Rock and Roll Hall of Fame brings 'Louder than Words' to Ford Museum

Ford's Rock and Roll opening exhibit event

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH - The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum and Foundation will be bringing a glimpse of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to the Ford Presidential Museum this November with an exhibit that explores how rock music can change attitudes about patriotism, peace, equality and freedom. “Louder Than Words: Rock, Power and Politics” opens to the public during a Ford After Five evening event, November 7 and runs through February 11.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Newseum in Washington, D.C., partnered to create this one-of-kind exhibit. The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum’s presentation of “Louder Than Words: Rock, Power and Politics,” marks its first stop outside of the two iconic partnering museums. The exhibit first premiered on May 20, 2017, at the Rock Hall and was on display at the Newseum during the 2017 presidential inauguration through July 31.

Video, multimedia, photographs, periodicals and artifacts, such as Bono’s 2002 Super Bowl jacket will be displayed.

Performing at the Super Bowl in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, U2 paid tribute to the victims by projecting their names on a massive backdrop as it played "Where the Streets Have No Name." Bono wore the jacket during the performance; the jacket's stars-and-stripes lining serves as an additional homage to the victims.

“‘Louder Than Words’ highlights how artists have used their craft as a platform to express their views and shape public opinion,” said Greg Harris, president and CEO of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

The exhibit explores how artists exercise their First Amendment rights, challenge assumptions and beliefs, stimulate thought and effect change. Beyond music’s influence on the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War and gender equality, the exhibit also features other significant moments and figures.

“We are honored to have the opportunity to partner with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to bring this exhibition to the region,” said Elaine Didier, director of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum.  From ex-Beatle George Harrison’s visit to the White House, to stories of Steve Ford playing Led Zeppelin music from the White House roof, rock music had a definite history during the Ford presidency. 

The November 7 opening event begins at 6 p.m. Membership to the Friends of Ford is available online at geraldrfordfoundation.org/donate, or by calling 616-254-0396. This exhibit will be included as part of the Museum’s regular admission fees. 

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