NASHVILLE, TN — Country singer-songwriter Lionel Cartwright wants to give back to the Nashville community in a big way.

So big, in fact that the music veteran hopes his inaugural “Love This Town” benefit concert, set for 7 p.m. Friday, March 31 at HopePark Auditorium in Bellevue, will be part of an ongoing series that moves beyond the Nashville area.

In the meantime, Cartwright has lined up talent that includes acclaimed guitarist and recording artist Phil Keaggy as well as young talents Savannah Conley, Hank Compton and Zach Hackett to join him on stage that night.

Proceeds will benefit the Love This Town Fund of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, with The Literacy Council of Middle Tennessee, PENCIL, and the Bellevue Food Bank targeted to receive funds from the kickoff concert.

“My wife [Cindy] and I have been thinking about doing this for years,” Cartwright, now the worship pastor at HopePark Church, says of the concert. “It goes to great causes. And, my being from West Virginia originally, I’m hoping one day to take these benefit concerts on the road.”

The multi-instrumentalist Cartwright broke onto the Nashville country music scene in the same talented crop that included hit makers Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson and Travis Tritt. Between 1998-92 he recorded three albums, the first two for MCA Records with famed producer Tony Brown, and charted 12 singles on the country charts. He had a No. 1 single in 1991’s “Leap of Faith.”

Beyond his singer-songwriter successes, the long-time West Meade resident also has been an in-demand composer, actor, music director and bandleader.

HopePark Auditorium is located at 8001 Highway 70 South in Bellevue. Tickets are available for $17.50, $50 VIP through

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The Community Foundation exists to promote and facilitate giving in the 40 counties of Middle Tennessee and beyond. It does this by accepting gifts of any size from anyone at any time and by empowering individuals, families, companies, nonprofits, and communities to respond to needs and opportunities that matter. The Community Foundation works with people who have great hearts, whether or not they have great wealth, to craft solutions that reflect their intentions and goals. For more information, call 615-321-4939 or visit