The Academy Of Country has cut the ribbon and opened the doors to its new headquarters in Nashville. After nearly 60 years on the West Coast, the Academy now resides in the growing Wedgewood Houston neighborhood of Music City.
ACM CEO Damon Whitside presided over the grand opening ceremony. Special guests and featured speakers in attendance included reigning ACM New Male and Female Artists of the Year Parker McCollum and Lainey Wilson; Nashville Mayor John Cooper; Deana Ivey of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp; AJ Capital Partners CEO and Founder Ben Weprin; and ACM officials including Academy Board of Director Officers and members.
“I have to pinch myself right now, because this literally feels like a dream,” Whiteside shared at the ceremony. “It’s been three years in the making, and I just can’t believe, looking out on everybody’s faces, that we’re here. Welcome to the new Academy of Country Music headquarters!”
“I am thrilled to welcome the Academy of Country Music to their new home in Nashville. What better place for the Academy to put down their roots than the capital of Country Music itself,” said Nashville Mayor John Cooper. “I’m grateful to ACM CEO Damon Whiteside and the ACM Board of Directors for their commitment to Nashville and for bringing yet another outstanding cultural institution to our great city.”
After hearing from ACM officials and speakers, guests toured the new space in the Nashville Warehouse Co. Building. Throughout the office there are art installments, historical artifacts, and pieces of design that reference the six-decade history of the Academy of Country Music.
The new office features a state-of-the-art content studio for capturing original media with artists, songwriters, producers, and industry professionals. It was named after the late Lisa Lee, a beloved longtime Academy staffer and passionate country music champion who passed away in 2021. There is also a full performance stage and event lounge to host and showcase established and emerging artists from across the musical landscape, paying homage to the Academy’s first unofficial Awards banquet at the Red Barrel club in Southern California in 1964.
It’s clear that the Academy’s intention is to create a space where the Nashville music business and artist community feels welcome to come to. ACM winners McCollum and Wilson talked about the impact the ACMs have had on their careers when they spoke at ribbon cutting.
“This award show captured my attention as a really small kid watching on television. My sister and I would sit on the ground in front of the TV and watch, not that she probably thought that I would ever be up there on that stage or be here today, but it was certainly in my mind,” McCollum said, with the Academy of Country Music’s logo on the wall behind him. “So just to even have that behind me right now, speaking about something like this as an award winner, it’s just crazy. Not something I take for granted, certainly.”
“What an unforgettable year it was for both me and the Academy. I won my first three ACM Awards this year, performed on the show, and I did it all in a football stadium and streaming live all over the world on Amazon Prime Video,” Wilson said. “I am just so happy to be here to help welcome the Academy as they open this spectacular new headquarters here in Music City. To have the Academy here in Nashville just makes a whole lot of sense.”
The new office also serves as the Nashville headquarters of ACM Lifting Lives, the philanthropic partner of the Academy of Country Music. Their work is celebrated in the space with a prominent wall featuring the ACM Lifting Lives rallying cry, “Let’s Lift Lives,” spelled out in bright neon and set against a custom wallpaper featuring the lyrics to an original song written this summer at ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp.
The new ACM headquarters was designed by Hastings Architects with the goal of embracing the country western and Hollywood vibes from across the Academy’s history and translating it to a look and feel that reflects modern Music City. The Academy’s Design Director Lori Kraft led the creative development of the art installations and nods to organizational heritage throughout the office. The furniture was designed and selected by Ai Corporate Interiors.
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