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Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville Arts: Art Scene in Nashville

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From the Grand Ol’ Opry to the Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville’s nickname “Music City U.S.A” is richly deserved. Nashville’s blend of sophistication and down home soul is truly unique, and the city’s arts offerings extend beyond its historic country western pedigree with classical music and dance also finding a welcome home here.

Nashville Arts Information

Art Museums

Cheekwood Museum of Art

Cheekwood Museum of Art

The history of Cheekwood, the property that now houses the Cheekwood Museum, can be traced back to the late 19th century, when the Cheek family of West Nashville was developing what would become the Maxwell House coffee company (then the Cheek-Neal company). In 1928 the family sold their business and with the proceeds bought 100 acres of woodland in West Nashville, hiring New York landscape architect Bryant Fleming to …more…

Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery

Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery (Nashville, TN)

Recently relocated to the historic McKim, Mead and White building (also known as Cohen Memorial Hall) on Vanderbilt’s Peabody campus, the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery contains a permanent collection of nearly 6,000 works of art. ...more...

Theater

Nashville Shakespeare Festival

Nashville Shakespeare Festival

Despite the word “festival” in this organization’s name, it gives performances throughout the year. NSF began in 1988, when a group of local actors presented the first free-of-charge “Shakespeare in the Park” production, As You Like It, with a modest budget of $500. Since then, the company has grown into one of the region’s leading professional theatres, and as many as …more…

Tennessee Repertory Theatre

Tennessee Repertory Theatre

Founded in 1985, the Tennessee Repertory Theatre seeks to present high-quality productions for a broad range of audiences in Nashville and Middle Tennessee. The company’s mission has expanded to include the development and creation of new works, with an emphasis on musicals. In 1999, a second-stage production series was established as an adjunct to the theater’s main stage shows, with …more…

Classical Music

Nashville Symphony Orchestra

Nashville Symphony Orchestra

The Nashville Symphony began in 1945. Today, the orchestra is a respected institution in the South with numerous recordings and an armload of Grammys to go with them, as well as a busy performance schedule. Several levels of season tickets and a “Compose-Your-Own” package are available with many discounts and benefits. The Symphony also puts on a number of educational programs for schoolchildren and …more…

Opera

Nashville Opera

Nashville Opera

Nashville is nationally noted as the home of the Grand Ole Opry. Now another “Grand Ole Opry” is attracting increasingly favorable media attention. “Nashville Opera has secured for itself a place among important regional companies,” one critic recently noted. “An operatic miracle … in Nashville,” added another.

And the sleek new Noah Liff Opera Center, opened in 2009, could become as integral an element of the Nashville performing arts scene as …more…

Jazz

BB Kings Nashville

B.B. King’s Nashville

Located in the middle of one of America’s richest musical communities, B.B. King’s features music that’s always authentically American and always high-quality, with jazz being only one flavor in the musical stew onstage. Most of its featured performers are local groups performing on regular weeknights throughout the year, though the early evening set on Fridays rotates performers each week.

Opened in 2003, this is one of five restaurants bearing the name …more…

Jefferson Street Jazz & Blues Fest

Jefferson Street Jazz & Blues Fest

(June) Jefferson Street Jazz & Blues Fest is an annual event held on Nashville’s historic Bicentennial Mall. Every summer, hundreds gather in this historic park to celebrate Nashville’s roots in jazz and blues and the impact the still-thriving Nashville African American community had on Music City and the contemporary musical landscape as a whole.

In the 1940s through the 1960s, Jefferson Street was one of America’s best-known areas for jazz, blues …more…

Nashville Jazz Workshop

Nashville Jazz Workshop

The Nashville Jazz Workshop began life in 1988 as the Nashville Jazz Institute, providing an alternative to academic jazz education in universities. Incorporating as a non-profit in 2000, the Workshop changed names and locations, adding to its offerings visual art exhibits, performances by students and faculty, and a regular concert series, “Snap on 2 and 4.” The new facility includes its own audio …more…

Dance

Dance Theatre of Tennessee

Dance Theatre of Tennessee

DTT was created in 2009 as the performance arm of former Nashville Ballet dancer Christopher Mohnani’s nonprofit Asian American Performing Arts Society. The premise for DTT is to educate and expose local audiences to ballet by inviting performers from around the world to join the company in their presentation of both the classics and new work. Guest dancers have come from such luminary companies as Ballet West, Pennsylvania Ballet, and the Australian Ballet to contribute to classics such as The Nutcracker and Swan Lake, among others. ...more...

