Community Education Upcoming Events:

Check back soon for upcoming events!

Handmade&BoundHandmade & Bound Nashville is a festival celebrating independent publications and printed matter, featuring artists’ books, zines, mini-comics and prints. This is an event for publishers and artists (as well as zine distros) to come together to sell and/or trade their handmade and affordable publications and creations. Admission is free and open for all ages.

Make sure to check out the Handmade & Bound Nashville blog and Facebook page to stay updated on all festival news! Handmade & Bound, Issue No. 5 will be held October 3, 2015. The Brownlee O. Curry, Jr. Gallery space will feature local artists’ poems, prints and art books as well as books created through Bound Together, a series of partnership workshops between Watkins Community Education and local community organizations like: The Looby Community Center, Casa Azafran, FiftyForward Bordeaux, Oasis Center, and Catholic Charities Elder Refugees. Bound Together showcases handmade books inspired by the many definitions of family: those you’re born in, those you create and those who simply find you. All workshops will take place in August and September of 2015. If you are interested in getting involved, please email Mary Beth Harding, Director of Community Education at

Call for Artists

We are accepting submissions for inclusion in our Bound Together exhibition. A bulk of the artwork will be created during a series of collaborative workshops with various local groups in which participants will create an artist book filled with original poetry and collage artwork based on the concept of family and its many interpretations. Local book artists, writers, and other artists are invited to submit their own artwork to highlight the importance of these artistic forms in a creative life. Work can be individual pieces or artists’ books or artwork based on family (interpretation is very open). All participants will be honored in the exhibition opening and reception on October 2, 5:00pm-7:00pm.  Works of art will be returned after the exhibition’s run.

Interested parties must submit their artwork by September 21 to the following address: Watkins Community Education 2298 Rosa Parks Blvd. Nashville, TN 37228 Please include artist name, telephone number, email address and return address.

Questions? Call or email Mary Beth Harding, Director of Community Education, at
(615) 277-7456 or

Bound Together is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. Handmade & Bound Nashville is hosted by Watkins Community Education and the Watkins Library and is funded in part by The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.


Teacher ProgramOur teacher programs provide professional development opportunities for K-12 art educators to engage in hands-on artmaking activities and develop strategies for incorporating thematic and contemporary art-driven ideas, projects, and techniques into curricula. These programs are a chance for educators to rejuvenate their creative juices in a community of peers while developing new art skills for themselves and ideas for the classroom. Our teacher programs are funded in part by the Tennessee Arts Commission.

Upcoming Programs:

Paper or Plastic: Using Recycled Materials in the Art Classroom
Offered in Partnership with Turnip Green Creative Reuse
Friday, January 30, 9:00am – 4:00pm
Free, with lunch provided.

Offered in partnership with Turnip Green Creative Reuse & funded in part by The Tennessee Arts Commission



Please register through our new event registration page. Make sure to click “update” after you choose the number of tickets you want and then put in your contact info and complete your purchase. An error message has been appearing after registration, but YOU ARE registered. Wait a few minutes and see if you receive an email confirmation. We are working on this problem now. If you experience any issues, please email

Watkins understands that with increasingly limited budgets, educators need to get creative with supplies. That’s why we are partnering with Turnip Green Creative Reuse to offer a program focused on reusing materials in K-12 art classes. Watkins teaching artists, Katie Gonzalez and Meredith Eastburn, will showcase reuse methods through two hands-on workshops: book arts and sculptural installations. Along with gaining curricular knowledge, educators will also get valuable time to make individual and collaborative work. During the program’s lunch break, Watkins will host a small resource fair concentrating on environmentally sound products and practices to aid teachers in learning more about local resources. Workshop space is limited.

During this program teachers will take the following workshops:

FrenchLinkCreating handbound sketchbooks from recycled papers
Participants in this workshop will learn techniques for binding two types of books, plus creative ways to fill their sketchbooks both inside and out. The first book we’ll make is a quick and easy pamphlet stitch book. The second book will be bound with the French link stitch, a method of binding that features exposed crisscross stitching on the spine of the book, allowing you to see and show off your handiwork. These books will be made entirely from reused paper, such as maps, wallpaper samples, vintage book pages, and more. Then, through a series of prompts and activities, participants will transform their blank books into works of art using pencil, ink, paint, found objects, and collage.You will leave the class with two completed handbound books, inspiration to continue exploring and documenting the world in your new sketchbooks, and the skills to incorporate these ideas into your classroom. No bookbinding experience required. All tools and materials will be provided, but feel free to bring any recycled papers that you might want to incorporate into your books.

Creating sculptures and installations with reused materialsPlasticBagInstallation

Artists often work with found objects and reused materials both out of necessity and out of conceptual concern. This workshop will address both motivations. Whether you find yourself needing to get creative with a limited supplies budget or are inviting your students to explore themes of identity, consumption, environmental issues, social inequities, or public/private spaces, this workshop will give you the chance to experiment with repurposed materials in both sculptures and installations. You will invent an accolade for an unsung hero and create a trash trophy — a project rich with opportunities for character education and social justice connections. Then you will collaborate with fellow participants on a plastic bag installation with particular consideration for process and form. You will leave this workshop with ideas for using free/found materials in new ways, tools for connecting these materials to broader themes with your students, and inspiration for your own creative and teaching practice.

What Teachers are Saying About Us

“Thank you for all that you have provided!  I love these opportunities at Watkins.  I always feel so welcomed and warm, and the programs are always really wonderful.”
“Interactive, fun, thought-provoking!”
“Very applicable to my classroom and school.  Very inspirational!”
“Love this program!  Very well done — cannot wait to attend again.”

Kid's CampVolunteer

Interested in volunteering with Watkins Community Education? Contact us at for more information!


There are plenty of opportunities to sponsor a young artist in one of our camps or workshops. Download our Sponsorship Packet to help a creative child!

Thank you to the following sponsors for their donations:

Community Partners

Kathyrn Price

Future Artists Sponsors

Major Sponsor