CMA and Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Kickoff Country Music Month with Forever Country Live Presented by Southwest Airlines Scott Frans September 26, 2016 NASHVILLE – Country Music Month is in full swing as the Country Music Association (CMA) and the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum joined forces Sunday to officially kickoff festivities during Forever Country Live presented by Southwest Airlines®, a FREE concert at Walk of Fame Park in downtown Nashville, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of both the museum’s opening and the CMA Awards. CMA Chief Executive Officer Sarah Trahern addressed the audience and recognized the efforts of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, whose strategic partnership is integral in reinforcing CMA’s mission of heightening the awareness of Country Music around the world. “The partnership between CMA and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in honor of our 50th anniversaries is a great reflection of the theme of ‘The 50th Annual CMA Awards’ – Then. Now. Forever Country.,” said Trahern. “When CMA created the Hall of Fame, it was with the vision of preserving the heritage of the music that we are all gathered here today to celebrate. They’ve done an outstanding job fulfilling that vision and we look forward to another 50 years of promoting and preserving America’s music.” Preceding Trahern’s remarks, Justine Avila, Music City Council Executive Director, addressed the audience and shared official proclamations on behalf of Nashville Mayor Megan Barry and State of Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam proclaiming October as Country Music Month. Before kicking off the music, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Sharon Brawner emphasized the importance of October when, later in the month, the Country Music Hall of Fame will welcome Charlie Daniels, Fred Foster, and Randy Travis as its newest members during the annual induction ceremony. Fans enjoyed performances by Warner Bros. recording artist Charlie Worsham and Grammy-nominated ensemble The Time Jumpers, which includes 18-time CMA Awards winner, 12-time CMA Awards host, and Country Music Hall of Fame member Vince Gill. Five-time CMA Award winner Patty Loveless also performed as a special guest. Family-friendly activities were plentiful as guests enjoyed lawn games and signature peanut treats provided by Southwest Airlines. Fans of all ages were also entertained with a button-making area, a musical petting zoo, DIY Hatch Show Print postcards, and partaking in a community mural. The Country Music Month celebration culminates Wednesday, Nov. 2 with the live, national broadcast of “The 50th Annual CMA Awards” on the ABC Television Network. For more information on “The 50th Annual CMA Awards” and to sign up for CMA emails and exclusives, visit CMAawards50.com.