Nfocus April 2024

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New looks from Nashville Symphony Fashion Show designer Prabal Gurung, the 35th annual Ballet Ball and more

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April 2024 | Vol. XXXI, No. 4


19 Harmonized Horizons

The looks of spring and pre-fall by Prabal Gurung

38 Coral and Jade

The Ballet Ball celebrates its 35th anniversary

47 Judith Bright Shines

Navigating nearly two decades of change in Nashville has left the brand and its CEO stronger than ever

52 Game, Set, Match

New tennis apparel company 40-Love serves up form and function

54 Embracing Reinvention

Cheval reimagines herself with a new brand and a new name


India Sampson in Prabal Gurung photographed by Tausha Dickinson at Diamond Creek Farms. For more spring looks by Nashville Symphony Fashion Show designer Prabal Gurung, turn to page 19.


57 Conversation Starter

Conversations at OZ 2024 celebrates the art of dialogue

58 The Joy of Joyce

Celebrating Joyce Vise on her special day

61 A Whirlwind Weekend

Nashville Wine Auction’s Pairings celebrates success

69 Big Night Out

Comic relief funds the ongoing mission of Nashville’s Gordon Jewish Community Center

72 Mystery! Thrills! Romance! A classic evening at How About Dinner and a Movie

74 Eastward Ho!

Making friends and being bold with visions of TPAC’s new facility slated for the East Bank

77 An Evening in Morocco

Exotic Red Carpet Evening brings out bling and film buffs


8 In Our Words Celebrating the season of spring fashion

10 Behind the Scenes

Seth Feman of the Frist Art Museum

12 Step Inside

Nashville City Club

14 Nstyle

The latest from style gurus Bentley Caldwell & Carson Love

80 Taking Vows

Gloria Houghland marries

Chuck Welch

82 Pencil In Mark your calendars for these upcoming events

84 Nretrospect Remembering McClures | APRIL 2024 7
38 19 47

Oh So Pretty

Celebrating the season of spring fashion

WHEN I WAS YOUNG, I loved any opportunity to go to the big city — Columbus, Ohio. We often made the one-hour trek because my parents had season tickets to the theater, and as we grew into tweens and then into teens, they would bring us along. We would dress up, which made me feel, somehow, invincible. I remember being in awe, not only of the performances we saw, but also of the bright lights in the city’s skyline and the fashionable ladies who attended the shows. I wanted to dress up like them because their style exuded confidence and self-assuredness. Even today, as my car snakes through traffic on my way from West Nashville to the heart of downtown, I feel a stir at the sight of the ever-changing skyline.

In this issue, we explore the world of fashion and art. Celebrated international fashion designer and 2024 Symphony Fashion Show designer Prabal Gurung is the focus of our annual spring style guide. Born in Singapore and raised in Nepal, Prabal came to the United States to study design at the Parsons School of Design. He went on to intern under Donna Karan and work as Bill Blass’ design director before launching an eponymous label in 2009. This month, we also sit down with Nashville’s own Judith Bright to talk about her journey and her milestone celebrations. Judith’s beautiful jewelry designs can be seen everywhere, from workplaces and daily gatherings to red carpets and galas.

Just in time for the start of spring tennis leagues, we join the creators of the new tennis brand 40Love to talk about on-the-court fashion. We go behind the scenes with Seth Feman of the Frist Art Museum to explore legacy through art. The WanderLust girls visit with fashion designer Cheval, who has re-emerged with a new name and a new shoe brand after losing a brand she helped build. Finally, we take readers inside the beauty and style of the 35th annual Ballet Ball.

As we grow into ourselves over the years, fashion often plays a part in identity and self-expression. We use our clothing to send a message about who we are at our core — and how we want others to understand us. There is an art to fashion design, just as there is an art to honing a distinct sense of personal style. As we look to the future of Nashville, let’s raise a glass to growing with style.

Janet moved to Nashville 25 years ago. She is an avid reader, traveler and collector of fountain pens, and she lives in downtown Nashville with her husband, Ron, and their dog, Julep. Email her at or follow her on Instagram @musiccitytraveler


founding editor

Herbert Fox, Jr.


Janet Kurtz

contributing editors

Lindsey Lanquist, Jack Silverman

social correspondent

Gloria Houghland


Beth Alexander, Emily Bache, Jeanette Barker, Abigail Breslin, Bentley Caldwell, Whitney Clay, Melissa Corbin, Carrington Fox, Margaret Littman, Carson Love, Sandra Nelson, Nancy Vienneau

Art art director

Christie Passarello senior photographer

Eric England staff photographer

Angelina Castillo contributing photographers

Michael Scott Evans, Lorenzo Huerta, Hamilton Matthew Masters graphic designers

Sandi Harrison, Mary Louise Meadors, Tracey Starck


events and marketing director

Olivia Moye Britton

marketing and promotions manager

Robin Fomusa

Advertising publisher

Jennifer Trsinar Jezewski

advertising solutions consultants

Teresa Birdsong, Maddy Fraiche, Michael Jezewski, Carla Mathis, Allie Muirhead, Heather Cantrell Mullins, Niki Tyree, Alissa Wetzel, Keith Wright associate account executive

Kailey Idziak sales operations manager

Chelon Hasty advertising solutions associates

Audry Houle, Jack Stejskal


circulation manager

Gary Minnis

Business president

Mike Smith

chief financial officer

Todd Patton

IT director

John Schaeffer

Owner FW Publishing,

Nfocus is published monthly by FW Publishing, LLC. Advertising deadline for the next issue is Wednesday, April 17, 2024. A limited number of free copies, one per reader, are available at select retail establishments, listed on the website: First-class subscriptions are available for $100 per year. Send your name and address along with a check or credit card number and expiration date to: GARY MINNIS, FW PUBLISHING, 210 12th Ave. S., Suite 100, Nashville, TN 37203 or call Gary at 615-844-9307. For advertising information, call JENNIFER TRSINAR JEZEWSKI at 615-844-9261. Copyright ©2024 FW Publishing, LLC.
Bill Freeman | APRIL 2024 9

The Art of the Possible

Behind the scenes with Seth Feman of the Frist Art Museum

GROWING UP, Nashville native Seth Feman developed a profound love of the arts — particularly photography. His passion for the art form blossomed while in high school at the University School of Nashville. After graduating from Vassar College, Seth pursued a career in photography, interning as a photo editor and researcher at Newsweek and Artforum, then working at Condé Nast for several years.

