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 Dylan, Cash and the Nashville Cats: A New Music City presented by Citi; Trisha Yearwood: The Song Remembers When; Luke Bryan: Dirt Road Diary presented by Citi; Ronnie Milsap: A Legend in My Time and The Duke of Paducah: These Shoes are Killin’ Me. The ACM 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 allow guests to become “Certified Country.”
In addition to world class galleries, the museum has the 776-seat CMA Theater; the Taylor Swift Education Center; and multi-purpose event rental spaces in high demand. Other historic properties of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum include the legendary letterpress operation Hatch Show Print (located 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 1000 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.