The Nina Simone House in Tryon, North Carolina. Courtesy Adam Pendleton.
Blog Post

Saving and Celebrating Nina Simone’s Birthplace

The Nina Simone House in Tryon, North Carolina. Courtesy Adam Pendleton.

Last night, World Monuments Fund hosted a special evening in New York City to support our friends and their mission to save the birthplace of iconic musician and activist, Nina Simone. Last year, contemporary artists Adam Pendleton, Ellen Gallagher, Julie Mehretu, and Rashid Johnson came together to purchase her childhood home in the foothills of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains when its future became uncertain. Now, the focus has shifted to what comes next.

Guests including Amy Astley, Dustin Yellin, Sandra Brant, Agnes Gund, John Stern, Anne Pasternak, Lydia Polgreen, and others listened as Ford Foundation President Darren Walker spoke with Adam and Julie about their inspiration for buying the house, their dreams of transforming it into a place of creativity that honors Ms. Simone’s legacy, and the intersection of art, politics, and place.

“What I do know is that if we are to truly realize our better selves as a country, we have to preserve the ideas that Nina Simone fought for when she stepped on stage, when she wrote a song. And that began at this house,” said Adam Pendleton.

WMF was also joined by fellow supporter, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, to begin the conversation around its future.

To learn more about this special place and its guardians, read the March 2017 New York Times feature story on the Nina Simone House.