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Artober Nashville Celebrates Arts & Culture Throughout October


Special events across Nashville including new poetry, music performances, and art exhibitions throughout the month of October

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission (Metro Arts) announced plans for Artober Nashville 2016, the city’s annual celebration of everything-arts-and-culture held during October (National Arts & Humanities month).

Now in its sixth year, Artober Nashville was established to inform and inspire the city’s awareness of the arts while fostering civic participation across all creative genres. Metro Arts and will highlight official Artober Nashville 2016 events from hundreds of local artists and cultural organizations. Information is available at, the online portal offered in partnership with The site includes listings for music, theater, dance, visual arts, festivals, family-friendly activities, free events, classes/workshops, poetry/literary readings, and film/video screenings.

With more than 400,000 Nashvillians expected to engage in events throughout the city’s unique neighborhoods, Artober Nashville has become one of the largest cultural celebrations in the Southeast.“Artober Nashville 2016 truly offers something for everyone,” said Jennifer Cole, executive director of Metro Arts. “Engaging and celebrating the abundance of creativity found throughout Nashville has been the central focus of this month-long event since its establishment in 2011. Artober Nashville 2016 also provides a larger platform for the city’s individual artists, neighborhood art festivals and celebrations and the creativity of everyday people.”

October 1 (Saturday) - Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival - (formerly Celebration of Cultures) has grown over the past two decades from 1500 attendees to 60,000+. The event is the largest cultural festival in the Southeastern US and the only event of its kind in the United States. In commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of Celebrate Nashville, the festival will be hosting a Naturalization Ceremony and performances from Sankofa African Drum and Dance Company as they present Bantaba Circles, communal African drum and dance circles. These Bantaba Circles will provide a communal space for both expert and novice drummers and dancers to be taught traditional West African technique. Mayor Barry will officially kick-off Artober Nashville at 12:04pm at the main performance stage.

October 1-2 - Turnip Green Creative Reuse present : “Reuse Village” Where Artists are Born - Join local artists each day during the Hermitage Fall Festival to learn reuse art techniques and participate in a collaborative community art project. Kits will be provided for participants to take home to try newly discovered techniques.

October 3 (Monday) - Evocative talk: “Imagining and enacting racial and cultural equity in the artistic commons.” Presented by Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson. Emma Bistro. Reception- 5:30 PM; Presentation- 6:00 PM - Dr. Jackson is currently the senior advisor to the Arts and Culture program at the Kresge Foundation. She holds master’s degree in public administration from the University of Southern California and a Ph.D. in urban planning from UCLA. The event will be held at Emma Bistro located at 9 Lea Avenue in the SoBro section of Downtown Nashville. Presented by the Curb Center at Vanderbilt University, the Scarritt Bennett Center, and Metro Arts.

October 15 (Saturday) - ArtCamp Nashville - Nossi College of Art/Madison Campus - Bring your creativity to Nossi College of Art and select your own agenda for the day! Select from dozens of sessions created by members of Nashville's creative community. Art Camp is a day of education and inspiration for Nashville’s creative community. This affordable, all-day event is designed to bring artists, makers, and creatives of all kinds together to preserve and strengthen the local arts scene in Nashville. Get your ArtCamp tickets in advance and save $5, they will be $20 at the door. Your ticket includes coffee and lunch, plus a T-Shirt for the first 300 registrars. Be sure to check out a performance by Youth Poet Laureate Cassidy Martin at 12:35 PM, followed by and address by Mayor Barry at 12:45 PM.

October 14-16 – Southern Festival of Books / Artober Nashville Performance Stages (Legislative Plaza) - Humanities Tennessee will host the 28th Annual Southern Festival of Books in downtown Nashville on Legislative and War Memorial Plazas as well as at the Nashville Public Library downtown branch. More than 200 authors of all genre and background will convene for this event to participate in 120 different sessions which include panel discussions, presentations, Q&A sessions, and book signings. It is anticipated that some 25,000 people from across the region visiting Nashville for this free and open event. The Artober Nashville Performance Stage will host dance, spoken word, theater and poetry performances by local artists.

The Porch Writer’s Collective presents Poetry on Demand: Nashville Neighborhood Project. This Project will bring poetry to the people (and vice versa) in an immediate and collaborative fashion. On October 14-16, 2016 at the Southern Festival of Books and at the Athens of the South Music Festival on October 22, 2016 trained poets will solicit stories from community members through a thoughtful interview process, then immediately draft a poem that captures or is informed by the individual’s story. Final works will be created into letterpress broadsides and displayed in a public exhibition. trained poets will solicit stories from community members through a thoughtful interview process, then immediately draft a poem that captures or is informed by the individual’s story. Final works will be created into letterpress broadsides and displayed in a public exhibition.

For more information about these and other Artober Nashville events visit the Artober Nashville calendar.

About the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission (Metro Arts)

The Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission, a commission of the Metropolitan Nashville Government, drives a more equitable and vibrant community through the arts. Metro Arts receives operational support from the Tennessee Arts Commission, and additional information is available online at