Thursday, October 10, 2013

Opening: Taylor Swift Education Center in Nashville

Taylor Swift Education Center
This weekend, October 12th and 13th, will be a memorable one for Taylor Swift. As mentioned, she will be presented with NSAI Songwriter/Artist of the Year Award at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville on the 13th. 13 does seem to be connected with Taylor. But almost overshadowed is the opening of the Taylor Swift Education Center on the 12th.

The Center is part of an aggressive expansion of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. And substantial financial support for the Center came from Taylor's "$4 million donation Swift pledged in 2012 — the largest single donation made by an artist in the museum's 46-year history." [Taylor Swift talks education center, breaking songwriting record].

The Boot had the 2012 donation story in March of 2013 Taylor Swift Country Music Hall of Fame Donation Is Special Thank-You to Fans. She revealed to them "why it was important for her to make such a sizable contribution."

I learned all about country music through what I saw on TV and the research that I did,” Taylor explains. “I didn’t really know that there was a museum you could go to, to see all these different outfits from all these legends. I didn’t know that you could go to a place and see it all in person. So, it’s gonna be amazing, I think, for kids to get to have a place where they can go and learn what they possibly can.”
"The singer-songwriter says the education center also provided a way for her to pay back fans for their support. 'They put me in a position to do that, [to] raise awareness for things that need attention and write a song for this, or show up for that, or donate money for this.'”
From a Big Machine (the label Taylor built) press release, not found on that site but at  WFLA-TV News Channel 8 we learn:
"The Taylor Swift Education Center, which will encompass parts of two floors and feature three classrooms, a learning lab and a state-of-the-art children's exhibit gallery, will increase the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's educational capacity up to seven-fold (the museum previously had one classroom). The classroom spaces will be adjacent to a visible design studio; this space will feature thematic displays, e.g. dozens of instruments, 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. The center will open officially on October 12th (classrooms and learning lab will open on that date; gallery space will open in March, 2014)."
"Taylor's six NSAI Awards will be on special display in the foyer of the Taylor Swift Education Center."
"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."
In The Tennessean article Taylor Swift talks education center, breaking songwriting record Taylor is quoted:
"In school, I was taught a certain amount about music, a certain amount about theater, and that interest sparked something in me. It made me look elsewhere to learn much more about it," said Swift, now 23.
"I think, for me, it's just going to be so interesting to see Nashville continue to be this hub for music, and this hub for music education. I love the fact that people are coming from all over the world to go to school for music (in Nashville), I love the fact that this is now a new opportunity for kids to be a part of programs that are going to help them know more about what we do here."
More from The Tennessean:
"Kids will get their hands on an array of instruments in the museum’s “Musical Petting Zoo,” or get slightly messy with Hatch Show Print letterpress art in two “wet” classrooms with spill-friendly floors, or watch curators at work in an adjacent storage area and studio. Visitors of all ages can look forward to future offerings, including songwriting workshops, dance classes and a Hatch-led letterpress program."
It appears that Taylor not only pays it forward but she also pays it backwards.

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