Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution

July 16 – November 12, 2017

“A rock story with a human touch throughout…” — Chicago Tribune

Take an electrifying trip through the 1960s-1980s and learn about the extraordinary life and career of rock impresario Bill Graham, the Holocaust refugee who promoted countless music legends—including The Grateful Dead, Santana, and Jimi Hendrix—and produced humanitarian concerts such as Live Aid to raise the consciousness of the world.






Exhibition-Related Programs


Posters that Rock!
September 24, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Kids and adults alike will work together to screen print a rock poster with Jay Ryan, a poster maker and musician who will also share how current rock concert poster design ideas come to life.

Recommended for ages 8+.

Community Partner: The Bird Machine, JCC Chicago, North Suburban Synagogue Beth El

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THE ROCK HOUSE, Rocks The House!
September 24, 1:00 – 2:15 pm

Rock n’ roll with The Rock House students, performing and celebrating the music of rock legends Jimi Hendrix, the Doobie Brothers, the Allman Brothers, The Who, BB King and more.Wilmette and Glenview’s popular Rock House is a place where kids of all ages build the confidence to perform live on stage and learn how early rock n’ roll continues to influence today’s popular music.

Community Partner: The Rock House

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Music for Social Change
October 1 , 2:00 – 3:30 pm

From rock to soul to rap, music has the power to become the soundtrack of social change. Join National Radio Hall of Fame inductee Terri Hemmert as she spotlights musicians who have responded to social issues through their music.



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Sunday, October 8 | 12:30 pm

Edith was born in Stockstadt, Germany, in 1925. Like Bill Graham—the subject of the Museum’s rock & roll exhibition—Edith was one of the “1,000 children,” a group of approximately 1,400 German Jewish children who were allowed to come unaccompanied to the United States via an organized rescue effort that occurred nine months prior to the start of World War II.

Edith eventually settled in Chicago. Her daughter, Fern, has published several books based on her mother’s experience including “Motherland: Beyond the Holocaust.”


View full list of public programs>


More to explore

Chicago’s music all-stars–Arny Granat and Jerry Mickelson (JAM Productions) and Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins)–talk about Bill Graham’s legacy. Writer/Producer EDIE TUROVITZ KASTEN, Camera DAVID SEMAN, Editor HARVEY MOSHMAN


The Allman Brothers Band

For the press

Click here to access downloadable photos, FAQs, press releases, and more.

In the News


Chicago Sun-Times | Bill Graham Exhibit Rocks on at Illinois Holocaust Museum
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JUF News | Rock-and-Roll Survivor: The Life and Times of Bill Graham
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Chicago Tribune | Bill Graham rock and Roll exhibit at the Holocaust Museum is a hit
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Sheridan Road | Striking A Chord
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Make It Better | Illinois Holocaust Museum Opens ‘Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution’
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Chicago Now | Legacy of Legendary Music Promoter Bill Graham Showcased in New Illinois Holocaust Museum Exhibition
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Album Cover Hall of Fame | Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution
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Evanston Patch | Photographer Baron Wolman Discusses Bill Graham and “The Rolling Stone Years”
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Chicago Now | Exhibit of Legendary Music Promoter Bill Graham at Illinois Holocaust Museum
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Third Coast Review | Bill Graham and The Rock and Roll Revolution Comes to Chicago
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Style Chicago | Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution
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Chicago Tonight, WTTW | Bill Graham, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Pioneer Who Escaped Nazi Germany
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ABC7 Eyewitness News | Bill Graham Exhibit Opens at Illinois Holocaust Museum
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WGN 9 | Exhibit Shows Promoter’s Journey from Holocaust Survivor to Rock-and-Roll Legend
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Sirott and Murciano
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WBEZ Morning Shift
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WXRT 93.1 FM  (Radio Sponsor)
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WDRV 97.1 FM
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Listen as Bill talks about his life, from being a hidden child of the Holocaust, to his early days in upstate New York, to the full breadth of his career. Download the link below and bring a pair of headphones to the exhibition to hear Bill’s story in his own words.
Listen to the tour>





Contributing Sponsors: DUANE MORRIS LLP;  Shure Incorporated
Additional Funders: Nicor Gas; Windy City YPO; Nicole and Dan Drexler; First Bank of Highland Park; Mitch and Gladys Greenberg & Family; Susan and David Kalt; Zoberman Family. The Golder Family Foundation is lead sponsor of Illinois Holocaust Museum special exhibitions.
Media Sponsors: Chicago Magazine; WXRT
Public Relations Partner: Creative Marketing Associates
Community Partners: Ogilvy & Mather; Ravinia
Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution is organized and circulated by the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, in association with the Bill Graham Memorial Foundation, and made possible by the support of Alex Graham, David Graham, and Danny Scher.


The Illinois Holocaust Museum’s presentation is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.



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