, 'Well, we want to get this last piece done; it looks kind of odd with it not being finished,' and she had a great visionary idea for it," Cranley said. "And I said, 'Well, we're out of money based on what we just did here for the music venue. If you guys pay for it, you can have it.' And that's basically what happened."

The lot is on Elm Street across from Paul Brown Stadium and right in front of the new Icon Music Center. Reece says the county will build the Black Music Walk of Fame after negotiating a land-use deal with the city.

"This is going to be an interactive Black Music Walk of Fame interactive park. I don't think anyone in the country has anything like this," Reece said.

Each star on the Walk of Fame will have a QR code that visitors can scan with their phone to see more information about the musician.

Commissioners voted in July to use $9 million in federal stimulus to build the park.

It's expected to be complete by July 2022 — just in time for the Cincinnati Music Festival, which Reece says is the oldest African American music festival in the U.S.

"I'm always looking at, how do we bring more people here? How do we get more people eating at our restaurants, staying in our hotels, spending more money?" Reece said. "We want people to come here, not go to Nashville."

The park will have a star for each inductee, similar to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The first four inductees are Bootsy Collins, Dr. Charles Fold, The Isley Brothers and Otis Williams.

Corrected: October 15, 2021 at 12:50 PM EDT
A previous version of this headline mistakenly called this project a "Hall of Fame." It has been corrected to "Walk of Fame."
Local Government Reporter with a particular focus on Cincinnati; experienced journalist in public radio and television throughout the Midwest. Enthusiastic about: civic engagement, public libraries, and urban planning.