Rock and Roll HOF CEO on museum's impact on Cleveland

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame CEO Greg Harris on the museum's current exhibit and its impact on Cleveland.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Rocks on with the RNC

By Business Leaders

With the Republican National Convention in town, Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame isn’t missing a beat.

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The museum, which features a variety of memorabilia and exhibits of music history, partnered with AT&T in April to provide free admission during the convention.

“[The RNC] allows us to open up our doors, to share our place with them and let them go back to their home states and tell everybody about it,” said Greg Harris, CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “But it also brings folks… into Cleveland to tell our story to the world.”

The city has its roots in rock in roll history thanks to disc jockey Alan Freed, who is widely credited with coining the term “rock ‘n’ roll” while working at Cleveland’s WJW-AM in the early 1950s.

Since opening in 1995, the museum has generated more than $2 billion for Northeast Ohio’s economy -- and 10 million visitors have made the pilgrimage, according to its website.

“95% of our visitors come from outside of Northeast Ohio,” Harris said. “They stay in hotels, they shop, they eat, they spend and they enjoy our city. So the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is an important, important cultural attraction in town and it’s really good for economic development.”

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Harris said almost everyone can relate music, which has been called the universal language, to an event in their life.

“This is the music we all grew up with. Every single visitor, every person has songs that are tied to memories of their life. Whether it’s the greatest day of their life, the greatest road trip, the time their heart was broken… it’s all tied to rock and roll and it connects all of us. Our mission is to engage, teach and inspire through the power of rock and roll, and we do it every day in that beautiful building,” he said.

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