The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is operated by the non-profit, educational Country Music Foundation® (CMF). The mission of the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is to identify and preserve the evolving history and traditions of country music and to educate its audiences. Functioning as a local history museum and as an international arts organization, the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum serves visiting and non-visiting audiences including fans, students, scholars, members of the music industry, and the general public—in the Nashville area, the nation, and world.
About the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum
The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum adds a strikingly modern touch to the Nashville skyline and is situated at the epicenter of the city’s rapidly growing core, a block from the popular honky-tonks of Broadway, across the street from Bridgestone Arena and Music City Center, and adjacent to the Omni Hotel. The museum, called the “Smithsonian of country music” because of its unrivaled collection, recently unveiled a $100 million expansion, doubling its size to 350,000 square feet of dynamic state-of-the-art galleries, archival storage, education classrooms, retail stores, and special event space boasting stunning downtown views.
In the museum’s core exhibition, Sing Me Back Home: A Journey Through Country Music, visitors are immersed in the history and sounds of country music, its origins and traditions, and the stories and voices of many of its honored architects. The story is revealed through artifacts, photographs, and text panels, with a rich overlay of recorded sound, vintage video, and interactive touchscreens. Sing Me Back Home is enhanced by several limited-engagement exhibits including The Bakersfield Sound: Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, and California Country; Reba: All the Women I Am (closing June 22, 2014); Miranda Lambert: Backstage Access; Kenny Rogers: Through the Years (opening August 15, 2014); and Crystal Gayle: When I Dream. The newACM Gallery and the Dinah and Fred Gretsch Family Gallery offer visitors a hands-on immersion into today’s country music with artifacts from today’s country stars and a series of technology-enhanced activities that will allow guests to become “Certified Country.”
In addition to world class galleries, the museum has the 800-seat CMA Theater; the Taylor Swift Education Center; and multi-purpose event rental spaces already in high demand. Other historic properties of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum include the legendary letterpress operation Hatch Show Print (expanded and relocated inside the museum) and Historic RCA Studio B (located on famed Music Row), Nashville’s oldest surviving recording studio, where landmark recordings by Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Waylon Jennings, and many others were made.
Since 1987, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has been accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, certifying that the museum operates according to the highest standards, manages its more than two million-item collection responsibly, and provides quality service to the public. Of the 17,500 museums nationwide, only some 800 are accredited.
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has developed multiple platforms to make its collection accessible to a wider audience. From weekly instrument demonstrations to its flagship songwriting program for schools, Words & Music, the museum offers an aggressive schedule of educational programs. The museum also operates CMF Records, a Grammy-winning re-issue label (The Complete Hank Williams and Night Train to Nashville: Music City Rhythm & Blues, 1945-1970);and CMF Press, a book publishing arm that releases exhibit-related books in cooperation with Vanderbilt University Press and other major trade publishing houses.