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Budget at Work: Recreation and Culture

Nashville Public Library - 2017 Library of the Year

The Nashville Public Library (NPL) was named the 2017 "Library of the Year" by the Library Journal. In granting the designation, the Journal stated, "In the scope of its programs, services, and collections; the incredible reach of its efforts in cooperation with other public agencies, departments, and local businesses; and it work to identify and fulfill needs of both the mainstream and marginalized people of Nashville and Davidson County, the Nashville Public Library (NPL), the Gale/LJ2017 Library of the Year, is a model for the nation and the world."

In addition to 5,430,309 items circulated in FY17, programs offered by NPL that received recognition by the Journal are:

  • Bringing Books to Life (BBLT) - Preschool literacy initiative that delivers family workshops, teacher training, and story times throughout the county
  • Limitless Libraries - Partnership with Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) that allows MNPS students to access NPL materials from their schools
  • Puppetry - Nashville's local puppet troupe, Wishing Chair Productions, provides a distinctive method of storytelling with shows at the Main Library and throughout the county in conjunction with BBLT
  • Civil Rights Room and Collection - Provides space and materials to educate the public on Nashville's unique role in nonviolent protest during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s-1960s
  • Studio NPL - Maker spaces designed for teens to design their own audio and film production, photography, graphic design, and creative writing projects using the latest technology in eight studios around the county
  • Nashville After Zone Alliance (NAZA) - In coordination with MNPS and local nonprofits, NAZA is an afterschool program for middle school students that provides homework assistance and other creative activities
  • Adult Education - Offers various programs to: improve adult literacy, courses for English Language Learners, and job skill training
  • Digital Literacy - NPL maintains access to computers, teaches classes and offers online resources for the public to improve their ability to utilize technology
  • NPL BoomBox - Provides patron's with downloads from local musicians

"A city with a great library is a great city" is the oft repeated motto of NPL that library staff and citizens of Davidson County aim to live up to it by maintaining and expanding the programs and services across the 21 locations throughout the county that led to the receipt of this honor.

In fiscal year 2018 the public library received $31 million from the Metro general fund for operating expenses in addition to community donation funds and intergovernmental grant funding.

For more information visit A Win for Nashville.

Parks' Statewide Award

Metro Parks was honored by the Tennessee Recreation and Park Association (TRPA) in October 2017 for their disABILITIES division. They received the Four-Star Award for Athletic Programming. The program offers individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities a wide variety of activities in conjunction with local nonprofits. Programs are offered throughout the year with day camps during the summer.

Metro Parks' employees and community partners were also honored at the TRPA's annual conference.

In fiscal year 2018 parks and recreation received $40 million from the Metro general fund for operating expenses in addition to community donation funds and grant funding.

Visit Metro Parks Scores Six Statewide Awards for more information.

Human Relations Commission

The Human Relations Commission continues to promote the general welfare of all people in Metro Nashville. Over the past year, the department had a presence in the Celebrate Nashville week, African Street Festival, Music City Iftar, Fair Housing Summit, Nashville Hearts Me Platform, Stand Against Racism, and Nashville Pride Festival.

In fiscal year 2018, the department partnered with the Police Department and received funds to host Mobile Diversity Seminars twice a year. This partnership allows cadets to meet with members of the Muslim, Latino, New American, African-American, and LGBTQ communities. During these conversations, the members of the community have the opportunity to discuss how they view the Police Department and discuss ways they can work together to build and protect their communities. The funding will continue for fiscal year 2019.

Arts Commission Updates

Arts Commission Executive Director Jennifer Cole is taking a new role at Arizona State University and Caroline Vincent has been appointed by the Commission to serve as Interim Executive Director. Metro Human Resources will lead the four to six-month search to find a permanent Director, and during the transitional period Metro Arts will continue its work in the communities for both art and public art neighborhood engagement.

Metro Arts also celebrated its 40th anniversary year in 2018 and created a new tag, "Nashville's Office of Arts + Culture". This rebranding aligns with the organization's strategic plan goal of making it brand more contemporary and cutting edge. Several activities, including a social media campaign and using 40 local artists' works for public spaces in Metro buildings, will occur during the anniversary year.