Bob Santelli Named GRAMMY Museum Executive Director
Experienced executive to head facility devoted to celebrating the cultural history of music
The Recording Academy and AEG today announced the appointment of Robert Santelli as Executive Director of the GRAMMY Museum — a 32,000-square-foot facility devoted to exploring and celebrating the enduring legacies of all forms of music, the creative process, the art and technology of the recording process, and the rich cultural history of the GRAMMY Awards.
Santelli will run the one-of-a-kind "21st Century Museum" that will be located within L.A. Live, the downtown Los Angeles sports, entertainment and residential district (across from Staples Center), with a grand opening scheduled in December to culminate the GRAMMY Awards' 50th Celebration. He will guide the creation of interactive exhibits that focus on the art of music, the science of record producing, and the connection between music and society. Part of this experience will also include music classes for young people, film screenings, live performances, and continuing education programs. In addition to providing the vision and strategic leadership for the Museum, Santelli also will serve as its chief spokesperson.
"Through our GRAMMY Museum, we will provide visitors an opportunity to really understand the history, contributions, and impact of The Recording Academy as the true voice of the creative community, along with the vital role music plays in our culture and society," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. "Robert Santelli was our first and obvious choice to head this project; with years of experience as an executive at both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland and Experience Music Project in Seattle, Bob embodies the dynamic vision and creativity essential to this unique and exciting entity and is clearly a world-class expert. And as a longtime member of The Recording Academy, he has first-hand knowledge of our organization and a special ability to convey our rich musical legacy to the many music fans and enthusiasts who will visit the GRAMMY Museum to enjoy and benefit from its content."
"Bob Santelli was the perfect choice to lead the GRAMMY Museum's development team as we create this one-of-a-kind project that will stand as a signature piece of L.A. Live," said Timothy J. Leiweke, President/CEO of AEG. "Residents and visitors, students and enthusiasts will now have the opportunity to learn about the history of music through the most innovative exhibits and interactive displays in a setting that will set the GRAMMY Museum apart from any other museum or project."
"With more music per square foot than most anywhere else in America, the GRAMMY Museum will be an exciting, interactive experience for music fans of all ages," said Santelli. "Guests will experience music from a never-before-seen insider's perspective that only the GRAMMY Museum, with the support of The Recording Academy and AEG, can deliver. I look forward to bringing these engaging and celebratory exhibits and programs to the people of Los Angeles and to visitors from around the world."
Previously, Santelli was vice president of education and public programs at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. In 2000, he joined the Experience Music Project as CEO and artistic director and guided the creation of more than 30 exhibits including the "Bob Dylan’s American Journey, 1956–1966" exhibit. A noted blues and rock historian, Santelli has authored and edited more than a dozen books, including The Big Book Of Blues, The Bob Dylan Scrapbook, and his most recent work, Greetings From E Street: The Story Of Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band. Santelli is a longtime member of The Academy and most recently served as Vice President of the Pacific Northwest Chapter from 2001–2006.
For more information about the GRAMMY Museum, please visit www.grammy.museum.org.