NASHVILLE, Tenn. – From morning to night on Saturday, Aug. 20 Cheekwood Estate & Gardens will celebrate Black culture at the annual Black Arts Bash. The event showcases music, visual art, dance, spoken word and more. Families will enjoy storytime and hands-on activities for children as well as a collaborative art project and tasty fare from local Black chefs. The Black Arts Bash takes place from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022.
"I am thrilled and honored to be a part of Black Arts Bash,” says event co-chair and Executive Director of Development in Institutional Management at Tennessee State University LoLita Toney. “It is a wonderful opportunity to bring the community together to celebrate and showcase Black culture in its various forms. I am delighted that Cheekwood is continuing this event."
Millennial black plant enthusiast and self-proclaimed “plantrepreneur”, Colah B. Tawkin will hold a live taping of her podcast, Black in the Garden, Saturday morning. Tawkin’s podcast resides at the intersection of Black culture and horticulture, covering a range of topics that directly influence Black plant keepers as they impact and influence the world.
Performances on the Arboretum Lawn Main Stage
11:30 - 12:30 p.m. – Khrys Hatch is a songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. His origins in Nashville immersed him in a wealth of diverse musical talent, shaping his genre-bending sound. A mix of soul, rock, hip-hop, R&B, and jazz, Hatch pulls in various influences.
1 - 1:30 p.m. – Spoken Word Poetry by Southern Word. Through the literary and performing arts, Southern Word offers creative solutions for youth to build literacy and presentation skills, reconnect to their education and lives, and act as leaders in the improvement of their communities.
2 – 3 p.m. – Singer-Songwriter, Larysa Jaye, brings a twist to the Acoustic Soul Music scene. Based in Nashville, Tenn., her newly released single, "Birmingham", is quickly touching hearts across the country.
3:30 – 4 p.m. – The Sankofa African Drum and Dance Company aims to rally communities around the beat of the drum to unify, heal and inspire. The Tennessee based performing arts company was started in 2007 by Maria Estes Hall and is rooted in educating and cultivating an appreciation for African culture and music.
4:30 - 5:30 p.m. – Lauren McClinton is an alt-R&B/soul singer and songwriter from Los Angeles, Calif., who knew music was her calling from a very young age. In 2017, while earning her Master's degree at Lipscomb University, Lauren decided to make music a full-time career. In October 2019, McClinton released her debut EP, “DAWN”, a robust neo-R&B project, steeped in captivating lyrics and deeply emotional vocal arrangements.
6 – 7 p.m. – Originally a football-playing engineer with a stint at NASA, Jason Eskridge could never shake his passion to make music. His desire is to create music that causes the listener to love themselves, love their fellow man, think harder, think deeper, think broader, laugh until they cry, laugh when they want to cry, try something new, remember something old, and ultimately live life to the fullest.
7:30 - 8:30 p.m. – As a trumpeter, composer, vocalist, lyricist and producer, Rod McGaha is unique in his ability to combine a wide variety of influences into an eclectic, globally conscious blend which rings totally fresh. McGaha is an artist able to bring many gifts to his music. While he is admired for his unique talents as a powerhouse instrumentalist, singer and tune writer, it is McGaha’s presence as a performing artist that has garnered him respect from some of the best players in the industry. A past winner of the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award for Outstanding Jazz Trumpeter and the Oak Lawn Jazz Festival All Star Award, McGaha has joined the ranks of some of the most promising jazz players today.
Take in the Black Arts Bash art exhibition, featuring works by rising 10th to 12th grade students from the greater Nashville area who identify as black or mix-race alongside works by four local artists. The four artists will participate in a panel discussion at 5:30 p.m. Saturday evening:
- Barbara Higgins Bond, Award-winning Illustrator
- XPayne, a “Black-pop” artist
- DaShawn Lewis, photographer (@dash.on.community)
- Kimberly Manson, photographer (@kimjpics)
The exhibition will be on view in the Frist Learning Center Great Hall through Sept. 2, 2022.
Community Quilt Activity
Learn about the colors and symbols in African textiles, including Kuba cloth, Adinkra cloth, and Mudcloth and see how artists, brought these fabrics to canvas. Drawing inspiration from the meaningful patterns and brilliant colors, participants will choose a fabric square and use stamps depicting traditional symbols and designs to create their own design. Each completed square will be added to a larger canvas to create a “community quilt” display. The community quilt activity will take place in Massey Auditorium inside Botanic Hall from 12 – 5 p.m.
Home-cooked favorites will be provided by chefs from Onyx Foods, including David Swett, Jr., Albert Lovelace, and Troy Stovall, served from 11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. Southern comfort options will be available throughout the day from food trucks including Bag Lady’s, Early Eats, Smokin’ Buttz, Strike Out Wingz and Rolled 4 Ever.
Reservations are required for the Black Arts Bash which runs from 9 a.m.to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022. Admission is free for Cheekwood members. Tickets for not-yet members are $20 Gardens Only or $25 for Gardens & Mansion. To learn more and purchase tickets visit cheekwood.org.
The Black Arts Bash is sponsored by Bank of America and Ernst & Young.
With its intact and picturesque vistas, Cheekwood is distinguished as one of the leading Country Place Era estates in the nation. Formerly the family home of Mabel and Leslie Cheek, the 1930s estate, with its 30,000-square-foot Mansion and 55-acres of gardens, today serves the public as a botanical garden, arboretum, and art museum with furnished period rooms and galleries devoted to American art from the 18th to mid-20th centuries. The property includes 13 distinct gardens including the Blevins Japanese Garden and the Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden, as well as a 1.5-mile woodland trail featuring outdoor monumental sculpture. Each year, Cheekwood hosts seasonal festivals including Cheekwood in Bloom, Summertime at Cheekwood, Cheekwood Harvest and Holiday LIGHTS. Cheekwood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and nationally as a Level II Arboretum. It is a three-time voted USA Today Top 10 Botanical Garden and in 2021 was recognized by Fodors as one of the 12 Most Beautiful Gardens in the American South. Cheekwood is located eight miles southwest of downtown Nashville at 1200 Forrest Park Drive. It is open Tuesday through Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., with extended days and hours of operation depending on the season. Check cheekwood.org for current hours and to purchase advance tickets required for admission.