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.

Click here to purchase exhibition tickets>


Exhibition-Related Programs

The Rolling Stone Years
August 17, 6:30 – 8:00 pm

Baron Wolman was Rolling Stone’s Chief Photographer when the magazine was first published 50 years ago. View his iconic photos as he talks about his memorable encounters with Bill Graham and the rock stars of the time.

A book signing of The Rolling Stone Years follows the presentation.

Community Partner: Museum of Contemporary Photography | Columbia College Chicago

Reserve my spot (Program only)> 

Reserve my spot (Program and access to the Bill Graham special exhibition)> 


The Last Waltz
September 10, 2:00 – 3:30 pm

This Martin Scorsese documentary captures the final concert of the Canadian-American musical group The Band in a star-studded farewell performance at Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco, November 25, 1976. Music legends including Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Eric Clapton, and Muddy Waters are featured in the film. A post-screening discussion with Columbia College faculty Ron Falzone and Rami Gabriel will take place.

Community Partner: Columbia College Chicago’s Development and Alumni Relations office

Reserve my spot (Program only)> 

Reserve my spot (Program and access to the Bill Graham special exhibition)> 


Posters that Rock!
September 24, 11:00 am – 2:00 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

Reserve my spot (Program only)> 

Reserve my spot (Program and access to the Bill Graham special exhibition)> 


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.



Reserve my spot (Program only)>

Reserve my spot (Program and access to the Bill Graham special exhibition)>


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 Tribune | Bill Graham rock and Roll exhibit at the Holocaust Museum is a hit
Read online>

Sheridan Road | Striking A Chord
Read online>

Chicago Now | Legacy of Legendary Music Promoter Bill Graham Showcased in New Illinois Holocaust Museum Exhibition
Read online>

Evanston Patch | Photographer Baron Wolman Discusses Bill Graham and “The Rolling Stone Years”
Read online>

Chicago Now | Exhibit of Legendary Music Promoter Bill Graham at Illinois Holocaust Museum
Read online>


WGN 9 | Exhibit Shows Promoter’s Journey from Holocaust Survivor to Rock-and-Roll Legend
Watch online>


WBEZ Morning Shift
Listen online>

WXRT 93.1 FM  (Radio Sponsor)
Listen online>

WDRV 97.1 FM
Listen online>

Listen online>



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.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Google+
  • Museum Blog