Category Archives: Announcement

Paul McCartney Live In Nashville, July 26!

The rumor that Paul McCartney’s 2010 concert tour would include a stop in Music City has confidently circulated among Nashville’s most knowledgeable Beatles fans for more than a year. Seems they knew what they were talking (or whispering) about, because today it was confirmed that Paul McCartney will appear at the Bridgestone Arena (Sommet Center) on Monday July 26. Tickets will go on sale on June 7.

I appreciate my buddy Chip, a Beatles fan extraordinaire, for letting me know about this Mc- concert. I am glad I didn’t sleep through his announcement.

The July concert will be McCartney’s first public Nashville performance.

Don’t you just love it when a good rumor turns out to be true?


Nashville Selected to Host the National Folk Festival, 2011 – 2013

The National Council for the Traditional Arts announced today with Mayor Karl Dean and Compass Records Group that Nashville has been selected as the host city for the National Folk Festival in 2011, 2012 and 2013. The “National” is the oldest and longest-running multi-ethnic traditional arts festival in the nation. This moveable exposition of traditional music and culture will be presented in downtown Nashville for three consecutive years, with the final year in Nashville marking the Festival’s 75th anniversary. Nashville won this honor in a competitive process involving 40 cities across the nation. “No city in the United States can match the raw talent, creativity, and long history of making music like we have here in Nashville. You combine that with our growing international diversity and growing recognition and appreciation for the arts, and you have a city that is well primed to host the National Folk Festival and to create an event of a caliber worthy of serving as the celebration of its 75th anniversary,” Mayor Dean said.

The National Folk Festival effort in Nashville will involve the entire community and bring together many diverse groups to work toward the common goal of building the festival. An estimated 800 volunteers will work with festival planners, city employees and community leaders, creating an event that will bring the region numerous benefits. The festival is expected to draw upwards of 80,000 attendees in its first year, increasing to over 150,000 by year three and is expected to have an estimated $10-15 million in economic impact per year. The National’s stay is also intended to lay the groundwork for a new annual festival that will continue in Nashville after the National moves on in 2014.

For over 70 years, the National Folk Festival has provided a way for people to embrace the cultural traditions that define us as Americans. This three-day free, public outdoor event celebrates the roots, richness and variety of American culture through music, dance, traditional craft, storytelling, food and more. With downtown Nashville as the backdrop, audiences can expect a diverse array of continuous music and dance performances by the finest traditional artists from all parts of the Nation, a Tennessee Folklife Area with craft demonstrations, exhibits and stage presentations focused on the heritage of the region and state, a Family Area, regional and ethnic food courts, and a festival marketplace offering fine handmade regional crafts.

John Lennon Biopic "Nowhere Boy" To Open Nashville Film Festival

Information Courtesy Chip Curly at


“Nowhere Boy,” a biopic exploring the childhood of a creative, spirited and curious John Lennon growing up in post-war Liverpool, will officially kick off the Nashville Film Festival when it takes place April 15-22, 2010 at Regal Green Hills Cinema. Directed by Sam Taylor-Wood in her feature-film debut, the film stars the Oscar-nominated Kristin Scott Thomas (“The English Patient,” “Gosford Park,” “Four Weddings and Funeral”), as Lennon’s Aunt Mimi, and Aaron Johnson as the young Lennon. The film has already picked up significant acclaim in Great Britain, including several nominations for London Critics Circle Awards, British Independent Film Awards and BAFTA Awards. It had its International Premiere in January at the Sundance Film Festival.

Black History Month Resources Available at Tennessee State Library and Archives

Unidentified Woman In A House Located On Kensington Street
Nashville Tennessee, 1918
Courtesy Tennessee State Library And Archives

In celebration of Black History Month, the Tennessee State Library and Archives (TSLA) is highlighting two collections relating to the state’s African-American history that have been added within the last year.

Last fall, TSLA added a collection called Guide to African-American Genealogy-Related Documents Prior to 1865, which includes a large selection of Supreme Court cases, state acts from 1796 through 1850, legislative petitions from 1799 to 1861, church records, correspondence, diaries, memoirs and other documents.

