Swift pledges $4M to Country Music Hall of Fame
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
– Taylor Swift pledged $4 million to fund a new education center at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, it was announced Thursday.
The more than 7,500-square foot space, which will encompass parts of 2 floors and feature 3 classrooms and a state-of-the-art children's exhibit gallery, is scheduled to open in early 2014.
Swift's gift is the largest capital contribution by an individual artist in the museum's 45-year history, prompting the museum to name the new space the Taylor Swift Education Center. The gift was made in conjunction with Working on a Building: Country Music Lives Here, the capital campaign that will finance the hall's expansion from 140,000 square feet to more than 350,000 square feet.
Swift has for years been a supporter of the museum, performing for the institution's 2007 All for the Hall New York, 2009 We're All for the Hall and 2010 All for the Hall Los Angeles benefits. She has also loaned the museum dresses, stage costumes and instruments for display; a free-standing, Taylor Swift multimedia exhibit debuted in May 2010.
"Taylor Swift represents country music's best traditions," said Museum Director Kyle Young. "She is a gifted singer-songwriter whose deeply personal songs resonate with music fans around the world, and a dynamic live performer whose open heart and engaging personality allow her to make even the largest stadium shows an intimate experience. Her many accomplishments - including being the youngest artist to single-handedly write and sing a number one country song - have made music history, and she has been an ambassador for country music, raising awareness of our genre literally around the globe."
"Taylor is an artist who has always been ahead of the curve," Young said. "By stepping forward to fund our education center, she has once again demonstrated that she has an eye on our industry's future. We are deeply indebted to Taylor for this wonderful gift, which will help us continue to fulfill our educational mission and serve our worldwide audience. It is not an overstatement to say that the Taylor Swift Education Center will have a profound impact on our museum, our new campus, our city and even our country. It will truly be the heart of our living museum, educating and inspiring young people and families, teaching them country music history and helping them to make meaningful connections between the music and their own lives."
The new education center will increase the museum's educational capacity up to seven-fold. On the third floor, two traditional classrooms and one "wet" classroom space will be used by museum educators for current educational offerings, including the museum's flagship program, Words & Music; distance learning programs; and family programs such as the Musical Petting Zoo.
The "wet classroom" will feature a utility floor, lending itself to the museum's Make Letterpress Art with Hatch Show Print family program and similar offerings. The additional classroom spaces will also allow the museum to develop new educational activities, potentially including after-school programs, teen-centric programs, multi-week workshops for youths, adults and senior citizens, and more. Additionally, the classroom spaces will be adjacent to a visible storage area and design studio; this space will feature thematic displays of artifacts, such as dozens of banjos, and allow students to observe museum curators at work. The children's gallery, situated on the second floor, will be a dedicated exhibit space for young patrons and will be filled with hands-on, interactive exhibits.
With Country Music Hall of Fame member Kris Kristofferson and Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford as honorary co-chairs, the museum launched its $75 million Working on a Building campaign in July 2011 with $56.8 million in cash and pledges already secured. Designed by Tuck-Hinton Architects, the expansion is expected to be completed in early 2014.
More news for Taylor Swift
CD reviews for Taylor Swift
Journey to Fearless DVD
Part Behind The Music style documentary and part concert film, Taylor Swift's new Blu-ray release offers an interesting hybrid approach to the typical live performance video - an approach that hits more than it misses. "Journey To Fearless" focuses on Swift's meteoric rise from aspiring grade-school singer/songwriter to award-winning country and pop megastar while sprinkling in live performances. Hardcore Swift fans will find a lot to love on this single-disc set (which is also »»»
Taylor Swift has made the best CD of her young career with her fourth CD. The biggest difference is that Swift's singing, spotty on previous releases and live performances, is far far superior here.
Swift wrote all 14 songs here, which like her other albums tend to deal with relationships that have gone south. Swift's songwriting always has been one of her strengths, and that continues to be the case here - both lyrically and musically. Put simply, Swift knows a lot about penning »»»
Taylor Swift took the county world by storm with her huge selling debut and its five hit singles. With a huge marketing push and myspace, Swift was on her way. Kind of like an Avril Lavigne for the teen female country set.
