Following extensive renovations and remodeling of its permanent exhibitions, the National Music Museum (NMM) will open seven new galleries this summer, with a ribbon cutting ceremony and community celebration scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 26, from 1-4 p.m.
The NMM will be joined by the University of South Dakota and the Vermillion Area Chamber and Development Company (VCDC) to celebrate the opening of the new galleries. Located on the first floor of the NMM’s original Carnegie Library building, these galleries will feature some of the finest instruments in the collections and will utilize stories, sound, graphics and interactive elements to explore how people are shaped by music.
“Although the process has taken longer than expected, we are very excited to have reached another monumental step toward completely reopening the NMM,” said Dwight Vaught, NMM director. “We would not be here today without the consistent support of our many donors and the encouragement of patrons who can’t wait to see what’s coming.”
Work on both the current exhibit renovation and the Lillibridge expansion, which opened in 2021, began in the spring of 2019 after years of planning.
For the past several years, the NMM curatorial team has been working with Luci Creative, a Chicago-based agency specializing in developing, designing and implementing compelling exhibit spaces for museums, cultural institutions and corporations around the world, to develop the exhibition plan.
Through this partnership, the NMM has worked to bring visitors a unique, enjoyable and educational experience that will excite them about the world of music and musical instruments, no matter their musical background. The redesign process required not only selecting objects for exhibition, but also refining the stories told about them.
The new installations emphasize how musical instruments tell stories of human creativity, culture and connection.
“We are fortunate to have so many objects to choose from, many with incredible stories of manufacture, ownership and use,”
- remarked Michael Suing, NMM Deputy Director of Collections.
The galleries set to open in August include the following:
“Our Shared Musical Origins and Celebrated Artists”
“Musical Expression in Identity and Faith”
“Global Travel, Trade & Conflict”
“Javanese Gamelan Splendor and Tradition”
“The NMM, Its Founding and Future”
“Building an American Sound: Guitars and Other Plucked Strings”
“Workshops of the Masters: An Inside Look at Guitar and Violin Making”
The ribbon cutting ceremony and community celebration is free and open to the public. The event will feature live music, family activities, guided tours, and food and refreshments.
Following the opening of the galleries, the museum will be open Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m. The special exhibition, “As Good as Gold: The First 50 Years (1973-2023),” which displays some of the instruments that shaped the NMM during the first 50 years of its history, will also remain open through 2023.
Phase 1 of the NMMs permanent exhibitions will open August 30th
7 new galleries covering the entire first floor
Open hours will become Tuesday - Friday, 10-4; and Saturdays, 12-4
Community Celebration to mark the grand reopening will be held on August 26th, from 1-4PM.