Your cover story on the Nashville Chamber Orchestra (Aug. 29) calls attention to one of Nashville’s great successes in the arts over the past decade. Paul Gambill is to be applauded for his vision and his unswerving commitment to making his dream reality. You rightly noted the NCO’s commissioning as the hallmark of the ensemble’s success. But in your generous remarks about all the new work commissioned and composed, you neglected to mention how the Nashville Chamber Orchestraon very meager early budgetswas able to undertake many of those creative projects.
Starting in 1997, the NCO received important creation grants from the Metro Arts Commission that enabled the commissions to occur and the music to be composed. Government agencies are not widely regarded as being “creative,” but when the history of the Metro Arts Commission is written, I think Nashville will be justly proud of the new art created by the public funding plus the private dollars they leveraged. Since the first creation grant in 1994, the Metro Arts Commission has awarded $270,146 to Nashville arts organizations for new work.
Tom Turk, director, Metro Arts Commission
The writer of the Nashville Chamber Orchestra article erroneously referred to the Cleveland Orchestra as the Cleveland Symphony (Cover Story, Aug. 29). The symphony orchestra in Cleveland originally was called the Cleveland Symphony but changed its title to the Cleveland Orchestra in the 1920s or 1930s. Thank you for your time.
email@example.com (Cleveland, Ohio)
No more Mr. Potter
Does Mike Gilmore’s reply sound like a 'denial’ of his former statement (“Say What?” Aug. 29) Really? Where there’s a little smoke, there might be a lot of fire. Having lived in Bellevue for over a year, I suggest that Mr. Gilmore takes a look out his window, or goes to the local stores before he becomes myopic in his vision for Bellevue.
The Hasidic Jews, Muslims, African Americans, Latinos, Koreans, Chinese, Vietnamese (etc. etc. etc.) and women that I encounter daily make up the community mixand they do it without squabbles or racial strife.
Please don’t turn us into George Bailey confronting mean old Mr. Potter. (“This 'riff-raff’ does most of the living and dying in this town...but to you, a warped, frustrated old man, they’re cattle.”) Keep Bellevue in the 21st century, not 1947! Push to include, not exclude. You think we’d be farther than this....
Why not change the column heading for all future Liz Garrigan/Phil Ashford columns from “Political Notes” to “More Biased LefIng Crap”? Their column on Hilleary was another example of the typical smart-assed screeds that we have become used to from the left media in general and the Scene in particular. So much for diversity of thought or facts in reporting. Do tell us what Liz and Phil have actually done in this world outside of taking liberal potshots at others from behind the safety of a keyboard. Boring, predictable, pointless.
Odd but true
Do you think that the photo by Holly Spann that ran in Shots this week was taken on the day that Mr. Gilmore made his bigoted comments or on the day that he denied making them (“Say What?” Aug. 29)?
Don’t forget conventions
Your excellent editorial of Aug. 22 addressing the urgent need to grow Nashville’s tourist economy missed but one important point. Nearly one-third of all “tourists” to Nashville are, in fact, convention-goers. Though we are outpacing many competitive markets on a year-to-year basis, Nashville clearly is not meeting the demand among convention buyers to come to our city. In 1995, Nashville sold 579,000 hotel room nights to convention-goers. Last year, despite aggressive efforts by the Convention and Visitors Bureau, we sold 470,000. Among the top 25 convention markets, including much larger cities, Nashville is last in hotel occupancy, though we have, on average, the third-cheapest hotel rooms.
This is why a growing number of people in our community believe a new downtown convention facility is necessary. The current Nashville Convention Center is now the smallest among Tennessee’s four major cities. While it is well run by dedicated staff, it is unable to keep up with growth of longtime Nashville convention customers. Consultants expert in the industry believe downtown Nashville comfortably can support a convention center more than three times our current size, doubling citywide convention attendance, creating hundreds of new permanent jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in new economic impact for Nashville, while complementing the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center.
When more people come to Nashville, everyone wins. No matter the weather, no matter the season, conventions and trade shows go on. In the parlance of the times, conventions provide 24/7/365 economic impact and build the base from which other businesses and tourist attractions grow. All the current proposals to rejuvenate our tourist economy merit serious discussion. Just remember the convention-goers who help make Nashville go.
Tom Lee, chairman, Metro Convention Center Commissio
Steve Earle will not be taking part in the Nashville Chamber Orchestra’s upcoming American Song Festival, as was reported in last week’s cover story. For information about the NCO and its 2002-3 season, call 256-6546.
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