In 2019, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and NBW worked with Facilitate Movement to carry out an inclusive community-centered visioning session for the preservation and activation of Nina Simone's home. The vision establishes the Nina Simone Childhood Home as the "crown jewel" of cultural offerings in Tryon and the surrounding area by celebrating Simone in parallel with an artist-in-residence program anchored by the authentic site. Small group tours, exhibitions, art installations, musical performances, and the possibility of future rehabilitation, development, and expansion of the site to offer on-site support facilities are also being considered.
Growing up in the segregated south during the Jim Crow Era, Eunice Kathleen Waymon, known professionally as Nina Simone, was exposed to racism at an early age. Despite this, she crossed racial boundaries when she began taking piano lessons from Muriel Mazzanovich, a white woman on the other side of town. Eunice walked on dirt roads, across train tracks, and through hilly topography to get to and from each lesson. Throughout her childhood, Eunice performed at many piano recitals and became the official pianist of the Methodist Chapel of Tryon at the age of 5. After graduating high school in 1950, she and her family moved to Philadelphia so she could attend the Curtis Institute of Music. Although she was rejected for admission to the Institute, Eunice continued her dedication to music by working as a singer-pianist at the Midtown Bar and Grill in Atlantic City under the stage name Nina Simone. Today, Nina Simone is known as a legendary singer, songwriter, pianist, and Civil Rights activist, all of which was rooted at her childhood home in Tryon, North Carolina.