The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will open world’s first museum exhibit dedicated to the most influential female artists

All-star benefit concert will open Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power

CLEVELAND (February 3,2011) - The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will open a ground-breaking and provocative new exhibit that will illustrate the important roles women have played in rock and roll, from its inception through today. Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power will highlight the flashpoints, the firsts, the best, the celebrated and sometimes lesser-known women who moved rock and roll music and American culture forward. The exhibit is sponsored by PNC and Time Warner Cable. Women Who Rock will open to the public on Friday, May 13, 2011.

To kick off the exhibit’s opening weekend on Saturday, May 14, the Museum’s annual It’s Only Rock and Roll Spring Benefit Concert will feature an all-star lineup including Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Wanda Jackson and Cyndi Lauper, both featured in the Women Who Rock exhibit. Additional artists will be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets go on sale to Rock Hall members on Monday, March 28 and to the general public on Tuesday, March 29, 2011. Visit rockhall.com for more information.

The exhibition will spotlight more than 60 artists and fill two entire floors of the museum. The exhibit will feature artifacts, video and listening stations, as well as a recording booth where visitors can film a short story or moment of inspiration related to women in rock. The exhibit will move through the rock and roll eras, weaving a powerful and engaging narrative that demonstrates how women have been the engines of creation and change in popular music, from the early years of the 20th Century to the present.

“This exhibit is going to illustrate the vital role women played in shaping the evolution of rock and roll,” said Jim Henke, vice president of exhibitions and curatorial affairs for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. “Visitors are going to walk away from this exhibit with a deeper appreciation of how these artists contributed to the rock and roll art form and changed our society. Women Who Rock will compare and contrast artist experiences, highlighting the female spirit as the engine of creation and change in the music.”

Throughout the year, the museum will offer educational programming that will explore the role that women have played in rock and roll, including interviews, performances, panel discussions, a symposium, and classes for K-12 and university students.

“The Women Who Rock exhibit gives us a fantastic opportunity to advance the educational mission of the Museum,” said Dr. Lauren Onkey, Vice President of Education and Public Programs. “We will bring performers, songwriters, scholars and students together to explore this important story in rock and roll history.”

Women Who Rock exhibit eras:

Suffragettes to Juke-Joint Mamas : The Foremothers / Roots of Rock

In the 1920s, blues women like Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith were the first – and for a while, the only – artists to record the blues. Mother Maybelle Carter made the first country music recordings in 1927. American women of this era made great strides toward gaining equality and basic human rights for themselves and others in society, including attaining the right to vote and working toward social justice. The 20th Century was a wide-open opportunity for women to embrace the modern world, outside of the traditional bounds of the home.  The narrative of these ground-breaking women will be presented along with the stories of trailblazers such as Mahalia Jackson, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Billie Holiday.

Get Outta that Kitchen, Rattle Those Pots and Pans: Rock and Roll Emerges
“How many of us know the names of the pioneer women songwriters/singers/musicians of the ‘50s?” is a question asked by Yoko Ono in her preface to She’s a Rebel: The History of Women in Rock and Roll. Two names that the Museum will highlight in the emergence of rock are Ruth Brown and Wanda Jackson, the voices of two predominant roots of rock – R&B and country/ rockabilly, along with LaVern Baker and Brenda Lee.

Will You Love Me Tomorrow: The Early 1960s / Girl Groups
Girl groups, though sometimes seen as puppets manipulated by unseen and mostly male handlers, were an authentic manifestation of the worldview of teenage girls – a group just coming into its own in the early 1960s and increasingly recognized for its growing economic power as consumers and arbiters of style.   The girl groups reflected teenage girls’ explorations of their world, their limitations and their limitless potential. Groups like the Shangri-Las and the Ronettes give voice to those explorations and the possibilities that waited down the street or just around the corner.

Revolution, the Counterculture and the Pill: The Late 1960s

American society experienced a revolution in the late 1960s and early ‘70s, especially for African- Americans and women. Janis Joplin was the finest white blues singer of her generation; female singer-songwriters like Carole King, Joni Mitchell and Laura Nyro bared their souls, and Aretha Franklin emerged as the Queen of Soul. Bonnie Raitt established herself as both a strong vocalist and brilliant guitarist. Highlighted artists will also include Tina Turner and Grace Slick, as well as country artists including Loretta Lynn.

I Will Survive: The 1970s – Rockers to Disco Divas
Women are in the center of the ‘70s mainstream, from Joan Jett and the Runaways, Heart and Fleetwood Mac to Donna Summer. The gains of the feminist movement throughout the ‘70s enabled women working in all areas of the music industry to assume more control over their careers.

Dance this Mess Around: Punk and Post Punk
Chrissie Hynde said, “That was the beauty of the punk thing: [Sexual] discrimination didn’t exist in that scene.” The DIY aspect of punk rock made it easier for a woman to find a place in music. Highlighted artists will include Yoko Ono, Siouxsie Sioux, Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson of the B-52s, Deborah Harry, Tina Weymouth, Kim Deal and Marianne Faithful.

Causing a Commotion: Madonna and the Pop Explosion
Madonna unapologetically celebrated and monetized her sexuality and physicality, paving the way for female performers to explore previously taboo roles and take control of their image and career.  Highlighted artists will include Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani and Janet Jackson.

Ladies First: The ‘90s and the New Millennium
The 1990s was the era the riot grrrl,  the rapper and Lilith Fair, reshaping traditional ideas of feminism and traditionally male-dominated areas of the music industry. Women have arguably become the leading voices of the industry, standing -- army-booted, bare-footed, or high-heeled stiletto -- toe to toe with any artist of today. Highlighted artists will include Bikini Kill, Meg White, Taylor Swift, Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys and Lady Gaga.

"PNC and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum share a passion for celebrating great achievements," said Paul Clark, PNC regional president, speaking on behalf of The PNC Foundation.  "It was a natural fit to extend our long-standing support of the museum to the groundbreaking Women Who Rock exhibit, which will honor some of the most celebrated artists in history.  We believe the exhibit will inspire visitors to make their voices heard as the next generation of female leaders - whether onstage or in the boardroom."  

“As a leading provider of entertainment, Time Warner Cable is proud to lend its name to this ground-breaking exhibit,” said Liz Watson, Senior Director of Marketing, Time Warner Cable Northeast Ohio/Western Pennsylvania. “I grew up with the music of Ann and Nancy Wilson and Stevie Nicks and their influence led me to explore the history of women in rock. This exhibition will showcase an important contribution to our culture.”

This exhibit is being designed by New York design firm Pure + Applied. Exhibit will be open through Sunday, February 26, 2012.

About the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is the nonprofit organization that exists to educate visitors, fans and scholars from around the world about the history and continuing significance of rock and roll music. It carries out this mission both through its operation of a world-class museum that collects, preserves, exhibits and interprets this art form and through its library and archives as well as its educational programs.

The Museum is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. On Wednesdays, the Museum is open until 9 p.m. Museum admission is $22 for adults, $17 for seniors (65+), $13 for youth (9-12), $18 for adult residents of Greater Cleveland. Children under 8 and Museum members are free. The Museum is generously funded by Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. When you become a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the world of rock and roll becomes yours to explore. Call 216.515.1939 for information on becoming a member. For general inquiries, please call 216.781.ROCK or visit www.rockhall.com.

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