Best New Museum - 2012
The Grammy Museum opened in 2008 — the 50th anniversary of the Grammy Awards — at L.A. Live downtown. It packs more than two dozen exhibits into 30,000 square feet spread over four floors, celebrating music ranging from rock to country, R&B to classical, Latin to jazz. You'll find artifacts encased in glass (Woody Guthrie's handwritten "This Land Is Your Land" lyrics, Michael Jackson's 16-pound Swarovski crystal jacket) and interactive displays, most equipped with speakers or headphones. Tap the timbales like Tito Puente. Listen to an 18th century–style Beyoncé recording. Mix your own version of a pop hit. Watch footage from Grammy Awards ceremonies dating back decades. Step into the "Scream Booth" (part of "Golden Gods: The History of Heavy Metal" exhibition, running through February) to yell like Ozzy Osbourne. Or learn music-making techniques from industry stars and insiders at events at the museum's 200-seat theater. 800 W. Olympic Blvd., dwntwn. (213) 765-6800, grammymuseum.org.
—Daina Beth Solomon