The Academy of Country Music has pledged $2.5 million to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s Working on a Building: Country Music Lives Here campaign. The capital campaign will help finance the Museum’s expansion from 140,000 square feet to more than 350,000 square feet. The new space will include the ACM Contemporary Gallery which will display modern developments and current trends in country music.
The Academy has been a supporter of the Museum for years. In 2009, the ACM donated a lead gift of $300,000 to assist in the Museum’s acquisition of four instruments that were integral to the creativity and legacies of Maybelle Carter, Johnny Cash and Bill Monroe. The Academy has also supported the Museum’s All for the Hall Los Angeles benefits and is one of the sponsors of the museum’s new major exhibition, The Bakersfield Sound: Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, and California Country. The Academy has also donated usage of their entire photo database to the museum.
“It is the Academy’s honor to help ensure that the history of country music can be told for generations to come,” Bob Romeo, CEO of the Academy of Country Music, said. “We are able to make this kind of contribution only because of the incredible country music artists who give of their time for Academy charitable endeavors; we can’t thank them enough for the impact they have on our industry.”
“We are deeply indebted to the ACM for this wonderful gift, which will help us continue to fulfill our educational mission and serve our worldwide audience,” said Museum Director Kyle Young. “The genre we chronicle is a living thing, constantly evolving; country music history is being made every day. Great museums must remain relevant, and the ACM Contemporary Gallery will allow us to not only expand our examination and celebration of modern stars, important background players and new developments in the genre, but also to spotlight new artists, trends and issues as they break.”
The Museum launched its Working on a Building campaign in late July 2011 with Country Music Hall of Fame member Kris Kristofferson and Ford Motor company Executive Chairman Bill Ford as honorary co-chairs. To date, $70 million in cash and pledges have been secured. The expansion is expected to be completed in early 2014.