EMP|SFM Museum Access Initiatives Result in Significant Attendance Increase in 2007
2008 is filled with new exhibitions, new programming and a new family access day
SEATTLE—Beginning in November of 2006, Experience Music Project|Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame (EMP|SFM) launched an access initiative, starting with reducing the price of a family membership to $75—making it more affordable for families to visit the museum on a more regular basis. In January 2007, the museum began hosting All Access Nights at EMP|SFM, during which the first Thursday evening of every month from 5-8 p.m. admission to the museum is free. More than 20,000 guests visited All Access Nights at EMP|SFM during its inaugural year. All Access Nights are sponsored by The Boeing Company. In March 2007, EMP|SFM’s ticket price was lowered putting the admission cost in line with other museums and attractions in the area. Tickets are now $15 for adults and $12 for seniors, youth and students and military personnel with ID. Children under 5 are free.
As a result of these access initiatives, attendance at EMP|SFM has jumped 14 percent in the last year, compared to 2006’s attendance numbers. In addition, the museum has welcomed more than 6,000 new members in the last 12 months.
This weekend, EMP|SFM will open a new exhibition, revealed in two parts, featuring the legendary Jimi Hendrix. Organized by EMP|SFM, Message to Love and Jimi Hendrix: An Evolution of Sound will center on Hendrix’s guitar sound and its continued resonance with music listeners, nearly 40 years after his untimely death.
Message to Love will feature two iconic Hendrix objects, his Woodstock Fender Stratocaster and a Gibson Les Paul guitar played by Hendrix in 1963—which he gave to his friend, Larry Lee, who later performed with it at Woodstock. The gallery will house only these two objects, and the gallery walls will be transformed into a blank slate for visitors to write comments and reflections. These thoughts will be used to help shape future EMP|SFM exhibitions about Hendrix. Message to Love opens on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2008 and closes on Sunday, April 6, 2008.
The second phase of the exhibition, Jimi Hendrix: An Evolution of Sound, will focus on the visitor experience and how Hendrix indelibly affected popular music with his unique talents and innovative sound. Jimi Hendrix: An Evolution of Sound opens on Saturday, April 26, 2008 and closes on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2010. The Jimi Hendrix exhibition space will be located in the No Wasted Notes Gallery on the second level of the museum.
A new exhibition, organized by EMP|SFM, will feature toy robots drawn from the collection of internationally-known designer Tom Geismar and will open Friday, May 16, 2008 and run through Sunday, Oct. 26, 2008. It will be located in the Pulsar Lounge Gallery that currently houses Innersphere: Sculptural Works by Rik Allen. Innersphere: Sculptural Works by Rik Allen closes on Sunday, April 27, 2008.
On Saturday, Oct. 11, 2008, EMP|SFM will open American Letterpress: The Art of Hatch Show Print. Organized by The Country Music Hall of Fame and SITES, this exhibition will showcase concert posters by Hatch Show Print, an iconic letterpress and design shop based in Nashville, Tenn. and costumes. American Letterpress: The Art of Hatch Show Print closes on Sunday, April 12, 2009. This exhibition will be located in the expanded temporary exhibition space on the third level of the museum. American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music is currently located there and will close on Sept. 7, 2008.
On Thursday, November 20, 2008, EMP|SFM will open Spaced Out: The Final Frontier in Album Covers. The exhibition will feature more than 125 space-inspired record album covers—released between the 1940s and 1969—the dawn of the space age. Organized by EMP|SFM, Spaced Out: The Final Frontier in Album Covers closes on Sunday, May 3, 2009. Spaced Out will be located in the Pulsar Lounge Gallery.
Next month, EMP|SFM will begin a new film series in partnership with Warren Etheridge from The Warren Report. Exposed: Inside Film at EMP|SFM will include screenings of new films, cult favorites and classic sci-fi and music films. Each screening is followed by a behind-the-scenes look through an interactive discussion with actors, directors or screenwriters associated with the film.
Beginning Feb. 16, 2008, children 10 and under will receive free admission on Family Days at EMP|SFM. Family Days are held the third Saturday of every month and can include art projects, live music, special tours and workshops for everyone. Previously, children under 5 years old received free admission on Family Days. Family Days are sponsored by IKEA.
The museum’s popular interactive spaces, Sound Lab and On Stage, will receive major technology upgrades throughout the year, with a grand re-opening of the spaces slated for late-fall 2008.
