Dolly Parton performing in Tennessee in 1973 (courtesy US Army Corp of Engineers, via Flickr)

National treasure Dolly Parton says she wants to open a museum in Nashville. The museum would be part of what the singer called a “Dolly Center,” which might also house a restaurant and bar.

“I’m going to have a museum here pretty soon, within the next couple of years,” Parton said in an interview with the Tennessean. “We have the museum at Dollywood, of course, but I would love to have something here since this is really my home.”

Parton opened her Chasing Rainbows Museum at Dollywood in 2002. Incorporated into the larger Dollywood park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, near Parton’s Great Smoky Mountains childhood home, the museum displays a collection of the country star’s stage outfits, a replica of her famous “coat of many colors,” and recreations of her schoolhouse and the church where her grandfather served as a reverend.

As testament to her universal appeal, the Tennessee state legislature agreed last year (across the aisle) to erect a Dolly Parton statue in Nashville. The singer, however, said no.

“Given all that is going on in the world, I don’t think putting me on a pedestal is appropriate at this time,” Parton said in a statement she posted on social media. “I hope, though, that somewhere down the road several years from now or perhaps after I’m gone if you still feel I deserve it, then I’m certain I will stand proud in our great State Capitol as a grateful Tennessean.”

While the statue is on pause, visitors to Nashville can now look forward to the beloved singer’s “Dolly Center.” Parton would join a host of other country musicians with Nashville entertainment venues. Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, and Luke Bryan all have bars and restaurants in the city, and Garth Brooks announced in April he would open his own on Nashville’s famous Broadway thoroughfare.

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Elaine Velie

Elaine Velie is a writer from New Hampshire living in Brooklyn. She studied Art History and Russian at Middlebury College and is interested in art's role in history, culture, and politics.

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