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Open Streets to celebrate art, history and culture of North Nashville

by PRIDE Newsdesk

This Sunday, Open Streets, presented by JUMP will turn over 1.5 miles of Nashville roadways into a cultural experience.

Walk Bike Nashville will host the fifth annual Open Streets this Sunday, July 28, from 3-7 pm. This year Open Streets, presented by JUMP, will take place on Buchanan St. and 5th Ave. North, connecting the neighborhoods of Elizabeth Park, Salemtown, Germantown, and Historic Buena Vista. Open Streets temporarily closes the streets to cars to allow people to be active and play in the street. Open Streets is a free event and offers Nashvillians the opportunity to experience their city’s streets in a whole new way, by walking, biking, dancing or even doing yoga in the streets.

After two summers of successful collaboration on community bike rides, Walk Bike Nashville teamed up with District 21 Neighbors to feature North Nashville artists and performers along the Open Streets route. District 21 Neighbors partnered with local businesses, investors and foundations to raise financial support, solicited applications from local artists and created a panel of judges to curate these projects especially for Open Streets.

“When you google North Nashville, the results are primarily crime and real estate. But we’re more than that. We have art, history and culture worth celebrating,” said M. Simone Boyd, a leader of the District 21 Neighbors. “We are thrilled to have these world-class artist help shift the narrative of our neighborhood, and we invite everyone to experience this day of participatory art and join in the celebration.”

Open Streets 2019 featured artists include:
James Threalkill’s community mosaic will be created during Open Streets and attendees will participate by decorating their own pieces. Once complete, the mosaic will permanently reside at the McGruder Family Resource Center.

Norf Art Collective will display bike lane art that will be voted on by the attendees of Open Streets. Based on the results of the vote, Metro Public Works will install the creative bike-lane symbols in the new North Nashville bike lanes.

Karimah Miller’s ‘On My Block’ is a spoken word and storytelling experience that will educate people on the history surrounding North Nashville neighborhoods.
Lauren Fitzgerald’s ‘community altar’ will recognize the history of the place and people in the neighborhood. There will be accompanying performances, with the goal of recognizing ancestral heritage in North Nashville.

Courtney Adair Johnson’s ‘North Nashville Her Story Scavenger Hunt’ will encourage Open Streets attendees to collect portraits of historical female figures from North Nashville. Participants can complete a booklet by getting all six portraits and be entered in a drawing for a special prize.

Joseph Patrick II’s ‘Canvas North’s painted maps will serve as a backdrop for photos taken of people along the route. After Open Streets, the artist will create a zine.

Melba Williams Kirk will curate a film festival hosted at the Local Distro (614 Garfield). Documentaries focused on North Nashville history and luminaries will show at 3:15 pm, 4:45 pm and 6 pm. Between each screening, there will be a talk back with the filmmakers.

Men on a Mission, a three-piece all-male gospel group, will perform ‘Stepping Forward.’

Robert Luke, a local DJ, will perform a set especially tailored for children.

Hadley Park Line Dancers will perform near Cheatham Place and invite people of all ages and abilities to come and dance with them.
Rejoice Ballet will host ballet demonstrations and performances to promote their ballet classes offered at Hadley Park Community Center. These low-cost classes aim to create equitable access to ballet.

Open Streets Nashville is a program that temporarily closes the streets to cars to allow people to reconnect to their communities, get active, and play in the street. Free to the public, the event turns the streets into a park space that connects diverse portions of the city and offers communities the opportunity to experience their city streets in a whole new way.

Bogota, Colombia is the birthplace of Ciclovia, but since its inception many cities across the country and the world have adopted and adapted the tradition as their own. In the southeast, Atlanta, Louisville, and Charlotte have all adopted Open Streets style programs into the fabric of their civic life.

Open Streets Nashville is hosted through a partnership between the Office of the Mayor and Walk Bike Nashville and the generous support of our sponsors. Artist-led programming for Open Streets is a fiscally sponsored project of the Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville, a nonprofit.

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