|Mayor Karl Dean joined Hall of Fame songwriters Wayland Holyfield, Pat Alger and Kye Fleming today, along with officials from the Music City Center, to announce the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame will be permanently housed in the new convention center.
The Hall of Fame will be located in the lobby adjacent to Sixth Avenue and facing Demonbreun Street, and will feature songwriting artifacts as well as three 55” touch screens that will allow visitors to access sound, video and other digital information about the history of Nashville-connected songwriting and all 184 members of the Hall of Fame. The names of Hall of Fame members, who come from every genre of music, will be engraved in a special outdoor Songwriters Square at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Demonbreun, and on the stone steps leading from Fifth Avenue up to the interior display.
“The music industry is a vital part of Nashville’s unique culture, and songwriters are often the ‘unsung heroes’ of the business,” Mayor Dean said. “This location at the Music City Center is a fitting space to honor songwriters and their creativity, and it gives both local residents and visitors from out of town yet another reason to stop by our new convention center.”
The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Foundation is a non-profit organization that celebrates and archives the contributions made by its members, as well as educating the public about those contributions. The Hall of Fame has a long-term agreement with the Convention Center Authority of Nashville and Davidson County that requires the Hall of Fame Foundation to be responsible for the cost of design, construction, installation, upkeep, repair and maintenance of its exhibit and related premises.
“For the first time in the long history of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, we have the opportunity to have a ‘place’ for the Hall to be, where Hall of Famers, friends and fans can see, hear and learn about the men and women who have literally put the music in Music City,” said John Van Mol, chairman of the Foundation’s board of directors. “'It all begins with a song’ is a basic truth of the Nashville music industry, and now millions of visitors and millions more around the world will learn about songs and songwriting through the new website that will accompany the Hall.”
The Hall of Fame Foundation will launch a capital campaign October 7 at its annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony. Van Mol said early contributions from Foundation Board members, ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and leading Nashville publishing companies Sony/ATV, Warner Chappell and Universal among other music industry leaders, have already laid the groundwork for construction at the Music City Center. The organization is looking for further support from donors both inside and outside the music industry.
The Convention Center Authority issued a Request for Proposals for a permanent lobby exhibit in early July, and the Hall of Fame Foundation selected Tuck-Hinton Architects as designer for its entry. Applicants were evaluated on criteria including design complementary to Music City Center architecture and interior design, exhibit operating and maintenance plan, organization capacity to complete work in a timely manner and participation by small or service disabled veteran businesses.
“We are truly excited this partnership has worked out so well,” said Marty Dickens, chair of the Convention Center Authority. “This is the latest addition to what is becoming an ever more exciting corridor of our city, with the Music City Center, the Omni Nashville Hotel and the Country Music Hall of Fame.”
The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame is expected to be complete and open for visitors when the Music City Center opens in the spring of 2013.
About the Music City Center
The Music City Center, Nashville’s new convention center will feature 1.2 million square feet total, a 350,000 square foot exhibit hall, a 57,000 square foot ballroom and parking for 1,800 cars, while achieving LEED Silver certification. It is designed to be a gathering spot for residents and the hundreds of thousands of visitors seeing Nashville for the first time, just steps from the Ryman Auditorium and the Broadway honky tonks, the musical venues that have launched thousands of careers and help generate the city’s nickname. The Metropolitan Council of Nashville and Davidson County voted to approve the construction project in January 2010. The Music City Center is now under construction on a 19-acre site downtown.