Nashville Ballet

Nashville Ballet

As the largest professional ballet company in Tennessee, Nashville Ballet enjoys an audience that stretches over 15 counties in middle Tennessee. Their repertoire includes classics such as Swan Lake, new choreographic commissions, and work by artistic director Paul Vasterling. In addition to their regular productions, the company occasionally performs story ballet excerpts for children’s events at local public libraries. ...more...

Film

Nashville Film Festival

Nashville Film Festival

Not many people today would believe that the Nashville Film Festival, now one of the most popular film festivals in the South, was once called the Sinking Creek Film Celebration. Both the name and the festival have evolved since its inception in 1969. Now, the NaFF is one of the longest-running film festivals in the country, and widely recognized as one of the premiere film fests in America. MovieMaker Magazine …more…

Multi-Arts Festivals

bonnaroo

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival (Manchester, TN)

(June 7 – 10, 2012) Bonnaroo (the term, popularized by Dr. John, means “a really good time”) gives most other summer arts and music festivals a run for their money. Once primarily a jam band festival, the four-day hippie-friendly camping fest now features an extraordinarily diverse roster with more headliners than you can count. ...more...

Venues

Belcourt Theatre

Belcourt Theatre

Located in Hillsboro Village, the Belcourt Theatre is no longer Nashville’s best-kept secret, and it’s not just the fully stocked bar that has people coming back for more. The Belcourt first opened its doors in 1925 as a venue to showcase silent films. Before reverting to a cinema in 1966, over the years, the theatre has housed the Children’s Theatre of Nashville, the Grand Ole Opry and the Nashville Community …more…

Great Performances – Vanderbilt University

Great Performances – Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University’s Great Performances (GP) program has served the Nashville area for more than 35 years, bringing talent of international caliber to numerous venues across the school’s campus.  It is a largely student-run organization, coordinated by a student committee at all levels of production, under the direction of a professional advisor.

Great Performances programs a variety of dance, theatre …more…

Tennessee Performing Arts Center

Tennessee Performing Arts Center

The Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) is a massive platform for the performing arts in Tennessee.  It was established in 1980 after almost a decade of fundraising efforts and the creation of the TPAC Management Corporation, which oversaw the public-private partnership between the Tennessee government and a number of private interests invested in the project.  In its first years, TPAC was …more…

Art Museums

Cheekwood Museum of Art

Cheekwood Museum of Art

The history of Cheekwood, the property that now houses the Cheekwood Museum, can be traced back to the late 19th century, when the Cheek family of West Nashville was developing what would become the Maxwell House coffee company (then the Cheek-Neal company). In 1928 the family sold their business and with the proceeds bought 100 acres of woodland in West Nashville, hiring New York landscape architect Bryant Fleming to …more…

Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery

Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery (Nashville, TN)

Recently relocated to the historic McKim, Mead and White building (also known as Cohen Memorial Hall) on Vanderbilt’s Peabody campus, the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery contains a permanent collection of nearly 6,000 works of art. ...more...

Theater

Nashville Shakespeare Festival

Nashville Shakespeare Festival

Despite the word “festival” in this organization’s name, it gives performances throughout the year. NSF began in 1988, when a group of local actors presented the first free-of-charge “Shakespeare in the Park” production, As You Like It, with a modest budget of $500. Since then, the company has grown into one of the region’s leading professional theatres, and as many as …more…

Tennessee Repertory Theatre

Tennessee Repertory Theatre

Founded in 1985, the Tennessee Repertory Theatre seeks to present high-quality productions for a broad range of audiences in Nashville and Middle Tennessee. The company’s mission has expanded to include the development and creation of new works, with an emphasis on musicals. In 1999, a second-stage production series was established as an adjunct to the theater’s main stage shows, with …more…

Classical Music

Nashville Symphony Orchestra

Nashville Symphony Orchestra

The Nashville Symphony began in 1945. Today, the orchestra is a respected institution in the South with numerous recordings and an armload of Grammys to go with them, as well as a busy performance schedule. Several levels of season tickets and a “Compose-Your-Own” package are available with many discounts and benefits. The Symphony also puts on a number of educational programs for schoolchildren and …more…

Opera

Nashville Opera

Nashville Opera

Nashville is nationally noted as the home of the Grand Ole Opry. Now another “Grand Ole Opry” is attracting increasingly favorable media attention. “Nashville Opera has secured for itself a place among important regional companies,” one critic recently noted. “An operatic miracle … in Nashville,” added another.