After receiving a master’s degree and doctorate from William & Mary, Seth began an illustrious career in the museum field. Before joining the Frist Art Museum in 2022, Seth spent 10 years at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia, leading the curatorial, education and registration departments in his role as deputy director for art and interpretations and curator of photography.


Name: Seth Feman

Hometown: Nashville

ZIP code: 37207

Years in Nashville: 18+2

Number of exhibitions curated: Dozens

What did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was really little, I had all kinds of interests. I wanted to be a geologist, a doctor — everything was on the table. Early on, I got interested in art, and in high school in particular, I got really interested in photography.

What inspired you to pursue a career in museums?

As a child, my mom would take me to Cheekwood back in the days when Cheekwood was not a very active place — very different than it is now. I remember specifically encountering the portrait of Andy Warhol in their collection, and I was afraid of it. I knew then that [art] could make me feel something really powerful when I encountered it.

Later, I got an internship at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). I started doing academic research on museums when I was in grad school, and part of my dissertation research was on the history of the National Gallery.

What are your favorite things about the Frist Art Museum? One of the things I really love about the museum is that it surprises people. When you approach the building itself, it has an air of stability because it looks like it’s been here forever. When you get inside, you see total dynamism — that things here are changing all the time.

That quality is something we’re leaning into quite a bit. If you come in and see an exhibition and it doesn’t really resonate for you, come back a few weeks later — you’re going to see something different. Without a [permanent] collection, we are always changing exhibitions. It defies the expectations of museums in some ways. And that, for me, is pretty exciting.

Tell us about your exhibition selection process. In selecting upcoming exhibitions, we try to change the perspective. Even if we’re returning to a similar category, we try to change how we approach that category. For example, we’ve done a Christian Dior exhibition of high-couture fashion. When we bring the Alexander McQueen exhibition at the end of May, we’re looking at his designs alongside photographs made by one of his closest friends. It is both a photography show and a fashion show. And it’s also about the relationship between these two artists, and how they were responding and thinking together.

Are there any upcoming events that really excite you? I am excited about the Alexander McQueen show. I’m also excited that in the

spring, we will start launching some Friday night activities. When I got back to town, the first question somebody asked me was, “When are Frist Fridays coming back?” I am happy to say they are coming back on May 31.

What challenges or opportunities do you see for museums moving forward? There are always these questions about whether you should be a local museum or a national museum — where should you focus your aspirations? In my view, you should be focusing on the community. I think people have realized that if you do local well, it’s going to put you on the map nationally.

We are also focusing on how we get out beyond the building. We’re putting a lot of effort into community outreach initiatives, and in the next year, we’ll be hiring several artists who will work with us as teachers to go out to community centers and run art programs. Meanwhile, we’re doing a lot to make the experience here richer for people. If you’re going to make the trek downtown, you really want a warm welcome.

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New Chapter

The Nashville City Club — a time-honored private club — has relocated

THE LEGENDARY NASHVILLE City Club, where, since 1957, the city’s movers and shakers have gathered to socialize, dine and network, has a new home. The club now occupies 18,000 square feet — 6,000 on each of the three floors — inside the historic Liggett building at 200 Second Ave. S.

“The old City Club [on Fourth Avenue] was 12,000 square feet, so we’ve grown tremendously, which allows us to increase our membership,” says Chris Weinberg, the club’s managing director. Right now, there are about 700 members. Though the club was once known as a gathering place primarily for bankers, lawyers and politicians, over the years, its demographic has become more diverse.

Chris says he’s seeing more entrepreneurs and small business owners joining. He owes that, at least in part, to events ranging from an eight-part series on the Enneagram personality test to an evening based on the Jeffersonian Dinner model, as well as a mentorship program.

“We have people joining in their 20s, and we have people in their late 80s,” says Chris. “I was talking to one member yesterday and he said, ‘I’ve been here for 43 years.’ I’m like, ‘God bless you, brother. Keep on coming.’”

Working with Franklin-based Integrous Architecture, the City Club took over the space previously occupied by The Register — a private social club that has since closed.

Fortunately, says Chris, the aesthetic was just what they were looking for. The only significant change is a new kitchen, which will accommodate all three floors.

On the top floor is the Member’s Lounge, which has a dedicated dining room serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a cocktail bar. There are multiple groupings of overstuffed brown leather sofas surrounding coffee tables — concrete and shagreen or glass. The open floor plan also features dining tables with black linen tablecloths accompanied by black and brass dining chairs.

The 1933 industrial building boasts the original windows, exposed ductwork and exposed brick. A black grand piano is perched in the corner of the Member’s Lounge, and to further set the mood of a bygone era, a blown-up copy of an iconic photo of Jayne Mansfield and Sophia Loren takes up nearly an entire wall.

The first floor accommodates The Study, a bar serving light fare and craft cocktails that is open to the public. On the second floor is the Grand Ballroom, which can be rented for weddings, meetings and other events. The space can accommodate 300 guests — 150 for a seated dinner. Members receive a discount on the rental cost.


