Artober Nashville celebrates Arts & Humanities Month with both live, virtual experiences

Omari Booker

Artober Nashville a program of NowPlayingNashville and The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee is displayed in both in-person and virtual experiences in a big way this fall.

Held through 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 <> 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 programming:

  • Artober Learning Labs features activities for Metro Nashville Public School students, home-schoolers and children at home.
  • Artober Talks features discussions and panels about current issues in the arts including diversity, gender and funding.
  • ArtoberTV features events and ways to participate.

Nashville-area cultural highlights for Artober include:

Cheekwood Harvest with Chihuly Nights at Cheekwood (Sept. 19-Nov. 1)

(virtual) Nashville Film Festival (Oct. 1-7)

(virtual) Oktoberfest (Oct. 10)

(virtual) Southern Festival of Books (Oct. 9-11)

(virtual) International Black Film Festival (Sept. 30-Oct. 4)

Goblins & Giggles at Gaylord Opryland (Sept. 11-Oct. 31)

(virtual) CMT Music Awards (Oct. 21)

(virtual) Tin Pan South (Oct. 20-24)

(virtual) Music City Bandwidth (Sept. 14-Oct. 31)

(virtual) Tennessee Craft Fair (Oct. 9-11)

Boo at the Zoo at the Nashville Zoo (Oct. 15-31)

Fall Family Fun Festival at Lucky Ladd Farms (Sept. 19-Nov. 1)

(virtual) Opera Jukebox (Oct. 24)

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. 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 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 from Tennessee State University. 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.