Sophomore slump? There's no indication of that. Swift once again writes her material - all 13 songs here with help sometimes from Liz Rose, Colbie Caillat and John Rich. Swift writes of what she knows about - relationships and teen love come and gone in songs speak to her fans. »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk
When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Lambert refuses to rest on laurels
Watching this stop on Miranda Lambert's "Livin' Like Hippies Tour," one is struck by just how many great songs the country singer/songwriter already has in her repertoire. With most artists, it's relatively easy to guess which song a performer will choose to close a show. But Lambert has so many winners to pick from, many... »»»
Concert Review: DBT rocks on
Drive-By Truckers still sometimes get miscategorized as alt.-country, but who's kidding whom? With three electric guitarists upfront exchanging hard rock licks all night, this is a blistering Southern rock band.
Hitting the stage just before 10, the band played a satisfying 2-hour-plus set. At 11:40, Patterson Hood announced the band would be... »»»
Follow Country Standard Time
Elsewhere in the news
Currently at the CST blogs
Dan Tyminski (known simply as "Tyminski" on his 2017 release "Southern Gothic") has traditional music roots and unassailable bluegrass street cred especially given his membership in Alison Krauss' Union Station. He is also a powerful songwriter and has been writing songs for himself and others for years now.... »»»
Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn have powerhouse individual talents; each has followed an estimable career path to where they find themselves today: making complex, but spare, records, writing music together and touring with their son Juno. Their new release, "Echoes In The Valley" features mostly songs written by Fleck and Washburn, banjos, Washburn's strong vocals and very little else.... »»»
Legends don't come any more legendary than Chris Hillman. The roll call of bands that comprises Hillman's half century in music reads like a wing exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas, the Souther Hillman Furay Band, the Desert Rose Band,... »»»
William Shakespeare noted a few centuries back that a rose by any other
name would be equally aromatic, and that general idea has musical
implications as well. The Cadillac Three knows a thing or two about maintaining
a sonic identity after a name change;... »»»
Those aware of the late Owsley "Bear" Stanley likely know him for one of two reasons - his pioneering work manufacturing lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in San Francisco during the mid-to-late 1960s and his role as an innovative sound engineer. Most notably, Bear worked...... »»»
East Nashville may be known as "the" Americana hotbed these days, but some of the talent there is very much verging on rock 'n roll. This is the case with Lynn Taylor & the BarFlies on their third release, a collection of personal tunes by the front man. »»»
American Folk soundtrack
The soundtrack for the independent film, "American Folk," stars two real-life singer-songwriters played by Joe Purdy and Amber Rubarth, who also contribute the bulk of the material on the soundtrack. Understanding the plot of the film helps explain both the sequence and content of the track list. »»»
Rifles and Rosary Beads
Mary Gauthier has built her career on honest, sometimes brutally and achingly self-confessional songs. This is the first time that she has focused on experiences other than her own, and it could become not only the strongest album of her career but, in its own way, a landmark album. »»»
Matt Hectorne's new album - his third solo effort - offers another example of the rewards that can come through the joy of discovery. While Hectorne makes no attempt to bend the boundaries as far as a patented Americana sound is concerned, the success he achieves here is the result of him doing quite the opposite, that is, sounding like a revered veteran who mastered the form quite quickly in his career. »»»
LANCO's "Greatest Love Story" is a radio single saturated in undeniable warmth and sweetness. But then, the attitude in "We Do" reeks of Florida Georgia Line and the chorus to "Singin' at The Stars" also brings country music's most annoying duo to mind. LANCO is a new act, and the jury's still on just which direction this five-piece will go. »»»
With their stunning new album "Ruins," First Aid Kit further ascend to unexpected heights of superstardom, a status a few knowing pundits have been predicting for the Swedish sisters since the beginning. »»»