The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled its 210,000-square-foot expansion on Tuesday, more than doubling the size of its home in downtown Nashville. The grand opening ceremony took place in the museum’s Event Hall overlooking the Nashville skyline. Vince Gill, the McCrary Sisters, Ricky Skaggs, the Valentines and Lee Ann Womack, accompanied by the Grand Opening All-Star Band under the direction of Buddy Miller, performed at the event.
Additionally, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, Museum Director Kyle Young and museum board Chairman Steve Turner each delivered inspiring commemorative remarks. The celebration marked the final phase of the museum’s expansion, joining recently-opened additions including the 800-seat CMA Theater, the Taylor Swift Education Center, a new home for the letterpress operation Hatch Show Print and the Event Hall. The expansion also includes archival and library storage.
“The new interactive exhibits, along with our previously opened Taylor Swift Education Center, emphasize our commitment to educate our audience in new ways,” Museum Director Kyle Young said. “Ultimately, all of this incredible growth enables the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to do what it does best even better. Our peerless staff can expand and focus on its core objective to preserve, interpret and teach the history of country music in a state-of-the-art facility built with that specific mission in mind.”
Debuting exhibits include the joint ACM Gallery and Dinah and Fred Gretsch Family Gallery, and the Design Gallery: A Window into the Collection. The ACM Gallery and the Dinah and Fred Gretsch Family Gallery feature an interactive, hands-on look at today’s country music. Items in the new exhibits range from Taylor Swift’s Pinnacle Award from the CMA in November 2013 to the typewriter Don Schlitz used to compose “The Gambler.” The Design Gallery gives a behind-the-scenes view of museum staff at work on archival projects and offers additional display areas. The space is currently showing artifacts from the life and career of Glen Campbell.
For more information about the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, including tickets, upcoming events and exhibits, visit www.countrymusichalloffame.org.