Many of the programs hosted by the City Club are centered around an epicurean dinner overseen by Executive Chef Ryan Brewer. A variety of cuisine is served daily on both the first and third floors — the latter being for members only. Catering is o ered on the second floor. O erings range from American cuisine to Spanish tapas. On the third floor, menu items include a roasted beet salad, grilled cheese and tomato basil soup, a filet, slow-roasted pork belly, braised short rib ravioli and a rotating seafood special.



There are three membership types: a young executive membership (ages 21-34) requiring a $3,000 initial fee and then $149 monthly, an executive membership with a $5,000 initial fee and $199 monthly, and a corporate membership with a $3,000 initial fee and $199 monthly. In addition to having access to the many events, including a wine seminar and a 1920s-themed mystery party, members who live close by — either downtown, on West End Avenue or in The Gulch — may skip driving and be picked up by a courtesy black SUV.


While the furniture is new, there are nods to the club’s history throughout the building, including a wall of black-and-white photographs donated by members. There are wedding and vacation photos, some that appear to be from the ’50s and ’60s. When asked what other treasures came from the previous location, Chris mentions three longtime employees — Betty Hamilton, Robert Olden and Thomas Cross. For the last 54 years, Thomas has been “a bartender, server, maître d’, you name it,” says Chris. “He could do anything here.” | APRIL 2024 13


How to get out of a style rut

A PODCAST HOST recently asked me a question

I really loved talking through: What should you do if you’ve fallen into a style rut and don’t know how to get out of it? Much to her surprise, I told her climbing out of a style rut can be easy — and you don’t have to spend a small fortune in the process.

By following three simple steps, you can reconnect with your personal style and reinvigorate your wardrobe. The key? Focus on the clothes you really love, and find little ways to have fun every day.

Clean out your closet

It’s no secret that I’m a big advocate for routine closet edits, and that’s exactly where I would start if I were in a style slump. How could you possibly know where you’re headed if you don’t know where you’re starting? Go into this process with the goal of taking inventory of what you use the most. That information is just as important as knowing what you don’t use.

Elevate your everyday essentials

Rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, elevate your everyday “uniform” by upgrading your go-tos.

If you’re the kind of person who lives in workout clothes, don’t force yourself to start wearing 6-inch pumps. Instead, look at what you already use and wear the most, and give those items an upgrade. Could you swap that old pair of running shoes for an elevated fashion sneaker?

Have fun with hair and makeup

During one of my first courses in college, we learned that fashion refers to anything that adorns the body. While I’m certainly not an expert when it comes to hair and makeup, I believe both play vital roles in your overall sense of style. Sometimes refreshing your makeup collection or trying a new hairstyle can create the momentum you need to get out of a style rut.

Everyone goes through phases where personal style takes a backseat — or maybe gets kicked out of the car altogether. In these moments, it’s important to remember that nurturing your sense of style is neither a selfish pursuit nor a waste of time. It’s a fundamental way to practice self-care and self-respect.

Carson Love is a wardrobe and personal stylist based in Nashville. Her main goal is to help clients present as and feel like their best selves, so they are ready for whatever life brings them. Find her online: or follow her on Instagram @carsonmlove.


One, two,

three, quiet luxury

HAPPY APRIL, GENTS! Way back in the year of our Lord 2018, a little show premiered on HBO, centered around the Roys and their family business. That show would go on to become a cultural sensation for four seasons and spur an emerging fashion trend. The show? Succession. The fashion trend? Quiet luxury.

Quiet luxury refers to an understated approach to fashion with an emphasis on quality pieces. Elegant, timeless and simple — no flash needed. I’ve called this “elevated simplicity” when talking to clients. Quiet luxury fashion is devoid of big logos and gaudy embellishments. Think the opposite of the full Louis Vuitton tracksuit or anything that’s been bedazzled or riveted with rhinestones. (Don’t act like you didn’t have a phase in high school and college.)

Much like the old money aesthetic, discretion and subtlety reign supreme here. Say you have wealth without saying you have wealth — and get the look by buying from brands that excel at quality clothing-making.


A British heritage brand founded in 1800, Sunspel is synonymous with understated luxury. Its Sea Island Cotton is one of the finest and rarest cottons in the world, and the brand uses it for everything from its boxers to its polos — which, by the way, were worn by Daniel Craig’s James Bond. If it’s good enough for Bond, it’s good enough for me. And did I mention that Sunspel is all about sustainability? Adhering to a “no waste philosophy,” its garments are built to last.

Brunello Cucinelli

Ironically, Brunello Cucinelli started as a colorful women’s cashmere brand. Today, it is a staple for both men and women looking for elegant and elevated wardrobe essentials. All the beauty — none of the fuss. And the brand’s headquarters are in a kickass 14th-century Italian village. How cool is that?

Loro Piana

Widely known for its stellar suits, Loro Piana offers some of the best wool and cashmere money can buy. From start to finish, its garments are made from the finest fibers available. If you’ve ever had the desire to just roll around on a bed of fabric, this is that fabric! Much like the other brands on my list, Loro Piana is deeply committed to sustainability. Everything the brand creates is truly made to last.

These quiet luxury brands will have you doing your best Kendall Roy impersonation in no time. I’d recommend maybe staying away from the sibling infighting and backstabbing — but at least if you go all out, you’ll look good doing it.

Bentley Caldwell is a Nashville-based men’s personal stylist who helps guys up their style and confidence and take the guesswork out of dressing themselves. Have a fashion or styling question? Visit his website: or follow him on Instagram @bentleycaldwell.

