Musical icons, including Cissy Houston, celebrate grand opening event alongside music industry leaders, famed New Hope Baptist Choir and local students

October 04, 2017

Recording Academy Grammy Museum Experience Prudential Center

NEWARK, N.J., October 4, 2017 -  Prudential Center and the forthcoming GRAMMY Museum Experience™ (developed in partnership with the Los Angeles-based GRAMMY Museum®) have announced today details for the Experience’s ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 19 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Prudential Center in Newark.  The event will feature performances by iconic artists as well as rising musical talents, including Brandon “Taz” Niederauer of the Broadway production of “School of Rock.” In a touching tribute to the late GRAMMY® winner Whitney Houston, her mother and two-time GRAMMY winner, Cissy Houston, will perform along with Houston’s famed New Hope Baptist Choir.

Josh Harris and David Blitzer, owners of Prudential Center and founders of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, Bob Santelli, Founding Executive Director of the GRAMMY Museum, Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the Recording Academy™  and Chair of the GRAMMY Museum Board of Directors in Los Angeles, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, and Special Assistant for the Arts Margaret El will cut the inaugural ribbon to open the doors to the 8,200-square-foot complex for the first time.  Joining them for the ribbon-cutting will be Chief Brand Officer Colin McConnell of Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE:PRU).  Prudential has been the title corporate sponsor of the Prudential Center since its inception.  Designed with the goal of educating and inspiring younger generations on the history of music, the GRAMMY Museum Experience Prudential Center’s first visitors will be 30 students from Arts High School in Newark. The event will be emceed by CBS2 anchor Kristine Johnson.

Beginning Friday, Oct. 20, the Experience will be open to the public every Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., with hours extended until 8:30 p.m. during Prudential Center events. Tickets, priced from $7 to $10, are on sale now at  For more information on exhibits, upcoming events, education programs, and group experiences, go to For more information follow @PruCenter on social media and hashtag #GRAMMYMuseumExp.

Dedicated to cultivating a greater understanding of the history and significance of music, the GRAMMY Museum Experience Prudential Center, presented by proud founding partner Prudential Financial, will feature interactive exhibits, as well as historical musical artifacts including fashion pieces worn by Michael Jackson, Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, Amy Winehouse, and much more.  In honor of the rich musical heritage of New Jersey, the Experience will feature a significant section that pays tribute to New Jersey’s homegrown entertainers, including Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen, and Whitney Houston.

Over the past three years, Prudential Center, a “Top Ten Most-Played Venue in the United States” (Billboard), has made an immense impact on the Newark community. In 2016, Prudential Center recorded its highest-grossing weekend and busiest month in building history, with roughly 146,000 people entering the building monthly. Through alignment with local leaders, investments in talent development and commitment to venue upkeep, Prudential Center has nearly doubled their entertainment programming, making them New Jersey’s home sports and entertainment venue. 

The GRAMMY Museum Experience™ is developed as a partnership between the Newark, N.J.-based Prudential Center and the Los Angeles-based GRAMMY Museum

About the GRAMMY Museum 
Established in 2008 as a partnership between the Recording Academy and AEG, the GRAMMY Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to cultivating a greater understanding of the history and significance of music. Paying tribute to our collective musical heritage, the Museum explores and celebrates all aspects of the art form—from the technology of the recording process to the legends who’ve made lasting marks on our cultural identity. In 2017, the Museum integrated with its sister organization, the GRAMMY Foundation, to broaden the reach of its music education and preservation initiatives. As a unified organization, today, the GRAMMY Museum fulfills its mission of making music a valued and indelible part of our society through exhibits, education, grants, and public programming. For more information, visit, "like" the GRAMMY Museum on Facebook, and follow @GRAMMYMuseum on Twitter and Instagram.
About Prudential Financial, Inc.
Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a financial services leader with more than $1 trillion of assets under management as of June 30, 2017, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Prudential’s diverse and talented employees are committed to helping individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth through a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds and investment management. In the U.S., Prudential’s iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century. For more information, please visit
About Prudential Center
Prudential Center is a world-class sports and entertainment venue located in downtown Newark, New Jersey, operating within the Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment portfolio. Opened in October 2007, the state-of-the-art arena is the home of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) three-time Stanley Cup Champion New Jersey Devils, Seton Hall University’s NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball program, and more than 175 concerts, family shows and special events each year. Ranked in the Top 5 nationally by Pollstar, Billboard and Venues Today, Prudential Center is recognized as one of the premier venues in the United States, and welcomes 1.75 million guests annually. For more information about Prudential Center, visit and follow the arena on FacebookTwitter and Instagram @PruCenter

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