In the latest issue of our sister publication The City Paper, which is hot off the presses today, I interviewed five Nashville-based creatives to learn a little more about the struggles they face practicing their trades in their respective industries — music, fashion, photography/videography, visual/graphic art and yoga — on a local level.
While I was familiar with some of the issues they brought up — juggling multiple jobs to make ends meet, finding limitations to how far they can advance in their career in the Nashville market — I was shocked by how frequently they're asked to work at a reduced rate or for no pay at all. I mean, I knew it happened, because most of my friends work in said "creative" industries, but it's happening way more than you think. At the risk of sounding dramatic, it's practically an epidemic in our city.
Here's the thing, Nashville. We have a lot of talented people here. With such a high concentration of talented people, there's always someone willing to do the job for less, or for free. And that is devaluing the work that everybody does. That is what makes people believe that they can hire someone for less and still get the job done.
[Editor's Note: This is the 10th installment of 'Notes from the 422nd Annual Wraiths for Writing Conference,' a biweekly series of story and art that artist Amelia Garretson-Persans has created for Country Life. Trace its roots by reading the previous entries.]
Lily Bennett had the kind of glow that didn’t brighten a space, but rather made the darkness steel itself against her. Sitting very still in the opaque blackness I imagined that I no longer had hands.
Lily spoke: “Zeta Omega Tau began to include a midnight visit to my hole in the ceiling as part of its initiation rites. The noise of their whispers and snickers made it impossible to write my riddles, and in not writing, I began to lose track of the east wing’s secret. I felt the secret’s heart flutter like a pet rabbit whose hutch door has been left open.
“What could I use to make them go away? What was in my mind? There was an ugly woman standing and clipping her long fingernails, a black outline of a leafless tree hung with eggs, a hungry cat in a tall field I couldn’t see, and the feel of cold pebbles in cotton pockets.
A crew from tech-help site Skillcrush came to Nashville over the weekend to visit Ladies Hack Day, a new event created by Etsy developer Martha Girdler for women (and invited XYs) to get together and code. They made e-cards, built a Twitterbot and, looks like from this video, had a good time. As Nashville's tech scene grows, perhaps visitors won't consider Music City "the most unusual of places" to find women writing code. Here's hoping!
(HT: Lisa French.)
[Editor's Note: This is the ninth installment of 'Notes from the 422nd Annual Wraiths for Writing Conference,' a biweekly series of story and art that Amelia Garretson-Persans has created for Country Life. Trace its roots by reading the previous entries.]
When little Lily Bennett began her presentation on telekinetics, I believe I felt the thrill of the early American Puritans when their glazed and righteous eyes first fell upon a midnight coven’s debauchery.
Lily’s presence was electric and her words hit the floor like the tattered and live end of a downed wire:
“I live in a hole in the ceiling at the top of some stairs. The stairs are in the eastern wing of a college that wasn’t always a college. I am the only one who really knows what used to be in the eastern wing, and I write riddles about it. At night I scratch my riddles into the tin of the air vents. I feel it like a blow when a sleeping student snaps awake because they’ve dreamed the answer to my riddle.
National Public Garden Day, an effort spearheaded by the American Public Garden Association and Rain Bird, seeks to increase awareness of the importance of supporting your local gardens. Hard to think of a better place to celebrate than Cheekwood's 55-acre grounds — or a better chance to check out the new Howe Garden or a Country Life favorite, the Sigourney Cheek Literary Garden with its amphitheater and landscaped reading nooks.
The fifth annual day of celebrating Mother Nature will include live music, hourly guided tours of the estate’s noted gardens and a 1 p.m. discussion with Cheekwood president and CEO Jane O. MacLeod. Talking points will include the new events and exhibits that lie over the horizon, as well as future plans for the grounds.
Festivities kick off at 10 a.m., with tours continuing until 2 p.m.
Thanks to Better Homes and Gardens, patrons will receive free admission with this online coupon. Be advised that all visitors must obtain the coupon first.
If you end up getting stuck in line for a matinee of The Great Gatsby, you'll have plenty more reasons to visit throughout the year. First up is the highly touted Light installation featuring the art of British artist Bruce Munro, which starts a long run at Cheekwood May 24.
For more information on National Public Garden Day, feel free to visit the event’s website, like the Facebook page or follow updates on Twitter @NPGD.
We expected the mag to uncover all sorts of wacky shenanigans at Acklen — postal workers delivering mail via festive puppets, say, or handmade stamps in honor of Heirloom Potato Week. But the post office captured the magazine's eye for its imposing wall of celebrity customer photographs. If that's quirky, half the barber shops, diners and dry cleaners in Nashville rank somewhere between Emo Phillips and Ish Kabibble.