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The looks of spring and pre-fall by Prabal Gurung

Details: Off-the-shoulder ruffle dress

All designs by Prabal Gurung. For more on Prabal, see Editor-in-Chief Janet Kurtz’s article “West Meets East” in

Editor: Janet Kurtz

Art Director: Christie Passarello

Photographer: Tausha Dickinson

Photographer Assistant: Anthony Romano

Video: Lindsey Ballou

Stylist and Set Design: Bruce Pittman

Stylist Assistants: Eldar Gorak, Linnea Tweedy

Models: India Sampson, Chaney Trosper | AMAX Talent

Hair and Makeup: Madison Dennis, Jordan Dillon | MHD Beauty

Location: Diamond Creek Farms

Boutique: Gus Mayer

Earrings: I.N.C. International Concepts fabric flower hoop earrings Shoes: Kelly & Katie Hailee navy blue sandals
28 issue of the
the March
Nashville Scene
Details: Jackie stretch-crepe twist-front midi dress Shoes: Jessica Simpson Lasharen black platform pumps

Details: Leafy silk chiffon sari gown

Earrings: I.N.C. International Concepts goldtone knotted multi-chain statement earrings

Belt: Guess gold-tone logo and tassel snake-chain lariat necklace (worn as a belt)

Shoes: Steve Madden Graceyn black sandals

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Details: Floral sequin sheath dress Shoes: Jessica Simpson Nekira 3 gold pumps

Details: Alex sari gown with sequin, eyelet and feather-trim details

Earrings: I.N.C. International Concepts silver-tone pavé triangular mesh statement earrings

Shoes: Kelly & Katie Dahlia metallic platform sandals



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The Ballet Ball celebrates its 35th anniversary

One of the most anticipated arts evenings in Nashville — the Ballet Ball — commemorated its 35th anniversary with a celebration of color and movement. Guests of the event arrived wearing their finest coral or jade — a nod to the traditional gifts given for the milestone anniversary. After collaborating on the vision with co-chairs Evelyn Cate Galletti, Bob Deal and Jason Bradshaw, Bruce Pittman created a stunning design for the evening, which elevated the already beautiful Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

38 APRIL 2024 |
Co-chairs Jason Bradshaw, Bob Deal, Evelyn Cate Galletti

After cocktail hour, guests entered the Laura Turner Concert Hall, visiting along the way as they waited for dinner and performances to begin. The wait was not long, as Brian Charles Rooney, accompanied by Ming Aldrich-Gan, opened the evening with an energizing first act. A beautiful dinner by the talented Kristen Winston followed. The first course offered a colorful spring greens salad, and the main course was a filet with GruyèreParmesan potato gratin. Dessert was a beautifully simple dark chocolate cake with cherry coulis and cherry ice cream.

After dinner, Nick Mullikin, the artistic director and CEO of Nashville Ballet, addressed the room of philanthropists. “Tonight, we’re thrilled to showcase the remarkable talents of the company,” he said. “A shining example of this is James Lankford, whose journey from a promising student in our Young Men’s Scholarship Program to dancing principal roles embodies the essence of what our community and donors make possible.”

Joining him onstage, Mary Poiley, chief operating officer, echoed Nick’s sentiments. “With ambitious plans to expand our reach, enhance our educational programs and make ballet accessible to every corner of our community, your support has never been more crucial,” she said. “Our commitment to accessibility extends beyond performances, reaching over 12,000 community members annually through free arts programming. From Head Start students to Title I schools, we ensure that the arts are within reach for everyone.”

The co-chairs thanked the crowded room for their generous support. “I am so proud of the incredible work that Nashville Ballet is doing,” said co-chair Evelyn Cate Galletti. “Your attendance tonight empowers us to continue breaking down barriers, ensuring that everyone, regardless of their circumstances, can experience the transformative power of dance. This is our shared legacy — a commitment to a future where the arts continue to flourish and inspire.” Honorary chair Amy Joyner, in her effervescent way, shared memories of the first Ballet Ball and expressed that she was thrilled to see the event grow over the years.

After the remarks, musicians Wesley Dean and Cassadee Pope took the stage. Members of the Nashville Ballet company joined them, performing choreography created by Nick in his inaugural year as artistic director.

The evening concluded with the announcement that the 2025 Ballet Ball would be co-chaired by Angela Bostelman and Ana Cristina Cash. Then it was time for the late party, chaired by Caitlin Frazier, Jacob Tudor and Terry Vo, where everyone danced the night away to music by Bizz & Everyday People.

Owen and honorary co-chair Amy Joyner Lily Saito, Claudia Monja
Gina Norman, Shelby Patterson, Raegan Norman Belinda Berry, Thomas Barrett Grant and Suzanne Smothers Rob Turner, Tracy and Bill Wade, Jay Jones Marci and Stephen Houff John and Julie Schneider Joy Smith, Michelle Nowell, Brittainy Jones Wesley Dean Fred Crumbo, Jodi Felts Arnita and Tim Ozgener Rachel Zamata Swanson and Russell Swanson Donnie and Kayla Counts Donna Joyner, Jay Joyner | APRIL 2024 41 limited offerings from $2,759,000 615-282-5755 / Sales Gallery: 1222 Demonbreun St. Ste 1600 Nashville, TN 37203 Pullman Gulch Union Three Bedroom Collection unforgettableskylineviews *Allrenderingsareformarketingpurposes. Actualas-builtconditionswillvary. Buyertoverifyallfinishes.

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Nestled in Belle Meade, this 5,000+ SF residence harmonizes traditional charm with modern updates. Recent enhancements include new designer lighting, exquisite wall coverings, and elegant window treatments, elevating the home's aesthetic to new heights. Step outside onto the charming screened porch, where the tranquil ambiance invites moments of relaxation and reflection. Beyond lies a sparkling pool and inviting fire pit, perfect for entertaining guests or enjoying quiet evenings under the stars. Situated on .65 meticulously landscaped acres bordered by a small creek, the property offers both privacy and natural beauty. With all these amenities and more, this Belle Meade beauty stands as a rare opportunity in the market, inviting discerning buyers to experience the epitome of luxury living. Offered at $3,250,000

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Realtor® BELLE MEADE 5 BEDROOMS | 4 BATHROOMS | 5,000+ SF © 2024 Sotheby’s International Realty. All Rights Reserved. Sotheby’s International Realty® is a registered trademark and used with permission. Each Sotheby’s International Realty office is independently owned and operated, except those operated by Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. All offerings are subject to errors, omissions, changes including price or withdrawal without notice. Equal Housing Opportunity.


