About the Funk Music Hall of Fame and Exhibition Center/ aka “TheFunkCenter”
Several years ago David R. Webb and others decided to find a way to highlight Dayton’s history of the Funk music genre and to honor the legacy of Funk music. The challenge was to gather this local music history and preserve it – in a museum that would become a hall of fame, exhibition center, performance venue and educational outreach to today’s young students. They knew they couldn’t do it alone, so they began bringing supporters of the project together.
Webb, who is now spearheading the development of The Funk Music Hall of & Exhibition Center (aka TheFunkCenter) as its President and CEO, has many interests – but none greater than music. Specifically, Webb has a great interest in this style of music perfected by musicians in his hometown of Dayton, Ohio during the 1960s and 1970s.
In the music industry, Webb has worked as a keyboardist and drummer at a recording studio, as well as a production manager and music talent scout. In talking with Dayton-area Funk musicians, he learned their stories – and how Dayton had been the cradle for Funk. He was intrigued when the musicians told him their history was being lost. Today’s young people, Webb found, are unaware of Dayton’s special place in the history of Funk. He would soon learn that the history of Funk was not represented in existing music museums as a separate genre.
Under Webb’s leadership, a dedicated team is now in place to make the TheFunkCenter a reality. A committed group of talented volunteers have come together, bringing their talents and extensive professional skills and established a non-profit organization – The Funk Music Hall of Fame & Exhibition Center.
Many have asked the question, “Why should The Funk Music Hall of Fame be located in Dayton, Ohio?” This question is easily answered when you consider the wealth of exemplary Funk musicians who call Dayton their home. They include chart topping bands such as The Ohio Players, Slave, Roger Troutman and the Human Body, Zapp, Heatwave, Lakeside, Faze-O, Shirley Murdock, Van Hunt, Dayton, Sun, The Majestics, Overnight Low, New Horizons, Aurra/Deja, and Junie Morrison, just to name a few (any omissions is purely not by choice).
Indeed, the question should be “Why isn’t The Funk Music Hall of Fame in Dayton, Ohio?”
Besides well-known Funk stars, Ohio has produced other stellar performers including Vesta, The Isley Brothers, Bootsy Collins, The O’Jays, The Deele, Cab Calloway, House Guest, The Pacemakers, The Dazz Band and the incomparable Nancy Wilson.
The organization believes that, in addition to honoring the history of Funk music, music education for future generations may be TheFunkCenter’s most important mission — one that will create a special legacy for the community. TheFunkCenter, will strive to provide a unique environment for all, however, a special focus will be for children of all ages, abilities, and experience to feel free to imagine, create and welcome the arts into their lives.
“TheFunkCenter’s mission will be to teach young people to play instruments, understand what it takes to work in all aspects of the performing arts, learn about the role music plays in creativity, critical thinking skills and self-discipline, and to improve their deductive reasoning skills in reading, math and science,” Webb said. Each of these areas is crucial, he added, to helping students face the challenges life presents as they approach adulthood.