“In 1897, Centennial Park welcomed the world to Nashville. In 2017, Nashville welcomed the world to Centennial Park.” The theme for this year’s Gala highlighted the impressive past and exciting present and future of Centennial Park. Then & Now paid homage to the 1897 Tennessee Centennial Exposition — the six-month celebration of Tennessee’s 100th year of statehood held on the grounds of what would become our very own Centennial Park — while looking towards the future of the park’s revitalization as an urban green space that will support and flourish alongside our city. Chaired by the brilliant Beth Courtney and Mara Papatheodorou, November 4th at the Parthenon was a unique evening with breathtaking moments. From the Nashville Ballet dancers greeting guests in 1897 attire, to the Half Brass Marching Band announcing dinner with “When the Saints Go Marching In,” the Bruce Dudley Trio jazz band entertaining guests throughout dinner, and the Fisk Jubilee Singers’ beautifully haunting “Wade in the Water,” guests celebrated Nashville’s historic past, present and future.
As magnificently as this year’s Gala delivered, the best part was raising funds to support the ambitious Centennial Park revitalization and award-winning programming at the Parthenon. Huge thanks to the Gala Chairs and to our extraordinary Honorary Chairs, Clare Armistead, Ellen Martin and Hope Stringer. Most important of all, we thank you, our generous Gala supporters – Bravo!