Taylor Swift, the country superstar who became a professional songwriter at 14, scored a record deal at 15 and released her first album at 16, is kicking in $4 million toward the creation of an education center that will bear her name at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, part of the museum’s $75-million expansion.
The Taylor Swift Educational Center will increase the museum’s educational facilities seven-fold, officials said in announcing her pledge Thursday.
“Taylor Swift represents country music’s best traditions,” museum Director Kyle Young said in a statement. “By stepping forward to fund our education center, she has once again demonstrated that she has an eye on our industry’s future. …It is not an overstatement to say that the Taylor Swift Education Center will have a profound impact on our museum, our new campus, our city and even our country. It will truly be the heart of our living museum, educating and inspiring young people and families, teaching them country music history and helping them to make meaningful connections between the music and their own lives.”
It is being designed to include three classrooms and a children’s exhibition gallery. The museum’s capital campaign has raised $56.8 million to date. The expansion is scheduled to be completed early in 2014.
-- Randy Lewis
Photo: Taylor Swift receives Nickelodeon's Big Help Award in March from First Lady Michelle Obama. Swift was honored for her philanthropic work. Credit: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images.