On the surface, Creatives’ Day is free, family-friendly event that brings together a variety of artists across Nashville, but its depths reach so much deeper. Launched by an organization of the same name, Creatives’ Day serves as a way to thank Nashville’s vibrant art community for all of their contributions to the city, in addition to providing them with vital resources.
“There was not a specific day that really focused on the creative economy here to say ‘thank you’ and honor them and uplift them,” said Creatives’ Day founder Brian Sexton about the inspiration behind the event. But Creatives’ Day is so much more than a way to showcase our city’s creators. The organization behind the event works tirelessly to assist the arts community in the areas they struggles most, affordable housing and gaining access to business resources.
“But it was to also be very intentional about dealing with those issues that they’re struggling with in terms of being entrepreneurs and having the tools in capital to compete with our market,” Sexton continues about the event’s purpose.
The organization takes a “holistic approach” to helping artists remain viable sources of income for the city, offering a direct pipeline for artists to the city’s affordable housing office, the Arts Business Council of Greater Nashville and resources for entrepreneurs. “Our core value as an organization is collaboration, networking and problem solving. We believe in those three core values to the utmost,” Sexton explained. “We want to build relationships between our community, our community leaders and the creative economy. If you get those three groups on the same page, there is no social injustice issue that we can’t tackle together, there is nothing that we can’t overcome.” Sexton reports that the nonprofits arts industry generated $430 million in 2016, with $51 million of that going to the government. “So there’s value in our arts and entertainment community and so they deserve a thank you,” he said.
The 2017 soiree will be hosted at the Nashville Public Library and features a range of talent in the arts and entertainment community ranging from sculpting to fashion with the US Small Business Association, Arts and Business Council of Greater Nashville, Watkins College of Art and the Mayor’s Office for Affordable Housing all contributing as community partners.
While attendees will have the opportunity to engage with artists of all types, what the artists get out of it is just as significant. They’ll have access to free healthcare screenings, networking opportunities with a representative from the Small Business Association to learn about which banks offer funding for the arts community and gain insight into affordable housing opportunities in Nashville. “That is not happening anywhere else,” Sexton said of the event, which is the biggest gathering of artists and organizations that support the arts in one facility. “We are the only celebration that gathers Tennessee area artists and organizations that support our creative economy. It’s invaluable and that’s what Creatives’ Day is all about.”
Sexton hopes the Nashville Creatives’ Day business model sparks a trend not only across the country, but world wide, and that other cities see the value in an event of its kind that’s “celebrating creatives, celebrating arts and everything that the arts does for our quality of life on one day, at one time, in a similar fashion,” he said. “So we feel the model that we’ve created can be duplicated in multiple cities and that’s our goal.”
The 2017 Creatives’ Day celebration takes place on Sat., October 21, beginning at 11:30 A.M at the Nashville Public Library’s downtown branch.