Morgan Yingling and Anthony Scarlati | NowPlayingNashville/CFMT
Earlier this month, on October 7 at the Celebrate Nashville: Cultural Festival and First Saturday Art Crawl at The Arts Company on 5th Avenue in Downtown Nashville, NowPlayingNashville and The Nashville Unites Fund at The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee debuted a new Artober Nashville community art project, WE KNOW EACH OTHER NOW. The way the project worked was simple. We invited two strangers into a photo area, asked them to pick a couple of ice breaker questions out of a basket, and then took their photo chatting and posing. That was it. Other than making sure they introduced themselves to each other, and supplying the questions, we largely stayed out of it and let the connections happen organically.
We had no idea whether it would work and people would want to do it. We hoped it would. What we didn’t anticipate was how beautiful and inspiring the results would be. Those who participated told us how much fun it was and went to grab friends to also participate. People laughed and shared stories with each other about favorite books and musicians. Many walked out exchanging emails and Facebook contacts. Walls came down. Bridges were built. There were hugs. When you look at the photos, consider that only two minutes earlier, the subjects had never met.
We had two goals with the project. We believe that the best way to break down barriers is to get to know one other. WE KNOW EACH OTHER NOW was a symbolic way to do that. We also believe strongly in the Nashville Unites Resolution, a statement presented by The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee that “we stand behind our community and resolve to do our best to protect it from those who might attempt to tear it apart.” The statement, which can be read in full here, was printed in its entirety in The Tennessean in August. It currently has more than 3,500 signers. We invited participants to sign the resolution, and encourage you to do the same.
READ AND SIGN THE NASHVILLE RESOLUTION HERE
We are currently considering where we might bring WE KNOW EACH OTHER NOW next. In the meantime, thank you to everyone who stopped by to participate. Thank you also to Celebrate Nashville, especially Cindy Pollite, and The Arts Company, especially Anne Brown and Tinnin Bouldin, for welcoming us at their events. And thanks to our photographers Anthony Scarlati at Celebrate Nashville and Morgan Yingling at The Arts Company for capturing so many beautiful moments. Keep on eye on NowPlayingNashville.com, CFMT.org and NashvilleUnites.org for more information on the project moving forward.
Until then, let’s keep getting to know each other.
And Happy Artober!
VIEW THE ENTIRE ‘WE KNOW EACH OTHER NOW’ GALLERY ON FACEBOOK