Turn LaVergne Into Community for the Arts

My column was published today in the Daily News Journal.  It took what felt like a couple of weeks for it to be printed, so I’d grown very nervous about its message.  But now that I’ve read it again, I stand by it (like the chef’s on Top Chef stand by their dishes!).

An excerpt,

A friend had suggested not too long ago that La Vergne should accept who we are — an industrial town with affordable homes — and then improve upon it. Although we are absolutely elated to gain a Kroger grocery store, it is unlikely any major department-type stores will ever move here. Instead, we need to figure out how to attract the upwardly mobile professionals to our neighborhoods, along with artists, musicians, writers, herbal gardeners, computer programmers, game developers and others whose key to success is their creativity.

I am working with a playwright now helping her to find a home. She would be PERFECT addition to an art community as she could volunteer at the library or at schools, bring her director friends here to put on shows, etc. I wish she didn’t have to be so close to her job at Vanderbilt U. 

I want to emphasize that any effort to attract artists and others to our community would do so without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status (including children under the age of 18 living with parents of legal custodians, pregnant women, and people securing custody of children under the age of 18), handicap (disability), or age. I have the utmost respect for and determination to abide by Fair Housing Laws.

Here’s the column.

PostScript – I wrote the water “ahem” before I read the explanation on the post below about who is responsible for the LaV water troubles. So I now hope the contractor fixes it.

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12 Responses

  1. I paint, dance, and sing, and already live here in LaVergne.

    Are there venues for art, here? I know the Civic Auditorium sometimes hosts line dancing, but I don’t know of any dance halls or studios. Are there any art galleries in LaVergne? Or crafter’s gift shops?

    Espresso Joe’s in Smyrna used to have original photographs on display (then they changed mgmt, so we’ll see what happens). Maybe they’ll do so again. And open mic poetry beats.

  2. Yeah, LaVergne could definitely use more of an “art scene.” What about a community art display at City Hall, or an art contest for Old Timers’ Day? I’m sure there are plenty of actors and actresses here; maybe a community theatre program? Another idea I’ve seen in other communities is a consignment sale where a portion goes towards city beautification, etc. Throw out some more ideas! We can use ’em!

  3. In my house there is an artist (oil and acrylic painting) – that’s me, and a talented photographer and artist – my wife. Next door to us lives a professional musician, next door to them is another artist. LaVergne already attracts artistically inclined people, we just need to step it up a few notches. Great ideas, Kathy, I’d love to see an art gallery, an open mic night, a forum for like minded individuals to express and display their creativity. Creativity breeds deeper thought which in turn improves the way one feels about and cares for their neighborhood. I’m with you in the belief that if we exhibit a more artisticlly friendly atmosphere, we’ll attract even more artistic people.

  4. Is it the Brentwood Library that loans local paintings that are for sale out to residents? That might be a way to showcase work if we don’t have an art gallery just yet.

  5. Brilliant…absolutely brilliant! Your article, and the track you’ve inspired for your readers is fresh air! You, wonderful Kathy, have a knack for sharing vision!

  6. Ohhh, forgot….sounds like a Gold Award to me!

  7. Oh, and I meant at the La Vergne Library, not the Brentwood one. :o) Great article, Kathy!

  8. Ivy and I talked earlier today and we have some great ideas on how to market LaV as an art community. I wonder if the mayor would meet with us so we could share our ideas.

  9. Kathy, your article was very good! I think the Mayor would welcome your positive, fresh ideas. Ivy, you too!! GEE, I love positive converation about LaVergne.

  10. I’m there; just tell me the time and place!

  11. Kathy–
    Just wanted to let you know that PAL has a theatre program for kids aged 7-17, so that’s a goodstart. Contact Gerry Howse at 793-7744 or 287-8730 (leave a message.) As a theatre major in college,I agree that we need some king of arts program. By the way, we did have an art program for OTD — it was a T-shirt design contest and was advertised for a few months. Look at http://www.lavernge.org for a copy of the winning design. I — along with the committee — think it’s great. In Past years (quite a few years ago — we had a La Vernge Arts Council, but I’m not sure what they did, except get the library program in La Vergne started). It dissolved when the library when the library started, apparently.
    Angie Mayes
    amayes@lavergne.org

  12. That is a good idea, Kathy. If there was more of a centralized business section of the city, with shops and the like, I think it would be a better sell. As the city redevelops, though, we may see more of that – although in reality it may be 10 years away. You might be able to do some of the things listed above to lay groundwork, though.

    Ivy is a funny girl, isn’t she? Put you two together and watch out, eh?

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