Visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in ClevelandBy Dave Knapp
In the early 1950’s a Cleveland disc jockey named Alan Freed coined the term “rock and roll” and a new musical and cultural movement started. It is fitting that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame now thrives in Cleveland, offering visitors and students a chance to learn more about the music that has helped to shape the culture of today. Here is a brief guide of this outstanding attraction’s offerings.
Located on Cleveland’s lakefront on Lake Erie, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is dedicated to exploring the past, present and future of contemporary music. The museum continually augments its own collection of thousands of artifacts with items on loan from artists and collectors from around the world. More than 55,000 square-feet of exhibition space, as well as administrative offices, the Museum Store and a café are also located on the grounds.
More than 6,000,000 visitors have toured the museum since its September 1995 opening.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is a 150,000 square-foot building which utilizes film, video, interactive kiosks and, of course, music. Its Outdoor Plaza spans 65,000 square feet and its exhibition area covers 55,000 square feet. It is the world’s first museum dedicated to the living heritage of rock and roll music.
The museum houses intimate performance spaces, as well as a rotating display of artifact and costumes from the museum's permanent collection. Specific eras, styles and milestones are showcased, highlighting the many facets of rock and roll’s evolution.
Exhibits are designed to provide the visitor with a unique, interactive experience. The collection of artifacts and costumes is enhanced by the combination of state-of-the-art technology and innovative film and video. The Museum offers a comprehensive retrospective on rock and roll’s origins, development, legends and immense impact on global culture.
Visitors are taken on a fast-paced journey through the history of rock and roll music, from one-hit wonders to legendary inductees, from its roots in gospel, country and blues to the important local music scenes in such cities as Memphis, Detroit and San Francisco.
Some displays are devoted to the pioneering rock and roll artists of the Fifties, the soul artists of the Sixties, the political protests against rock and roll and interplay between fashion and rock.
The programs include a variety of educational and cultural events, including a series of year-round concerts. The Hall of Fame series features evenings with Rock Hall Inductees. There are educational programs for everyone from toddlers to students, to teachers and adults in general.
The building was designed by the internationally renowned architect I.M. Pei. A striking state-of-the-art facility that rises above the shores of Lake Erie, its composition features bold geometric forms and dynamic cantilevered spaces that are anchored by a 162-foot tower. The tower supports a dual-triangular-shaped glass “tent" that extends (at its base) onto a 65,000 square-foot plaza, providing a dramatic main entry facade.
I.M. Pei, one of the world's most famous architects, also designed the National Gallery of Art's East Building in Washington, DC, the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, the Museum of Modern Art in Athens, and the expansion of the Louvre in Paris, among many other buildings around the world.
The Hall of Fame’s visiting hours are: 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. daily (open until 9 p.m. on Wednesdays). It is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas. From Memorial
Day to Labor Day, the Museum is also open until 9 p.m. on Saturdays.
If you are interested in student group travel within the Midwest, then the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame should be on your list of “must see” destinations. It will certainly be a “big hit” with your students.
About the Author: Travel Adventures is a student tour provider staffed by educators who understand the needs of teachers. It has served over one half million students since 1987 and its mission is to “empower teachers to create change by expanding the classroom to the world.”