Country Music Hall Of Fame Receives Grant To Create Music Row Experience Project App

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has received a $288,000 grant from the National Archives’ National Historical Publications and Records Commission to create an interactive, game-based mobile application designed to increase access to and spur engagement with the museum’s collections. The museum was one of only six institutions to receive funding from the National Archives Major Initiatives program this year.

This initiative, called the Music Row Experience Project, focuses on digitizing the museum’s Music Row-related archival materials and making the materials accessible through an app and web-based experience. The app will allow users to interact with the museum’s ever-growing digital archive through a gaming interface, while also exploring places of interest and important eras related to Nashville’s Music Row. The museum selected Music Row—which the National Trust for Historic Preservation designated a national treasure in 2015 and named one of its most endangered historic places in 2019—as the subject of this project because of the district’s cultural and historical significance as the center of country music recording, production and creativity since the mid-1950s.

Through the project, the museum will create a free, publicly accessible, interactive experience that will encourage users to explore the people, music and stories associated with Music Row. In addition, this project provides broad digital access to the museum’s collection and reduces geographic and economic barriers for audiences all over the world to access the museum’s collection.

Project work began June 1 and will be completed in May 2021. At the end of the project, an additional 4,850 items in the museum’s collection, including 600 audio recordings, 250 films and videos and 4,000 photographs, will be digitized and catalogued.

“The goal of our digitization efforts is to connect people with country music’s rich history,” said museum CEO Kyle Young. “At the culmination of the Music Row Experience Project, not only will more people understand the role Music Row has played in the country music story, but other educational institutions will be able to use this application as a model to create their own innovative access and interactive strategies for their own digital collections.”

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About the Author

Hollabaugh, a staff writer at MusicRow magazine, has over 20 years of music business experience and has written for publications including American Profile, CMA Close Up, Nashville Arts And Entertainment, The Boot and Country Weekly. She has a Broadcast Journalism and Speech Communication degree from Texas Christian University, (go Horned Frogs), and welcomes your feedback or story ideas at lhollabaugh@musicrow.com.

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