The Birthplace of Country Music Museum (BCMM) will open its doors free of charge on Saturday September 24, 2016, as part of Smithsonian magazine’s twelfth annual Museum Day Live! On this day only, participating museums across the United States emulate the spirit of the Smithsonian Institution’s Washington DC-based facilities, which offer free admission every day, and open their doors for free to those who download a Museum Day Live! ticket.
Inclusive by design, the event represents Smithsonian’s commitment to make learning and the spread of knowledge accessible to everyone. Overall, last year’s event drew over 200,000 participants, and this year’s event is expected to attract more museum-goers than ever before.
“Participating in Museum Day Live is important to us and our community because it makes what we do accessible to the public, and shows the many ways that our museum and the Smithsonian reach out to the communities we live in,” said Dr. Jessica Turner, Birthplace of Country Music Museum Director.
This year’s Museum Day Live! is special as BCMM will also be honoring the Grand Opening of the Smithsonian’s newest museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington, DC. To celebrate this opening, the museum will offer several programs throughout the day as part of the NMAAHC’s “Lift Every Voice” initiative:
10:00 a.m. – “Watch party” of the dedication ceremony of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, live from DC. This event is free, but seating is limited so attendees should reserve their ticket via the event listing on birthplaceofcountrymusic.org. Doors to the Performance Theater will open at 9:30 a.m.
12:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. – Short gallery talks will run every hour starting at 12:30 p.m.
1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. – Local artist Amythyst Kiah will be live in the Performance Theater for two separate performances at 1:00 p.m. and 4:00p.m. Amythyst Kiah is a Southern gothic, alt-country blues singer/songwriter who has found a way to fuse traditional roots music with a contemporary style that does not take away from the integrity of the original songs, transforming them into powerful, soulful renditions. She has recently performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, DC and traveled Scotland and the UK performing at a number of major festivals including the Southern Fried Festival, the Cambridge Folk Festival, Edinburgh Jazz Festival, and SummerTyne Americana Festival. She is also a favorite at Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion.
All day – View “A Place for All People,” a historic poster exhibit celebrating the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The African American story is one characterized by pain and glory, power and civility, enslavement and freedom. In addition to profiling the long struggle to create the NMAAHC, the building’s architectural design, and its prominent location on the National Mall, the poster exhibit is a survey of the African American community’s powerful, deep and lasting contributions to the American story.
“It is important to recognize the diverse backgrounds of country music – African American contributions were central to the development of country music, from the African roots of the banjo to the recording industry’s segregation of hillbilly records and race records,” noted Turner. “Exploring this history is important and we want to be part of bringing these ideas forward in honor of the new museum. This content is already central to our interpretation and deserves to be more widely shared. We also hope to continue museum programming related to these topics throughout the next few months.”
Visitors who present the Museum Day Live! ticket will gain free entrance for two at participating venues on September 24, 2016. One ticket per household is permitted. For more information about Museum Day Live! 2016 and a full list of participating museums and cultural institutions, please visit www.Smithsonian.com/museumday.