After a year-and-a-half run at the Nashville International Airport, I am thrilled to announce that the multimedia Word of Mouth Conversations art installation I curated will be moving over to the Gordon Jewish Community Center this week. (Reception is next Wednesday September 11 from 6:30-8:30PM. Free wine!) One of the best experiences I had last year was hosting a series of live interviews at the JCC during lunchtime for their elder club. The residents were not only incredibly well-read and informed on what was happening in their community but they LOVED meeting movers-and-shakers in Nashville. They also, like myself, were not afraid to ask hard questions like when one member asked chef Matt Bolus how much he paid his restaurant staff or another asked criminal justice activist Jeanne Alexander if the Tennessee Prison System really is as corrupt as we hear it is. (Yes.) When the center, which is home to people of all backgrounds as demonstrated by their members more than 60% of whom are non-Jewish, asked if I wanted to bring our exhibition there my answer was an immediate “duh!” I knew their members would both appreciate the photographs by Ron Manville, from our second book Word of Mouth: More Conversations, and sculptures and paintings from artists Carolyn Boutwell and Omari Booker inspired by his portraits, as well as dig the community aspect around the exhibition—the JCC is all about fostering connection with the city of Nashville through face-to-face activities where residents can make new friends. It is also a place where storytelling abounds as, with many of the members being older, they enjoy sharing about their lives with one another. It’s been a great joy to collaborate with this wonderful organization and I am proud to have our exhibition there for a season.

Lily C Hansen

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