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"Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power" at National Museum of Women in the Arts

12/5/2012, 11:13 a.m.

The other sections are equally packed, showing biographical videos and wall text in the artists' voice. A theater in the center showing a constant loop of performance videos from Holiday to LaBelle, rounds out an exhibit where everything must be taken into account. Each gallery sports record albums emblazoned with pivotal historical happenings that coincided with that era, to put things into a global and political context. Many of the advances made, historically and particularly relevant to women, crept into their music. How many people knew that Loretta Lynn made a song called "The Pill" on her 1975 album, "Back to the Country?"

After the '70s, women took over rock-and-roll. Grace Slick became lead singer of Jefferson Airplane making anthemic songs "Somebody to Love," and "White Rabbit," laying the foundation for singers like Madonna and Lady Gaga to stand firmly on.

"Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power," is an all-inclusive exhibition. Icons of R&B like Aretha Franklin and Tina Turner stand side-by-side with rockers Melissa Etheridge and Tina Weymouth. Through their stories, certain commonalities emerge. Most of the women featured started their ascent to music as children, often coming out of the church and were undeterred by a male-dominated field. And all of them laid one stepping stone for the next woman to stand on.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts is located at 1250 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C., and is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for students and visitors over 65. The museum admission is free to members and youth 18 and under.