But the list is worth checking out — not just for Acklen, but also to make the acquaintance of Going Postal, Evan Kalish's photo blog devoted to America's post offices (5,042 in 49 states since August 2008 and counting). There may come a point in the future when we're thankful this record exists.
[Editor's Note: This is the eighth installment of 'Notes from the 422nd Annual Wraiths for Writing Conference,' a biweekly story-series that Amelia Garretson-Persans has created for Country Life. Trace its roots by reading the previous entries.]
At a crowded community center in midsummer, one follows a figure believed to be one’s guardian for the afternoon, but after some minutes of diligent, albeit absent-minded following, the figure turns around, and one finds that its features have been subtly mis-arranged and its unfamiliar eyes are fixed above one’s head, cringing against the pan-optic and apathetic sun.
Such was my feeling as I made my way through the slick spring weeds. Looking behind me every few paces, all I saw were the slowly raising heads of clover, erasing my footsteps. After an uneasy night spent in a girl’s vacant dormitory, I was heading to an early morning seminar on telekinesis.
[Editor's Note: This is the seventh installment in the 'Notes from the 422nd Annual Wraiths for Writing Conference' series. Trace our story's roots here.]
The Moonlight Scrying Class had not gotten off to an auspicious start. In a shuddersome display, Miss Widdershins had predicted the omen of my undoing, and now I thought I saw it gliding our way. My thoughts and bones jellied, and I felt the moment for fleeing pass. A moving cloud paused to eclipse the moon, and the figure was upon us.
“Aurora! What a delightful surprise! I did not expect you at this year’s conference! Was there a change in your travel plans? I hope nothing is wrong? Yes, of course, please join us! Let me fill you in on what you’ve missed!”
In the brief quiet that occurred after Miss Widdershins’ prolix greeting and before she hooked Aurora’s arm in hers and whirled her towards the well, I tried to get a look at the newcomer’s face, but could discern very little in the darkness. The moon had not yet reemerged from behind that first and purposeful cloud, and in fact it appeared that more were coming to join it. Miss Widdershins frowned at the well where raindrops had begun to buffet and hiss.
It's Day 1 of our Fitness Crawl, and if you've been following our posts here, you have a pretty good idea of what to expect this week. And if you have no idea what I'm talking about, check out the schedule here so you can see all of the great free classes that studios and gyms around town are offering this week.
Today's featured studio is Hot Yoga Plus, which has locations in Brentwood, Cool Springs and in Nashville off Elliston Place. I've been practicing at Hot Yoga Plus for the past month, and because I like to punish myself, I embarked on a bizarre little challenge to try all of the teachers and all of the classes (in order to balance it out, I ate a lot of junk this month, too). I mean, these guys offer everything.
New to the Hot 26 series? You can try a 60, 75 or 90 minute class and find out what works best for you (I'd love to commit to a regular 90 minute class, but life rarely allows it. The 60 is great for days when you're in a rush, but my favorite is the 75. The difference is explained a little in the Fahrenheit Yoga post here).
For those days you're really in a rush, the 44-minute Espresso Flow, offered over lunch hour, is an efficient calorie burn. Just remember to bring shower stuff and reinforcements to put your face and hair back together before you go back to work, or you'll look like you just swam the English Channel.
If you're looking for a more therapeutic, deep stretchy class, HYP offers Yin/Yang yoga and Restorative Yoga, both of which involve holding poses longer so you can really work those muscles.
Today's stop on the fitness train for the Fitness Crawl is Sanctuary Yoga. Sanctuary has been a Nashville favorite since 2004, and while their primary class is Prana Vinyasa Flow, they offer a variety of yoga classes including yin yoga, therapeutic/gentle flow, heated flow (not as hot as Bikram or hot yoga, but the temp is upped to 85 degrees) and an uber-relaxing candlelight flow.
I've practiced at both studios throughout the years, back when they had the little room a stone's throw from Donut Den (balance, friends), in their expansion into their beautiful room off Richard Jones, and at their satellite studio in the Gulch, a stone's throw from Urban Outfitters (yoga + shopping = winning). One of my favorite classes is Power Lunch, which I would sneak away to on days when I needed a bit of a kick in the arse to keep going. Since I usually wear yoga pants to work anyway, I would totally get away with playing hooky. Well, until now. Whoops.
OMG! I would love to see this! Let us all know what we can do…
What should happen over the summer...Someone needs to buy Scarlett a pair of cute ballet…
"his soul patch slides off of his face and splashes in his mimosa." made me…
Dark; Deep; Brooding;Brilliant; A Measure of The Sin! A tale of how many decide that…
Never Forget the time Avery walked home from The Gulch to deep East Nashville. Before…