Located along the Cumberland River, Nashville is a crossroads of American culture, and easily the fastest-growing part of the Upper South and the territory between Atlanta and Texas. Contrary to what many believe, Nashville offers its residents and visitors more than just a Country Music Scene. Our city also has a thriving art scene that is very welcoming to new ideas and points of view. Recently, BusinessWeek.com ranked Nashville as #7 on its list of the “10 Best Places for Artists in America.” This “top 10” list includes Los Angeles (as #1), New York, and San Francisco.
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THE ART SCENE
The Frist Center for the Visual Arts, located in downtown Nashville, makes art interesting for everyone with exhibits from around the world, an interactive gallery and educational programs. The Parthenon, the center of the art and architecture in Nashville, focuses on a permanent collection of 19th and 20th century American artists and leading traveling exhibits. Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Fine Arts Center features a Japanese garden, regional flower gardens and a remarkable outdoor sculpture trail, as well as a contemporary gallery featuring the best of local, national, and international artists.
Art galleries thrive in Nashville’s creative setting and serve as an accessible venue for Watkins’ faculty and students to exhibit their work. Some of the local favorites include: Open Lot, Estel Gallery, Coop, Twist Gallery, Cumberland Gallery, Rymer, and Zeitgeist. Every first Saturday of the month, downtown Nashville comes to life with over one thousand visitors who participate in the Gallery Crawl- an event that features exhibits and receptions at multiple local galleries.
On the performing arts scene, the Tennessee Performing Arts Center houses three stages which are booked nearly every day of the year with Broadway touring companies and local performing arts groups including the Nashville Opera and Nashville Ballet companies. The Schermerhorn Symphony Centre opened in 2006 as the state-of-the-art home of the Nashville Symphony. Nashville also features multiple music venues for top-name tours to local bands and everything in-between.
AREAS OF INTEREST
Hillsboro Village, commonly known as “The Village” offers a complete line of neighborhood services, retail stores, and entertainment. Specialty stores, some of the best restaurants in town and the historic Belcourt Theatre make Hillsboro Village a destination point for all Nashvillians.
The West End of Nashville is home to Music Row. If you have any interest in country music or the music industry, this is a place where you should spend at least a day. Every major recording label in the United States has an office here. The West End is also home to Centennial Park, The Parthenon, many dining choices, as well as shopping and entertainment. Also located nearby is the “Elliston Place Rock Block”, a block-long section of Elliston Avenue that is home to some of the hottest music venues in town. This is not the place to go if you are interested in quiet conversation—this is where you go to listen to great independent rock music and party into the wee hours of the night.
East Nashville offers an urban neighborhood with a small-town feel. Recently almost two-dozen restaurants and bars have opened, many in recycled architecture, exploiting the district’s funky character. An old gas station is now Café Margot, and a 1930s pharmacy houses Eastland Cafe. Bongo Java roasts coffee in a former electronics repair shop, and Family Wash serves pub food in an old laundromat. Turnip Truck—the auto-body-shop-turned-health-food-grocery—offers Provence bread and homemade soup. Hordes gather at the Garage Mahal, the former tow truck shed that’s home to the annual Tomato Art Festival. The east side is also home to Nashville’s first dog park.
Green Hills is one of Nashville’s shopping and entertainment destinations. The Mall at Green Hills featuring top-of-the-line department stores, Regal Theater, Whole Foods, and the historic Bluebird Café are just some of the attractions you will find in this part of town.
- No. 1, “America’s Friendliest City” (Travel and Leisure).
- One of the “50 Best Cities to Live and Play” (National Geographic Advenure).
- One of the “Top 10 Cities in the Nation for Live Music and Concerts” (Travel and Leisure).
- No. 12, “List of Cities Where the Most People Would Like to Live” (Harris Poll).
- One of the “Best Cities for Young Professionals” (Forbes.com).
- One of the “Top 25 Big Cities Arts Destinations” (AmericanStyle).
- No. 14, “Best Cities for Jobs” (Forbes).
- One of the “Top 25 Places to Live and go to School” (RelocateAmerican.com)