30 Influential Tennesseans Join Impressive Lineup of Conversation Hosts for OZ Arts Nashville’s Annual Signature Benefit, “Conversations at OZ”

Mayor Freddie O’Connell, MNPS Director of Schools Dr. Adrienne Battle, famed musician and producer T Bone Burnett, ACLU-TN Executive Director Kathy Sinback and more join OZ to host dynamic discussions on February 21, 2024.

Nashville, Tenn. – January 29, 2024OZ Arts Nashville today announced its impressive lineup of community leaders and vibrant personalities as conversation hosts for its annual fundraiser, "Conversations at OZ.” The unique signature event returns Wednesday, February 21, 2024, at 6:30 pm in OZ’s expansive creative warehouse ahead of the renowned arts organization celebrating its tenth anniversary. The list of legendary hosts who will guide the intimate conversations at each table is now live on the OZ Arts website and includes three mayors – Mayor Freddie O’Connell, former Mayor Karl Dean, and newly-elected Memphis Mayor Paul Young – alongside prominent figures like MNPS Director of Schools Dr. Adrienne Battle, legendary music producer T Bone Burnett, former Hospital Corporation of America CEO R. Milton Johnson and more.

Presented by HCA Healthcare/TriStar Health, Conversations at OZ is one of the most dynamic annual benefits in Nashville, inviting guests to engage in an evening of cocktails, dinner, and insightful dialogue on a range of contemporary topics, including arts and culture, social issues, business, and government. A few of the most anticipated topics for this year’s patrons to discuss include “Book Club: How (and Why) to Tell Your Life Story” with bestselling author Mary Laura Philpott, “How Adverse Childhood Experiences and Brain Development Impact Juvenile Justice Systems” with Judge Sheila Calloway and “Let’s Talk Transit” with Mayor Freddie O’Connell.

The event is co-chaired by a diverse group of local leaders who have had an extraordinary impact on the Nashville community, including Sherri Neal, Chief Diversity Officer at HCA Healthcare, and OZ Arts Board Member Ryan McLaughlin Wood, South Central Market Executive at UBS and OZ Arts Board Member, and Barrett Wood, Real Estate Consultant at The Parker Group, Frank M. Garrison, Jr., and Amy Garrison, community volunteers and David Ewing, Nashville historian.

The full list of Nashville's most prominent leaders moonlighting as table hosts for Conversations at OZ includes:

  • Jacky Akbari, Founder & Managing Principal of Worthington Advisory and Memphis Mayor Paul Young
  • Dr. Adrienne Battle, Director of Schools for Metro Nashville Public Schools
  • T Bone Burnett, Famed musician, record producer, and former guitarist for Bob Dylan
  • Judge Sheila D. J. Calloway, Davidson County Juvenile Court Judge
  • Dr. Agenia Clark, President of Fisk University
  • Karl Dean, Former Nashville Mayor and Adjunct Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University
  • Clarence Edward, Founder of Cë Gallery, and Shabazz Larkin, Visual Artist
  • Rick Ewing, Director of Customer Success – Health Sciences at Oracle Corporation
  • Hank Ingram, CEO of Brown Water Spirits
  • Milton Johnson, Former CEO of HCA, and Gregory Jones, President of Belmont University
  • Derek Jones, Vice President WHS, Global Transportation and Retail Services at Amazon
  • Justin Kanew, Editor In Chief at The Tennessee Holler
  • Janet Kurtz, Editor-in-Chief of Nfocus Magazine
  • Katie Marchetti, Co-Founder and Executive Board Member at Voices for a Safer Tennessee
  • Anna Myint, Owner of International Market and Myint Estates LLC
  • Freddie O’Connell, Mayor of Nashville
  • Mary Laura Philpott, Bestselling Author
  • Jason Ridgel, Founder of Guidance Whiskey
  • John Seigenthaler, Former NBC anchor
  • Kathy Sinback, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee
  • Julia Sullivan, Chef and Co-Owner of Henrietta Red, and Erin Byers Murray, Editor-in-Chief of the Local Palate
  • Nada Taha, Radio Host at Apple Music and Co-Founder of Good Cop Bad Cop
  • Molly Tuttle, GRAMMY-Winning Musician
  • Cameron Weiss, Master Watchmaker and Founder of Weiss Watch Company
  • Sally Williams, President, Nashville Music & Business Strategy at Live Nation Entertainment

“We are thrilled to host a diverse and passionate group of some of the most impactful members of our great community for this year’s Conversations at OZ fundraiser,” said Tim Ozgener, Co-Founder and President of OZ Arts Nashville. “We appreciate the opportunity each and every year to gather hosts for such a valuable evening that sets the stage for many of the important conversations the city of Nashville will encounter this year. We look forward to ringing in the start of a new decade at OZ with our signature benefit to support the advancement of contemporary art in middle Tennessee and across the state.”

This year’s presenting sponsor is HCA Healthcare/TriStar Health for the sixth year in a row. Supporting sponsors include Amazon, the Sandra Schatten Foundation, Zander Insurance, Pinnacle Financial Partners, The Wallace Group at UBS, Chazin & Company, Neal & Harwell, Providence Title, LLC, Puryear & Noonan, INSBank, August Bioservices, Bart Durham Injury Law, Piedmont Natural Gas, and Nashville International Airport.

Wine, beer, and spirits will be provided by Lipman Brothers, and the event will be catered by Kristen Winston Catering. For those interested in sponsoring and supporting this year’s event, please contact Nicholas Gulick, OZ Arts Nashville’s Director of Development, at nick@ozartsnashville.org.

Benefit tickets go on sale this afternoon on the OZ Arts website. This year’s event once again features two support levels to choose from: the patron level ($500 per person) includes access to an exclusive, hour-long champagne reception with all Conversation Hosts before the main cocktail hour begins, and the standard level ($250 per person) includes the main cocktail hour beginning at 6:30 p.m., followed by the seated dinner with your selected host. Guests attending Conversations at OZ are also encouraged to view the organization’s latest visual art exhibit, “May I Be Brave Enough to Speak My Truth,” by groundbreaking artist and activist Shabazz Larkin, opening in early February and available through late March. All proceeds from Conversations at OZ support OZ Arts’ mission to create innovative and accessible artistic opportunities for artists, audiences, and students in Middle Tennessee and beyond. To learn more about upcoming performances, please visit https://www.ozartsnashville.org/.

About OZ Arts Nashville

Founded in 2013 by the Ozgener family, OZ Arts Nashville has quickly established itself as one of the Southeast's most influential and respected producers and presenters focused on the creation and presentation of significant performing and visual artworks by diverse cultural visionaries who are making vital contributions to the evolution of contemporary culture. Through performances, exhibitions, and community events, OZ Arts focuses on producing and presenting the work of local and visiting artists who reflect our diverse society, utilize new artistic forms and technology in creative ways, and provide opportunities for meaningful engagement with audiences, students, and cultural and civic leaders. OZ Arts' unique creative warehouse has developed a reputation as a major national and regional laboratory for experimentation and a home for contemporary dance and performance. More than 50,000 audience members have been introduced to adventurous artists from around the world since the organization opened, and hundreds of local and regional artists have used OZ’s 10,000-square-foot warehouse theater to develop new works. For more information, please visit ozartsnashville.org.