NASHVILLE, TN — This summer, Cheekwood celebrates the completion of The Cheekwood Campaign, its first major fundraising campaign in over 20 years and the largest in the institution’s 61-year history. With a total of over $37 million pledged in support of the Campaign, exceeding its original goal of $30 million, Cheekwood secured pivotal funding to enhance facilities, elevate the guest experience, and increase its endowment from $4.8 million to $20 million.

An unprecedented effort that began quietly in 2015, The Cheekwood Campaign was created to address decades of deferred restoration in both the gardens and facilities; increase endowment and establish capital reserve funds to ensure the ongoing and long-term care of the estate; and initiate the first phase of Cheekwood’s Master Site Plan, including enhancements to the Ann & Monroe Carell Jr. Family Sculpture Trail, Blevins Japanese Garden, and Frist Learning Center as well as the new Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden. Following the Campaign, Cheekwood’s endowment increased from $4.8 million to $19.7 million (with pledges for an additional $1.5 million), and an institutional commitment to continue to raise funds for its endowment through planned gifts recognized by the Homer Gibbs Legacy Society.

The Cheekwood Campaign was led by nine seven-figure gifts, including the Ann & Monroe Carell Foundation, the Bracken Foundation, and the Frist Foundation, joined by Melba & Bill Blevins, Mrs. James C. “Tooty” Bradford, Jr., Mr. and Mrs.

The New Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden. Photo by Mary Craven Photography

William H. Freeman, and an Anonymous donor, as well as other donors who have made significant legacy giving commitments. Campaign leadership included Honorary Co-Chairs Jim and Nicky Cheek, Joan Cheek, and Will T. Cheek, Jr; and Co-Chairs Jim Hunt and the late Jimmy Webb, both former Chairs of the Cheekwood Board of Trustees.

Jane O. MacLeod, President/CEO of Cheekwood, said: “We are beyond thrilled to have reached the finish line of The Cheekwood Campaign, an important milestone in our institution’s history. The Campaign has allowed us to address significant deferred restoration, while enhancing our gardens and facilities, and increasing our endowment to ensure the estate is well cared for and the institution financially strong. Especially during this last year, Cheekwood has served to support our community as a place of incomparable beauty that provides both solace and joy—this Campaign makes certain that Cheekwood will continue to do so for generations to come.” 

MacLeod continued, “On behalf of Cheekwood, I want to thank each and every individual and organization that

Frist Learning Center at Cheekwood.

contributed to the Campaign, and particularly our generous donors who made leadership gifts. The unwavering support of our Board of Trustees and Senior Team is demonstrated by the 100 percent participation that the Campaign witnessed. Notably, among the many hundreds of donors to the Campaign were large numbers of younger families who supported the Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden at significant levels, building a new layer of philanthropic support at Cheekwood. We are delighted that Cheekwood’s future has never looked brighter.”