This weekend, the Taylor Swift Education Center officially opened at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Taylor’s $4 million gift to endow the center is the largest individual artist gift in the Hall of Fame’s history.
Taylor has a long history with the Country Music Hall of Fame — she signed her record contract there as a teenager, and gave one of her first public performances on the building’s plaza. She has also volunteered her time to several of the museum’s “All for the Hall” fundraising shows, and has donated numerous items to the museum for display. Her stand-alone multi-media exhibit has drawn big crowds every day for years, and the museum exhibition on her Speak Now tour was incredibly popular, and the first-ever of its kind, paving the way for subsequent contemporary exhibits.
The Taylor Swift Education Center, which encompasses parts of two floors and features three classrooms, a learning lab and a state-of-the-art children’s exhibit gallery, increases the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s educational capacity up to seven-fold (the museum previously had one classroom). The classroom spaces are adjacent to a visible design studio; this space features thematic displays, e.g. dozens of instruments, and allows 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. The classrooms and learning lab are open now; gallery space will open in March, 2014.