Through iconic artifacts, compelling images and multimedia experiences, the exhibit examines how music has influenced issues ranging from political campaigns to civil rights. Included in the exhibit are John Lennon’s acoustic guitar from his 1969 Montreal and Amsterdam “Bed-Ins for Peace” with Yoko Ono, the Fender Stratocaster Jimi Hendrix used to perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Woodstock, stage costumes worn by the Village People and original handwritten lyrics to Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are a-Changin’,” Chuck Berry’s “School Day,” Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” and Green Day’s “American Idiot.” The exhibit also features artifacts related to the Vietnam War, the May 4, 1970, shooting at Kent State University, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Black Lives Matter movement.
“Louder Than Words” includes exclusive video interviews with Bono, David Byrne, Dee Snider, Tom Morello, Lars Ulrich, Gloria Estefan, Gregg Allman, Ann Wilson and others. One of the films produced for the exhibit, “Artists Unite,” tells the stories of musicians coming together for charity and relief efforts to raise awareness and encourage donations from audiences around the world. The film will play on the 100-foot-wide video wall in the Newseum’s Robert H. and Clarice Smith Big Screen Theater.
The exhibit premiered on May 20, 2016, at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and attracted thousands of visitors as the city hosted the 2016 Republican National Convention that summer. Contributing support for “Louder Than Words” has been provided by Hilton Hotels & Resorts, SoundExchange and Altria Group.