Campus Martius Museum to host rock and roll exhibit

Le Ann Hendershot, administrator of the Campus Martius Museum, stands in the traveling exhibit dedicated to women in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, titled Girls to the Front. The exhibit will be the thematic centerpiece at Saturday’s annual fundraising event for the Friends of the Museum. (Photo by Michael Kelly)

MARIETTA — The Campus Martius Museum is not in most people’s minds associated with rock and roll, but Saturday night the exhibits and the guests will get the music and the images to go with it.

At the Campus Martius Experience, those who attend the Friends of the Museum annual fundraiser will get the first look at Girls to the Front, an exhibit of black-and-white photos taken of women inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The photos were taken during the 1970s and 1980s by photographer Anastasia Pantsios when they were performing in Ohio.

“We’re trying to expand the idea of women pioneers,” Friends board member Jenny Powell said Monday. “We’re honoring these women through our annual fundraiser.”

The women of rock and roll — including Joan Jett, Cyndi Lauper, Aretha Franklin, Debbie Harry, and a host of others — could easily be characterized as pioneers, facing a tough climb to performing arts fame in an industry dominated by male performers and male producers, along with stereotypes to shatter.

“It’s a really special exhibit,” museum administrator Le Ann Hendershot said. “It will be on display for three months, until Feb. 17.”

The event Saturday night will include live music by local rock performers, a first for the Friends’ annual fundraiser, she said.

The evening is crucial for the museum.

“This event is our largest of the year, and it’s absolutely instrumental in continuing to fund the museum,” Powell said. “This museum is a true treasure, and all the money raised from the Campus Martius Experience goes for programs and exhibits.”

Friends of the Museum is the operating authority for the Campus Martius Museum, built on the site of a stockade occupied by colonial settlers from 1788 to 1791, and the nearby Ohio River Museum. The two museums attract thousands of visitors a year and serve as the historical center for the community.

“Campus Martius is always looking for ways to remind people that without history, a lot of the tourism here would not be possible,” Powell said. “We need to make sure we have the funding to preserve and share it, to reach a wider group of people. The more people who fall in love with Marietta, the more they come back to visit.”

The event begins at 5 p.m. Saturday at the museum, 601 Second St., and winds up at 8 p.m.

“It’s over soon enough that if you want to make plans for later in the evening, you can do that comfortably,” she said.

Tickets are $60 and include dinner, drinks, live entertainment and access to all the museum’s exhibits, including Girls to the Front. They can be purchased online, at the museum, from any board member or maybe at the door Saturday night.

“There might be some left the night of the event,” Powell said.