TSLA also added a new collection, Reconstruction and the African-American Legacy in Tennessee, to the Tennessee Virtual Archive (TeVA) within the last year. That collection, which includes photographs, scrapbooks and other images, can be found on the web at:

“We are very fortunate to have a wide selection of resources about African-American history at the State Library and Archives,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “These resources are available and intended for use by Tennesseans year-round. However, due to the heightened interest of researchers during Black History Month, we want to call attention to some of the newer materials we have available. Researchers may also find many of our older collections of interest, including This Honorable Body, which recounts the story of 14 African-American legislators, many of them former slaves, who served in the Tennessee General Assembly between 1873 and 1889.”

TSLA also added a new collection, Reconstruction and the African-American Legacy in Tennessee, to the Tennessee Virtual Archive (TeVA) within the last year. That collection, which includes photographs, scrapbooks and other images, can be found on the web at: <a href="

"Adopt A Meter" Program Will Benefit Nashville’s Homeless Community

Mayor Karl Dean today announced the launch of the Adopt A Meter program in Nashville, an innovative awareness campaign that places specially marked refurbished parking meters throughout the city where people can deposit change and dollar bills that will benefit the city’s homeless outreach efforts.

The program is being coordinated by the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission with assistance from Public Works. The Homelessness Commission is seeking private donations to cover the cost of the signage and the program startup. Sponsoring businesses will have their logo displayed on a meter.

“Homelessness is not a government issue. It is not a nonprofit issue. Homelessness is a community issue,” Dean said. “The Adopt A Meter program is a way for citizens to channel funding directly toward the outreach efforts that benefit homeless individuals and families in our city.”

The City of Denver implemented a similar meter program in 2007 and now has 86 meters displayed that generate more than $100,000 annually. The meters have effectively educated the public about the need to support the city’s solutions to end homelessness and have reduced the occurrence of panhandling downtown.

Howard Gentry, CEO of the Nashville Chamber Public Benefit Foundation and a member of the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission, said Mayor Karl Dean approached the Commission after a Chamber-sponsored leadership trip to Denver last spring.

“Several business leaders expressed their interest in getting involved in homelessness initiatives after they saw Denver’s programs,” Gentry said. “The Adopt A Meter program is a great way to start because it is financed through sponsorships from local businesses.”

Donations deposited in the meters will benefit the city’s homeless outreach programs. This fundraising strategy will be coordinated by the Key Alliance, an initiative of the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission that brings together nonprofit, faith-based, government, and for-profit organizations to create more low-income housing opportunities for the homeless.

“Nashville currently has six full-time outreach workers assisting the roughly 4,000 individuals and families who are homeless on any given night,” Clifton Harris, director of the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission, said. “Street outreach workers are essential to building relationships with homeless individuals and families, and connecting them to services that remove barriers to housing.”

Harris explained that Housing First, which is permanent housing coupled with intensive case management, is the solution to homelessness. “However, without the outreach programs needed we are unable to reach the most vulnerable individuals and families in our midst,” Harris said. “Through the Adopt A Meter program the entire Nashville community will be able to help us move toward our goal of ending chronic homelessness and reducing overall homelessness in Nashville.”

Meters in Nashville will be placed in prominent city locations that have a high volume of pedestrian traffic. The Key Alliance is working closely with Public Works to designate the sites. Public Works has donated 30 meters to start the program. The meters will be installed as the Homelessness Commission receives sponsorships for them.

Mayor Dean announced the program and called for area businesses to participate during the Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville’s inaugural Bowtie Awards ceremony today, where businesses were honored for their support of the arts. Several hundred business people attended the awards luncheon. The first meter sponsored by Southwest Airlines was on display to demonstrate the sponsorship opportunities for businesses.

“We are excited to be working with The Key Alliance on a special arts element for the Adopt a Meter program,” said Connie Valentine, CEO of the Arts & Business Council. “The adopting companies will eventually have opportunity to sculpt or display art on or around their adopted meter – creating a powerful combination of arts and business in support of this important initiative.”

