Grammy Museum® Mississippi announces opening weekend events for MTV Turns Forty: I Still Want My MTV

Published 4:20 pm Monday, May 10, 2021

CLEVELAND, MISS. (MAY 5, 2021) — GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi will mark the opening of its new special exhibit, MTV Turns Forty: I Still Want My MTV, on Friday, May 14, with free admission and special programming for Museum members, local students and the community. Opening weekend festivities, plus free admission, will extend through Saturday, May 15. Attending the May 14 grand opening will be Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia, Inc., who led the team that created and launched MTV in 1981, original MTV VJs Alan Hunter and Martha Quinn, and other special guests.

MTV Turns Forty: I Still Want My MTV marks the 40th anniversary since the launch of the iconic brand on Aug. 1, 1981. The first major exhibition to be curated by the GRAMMY Museum Mississippi, MTV Turns Forty will explore the history of the iconic music brand—from the role of native Mississippian, Bob Pittman, in the concept and execution of an idea that revolutionized the music industry, to why, nearly four decades later, people across the world still scream, “I want my MTV.” The exhibit will be on display at GRAMMY Museum Mississippi through summer 2022.

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Full Opening Weekend Schedule 


Thursday, May 13 

Advance Media Preview 

1 p.m.–3 p.m.

RSVP required. Email or to RSVP.


Friday, May 14 

Public Grand Opening With Free Admission All Day 

9 a.m.: Member preview with donuts and coffee, and Curator’s Tour with special guests

9:15 a.m.: Exhibition introduction

9:15–9:45 a.m.: Meet & Greet with Museum members

9:45 a.m.: Ribbon cutting

10 a.m.: Grand opening with free admission all day

10 a.m.: Backstage Pass education workshop exploring the evolution of MTV with Bob Pittman and special guests

12 p.m.: Behind the Scenes: The Making of MTV education workshop

2 p.m.: Backstage Pass education workshop featuring a conversation with Salli Frattini, an Emmy-nominated executive producer who was instrumental in the launch of MTVU

Saturday, May 15 

MTV Family Day and Youth Leadership Council’s Live on the Lawn With Free Admission All Day 

9 a.m.: FitBeat Series Dance/Barre class with Leslie Shive

10 a.m.–2 p.m.: MTV Family Day featuring special events and food trucks

10 a.m.: Attendees explore Museum exhibits, participate in arts activities with Delta Arts Alliance, and experience music production in the DMI Mobile Music Lab

11 a.m.: Gallery Talk featuring the MTV exhibit

1 p.m.: Drums Alive education workshop

3–7 p.m.: Youth Leadership Council’s Live on the Lawn, plus a canned food drive


MTV Turns Forty is sponsored in part by the Maddox Foundation. Exhibit partners include MTV and Hard Rock International. Additional support is provided by corporate sponsors DittyTVEntergy and Millsaps College in Mississippi. Sponsors for the weekend events include Visit MississippiMississippi Humanities Council and The King’s Daughters and Sons Circle Number 2.


Developed by the Cleveland Music Foundation—a nonprofit organization founded in 2011—the 28,000-square-foot GRAMMY Museum Mississippi is housed near the campus of Delta State University, home of the Delta Music Institute’s Entertainment Industry Studies program, which features the most unique audio recording facilities in the South. Affiliated with the GRAMMY Museum Foundation™, GRAMMY Museum Mississippi is dedicated to exploring the past, present, and future of music, and the cultural context from which it emerges, while casting a focused spotlight on the deep musical roots of Mississippi. The Museum features a dynamic combination of public events, educational programming, engaging multimedia presentations, and interactive permanent and traveling exhibits, including a Mississippi-centric area that introduces visitors to the impact of Mississippi’s songwriters, producers, and musicians on the traditional and modern music landscape.