Greer Stadium developers understand Nashville, have vision

The Tennessean – Van Tucker, CEO of the Nashville Fashion Alliance

As I am a native of this magical city, it came as no surprise to me when Nashville acquired the “it” city moniker. Nashville has always embodied the characteristics of a great city – the balance of art and commerce, respect for the past with consideration of its diverse community’s future needs, and thoughtful leadership.

Thoughtful leadership and collaboration between the public and private sectors is a hallmark characteristic of Nashville. We are a community of caring, engaged citizens, and this is not to be taken for granted. Many other cities often cite this as an admirable trait and wonder how we are able to sustain such a level of citizen engagement in public affairs

Nowhere is this more evident than the proposal to breathe life into the Greer Stadium site. Irrespective of the challenges faced by the plan, we could ask for no better partners as a city than T Bone Burnett and Bert Mathews, both with impeccable track records of meaningful collaboration.

I first met Bert Mathews while serving on the Adventure Science Center board, at a time when the future of this Nashville institution lay in peril. As board chairman, Bert thoughtfully led the organization through a sticky process of reorganization through community engagement and collaboration, respect for the history of Fort Negley, and an understanding of the significance of a place where children, ALL children, could experience the wonders of science. In fact, if you look at the impact of the Mathews family on the footprint of our city, you will see nothing but love for this city and its residents.

As a founder of the Americana Music Association, I know of T Bone Burnett’s leadership and passion for American roots music – and the makers and creators of music that is a defining characteristic of our culture, many of whom have been marginalized by history. You need only watch the PBS series “American Epic” and feel his fierce devotion to not only honoring the past, but the significance of these stories to our future. His life’s work has been devoted to telling the stories through music and film. You can’t do this well without first being a great listener. Artists often cite his ability to listen and help tell stories with great impact as his greatest attribute.

I’ve opined before about the importance of our city’s creative class. I’ve spent a lifetime advocating that our creative class is THE defining characteristic of Nashville’s magic, and that we are in an all-out war to retain this magic. Music, fashion, design, film and television production, technology, and the culinary, performing and visual arts are what set Nashville apart from other Southern cities.

The goal of Cloud Hill is to create a place where our city’s diverse creative class can find a home – to live, work, play and have access to a variety of resources, where creative place-making can preserve, honor and activate a neighborhood for the benefit of our residents and our city.

One thing I have observed is that, when people take the time to thoroughly examine Cloud Hill’s proposal, they get it; they understand this is not just another development by just another group of developers. They see it is a well-thought-out plan that has a soul and a vision, put together by people who truly care.

Yes, revitalizing this site to the specifications called for by Metro is challenging; but don’t we want thoughtful leaders with a track record of collaboration working through those challenges? That’s what we have with The Cloud Hill Partnership. I know these individuals, I trust them, and I fully support their vision and intentions for this property – to create a place that will both honor and enhance our city’s culture.

william rosenthal