Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Illinois Holocaust Museum bets on rock 'n' roll" from Crain's Chicago
In 1931, 11-year-old Wolodia Grajonca arrived in the United States from Berlin with little more than a handful of photos and a prayer book. Over the years, he tapped into the burgeoning rock music scene and turned himself into Bill Graham, a music promoter known for putting San Francisco's Fillmore Auditorium on the map, organizing the first Live Aid, and promoting Janis Joplin and other Hall of Fame acts.
In July, the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center will open "Bill Graham & the Rock & Roll Revolution." The exhibit, a vast collection of photos, costumes, broken guitars and posters, shows how Graham, a Holocaust refugee, built a spectacular life and how his early hardships informed his success.
Executives hope that the exhibit, like Museum of Contemporary Art's "David Bowie Is" 2014 blockbuster, will boost attendance. Located in a $45 million Stanley Tigerman-designed building in Skokie, about 20 miles northwest of the Loop, the Holocaust Museum is not exactly on Chicago tourism's well-worn path. Yet it's the third-largest of its kind in the world, after Yad Vashem World Holocaust Center in Jerusalem and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.
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