CLEVELAND (September 12, 2008) - The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum today announced that Dr. Lauren Onkey will lead the Museum’s nationally acclaimed and award-winning education and public programs. As Vice President of Education and Public Programs, Onkey will be responsible to direct all of the Museum’s educational initiatives that reach hundreds of thousands of music enthusiasts and scholars around the world.
“We’ve spent more than a decade building one of the most successful and recognized arts education programs in the world,” said Terry Stewart, president and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. “After an extensive search to find the best individual to enhance it, we are pleased to announce that Lauren Onkey has joined our team. We have a long-term vision that will solidify the Rock Hall’s place providing outstanding educational programs alongside the world’s leading arts institutions.”
Dr. Lauren Onkey joins the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum after spending her career exploring the intersection of popular music with cultural studies, literature, and women’s studies. Her teaching and publications have focused on the impact of rock and roll and African-American culture in England, Ireland, and the Caribbean. She has published essays and book chapters on Van Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, U2, and Bruce Springsteen, and has presented numerous papers at national and international literature, cultural studies, and pedagogical conferences.
“I’m thrilled to be a part of moving the vibrant and innovative mission of this Museum forward,” said Onkey. “Rock and roll is an art form and extremely worthy of preservation and study. The Rock Hall’s unique education programs offer an extraordinary opportunity to communicate the history and transformative power of rock and roll to a large, diverse audience, and to discover what the music means to that audience.”
Most recently, Onkey has taught courses in postcolonial literature, cultural studies and writing at both the undergraduate and graduate level at Ball State University and was the recipient of research fellowships at Oxford University and Boston College. She also served for five years as Director of Graduate Programs in English. Lauren took part in Ball State’s immersive learning initiative, which emphasizes university-community partnerships and collaborative learning, producing an award-winning radio series for Indiana Public Radio.
“Rock and roll has helped me make sense of the world and my place in it ever since I can remember,” said Onkey. “It keeps my ears open to the many different voices and ideas in our culture.”
Lauren received her master’s and doctoral degrees in English from the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign. She resides in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.
The Rock Hall’s pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade educational programs are reaching greater numbers of people, winning prestigious awards and receiving attention from national and international media. From Toddler Rock to the Museum’s distance learning program On the Road and the Summer Teacher Institute, the Museum’s approach of integrating rock and roll music with education is generating worldwide buzz. News stories have appeared on CBS’s The Early Show and NBC’s Today Show as well as in newspapers around the world. For the third year in a row, teachers across the country gave On the Road a Teacher’s Choice award for content.
The Museum’s signature public programs from the American Music Masters® series to Rock and Roll Night School highlight and celebrate key moments in rock and roll history. Programs also explore a broad spectrum of social, cultural, economic and political issues as expressed through popular music from the blues, country and gospel of the early 1900s to the classic rock of the 1960s to the hip-hop and pop sounds of today. Programming is delivered using a variety of formats, including performances, lectures, film screenings and conferences in venues both on and off-site to help the Museum reach expanding audiences.
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 .