Artober Nashville, a program of NowPlayingNashville at The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, is emphasizing both in-person and virtual experiences in a big way this fall.
Held from Sept. 28-Oct. 31, the annual month-long celebration of the arts in Nashville and Middle Tennessee will highlight the depth and variety of the arts community and its many public offerings while encouraging participation in the arts virtually from residents and tourists alike.
Visitors to ArtoberNashville.com will find hundreds of arts and cultural events both online and in-person — many unique to the month of October — in every discipline, including visual and performing arts, music, history, language, and film.
In addition, this year will feature a variety of new programing:
- Artober Learning Labs featuring activities for Metro Nashville Public School students, home-schoolers and children at home.
- Artober Talks featuring discussions and panels about current issues in the arts including diversity, gender and funding.
- ArtoberTV featuring events and ways to participate.
Nashville-area cultural highlights for Artober include:
In Person Events
- Goblins & Giggles at Gaylord Opryland (Sept. 11-Oct. 31)
- Fall Family Fun Festival at Lucky Ladd Farms (Sept. 19-Nov. 1)
- Cheekwood Harvest with Chihuly Nights at Cheekwood (Sept. 19-Nov. 1)
- Boo at the Zoo at the Nashville Zoo (Oct. 15-31)
- Music City Bandwidth (Sept. 14-Oct. 31)
- International Black Film Festival (Sept. 30-Oct. 4)
- Nashville Film Festival (Oct. 1-7)
- Southern Festival of Books (Oct. 9-11)
- Oktoberfest (Oct. 10)
- Tin Pan South (Oct. 20-24)
- CMT Music Awards (Oct. 21)
- Opera Jukebox (Oct. 24)
Artober Learning Labs
Artober Learning Labs include segments airing live on Artober Nashville and NowPlayingNashville’s Facebook, as well as YouTube at 10:15 am each Tuesday and Thursday.
Content will be geared toward elementary, middle, and high school age groups and will feature special content from Cheekwood Estate and Gardens, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, Frist Art Museum, Nashville Public Library, OZ Arts Nashville, Southern Word and Studio NPL, Tennessee Craft, Tennessee State Library & Archives, Tennessee State Museum, and Tennessee State University. Offerings include:
- Learn songwriting with The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
- Learn about Voting Rights from Frist Art Museum, Nashville Public Library, and the Tennessee State Museum.
- Have story time with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.
- Learn about poetry and spoken word from Southern Word and Studio NPL.
- View digital-collection highlight that features an African American student at Fisk University in the 1920s memorializing his experience through a scrapbook.
“With limited in-person events, we aim to still bring Artober Nashville content to homes through virtual programs,” said Erin Holcomb, NowPlayingNashville manager.
“Artober TV, Learning Labs and Talks were created to shed light on arts and humanities offerings in the entire Middle Tennessee area,” Holcomb continued. “While 2020 has been a challenge in general, it has been a good opportunity for us to do more with Artober Nashville to engage and create awareness of arts across the country.”
Artober Featured Artist: Omari Booker
Artober 2020’s featured visual artist is veteran Nashville painter Omari Booker, whose work “Blueprint II,” one in a series created by Booker, is this year’s official backdrop for Artober Nashville.
A Nashville native and graduate of Montgomery Bell Academy, Booker earned a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from Tennessee State University. His work has been influenced by masters such as Vincent Van Gogh and Salvador Dali, as well as modern artists such as Charles White and Jacob Lawrence.
The 40-year-old studio artist specializes in oil paintings, mixed media, and works using found objects. His work has been shown at the Frist Art Museum and Vanderbilt Divinity School, and he has been a curator and artist-in-residence at Nashville’s Woodcuts Gallery and Framing.
Recent works have included President Barack Obama, Kanye West, and a mural titled “I Live Here,” which is painted on the side of an arts-focused affordable housing development in North Nashville.
During the ongoing pandemic and social revolution, Booker took to his studio to create a softer energy through his works and discover how we find human connection.
“My work consistently speaks to issues of social justice,” Booker said. “During the popularization of the Black Lives Matter movement, I was led to create work that speaks to the love that is needed to sustain a revolution and rebuild community when the battles are over.”
These works represent a new exhibition called “Need a Hug,” which explores the vulnerability that is integral to the human condition, alongside the incredible isolation and loneliness so many are experiencing these days.
The exhibit will be on display Oct. 10-Nov. 21 at The Black Box Gallery in The Local Distro, 614 Garfield St. in the Germantown neighborhood.
Blueprint II by Omari Booker
Although NowPlayingNashville.com has been an organizer and presenter of Artober Nashville since its creation by the Metro Arts Commission in 2011, this marks the online arts and entertainment website’s fourth year operating the program.
For more information or to add your event, visit ArtoberNashville.com.
Artober Nashville is funded by NowPlayingNashville, as well as Ryman Hospitality Properties Foundation and the Tennessee Arts Commission.
NowPlayingNashville.com, an initiative of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, is Middle Tennessee’s comprehensive event guide for Where to Go and What to Do, with information about music, theater, arts, sports, dance, museums, family fun, dining and more. Since its launch in 2007, the website has collaborated with hundreds of community partners, providing detailed information to support arts and entertainment organizations and enrich the Middle Tennessee community. For more information, visit www.NowPlayingNashville.com.