Based in Los Angeles since its inception in 1966, the Academy of Country Music (ACM) officially opened its new headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, on December 14.
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“I have to pinch myself right now, because this literally feels like a dream,” said ACM CEO Damon Whiteside during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “It’s been three years in the making, and I just can’t believe, looking out on everybody’s faces, that we’re here. Welcome to the new Academy of Country Music headquarters.”
Added Nashville Mayor John Cooper: “I am thrilled to welcome the Academy of Country Music to their new home in Nashville. What better place for the Academy to put down their roots than the capital of Country Music itself? I’m grateful to ACM CEO Damon Whiteside and the ACM Board of Directors for their commitment to Nashville and for bringing yet another outstanding cultural institution to our great city.”
The new ACM home base is located in the Nashville Warehouse Co. complex in the Wedgewood Houston neighborhood. The space features an immersive and historic timeline throughout the building, celebrating the deep history of the academy.
In the lobby, guests are greeted by an art installation of Dick Clark’s send-off at the end of a historic ACM Awards telecast with a sound wave of drumsticks. The Aces Club conference room honors the first ACM board meeting in 1965 with a timeline of major Academy milestones mapped out on guitar strings and frets on the wall.
A full-wall mural of the Hollywood Palladium, which was the home of the first ACM Awards in 1966, is featured in the Palladium conference room. The mural was painted by Nashville artist Eric ‘MOBE’ Bass. Signed guitars by ACM Award winners line the lobby reception area.
ACM Lifting Lives, the philanthropic partner of the ACM, is also headquartered in the new office and is spotlighted by a prominent wall featuring the words “Let’s Lift Lives,” spelled out in bright neon. The lyrics to the original song written at the 2022 Lifting Lives Music Camp also appear.
The space also features a state-of-the-art content studio, a full performance stage and event lounge to host and showcase artists. The decor pays homage to the Academy’s first unofficial Awards banquet in 1964 at the Red Barrel club in Southern California.
Newly crowned ACM New Female Artist of the Year Lainey Wilson was also on hand for the opening ceremony. “What an unforgettable year it was for both me and the Academy,” Wilson said. “I won my first three ACM Awards this year, performed on the show, and I did it all in a football stadium and streaming live all over the world on Amazon Prime Video.”
Wilson added, “I am just so happy to be here to help welcome the Academy as they open this spectacular new headquarters here in Music City. To have the Academy here in Nashville just makes a whole lot of sense.”
Photo: Courtesy of ACM