Navigating nearly two decades of change in Nashville has left the brand and its CEO stronger than ever

LAST YEAR, JUDITH BRIGHT did something she never imagined. She bought the 1,176-square-foot house on 12th Avenue South where she has had a jewelry studio and retail shop for a decade.

“I didn’t think we would be able to stay,” says Judith, the CEO of her eponymous jewelry brand. The 12South studio and shop wasn’t her first (that title goes to The Mall at Green Hills), nor was it the first that she would have to move out of (again, Green Hills, as well as Atlanta and Berry Hill, but more on all that later). But the walkability of the 12South neighborhood and the way the area has changed over the years had been a big boon to her business. She didn’t want to leave.


Her landlords — a songwriter and his wife — had purchased the building decades ago as their retirement plan.

Judith certainly didn’t begrudge them that strategy. But as property values have increased in Nashville, she wasn’t certain she could afford the millions it would take to stay put in a neighborhood that had grown up around her. “I had a right of first refusal in my contract but was convinced I would not be able to afford it,” she says. “It is super competitive to be on that street.”

In the end, Judith was able to get financing from Studio Bank, a Nashville boutique bank that specializes in local entrepreneurship.

Judith serves on the boards of both the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and the Nashville Entrepreneur Center (EC), and has participated in a Leadership Nashville cohort, activities that have cemented her position as a mentor and a leader — and one whose business is a good bet.

All of that looks different than it did decades ago, when Judith was living in Los Angeles, working at the Walt Disney Company, and hand-beading jewelry for her coworkers for extra cash, charging $30 for a necklace.

Greek philosopher Heraclitus is credited with the idea that has been reduced to a sound bite: “The only constant is change.” But the philosophy certainly applies to Judith.

In 2004, Judith, her then-husband and their three sons moved to Nashville. He had family in the area, and she had a connection too, having graduated from the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. Judith had already left the field of nursing, finding her work with AIDS patients too emotionally taxing, and had left a job working for entertainment giant Quincy Jones. The family — three small boys and all — had spent the previous year living in Italy, while Judith learned silversmithing. She was turning 40 and looking to pursue her lifelong passion of making jewelry. Ever since she could slip a ring on her finger, she wanted to play with jewelry. While she loved the silver work, it was expensive and time-consuming. (She crafted six pieces total in the time the Bright family lived abroad.)

The business she started in her house in 2005 was a few steps more sophisticated than those beaded pieces she made in LA, but still a long way from the multimillion-dollar business she would build. She switched from silver to 14-karatgold-filled and non-precious metals because they were less expensive and easier for her to work with, and that decision is part of what allowed Judith Bright Jewelry to thrive.

Judith’s collections are filled with pieces that cost less than $300, with many under $100. That price point and the fact that many pieces are customizable have made Judith’s line popular for bridal parties and other groups who want something similar, but personalized.

“I purchased my bridesmaids’ gifts at Judith Bright and absolutely loved working with Judith and her team to choose something special for my big day,” says Kate Brady, a longtime customer. “The jewelry was unique, and I loved how personalized everything was. The gemstones we chose matched my wedding aesthetic perfectly. Her pieces were beautiful for my black-tie wedding, and my bridesmaids still wear their bracelets today.”


Judith has a rewards program for repeat customers who buy new stacking rings every year or add to collections on birthdays or anniversaries.

In 2010, Judith opened the aforementioned store at The Mall at Green Hills, which made Nashville shoppers more aware of the brand. They also learned to love the pieces because they showed up in movies and TV shows, like The New Adventures of Old Christine and Gossip Girl, thanks to Judith’s entertainment industry connections. It was fun, Judith says, to see Jennifer Lopez wear a piece she designed. But as the business grew, Judith focused on designing pieces that could be in her stores and training other women to make her designs.

Today Judith has a staff of 30, and the women who make her jewelry are creatives who like to make things but may not have experience making jewelry specifically. They work in a collaborative environment, where everyone is encouraged to be part of the design process and bring their own ideas to the table.

The business grew quickly. In 2014, Judith Bright moved out of Green Hills and into the 12South spot she bought a decade later. In between, she opened and closed shops in Atlanta and a production facility in Berry Hill. She’s expanded into L&L Market on Charlotte Avenue and the Factory at Franklin. The Franklin location, in particular, is “going gangbusters” since the property’s recent renovation, she says.

Part of the appeal of her line, Judith says, is that her pieces are “slow jewelry,” in the spirit of slow fashion and slow food. They have thought put into them and can be personalized. They are inclusive, in that they are appropriate for people looking for all price points and sizes, and work for everything from a tween’s first piece of jewelry to an 80th birthday gift.

“We have become disconnected,” Judith says. “And to be able to get back to where you can give someone something that shows you really put some thought into it, rather than just ordering it on Amazon, is really great.”

Now that the 12South location is secure, and the two other stores are bustling, attracting locals and visitors, Judith is not coasting. Within the next two years, she’d like to introduce a line of pieces — made with the Judith Bright techniques — of 14-karat and 18-karat gold. These pieces, she thinks, would appeal to customers who have a little more disposable income than when they first started shopping with her a decade ago. “Cocktail rings are eternally popular,” Bright muses. “They are little sculptures.”

Judith will also continue to give back to the Nashville community that has supported her. A portion of proceeds from the Butterfly Collection is donated to Alive Hospice. Judith uses her training — as a nurse and with people — to bring a calming presence as an end-of-life doula. And she continues to mentor up-and-coming business owners through EO and the EC.

