The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is getting much bigger. The Tennessean reported on April 15, 2014 that a $100 million expansion has made the museum twice the size. The public grand opening celebration took place to show off the new additions that includes two new exhibit galleries, a new theater and an event hall that lets you take in the city skyline. Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, Lee Ann Womack and Buddy Miller performed and Nashville Mayor Karl Dean joined in on the celebration.
There are over 2 million country music artifacts on display at The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum featuring exhibits that are exciting to country music fans of all ages including the ACM and Fred & Dinah Gretsch Family galleries where a virtual badge station is waiting for you to take your picture when you arrive. You can explore a replica of Taylor Swift's tour bus that includes recording studios to create your own song which you can design the CD cover for after you create your musical masterpiece. You can even take a ride down the giant guitar shaped slide if you are looking for more thrills on your visit.
Curatorial director Mick Buck described the new additions to The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum saying the added exhibits "stresses the importance of connections between country's past and its heritage to today's artists and stars." Vice President of museum services Carolyn Tate also pointed out the importance of bringing in the new while continuing to honor the country music superstars of the past by saying "Very consciously we have been collecting in the contemporary realm as well as we continue to collect and honor the titans and the vintage folks and the hall of famers. But now we are really looking at future hall of famers as well."
The expansion process began in 2011 with over $81 million being raised through fundraising efforts and private donations leading to the additional 200,000 square feet that The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum now has to offer to visitors. Tate said "We've been lucky at collecting, but the archives are busting out the door" adding "We wanted more room just to be able to tell the story” when she discussed the expansion and new look of The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum that is now officially ready and waiting for you.