Experience Music Project

Experience Music Project

EMP/SFM stands for Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum and is how the two special interest museums lining the eastern edge of Seattle are shorthanded. The EMP/SFM’s Frank Gehry designed building stands out like a rainbow twinkle in the otherwise drab Seattle skyline. The building was designed, reportedly, to look like Jimi Hendrix’s guitar. Other rumors attribute the design to a combination of rock music and psychedelic drugs. The structure that houses the two museums is the subject of much love/hate debate amongst Seattleites and visitors to the museums.

The Experience Music Project houses a permanent collection of Northwest related music memorabilia, including things related to Heart, Nirvana, Hendrix and the grunge movement. It also has various temporary exhibits about a variety of music related subjects. The rock memorabilia and multimedia are the backbone of the museum, but there is also interactive exhibits including rides, and EMP sponsors live shows in their facility.

The newer Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame opened in 2004 as the world’s second science fiction museum, while moving the hall of fame from Kansas City, Missouri to Seattle. The museum hosts a collection of sci-fi related artifacts while also displaying exhibits designed to get everyone intrigued and thinking about science fiction. Each section of the museum is devoted to a different aspect of science fiction and is filled with memorabilia and interactive displays. The Hall of Fame, which until recently was only for authors, now honors all writers, filmmakers and artists that have done great work in the genre.

Together EMP and SFM offer the chance to see things that were not previously collected into one place. These two specialized museums mark the creation of new opportunities to be learn about significant aspects of pop culture in an interactive manner while seeing artifacts and memorabilia that bring the knowledge to a familiar level.