For all the growth and the real estate and the change, Judith brightens most when talking about jewelry and getting to know people through what they wear. “I always find it fascinating and revealing to see how people express themselves in jewelry. It shows who you are and who you have been,” she says. “I love it.”

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New tennis apparel company 40-Love serves up form and function

EACH SPRING AND FALL across Nashville, tennis teams begin to plan and practice for the NALTA and USTA leagues. The mild and temperate seasonal weather offers the perfect conditions for a glorious evening clinic or a morning match. Tennis is not only a great sport for the mind and body — it also offers a sense of camaraderie that feeds the soul. But let’s face it, while tennis offers some great looks, form and function are often at odds in on-the-court fashion. Enter 40-Love, a locally owned tennis apparel brand created by Lauren Hocker and Lacey Keally.

Like so many during the pandemic, Lauren and Lacey engaged in local tennis leagues — not only to get out of the house, but also to have an opportunity to move. After finding a love for the sport and seeing a void in the market for local tennis court fashion, they became inspired to create a stylish and functional tennis clothing line for women. “Lacey and I have always enjoyed working together and share a passion for tennis and fashion,” Lauren says. “It felt only natural to embark on this new business journey together.”

After several brainstorming sessions, Lauren and Lacey engaged designer Siriwan Gayle — founder of Hold Me Baby and graduate of the International Academy of Design and Technology Nashville. Working in collaboration with Siriwan brought the vision to life, and together the women created 40-Love’s first line of tennis attire.

40-Love’s designs offer style and sophistication both on and off the court. While the looks are perfect for an afternoon match, they transition beautifully to lunch or cocktails in the clubhouse. The line includes skorts, tops, dresses, shorts and even hats and bags. The brand also offers sweaters and sweatshirts for cool evenings on the court.

Full of minimalist designs and neutral colors, like white and navy, 40-Love’s line is playful but versatile — perfect for team uniforms and individual outfits alike. What sets 40-Love apart is its use of rich performance fabrics, combined with modern designs that offer nods to the past with vintage details. “Our first collection was fun, but we’ve learned and improved for our new spring line,” Lacey says. “We’re especially excited about the two straight skirts, as they’re favorites of ours.”

You can find 40-Love apparel at Belle Meade Country Club, Hillwood Country Club, Richland Country Club, The Tennis Store (Franklin), Stones River Country Club (Murfreesboro), Cherokee Country Club (Knoxville), Chickasaw Country Club (Memphis), Vestavia Hills (Birmingham) and online at

Lacey Keally, Lauren Hocker | APRIL 2024 53


Cheval reimagines herself with a new brand and a new name

THE IDEA OF REINVENTION can sound appealing, whether it is moving to a new city, debuting a different look or pivoting in your career. It is the chance to start anew. But for many people, change can also be unsettling. Altering your sense of self might seem overwhelming, especially when it is out of your control. For one woman, a decade of dreams was halted by a 100-page federal lawsuit that stripped her of not only her passion, but her birth name as well.


Before she rebranded as Cheval, Hayley Paige Gutman was a wedding dress designer you might recognize from the television show Say Yes to the Dress. Even as a child, she knew fashion was her path. Her clear vision stayed with her throughout design school, where she interpreted every project through the lens of bridal wear. When given the opportunity to launch her career at the age of 25, she signed a long-term contract without legal guidance. Everything seemed ideal — and for 10 years, it was.

After the impressive growth of her namesake brand, it was time for the rising star to renegotiate her contract. She had outperformed expectations and outgrown the role of head designer. She came to the table with hopes of validating her hard work, and instead faced a hostile one-and-a-half-year negotiation that ended in a gruesome lawsuit. The bridal designer could no longer design bridal, and she was sued for the rights to her name and ownership of her social media accounts.

Rather than give up on her passion completely, Cheval reinvented herself and her brand. “I chose to see it as an opportunity — a new way to exercise a creative muscle.” she says. Even though she’d identified as a wedding designer for most of her life, Cheval realized what she loves most is creating and connecting with women. “I just want to bring women joy,” she says.

A new chapter is beginning — and this one is all about shoes. The brand is She Is Cheval, which boasts a colorful and bold array of footwear. Cheval’s optimistic disposition comes through in her designs: a jubilant collection of playful pumps, satin slippers and statement sneakers, all with a touch of glimmer. “I love shoes because it is a product that carries you places,” she says. Previously, Cheval’s clients had to be engaged. But this new venture has broadened her clientele to every woman.

For Cheval, it’s not about being more confident — it’s about being less afraid. “I lost a lot,” she says. “And I am still here.” Cheval’s perseverance is inspirational, and her willingness to share her journey paved the way for her foundation, A Girl You Might Know. The foundation provides guidance, resources, community and connection to young women and creatives during a formative time in their careers. The program creates a safe space for everything from getting legal advice to learning about financial grants. And its inception was a silver lining — a shiny outcome, much like Cheval’s designs.

“Everyone asks what success or happiness looks like to me,” Cheval says. “It is the ability to go from failure to failure, or mistake to mistake, and not lose enthusiasm for what you do.” Reinvention can be intimidating. But Cheval teaches us that if you focus on what brings you joy, let your passion guide you and remember to give yourself grace, the opportunities are endless.


Since its inception in 1975, The Harding Art Show has become one of the largest and most profitable fine art exhibitions in the Southeastern United States. This highly anticipated annual event showcases over 75 talented artists from around the country whose works are representative of various styles across multiple mediums. On May 2-4, 2024, Harding Academy will celebrate its 48th Annual Harding Art Show.

MAY 2-4, 2024 @thehardingartshow

56 APRIL 2024 |

Converstion Strter

Conversations at OZ 2024 celebrates the art of dialogue

rt, no matter its expression, is a form of power, renowned actor and activist Ossie Davis once noted. And that includes the art of conversation. Inspired by the historical salons de Paris, Conversations at OZ — an annual fundraising salon — creates space for riveting conversations while supporting the important work of OZ Arts Nashville.

