The American South has long been known for its rich musical heritage. The rhythm of the South has travelled around the world and back again. It has been the sound of anger and reconciliation, of celebration and progress. It has pioneered new musical traditions and reprised forgotten ones. The goal of the Curb Institute is to support students as they engage with their community through this musical tradition. Through the areas of preservation, research, leadership, and civic responsibility, the Institute provides support and opportunities for students and faculty, in partnership with the community, to experience and celebrate what Mr. Curb calls the "Tennessee Music Miracle."
The Mike Curb Institute for Music at Rhodes College was founded in 2006 through a generous gift from the Mike Curb Family Foundation to foster awareness and understanding of the distinct musical traditions of the South and to study the effect music has had on its culture, history, and economy. In the context of Rhodes' liberal arts environment, the Curb Institute works on campus and with community partners in Memphis to give students real-world opportunities that enhance what they learn in the classroom and give them experiences that will benefit them was they make the transition from college to graduate school or the professional world.