By: Janice Malone
NASHVILLE, TN — If you are an individual artist/artist-or a community-based organization with programs that support Nashville residents in all forms of arts and culture, Metro Arts has some exciting upcoming events for you. Metro Arts is the Office of Arts + Culture for Nashville and Davidson County. A portion of their noteworthy work is to help the arts and talented artists on the local scene, become a more vibrant and equitable community. Metro Arts works to ensure that all Nashvillians have access to a creative life through community investments, artist and organizational training, public art, and creative placemaking coordination, and direct programs that involve residents in all forms of arts and culture.
Daniel Singh, executive director of Metro Arts, answers 5 Questions about some upcoming
events for local artists and community organizations beginning this month.
TRIBUNE: I understand Metro Arts has an exciting lineup of community-based initiatives and events for Nashville communities, and especially for artistic individuals.
SINGH: We have several key events that are coming up. We’re embarking on an ambitious
cultural planning process that will be looking at what local artists and arts organizations need as the city is growing exponentially…It’s a look at how we can build a plan for a long-term vision of what we can do for Music City. And to do that plan, we really want to center our work around the community’s input.
TRIBUNE: Share with us about The Listening Sessions.
SINGH: We have three listening sessions coming up in late April, early May, where either
artists or organizations in the community can provide feedback about their experiences, both in terms of what our funding programs have given them as opportunities, but also what their dreams and desires might be for the future, and how we can do what’s better. We’re also really interested in looking at the disparities in funding. There have been a lot of questions about how artists and arts organizations can get more equitable access to arts funding and really focus on understanding if arts organizations have experienced disparity in any way…The listening sessions are focused on our Disparity study…These three sessions will be just in the April and May time period. But after that, we’ll have our cultural planning and listening sessions, town halls, and surveys that will go on for the next year or so.
TRIBUNE: Sounds like various nonprofits and community organizations definitely can benefit from these sessions. But what about individual people who are artists, painters, sculptors, musicians, etc. Will this be something for them too?
SINGH: Yes, absolutely. We definitely want individual artists, whether they’re painters or
muralists or solo dancers, or solo musicians, too. If you’re an artist or an aspiring artist or an artist being forced to leave Nashville because of gentrification or other reasons, we want you there.
TRIBUNE: Tell us about the upcoming Cultivate.
SINGH: Cultivate starts on April 15. It’s being launched to build, strengthen, and cultivate our communities in Nashville and Davidson County. The program supports direct response to immediate needs or urgent needs that an artist or an art organization might have due to an emergency or professional development opportunity…This is kind of an outgrowth of our analysis on what happened during the pandemic and what artists were needing at that time. We wanted to build on this information by giving applicants up to $2,500 with around within about45 days of the request.
TRIBUNE: Is there a fee to attend Cultivate or the Listening Sessions or any of the other
SINGH: Absolutely not. They’re free for attendees. We will also be providing dinner or lunch, depending on which event attendees sign up for. We want everyone to come and be able to be a part of the event, network, and get to know Metro Arts. We want to get to know you and hear your story…Details about The Listening Sessions, Cultivate, the Disparity Study and more, are all on our websites at https://www.metroartsnashville.com/listening-sessions or