As guests arrived, they got to view OZ’s latest exhibit: “May I Be Brave Enough to Speak My Truth” by artist and activist Shabazz Larkin. Co-chairs David Ewing, Amy and Frank Garrison, Sherri Neal, and Ryan and Barrett Wood were on hand to mingle with the crowd. The cocktail reception spilled onto the patio, which was open to the night sky.

Mark Murphy, OZ Arts executive and artistic director, kicked off the night by announcing OZ’s 10th Anniversary Bash — to be held April 5. President and CEO Tim Ozgener then took the stage and acknowledged the three mayors set to host conversations that night — Memphis Mayor Paul Young, Nashville Mayor Freddie O’Connell and former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean. “The irony is that the ribbon cutting for this place was done during November 2013, and it was done by Mayor Dean,” he added.

The 26 Nashvillians who hosted discussion tables at this year’s event included luminaries like Agenia Clark, John Seigenthaler, Judge Sheila Calloway and Rick Ewing — and tastemakers like Julia Sullivan, Erin Byers Murray, Cameron Weiss, Molly Tuttle and T Bone Burnett. Each table focused on a specific topic, like media and politics, book banning, and art as liberation. From music and watchmaking to oysters and whiskey, the topics gave attendees plenty to choose from as they customized a unique potion of conversation.

As the stage’s timer was set for 75 minutes, attendees began their conversations over a thoughtful meal by Kristen Winston Catering. Courses included a mixed greens salad, family-style panseared chicken, fingerling potatoes and roasted vegetables. An assortment of mini desserts followed. The Roland Barber Quartet entertained, creating a soundtrack that complemented the dialogue happening in the room.

Christy Waller, Lynn Winans, Rick Ewing, Sharon Gentry, Agenia Clark, Laura Merritt Sheila Calloway, Wendy Burch, David Ewing, Jacob Mchangama, Sandy Ewing Tim Ozgener, Molly Tuttle Marian Harrison, John Seigenthaler, Mimi Wallace Marjean Coddon and Henry Johs Hank and Kate Ingram LaDonna Boyd, Jason Ridgel

The Joy of Joyce

Celebrating Joyce Vise on her special day

Celebrating a birthday is always a special occasion. But when it is for someone as beloved as Joyce Vise, who wakes up each day with joy in her heart, the festivities take on an extra layer of warmth. At BrickTop’s, the renowned local restaurant known for its vibrant social scene, friends gathered to honor Joyce’s remarkable life.

The lively atmosphere of a Thursday lunch rush set the perfect backdrop for the celebration. As guests arrived, hugs and laughter abounded, as well as the promise of a luncheon celebration filled with memories and merriment. The woman at the center of the celebration — Joyce — is known for her kind heart and boundless love for others, and this sentiment was reflected in every aspect of the gathering. From the Champagne toasts to the lovely floral arrangements that adorned the tables to the joyful balloons, every detail exuded love and appreciation for the birthday girl.

As the event unfolded, guests enjoyed dishes prepared by the BrickTop’s team — including copious amounts of the restaurant’s famous spinach artichoke dip. After pictures and toasts, everyone settled into their favorite dish and enjoyed conversation and stories as they whiled away the afternoon. Of course, no birthday would be complete without a decadent dessert adorned with candles. These flickered dimly (and beautifully) on the cloud-covered day.

A sense of friendship and connection filled the air, and all of the luncheon guests felt it. Old friends reconnected, and all were united by their admiration for Joyce. It was a testament to the impact she has had on so many lives over the years, and a reminder of the power of joy and compassion in bringing people together.

Joyce Vise and friends Joyce Vise, Mark and Harriet Schiftan Owen Joyner, Joyce Vise, Matt Scanlan Joyce Vise, Sandra Lipman Joyce Vise, Annette Eskind Joyce Vise, Janet Bentz Joyce Vise, Bree Miller, Madison Dennis, Katie Colby

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 Whirlwind Weekend

Nashville Wine Auction’s Pairings celebrates success

The Nashville Wine Auction has been hosting major events for over 40 years. What started as an evening with friends to raise funds to help fight cancer through l’Eté du Vin has blossomed into a major organization with multiple events throughout the year — all raising crucial funds for the cause.

Pairings, one of the relatively new events, is a weekend-long extravaganza of wine and food that has rapidly grown into one of the most beloved events of the winter season.

Private Vintner Dinners (Thursday)

On a rainy evening, 13 couples welcomed guests into their homes for intimate dinners with vintners visiting for Pairings weekend. At one such home, hosts Kimberly and Doug Linfert introduced their guests to winery representatives from Cornell Vineyards and Hyde Vineyard Estate in California. At once a first date experience and a dinner with trusted friends, each Private Vintner Dinner connects enthusiasts and collectors with passionate vintners who have traveled to Nashville to help oenophiles learn more about their brands.

After enjoying some delicious Champagne, guests sat down for dinner to hear rich stories of viticulture and learn about the new challenges growers face — everything from wildfires to climate change. Chef Joe Townsend created a dinner that beautifully complemented the vintners’ selections, and at the end of each course, he discussed his vision for how the food and wine would pair. Cornell Vineyards’ Luke Speer and Hyde Vineyard Estate Winery’s Jeff Warren and Alberto Rodriguez also addressed the room after each course — making for an evening of education mixed with fellowship.

Lunch with Three Sticks (Friday)

Bill Price III — the unlikely owner of the award-winning Sonoma winery Three Sticks — begins many of his days the same way. Water laps the side of his board as he paddles out to catch the next big wave. An hour away, the sun is rising over the Sonoma Mountains, and the beach has not yet filled with visitors. Bill rides the waves until the sun is higher in the sky and then returns to the vineyard for a day of winemaking. Bill, or “Billy Three Sticks” as his friends called him growing up, purchased the Three Sticks land from Durell Vineyard in 1997. The commitment then, as it still is today, is to responsibly steward the land.

