From the moment rock 'n' roll hit the airwaves, it has played a crucial role in politics and social movements around the world. Now two iconic museums, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Newseum in Washington, D.C., are partnering on a one-of-a-kind exhibit, Louder Than Words: Rock, Power and Politics, to explore the power of rock to change attitudes about patriotism, peace, equality and freedom.
"As the nation's attention turns to the campaign trail, we're excited to work with the Newseum on a timely exploration of music's powerful role in politics," said Greg Harris, president and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. "Louder Than Words highlights how artists have used their craft as a platform to express their views and shape public opinion."
Louder than Words uses video, multimedia, photographs, periodicals and artifacts, such as the guitar John Lennon used at the Montreal bed-in for peace where he and Yoko Ono introduced the anti-war and counterculture anthem Give Peace a Chance to showcase the intersection between rock and politics. It will explore how artists exercise their First Amendment rights, challenge assumptions and beliefs, stimulate thought and effect change. Beyond music's influence on the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War and gender equality, the exhibit also features other significant moments and figures, such as Bob Dylan, who rallied people against social inequality; the hip-hop music of the '80s that discussed police brutality in poverty stricken neighborhoods, and Pussy Riot, who utilized their music as an outlet for social activism in Russia.
The exhibit opens May 20, 2016, at the Rock Hall in Cleveland, and January 6, 2017, at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.
Photo courtesy of Carl Fowler.