Archived Rumble

Nina Simone Project Breaks Ground In Tryon

Nina Simone Project Breaks Ground In Tryon

The Nina Simone Project (NSP) on Saturday, May 1, will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the Nina Simone Archive, a milestone 15 years in the making.

Dr. Crys Armbrust, founder and chair of the Nina Simone Project; Simone’s younger sister, Frances Waymon Fox; and Darren D. Lynch, a Tryon native and co-owner of Forest City-based EcoResin, will be on hand for the noon celebration.

After the groundbreaking, the community is invited to Keeper of the Flame, a free concert on McCown Street featuring musicians Daryle Ryce, the Firecracker Jazz Band and other guests. The concert will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the bronze statue of Simone by internationally acclaimed sculptor Zenos Frudakis, along with the recent completion of the Nina Simone Plaza in downtown Tryon.

“We are incredibly happy to have reached this point in our organization’s life and accomplish a major goal of the Nina Simone Project,” Armbrust said. “We eagerly turn our attention across the street to the Nina Simone Archive.”

The archive will be built at 65 S. Trade St., directly across from the plaza. The new building will house thousands of primary and secondary documents on the life and legacy of the renowned “high priestess of soul” in downtown Tryon, not far from her childhood home – including rare recordings, scores, personal diaries, letters and more. A $2 million capital fundraising campaign launched in June 2020 to underwrite the project. 

WHAT:                Groundbreaking for the Nina Simone Archive and Keeper of the Flame concert
WHEN:               Noon Saturday, May 1, 2021 (groundbreaking), and 1 to 4:30 p.m. (concert)
WHERE:             65 S. Trade St., Tryon, across from the Nina Simone Plaza

The Nina Simone Project exists to honor the remarkable life, musical legacy and civil rights activism of Nina Simone, and to inspire and support talented youth to reach their full potential. A native of Tryon, N.C., Simone achieved international recognition for her talent and her formidable contributions to the arts and activism. For more information, visit

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