And the sleek new Noah Liff Opera Center, opened in 2009, could become as integral an element of the Nashville performing arts scene as …more…

Jazz

BB Kings Nashville

B.B. King’s Nashville

Located in the middle of one of America’s richest musical communities, B.B. King’s features music that’s always authentically American and always high-quality, with jazz being only one flavor in the musical stew onstage. Most of its featured performers are local groups performing on regular weeknights throughout the year, though the early evening set on Fridays rotates performers each week.

Opened in 2003, this is one of five restaurants bearing the name …more…

Jefferson Street Jazz & Blues Fest

Jefferson Street Jazz & Blues Fest

(June) Jefferson Street Jazz & Blues Fest is an annual event held on Nashville’s historic Bicentennial Mall. Every summer, hundreds gather in this historic park to celebrate Nashville’s roots in jazz and blues and the impact the still-thriving Nashville African American community had on Music City and the contemporary musical landscape as a whole.

In the 1940s through the 1960s, Jefferson Street was one of America’s best-known areas for jazz, blues …more…

Nashville Jazz Workshop

Nashville Jazz Workshop

The Nashville Jazz Workshop began life in 1988 as the Nashville Jazz Institute, providing an alternative to academic jazz education in universities. Incorporating as a non-profit in 2000, the Workshop changed names and locations, adding to its offerings visual art exhibits, performances by students and faculty, and a regular concert series, “Snap on 2 and 4.” The new facility includes its own audio …more…

Dance

Dance Theatre of Tennessee

Dance Theatre of Tennessee

DTT was created in 2009 as the performance arm of former Nashville Ballet dancer Christopher Mohnani’s nonprofit Asian American Performing Arts Society. The premise for DTT is to educate and expose local audiences to ballet by inviting performers from around the world to join the company in their presentation of both the classics and new work. Guest dancers have come from such luminary companies as Ballet West, Pennsylvania Ballet, and the Australian Ballet to contribute to classics such as The Nutcracker and Swan Lake, among others. ...more...

Nashville Ballet

Nashville Ballet

As the largest professional ballet company in Tennessee, Nashville Ballet enjoys an audience that stretches over 15 counties in middle Tennessee. Their repertoire includes classics such as Swan Lake, new choreographic commissions, and work by artistic director Paul Vasterling. In addition to their regular productions, the company occasionally performs story ballet excerpts for children’s events at local public libraries. ...more...

Film

Nashville Film Festival

Nashville Film Festival

Not many people today would believe that the Nashville Film Festival, now one of the most popular film festivals in the South, was once called the Sinking Creek Film Celebration. Both the name and the festival have evolved since its inception in 1969. Now, the NaFF is one of the longest-running film festivals in the country, and widely recognized as one of the premiere film fests in America. MovieMaker Magazine …more…

Multi-Arts Festivals

bonnaroo

Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival (Manchester, TN)

(June 7 – 10, 2012) Bonnaroo (the term, popularized by Dr. John, means “a really good time”) gives most other summer arts and music festivals a run for their money. Once primarily a jam band festival, the four-day hippie-friendly camping fest now features an extraordinarily diverse roster with more headliners than you can count. ...more...

Venues

Belcourt Theatre

Belcourt Theatre

Located in Hillsboro Village, the Belcourt Theatre is no longer Nashville’s best-kept secret, and it’s not just the fully stocked bar that has people coming back for more. The Belcourt first opened its doors in 1925 as a venue to showcase silent films. Before reverting to a cinema in 1966, over the years, the theatre has housed the Children’s Theatre of Nashville, the Grand Ole Opry and the Nashville Community …more…

Great Performances – Vanderbilt University

Great Performances – Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University’s Great Performances (GP) program has served the Nashville area for more than 35 years, bringing talent of international caliber to numerous venues across the school’s campus.  It is a largely student-run organization, coordinated by a student committee at all levels of production, under the direction of a professional advisor.

Great Performances programs a variety of dance, theatre …more…

Tennessee Performing Arts Center

Tennessee Performing Arts Center

The Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) is a massive platform for the performing arts in Tennessee.  It was established in 1980 after almost a decade of fundraising efforts and the creation of the TPAC Management Corporation, which oversaw the public-private partnership between the Tennessee government and a number of private interests invested in the project.  In its first years, TPAC was …more…