Taylor Swift went back to the place where she signed her record contract – the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum – to celebrate the opening of something very special to the 23-year-old.
On Saturday, Taylor cut the ribbon on the Taylor Swift Education Center at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to signify its official opening. Taylor gave a gift of $4 million to endow the center, which is the largest individual artist gift in the Hall of Fame’s history.
The Country Music Hall of Fame holds a special place in Taylor’s heart as it is where she signed her record contract and where she gave one of her first public performances. 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.