Cities of Service and Rockefeller Foundation Award First-Ever Leadership Grant to Nashville on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

Group of 17 City Mayors, Including Nashville’s Mayor, Karl Dean, At Rockefeller Center September 10, 2009

Grant to Fund Chief Service Officer Position to Lead Local Efforts to Increase Volunteerism

Cities of Service and the Rockefeller Foundation today announced the winners of the first-ever Cities of Service Leadership grants. As one of the ten winning cities, Nashville will receive the $200,000 two-year grant, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, to hire a Chief Service Officer dedicated to developing and implementing a citywide plan to increase volunteerism.

Cities of Service is a bipartisan coalition of mayors from across the country, representing more than 38 million Americans in 80 cities, dedicated to engaging more Americans in service and channeling volunteers toward each city’s most pressing challenges.

Each of the winners displayed a strong commitment to service and outlined thoughtful, thorough, and creative approaches to expanding local opportunities for volunteers to make an impact in their city. Of the ten grant recipients, five are founding members of the Cities of Service coalition, including Nashville.

“I first learned of this funding opportunity when I joined Mayor Bloomberg in New York in September for the formation of Cities of Service. These are tight times for city budgets. This grant will allow us to have dedicated staff for developing service opportunities, something we wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise. I look forward to engaging our citizens to in our cities greatest needs and priorities, especially education,” Nashville Mayor Karl Dean said.

“I can think of no better way to celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” said New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, co-founder of Cities of Service. “His words – as eloquent as you will ever find – were about more than our highest aspirations. They were also a call to action. That is something that mayors know well. We are the ones who confront challenges, day in and day out, and we have quickly learned that service is an important tool that we can use to solve local problems. These grants will quickly allow mayors to expand their local service opportunities and deepen their impact.”

The Cities of Service Leadership grants will allow each city to hire a Chief Service Officer, a senior-ranking official who will develop and implement a citywide service plan by June 1, 2010. To do so, each Chief Service Officer will convene a strategic committee of service experts and stakeholders, conduct an assessment of existing service levels, and identify collaborative partnerships to deepen the effects of local volunteerism. By December 1, 2010, recipient cities must submit a progress report tracking the results of the comprehensive service plan and launch a website that allows both volunteers to search for service opportunities and service organizations seeking to engage citizens.

A selection committee – made up of the Rockefeller Foundation, national service experts, and city representatives – awarded the grants based upon the ability of the applicant to outline how they would: conduct an assessment of existing service levels; produce a coordinated citywide plan to increase service; engage local universities; and appoint a Chief Service Officer who would report directly to the mayor or another high-ranking official in the administration. Applications were limited to members of the coalition in cities that have more than 100,000 residents, according to the 2000 census, and have at least one community college or four-year public or private university. In total, 50 cities applied for a leadership grant.


Show Features Unique Blend of Sculpting and Painting

Local husband and wife artists Aaron and Michelle Grayum will bring their dazzling parade of clowns, circus tents and whimsical creatures to Crema Coffee for their Circus of the Umbrella art show. An artists’ reception will be held at Crema on Friday, January 22 at 7pm, and the show will run through February 27. A portion of sales will be donated to the Wonderful Life Foundation as well as to Haitian Relief Efforts.

Circus of the Umbrella, a fanciful ode to the high-flying magic and splendor of the circus, features pieces of art that uniquely blend the painting talents of Aaron Grayum with the sculpting talents of wife Michelle, all on the same canvases. The couple, who have shared show spaces before, have never worked together this closely on an entire show from start to finish.

“This show is our first collaboration where we’ve combined painting and sculpture on each and every piece of an entire exhibition,” said Michelle. “Considering that both our styles reflect a sense of childlike whimsy and that they complement each other so well, collaboration seems to be a natural step in our careers. With ‘Circus of the Umbrella,’ we are bringing together our fascinations for the real and the surreal, for faith and disbelief, and for childlike amazement wrapped in the paradox that is the circus.”

Aaron and Michelle met as art students at MTSU and have been working together in graphic design ever since, winning nearly a dozen Addy awards along the way. Aaron’s particular style of painting has been well-received in many Nashville art galleries and shows over the years. He has recently started showing nationally, including galleries in Alabama, Florida, and Chicago. Michelle, in addition to showing her sculptures in local galleries and shows, has used her sculpting talent to start a successful custom wedding cake-topper business, Zoë Tops.