by laliveinsider on Thu., Jun 05 at 12:00 AM

LOS ANGELES (June 5, 2008) — The Recording Academy® and AEG today announced the appointment of Robert Santelli as Executive Director of The GRAMMY® Museum — a 30,000-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 in Los Angeles), with a grand opening scheduled in December to culminate the GRAMMY Awards' 50th Celebration.

\"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 Tim 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.\"

Santelli will guide the creation of a museum experience with 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 opportunities such as music classes for young people, film screenings, live performances, and continuing education programs. Santelli's hope is for people to think critically about the music they enjoy, whether young children or Baby Boomers. In addition to providing the vision and strategic leadership for the Museum, Santelli also will serve as its chief spokesperson and will oversee its fiscal management, fundraising and outreach efforts, public programs, and overall branding activities.

After pursuing American Studies through graduate programs at USC and NYU, Santelli wedded his passion for music and education in 1988 when he joined the music department of Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey. There he established a thriving Popular Music Studies program, and he continued down this path at Rutgers University as an adjunct professor and guest lecturer.

Santelli joined the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in 1993 and served as Vice President of Education and Public Programs, creating the American Music Masters Series, the Hall of Fame Series, and Oral History Project, as well as many other educational and public programs. In 2000, Santelli joined Experience Music Project as CEO and Artistic Director where he guided the creation of more than 30 exhibits, many of which traveled throughout the United States and Europe, including the groundbreaking exhibit Bob Dylan's American Journey, 1956 — 1966.

A longtime member of The Recording Academy, Santelli most recently served as Vice President of the Pacific Northwest Chapter from 2001 — 2006. He founded and served as the Executive Director of the National Music Museum Alliance, and he spearheaded the U.S. Congressional initiative to name 2003 \"The Year of the Blues.\" Santelli also is overseeing the curatorial initiatives of the British Music Experience Museum in London, opening Feb. 2009.

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, published in 2006. In addition, Santelli has written numerous articles for such magazines as Rolling Stone, CD Review, Downbeat, Backstreets, and New Jersey Monthly, along with newspapers such as the New York Times, Asbury Park Press and The Cleveland Plain Dealer.

For more information about the GRAMMY Museum, please visit

Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, producers, engineers and recording professionals that is dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the GRAMMY Awards — the preeminent peer-recognized award for musical excellence and the most credible brand in music — The Recording Academy is responsible for groundbreaking professional development, cultural enrichment, advocacy, education and human services programs. In its 50th year, The Academy continues to focus on its mission of recognizing musical excellence, advocating for the well-being of music makers and ensuring music remains an indelible part of our culture. For more information about The Academy, please visit

Photo available upon request.

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Barb Dehgan/Jaime Sarachit
The Recording Academy
[email protected]
[email protected]

Michael Roth
[email protected]

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