By Dana Malone
Family Day at OZ includes 20 arts activities and concert
A world of hands-on art—in a day headlined by a world-renowned musical group—is at OZ Arts this weekend.
Family Day at OZ, part of OZ Arts’ inaugural season, takes place Saturday, August 9, from noon until 4:00 p.m. at the venue (6172 Cockrill Bend Circle in Nashville). The event will include a variety of indoor and outdoor activities—painting, sculpture, silk-screening, music recording, creative writing and more—for young people and their families. At 2:00 p.m., GRAMMY-winners Dan Zanes and Friends will play a 70-minute show.
Dan Zanes and Friends have toured the world, sharing their 21st century social music with enthusiastic crowds of kids and “kid enthusiasts.” Their music also has been featured on “Sesame Street,” “Playhouse Disney,” “Nickelodeon” and, most recently on HBO’s “Family and Sprout.” The band has collaborated with such artists as Sheryl Crow, Lou Reed, Nick Cave, Andrew Bird, Philip Glass and Natalie Merchant. Their music has been described as coming from a place “where North American and West Indian folk music, sea shanties, the music of English music halls, Mexican son jarocho music, the spirit of early rock-and-roll and soulful originals collide.”
Numerous Nashville artists will take part in OZ Family Day, leading participatory activities throughout OZ’s converted warehouse space and vast, artfully landscaped grounds. Hip Hues will help children silkscreen T-shirts and bandannas; Moves and Grooves will teach parents and children new choreography to perform together; Plaza Art will facilitate children creating abstract paintings; Star Education will help children record and design CDs; ReMake Art will engage children in a community weaving project using recycled materials; Stephanie Pruitt will lead family creative writing exercises; Playing by Air will give juggling lessons; Oasis Center will help families create sun prints; the National Museum of African American Music will demonstrate how to make guitars out of cigar boxes; OZ artist-in-residence Bryan Somerville will lead families in constructing temporary sculptures using found objects; and OZ artist-in-residence Jammie Williams will collaborate with families in the creation of a 70-foot mural.
Family Day attendees can bring plastic hangers, plastic bottle caps and laundry detergent bottles and caps to help local artist Alex Lockwood prepare for his February 2015 installation at OZ. Children will be able to print their own portraits through Isle of Printing Company’s Our Town Project. The Nashville Shakespeare Festival plans to make the drama of the day interesting by teaching recitations in a fun way.
Admission for Family Day at OZ is free for people age 12 and under, $25.00 for people 13 and older. Purchase tickets and get more information online at www.oznashville.com.
From the top of OZ: OZ Arts President and CEO Tim Ozgener on family and Family Day at OZ
Why did you decide to have a Family Day at OZ?
TO: I was born in Nashville. My mom and dad met in New York City and my mom came to Nashville to get her Ph.D. in early childhood development from Peabody College (now part of Vanderbilt), so we’ve always grown up with that influence. When we decided to start OZ as a contemporary arts center, to have one day that is a family-friendly day, that gets children very hands-on, literally tangibly involved in different kinds of artistic activities and exercises—we thought would be a great initiative to do.
OZ began as a family space, but in a different way—as a business space that transformed into an art space. Can you speak to that?
TO: My father started a pipe business in the basement of our home in 1968. My sister and I, in order to earn allowance, helped him with the business. Then we got into the humidor business in 1990 (Humidors are cedar boxes that store cigars and keep them fresh). We got into the cigar business in 1994. We built this warehouse in this area of West Nashville, parallel to John C. Tune Airport, in 2004. We sold our cigar business in 2007 and converted the space into a contemporary arts center. We started that process around 2010 and our first performance [for OZ Arts] was in February 2014.
We have this mission to bring world-class contemporary artists to Nashville and have them perform and show their craft—in performing arts or in visual arts . . . and also to feature local artists, [through] a program on the third Thursday every month called our “Thursday Night Things” (TNT), where we select a local artist and she or he utilizes the space [with] visual art or performing art. Saturday’s Family Day . . . is a combination of local artists and internationally renowned artists.
So it’s a way for people to get a flavor for all you have to offer.
TO: I think it’s going to be a great way for families to introduce their kids to a lot of different, interesting, stimulating, artistic kinds of activities and I think that the quality of everything we’ve brought: We want it to be of “A” level, and I think everything we’ve done so far has been of that level.