The proliferation of outside interest in Nashville — as trendy food and fashion destination, as soap opera tableau, as bastion for the once-quaint vinyl record — has been fun, if puzzling at times. But even as cranes swivel above downtown, and entire blocks fall to make way for new development, the city’s essential character feels constant and unchanged.
In the Scene’s fifth annual People Issue, we celebrate Nashvillians of all stripes and origins — natives and new arrivals alike — who make this city what it is: a surprising combination of ambition and affability, grit and grace. Whether it’s power-shopping for the sets of the TV show Nashville, or running one of the world’s most respected film houses out of an office above Belcourt Avenue; whether it’s lobbying lawmakers on behalf of Tennessee Muslims, or helping Tennessee’s military veterans navigate their VA benefits; whether it’s animating Elmo and Iron Man in a Donelson studio or building furniture by hand in a backyard workshop in East Nashville.
Supermodel and transplanted Brit Karen Elson tells how a chance encounter in the Nashville airport affirmed what everyone who calls the city home knows: that its magnetism radiates from its population, not its skyline — however glimmering and sleek it might appear in a swooping helicopter shot.
The Model Citizen: Karen Elson
The Advocate: Paul Kuhn
The Cook: Tallu Schuyler Quinn
The Busker: Mike Slusser
The Cleaner: Sharon Reynolds
The Mobilizer: Remziya Suleyman
The Believer: Theron Denson
The Maker: Zoe Schlacter
The Animators: Magnetic Dreams
The Buyer: Kelly Anne Ross
The Arthouse Ambassador: Sarah Finklea
The Picker: Rory Hoffman
The Singer: Ruby Amanfu
The Educator: Ellen Gilbert
The Air Drummer: Steve Gorman
The Artist: Martin Cadieux
The Chef: Yayo Jiménez
The Futurist: Ken Gay
The Commissioner: Many-Bears Grinder
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