CLEVELAND (WWJ) – Now open at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is ground-breaking and provocative new exhibit that illustrates the important roles women have played in rock and roll, from its inception through today.

Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power” will highlight the flashpoints, the firsts, the best, the celebrated and sometimes lesser-known women who moved rock and roll music and American culture forward.

The exhibit, which opened on May 13, features Michigan’s own Aretha Franklin and Madonna.

The exhibition spotlights more than 60 artists and consumes two entire floors of the museum, featuring artifacts, video and listening stations, as well as a recording booth where visitors can film a short story or moment of inspiration related to women in rock.

“Women Who Rock” moves through the rock and roll eras, weaving a powerful and engaging narrative that demonstrates how women have been the engines of creation and change in popular music, from the early years of the 20th Century to the present.

“This exhibit is going to illustrate the vital role women played in shaping the evolution of rock and roll,” Jim Henke, vice president of exhibitions and curatorial affairs for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, said in a statement.

“Visitors are going to walk away from this exhibit with a deeper appreciation of how these artists contributed to the rock and roll art form and changed our society. Women Who Rock will compare and contrast artist experiences, highlighting the female spirit as the engine of creation and change in the music.”

Throughout the year, the museum will offer educational programming that will explore the role that women have played in rock and roll, including interviews, performances, panel discussions, a symposium, and classes for K-12 and university students.

Women Who Rock exhibit eras include:

  • Suffragettes to Juke-Joint Mamas : The Foremothers / Roots of Rock
    The narrative of these ground-breaking trailblazers will include Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Mother Maybelle Carter, Mahalia Jackson, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Billie Holiday.
  • Get Outta that Kitchen, Rattle Those Pots and Pans: Rock and Roll Emerges
    Voices of predominant roots of rock include Yoko Ono, Ruth Brown, Wanda Jackson, LaVern Baker and Brenda Lee.
  • Will You Love Me Tomorrow: The Early 1960s / Girl Groups
    Groups like the Shangri-Las and the Ronettes gave voice to teenage girls’ explorations of their world, their limitations and their limitless potential.
  • Revolution, the Counterculture and the Pill: The Late 1960s
    The women who helped move the revolution include Janis Joplin, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Laura Nyro, Aretha Franklin, Bonnie Raitt, Tina Turner, Grace Slick and Loretta Lynn.
  • I Will Survive: The 1970s – Rockers to Disco Divas
    Women are in the center of the ‘70s mainstream, from Joan Jett and the Runaways, Heart and Fleetwood Mac to Donna Summer.
  • Dance this Mess Around: Punk and Post Punk
    Punk music gave women another chance to make a name for themselves. This narrative features Chrissie Hynde, Yoko Ono, Siouxsie Sioux, Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson of the B-52s, Deborah Harry, Tina Weymouth, Kim Deal and Marianne Faithful.
  • Causing a Commotion: Madonna and the Pop Explosion
    Madonna paved the way for female performers to explore previously taboo roles. Highlighted artists will include Cyndi Lauper, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani and Janet Jackson.
  • Ladies First: The ‘90s and the New Millennium
    The future of music has been shaped in part by emerging artists such as Bikini Kill, Meg White, Taylor Swift, Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys and Lady Gaga.

The exhibit, designed by New York design firm Pure + Applied, will be open through Sunday, February 26, 2012.

The Museum is open seven days a week from 10 am to 5:30 pm. On Wednesdays, the Museum is open until 9 pm.

Museum admission is $22 for adults, $17 for seniors (65+) and $13 for youth (9-12). Children under 8 and Museum members are free.

The Museum is located at 1100 Rock and Roll Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio 44114.

For more information, visit or call 216-781-ROCK.

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