Project; controlling 10 sets of LED's in a school project

First I must thank all who read this, this has been stressing me a lot, and I can't find an easy and Cheap way to do it.

The problem: We need to make an interactive display on a musician living in Ogden Utah. It's supposedly going to be displayed at the Junction, and we have to make it interesting.

The idea me and my group came up with was using two controlling devices, one has to be a computer (I was thinking Raspberry PI due to it's size and price) to display information on the guy during different time periods in his life. Ie 1980's is clicked and it pulls up information on what he did in the 1980's, this then tells the 1980's strand of LED's to turn on. My teacher would like it to be wireless and he's a history teacher, so he has No background in electronics....

I'm not all that worried about the budget, he really wants it to look good, but cheaper is of course better..

Thanks again, Trevor.

Edit: Other plans we had creating our own LED strands, 6-7 LED's per strand creating a simply app interface that had options to go into the 1980's...1970's...etc

Some questions we had Should we use two devices? One to control lights and receive commands, the other to have the display and give commands. How would we connect them? Wireless? Bluetooth? How would we connect the lights to whichever device? ( I have thought of using the Arduino Uno for it, but I'm unsure)

You can get [u]Wireless Shield[/u] for the Arduino. (I've never used one, but I assume it requires one Arduino & shield as a transmitter and another Arduino & shield as a receiver.)

You can drive one standard or one "high brightness" LED from an Arduino ouput pin. You'll need a transistor or MOSFET if you want to drive a string of LEDs. If you wire-up a string of LEDs yourself or use an LED strip is up to you.

Should we use two devices? One to control lights and receive commands, the other to have the display and give commands.

I'm not following what this thing will look like or how it's supposed to work. You'll have to decide what you WANT to do, and what you CAN do. This sounds sort-of like a semester-long electronics project.... Is it a history project or an electronics project?

Do you need 2-way communication?

I'm not sure if it makes sense to have a wireless controller that can be moved away from the display and/or be lost or stolen!

It's an electronics project Within a history class, don't ask me, he just needed a group to wire it to make it sparkle, and make it interactive, so that's what I am! :)

The project is basically two parts, the stand with an LCD in it and whatever electronic stuff we need inside of it, then a big chandelier~ish designed hexagon with lights hanging off, these wires will hold information/pictures for people to walk around and view. What we're trying to do is make it to where an app on the stand with the LCD tells the lights on the chandelier to turn off or on, depending what the viewer wants to look at.

No two way communication, just from the stand to the chandelier, to the lights. I'm a beginner. Got my Arduino Uno just a few weeks before X-mas and haven't had much time to do anything with it, so I was hoping this project would be a gateway of sorts for me.