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Arts Commission

Crafting a Creative City

Art, culture and creativity reflect a city’s spirit and values—they are its pulse. Since its founding, arts and cultural participation have been central to Nashville’s history and economic livelihood. The music infrastructure has acted as what cultural scholar, Dr. Elizabeth Currid-Halkett, calls a “Warhol Economy”—an informal culture of sharing and collaboration between creative people that generates social capital, new ideas and community identity. Through this affect, the music industry has served as a magnet attracting visual artists, actors, fashion designers and cultural organizations to this “Athens of the South”. Nashville’s diverse creative ecosystem is one of the many reasons it has become a cultural “It City” and international tourist destination.

Creative Ecosystem

The combination of cultural production and cultural tourism represent 28% of the workforce and contribute more than $13 billion dollars to the regional economy. The National Center for Arts Research recently cited Nashville as the second most vibrant creative city in the U.S.—beating out Los Angeles and New York. Arts and culture then, are Nashville’s unique competitive edge.

Metro Arts is the designated driver and facilitator of programs, policies and practices that support our arts and cultural vibrancy. Find out more about our mission, vision and theory of change.

Crafting a Creative City - Executive Summary
Crafting a Creative City - Full Strategic Plan