Original EMP|SFM exhibitions will travel to the following locations in the coming months:
- Artist to Icon: Early Photographs of Elvis, Dylan, and The Beatles, January 26, 2008 – May 26, 2008 at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum, Kalamazoo, Mich.
- Bob Dylan’s American Journey 1956-1966, February 8, 2008 – June 8, 2008 at Skirball Cultural Center and Museum, Los Angeles
- Out of This World: Extraordinary Costumes from Film and Television, February 16, 2008 – May 16, 2008 at the Oshkosh Public Museum, Oshkosh, Wis.
- Disney: The Music Behind the Magic, June 7, 2008 – September 7, 2008 at Science World, Vancouver, BC
EMP|SFM is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from September 4, 2007 through May 22, 2008. EMP|SFM will be open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. from May 23, 2008 through September 1, 2008.
General adult admission to both Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame (EMP|SFM) is $15. Admission for seniors, youth, military and students (w/ID) is $12, and admission for children under 5 is free. One ticket gives access to both museums.
Web site: empsfm.org
Address: 325 5th Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98109
Box office: 206-770-2702, 1-877-EMP-SFM1
Current exhibitions include:
American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music
October 13, 2007 – September 7, 2008
American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music is the first bilingual, interactive and interpretive museum exhibition to tell the story of the profound influence and impact of Latinos in American popular music.
Organized in partnership with the University of Washington, this 5,000-square-foot exhibition focuses on five major centers of Latino popular music production in the post-World War II United States—New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, San Antonio and San Francisco—which represent the diversity of Latino music. Each city section draws visitors into the broader histories and cultures that shaped these musicians’ contributions through artifacts, hands-on instrument interactives designed to teach key concepts, highly produced listening kiosks that allow critical listening and learning, three films created for the exhibition and interpretive text presented in English and Spanish.
Innersphere: Sculptural Works by Rik Allen
November 17, 2007 – April 27, 2008
This exhibition of works by Washington artist Rik Allen features glass and metal sculpture inspired by his life-long fascination with technology and science fiction—in particular the excitement about the future suffused into the world consciousness during the middle of the 20th Century. Allen developed that sense of wonder as a boy reading science fiction stories, watching NASA launches on television, seeing futuristic films and spending long hours in the creative playroom of his own imagination. The powerful imagery of science fiction is the subject of his newest set of artworks. The transparent rockets and other works symbolize outward journeys of exploration as well as inward journeys of discovery.
Sound and Vision: Artists Tell Their Stories
February 28, 2007 (permanent collection)
See and hear from artists in all genres from the EMP|SFM oral history vault. The exhibition that opened Feb. 28 delivers more than 100 audio and video recordings. Pull up a café chair and plug in to hear from former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, country musician Marty Stuart, filmmaker George Lucas and many more. Then step into a booth and record your own oral history.
About the EMP|SFM Building
Since EMP opened in 2000 and SFM in 2004, EMP|SFM has welcomed more than 3.7 million visitors through its doors. From its museum planning stages in 1998 through 2006, EMP|SFM has been a key economic driver among Seattle nonprofit arts and culture organizations, with combined EMP|SFM institutional expenditures and EMP|SFM audience-member spending resulting in $545 million dollars of local economic impact. EMP|SFM is housed in a 140,000 square foot Frank O. Gehry-designed building. This spectacular, prominently visible structure has the presence of a monumental sculpture set amid the backdrop of the Seattle Center.
About Experience Music Project
Experience Music Project (EMP) is dedicated to the exploration of creativity and innovation in popular music. By blending interpretative, interactive exhibitions with cutting-edge technology, EMP captures and reflects the essence of rock ‘n’ roll, its roots in jazz, soul, gospel, country and the blues, as well as rock’s influence on hip-hop, punk and other recent genres. Visitors can view rare artifacts and memorabilia and experience the creative process by listening to musicians tell their own stories.
About Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame
The Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame (SFM) is the world's first museum devoted to the thought-provoking ideas and experiences of science fiction. SFM’s exhibitions promote awareness and appreciation of science fiction literature and media while encouraging visitors to envision new futures for humanity. In the Science Fiction Hall of Fame, the museum pays homage to the most respected of science fiction practitioners—writers, artists, publishers and filmmakers.