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Taylor Swift Opens Education Center at Country Music Hall of Fame

Singer donated $4 million to endow the new facility

Taylor Swift poses with Big Machine Records President/CEO Scott Borchetta during the Taylor Swift Education Center opening ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
Royce DeGrie/TAS/Getty Images for TAS
October 13, 2013 6:12 PM ET

Class is now in session at the Taylor Swift Education Center at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The pop star cut the ribbon on her new namesake facility in Nashville during a ceremony on Saturday morning, showing off the museum's expansion to reporters and local high school students, the Associated Press reports.

Swift donated $4 million to the Hall of Fame to endow the education center, which will include three classrooms, a hands-on instrument room and a children's exhibit gallery for interactive exhibits, all spread over two floors. According to Swift's website, her donation to the center stands as the largest individual artist gift ever donated to the Country Music Hall of Fame, where the singer signed her record contract as a teenager.

Backstage With Taylor Swift on Her Huge Summer Stadium Tour

Although Swift has long since crossed over, her country music roots reach deep and the day after opening the new education center, she was set to collect a record-setting sixth songwriter-artist of the year award from the Nashville Songwriters Association International.

Swift may be returning to Nashville to take part in some educational programs at the center. "We've been talking about different programs I can be involved in," she said. "I hate to call it a lecture because that sounds like I'm yelling at people, but we could do a Q&A talking to students here and a songwriters discussion would be really fun to have at some point."

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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