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Now open: ‘American Currents: State of the Music’

The exhibition American Currents: State of the Music highlights the music and moments that mark country music's present, and shares their significance in country music history. The 2020 installment includes explorations of unprecedented collaborations, record-breaking chart success, and the continued evolution of the genre, featuring artists spanning styles, eras, and approaches.

Members get in free! Adult $25.95 | Youth (6-12) $15.95

Open March 4, 2020 - February 7, 2021

Now an annual offering, American Currents: State of the Music represents the ongoing research, analysis, vigorous debate—and, often enough, spirited argument—among curators and Museum staff to determine the most important developments in country music over the previous year. The resulting exhibition reflects not just chart positions and ticket sales, but cultural and creative impact.

About 'American Currents: State of the Music'

American Currents: State of the Music offers insight and perspective into the artists, musicians, and songwriters shaping today’s country music story.

Included in this year’s exhibition are Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini, Blanco Brown, Brandi Carlile, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Billy Ray Cyrus, Dan + Shay, Jenee Fleenor, Florida Georgia Line, Country Music Hall of Fame member Tom T. Hall, The Highwomen, Lil Nas X, Hillary Lindsey, Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves, John Prine, Chris Stapleton, Tanya Tucker, Carrie Underwood, and Morgan Wallen.

American Currents: State of the Music also features the Unbroken Circle, an illustration of the connection between country music’s past, present, and future, rendered through the stories of today’s artists and those who influenced their creative and professional growth. Unbroken Circle's 2020 cast includes: Erin Enderlin and Country Music Hall of Fame member Reba McEntire; Cody Johnson and Chris LeDoux; Billy Strings and Jerry Douglas; Tenille Townes and Patty Griffin; and Yola and Country Music Hall of Fame member Dolly Parton.

'American Currents' Exhibition Highlights

Items featured in American Currents: State of the Music include instruments, stagewear, song manuscripts, personal artifacts, and more. A few highlights:

  • Tanya Tucker's jumpsuit, worn on the back cover of her album While I’m Still Livin’
  • Country Music Hall of Fame member Dolly Parton's yellow suit, worn while performing with The Highwomen at the Newport Folk Festival
  • Brandi Carlile's Manuel suit, worn during The Highwomen performances
  • Luke Combs's guitar signed by Country Music Hall of Fame member Willie Nelson
  • Blanco Brown's Nike Air Force 1 shoes (with spurs), worn in “The Git Up” music video
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