Dolly Parton Talks Opening a Museum and ‘Dolly Center’ in Music City

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Dolly Parton’s career has been far-reaching with a legacy that goes beyond music and into movie stardom, entrepreneurship, education advocacy, and so many other endeavors. One would think the 76-year-old has done it all, but a recent interview proves she’s only getting started.

“I’m going to have a museum here [in Nashville] pretty soon,” the country icon recently told The Tennessean.

The “I Will Always Love You” singer explained that she wants to have a Music City-based museum open in the next few years. While she gave very few details, she says the museum will be a part of a larger entity the singer referred to as the “Dolly Center.” “That’s kind of where my thinking is,” she said.

“We have the museum at Dollywood, of course,” she mentioned the Chasing Rainbows Museum at her theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. “But I would love to have something here since this is really my home.” 

The Chasing Rainbows Museum houses career-spanning Parton memorabilia from a shimmering costume collection to a display of innumerable awards. It is unknown what the forthcoming museum will hold, but more mementos from the artist’s storied career could find a home there.

Parton has also been flirting with the idea of opening a bar or a restaurant in Nashville like other country stars have done in the past. “I may have a restaurant or a bar and grill,” she added in the interview. “Right now though, I’ve got so many things going. I can do without that for the moment. But someday I will have a business here.”

Last month, the star announced her retirement from touring, saying in an interview that she will continue to perform, but will be traveling less to do so. “I do not think I will ever tour again, but I do know I’ll do special shows here and there, now and then—maybe do a long weekend of shows, or just a few shows at a festival,” she explained. “But I have no intention of going on a full-blown tour anymore.”

Elsewhere in The Tennessean interview, she mentioned being open to a performance at the Manchester, Tennessee-based festival, Bonnaroo, one day. “That’s the kind of thing that I could do,” she said. “Shows here and there, special events like that. And hopefully, one day I will do Bonnaroo.”

Photo by Emma McIntyre / Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

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