Over lunch at Common Ground, Natalie Price, Bill’s daughter and second-generation vintner and brand ambassador of Three Sticks, entertained with stories about her father and the winery. Wine flowed generously — a perfect way to spend an afternoon. Guests enjoyed a 2020 Gap’s Crown Vineyard chardonnay, a Durell Vineyard chardonnay and a Price Family Estates pinot noir. While the wines are similar to lighter, old-world styles from Burgundy, they offer more minerality and less oak.

During lunch, Natalie reflected on her first experience in Nashville. “I loved the people — they were so kind and welcoming,” she said. “It was a great pleasure to see the enthusiasm for our Sonoma County Three Sticks estate wines in Nashville. I can’t wait to come back!”

Jeff Warren, Alberto Rodriguez, Kimberly and Doug Linfert, Luke Speer Kate Noble, Natalie Price Mark and Harriet Schiftan Kix Brooks, Bill Price, Natalie Price

Wined Up! (Friday)

Pairings’ exuberant Friday night event is the always popular Wined Up! The tasting-style event invites enthusiasts and collectors to peruse the main venue at City Winery, which is filled with wine-tasting booths from wall to wall. Upstairs at the Collectors’ Showcase, generous patrons enjoy more exclusive wine tastings and delicious hors d’oeuvres. The energy and exuberance that Nashville Wine Auction events are known for was on full display at this year’s Wined Up!, as guests tasted new wines and chatted with engaged vintners.

For in-depth coverage of Wined Up!, see our March 7 story “On the Circuit: Wined Up!” by contributor Jeanette Barker.

l’Eté du Vin (Saturday)

The Saturday night event for Pairings, l’Eté du Vin, is almost a who’s who — not just of Nashville but also of the wine community. As guests arrived at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel, many already had their eye on a selection of silent and live auction items, which included wine, jewelry and once-in-a-lifetime trips. During the reception, guests visited with chairs Gabriela Lira, Jonas Sjögren and Rachel and Jeff Mitchell, as they sipped a variety of wines available to savor.

As the dinner bells chimed, guests flowed into the Symphony Ballroom and enjoyed beautiful decor, with red linens and modern centerpieces gracing the tables. Finally, it was time for dinner to begin. As is customary, throughout dinner, a spirited live auction added energy and purpose to the room. Peppered throughout the evening, guest speakers took the stage to talk about the importance of the Nashville Wine Auction and how cancer has impacted their lives.

Harriet Schiftan, president and CEO of Gilda’s Club Middle Tennessee, addressed the room, noting how the funds raised at events like l’Eté du Vin make a critical difference to those experiencing cancer. “We offer cancer support at no cost to our members, thanks to supporters like you,” she said. Another poignant moment of the evening came when Kix Brooks took the stage to talk about losing his sister, mother and father to cancer. The evening ended with substantial funds raised to support local organizations in the collective fight against cancer.

Bonnie Carman, Jay Jones, Lili Shariati, Rob Turner Lisa Tinsley, Chris Chamberlain Joe Townsend (second from the left) and team Loren Chumley and Scott Peterson


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68 APRIL 2024 |

Bi Niht Out

Comic relief funds the ongoing mission of Nashville’s Gordon Jewish Community Center

Walking into the Gordon Jewish Community Center’s annual fundraising event Big Night Out, you could’ve sworn you’d stepped onto the set of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel or Mad Men. The event took place on a cool Saturday night in February, with more than 200 guests dressed in their favorite mid-century attire. The night was a fun one, with great food, drinks and entertainment — and plenty of camaraderie. “Community is literally embedded in our name,” said Jeremy Brook, president of the Gordon JCC Board of Directors. “Saturday night was a celebration of the Gordon Jewish Community Center, all that we are, and the possibility of what we can be, moving into the future.”

Guests first enjoyed a lively cocktail hour featuring old-fashioneds, vodka martinis, rum punch and more. Then, they proceeded to a beautifully decorated auditorium to enjoy a stationed meal catered by Goldie Shepard Catering. The menu featured antipasto trays and salads, flatbread pizzas, pesto pasta, eggplant parmesan, lemon salmon and green vegetables — followed by an array of dessert offerings. The Nashville Rabbis recited Hamotzi. Laughter filled the room when comedians from The Second City — George Elrod, Chas Lilly, Cat Savage, Annie Sullivan, Max Thomas and Adisa Williams — took the stage to perform their newest revue, Comedian Rhapsody. It was a truly special, innovative and interactive performance by the same company that launched the careers of Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, KeeganMichael Key and more. The evening’s entertainment was generously underwritten by the Jane and Richard Eskind and Family Fund in loving memory of Richard Eskind.

For over 100 years, the Gordon JCC has built community and provided programming to uphold Jewish values and enrich the mind, body and spirit. “Through its four locations, its several names and its century of committed members, the Gordon Jewish Community Center proudly sits nine miles from its original location,” author Jean Roseman writes in From Y to J: The Hundred Year History of Nashville’s Jewish Community Center. “It is a testament incarnate to the spirit of the Jewish community of Nashville, Tennessee — to its stability, its persistence, its capability, its resourcefulness, and ultimately to its potential of another hundred years and more.”

Karen and Fred Yazdian Lorna Graff, Marsha Jaffa Keri McInnis, Michael Gold, Robin Rose Rae Hirsch, Mimi Friedman, Jennifer Hoffman Amy McCoy, Lisa and Frank Coriano Cindee Gold, Dara Freiberg
Janet Krebs, Maria Pargh, Anita Howards Dara Freiberg, Robin Bluestone Nick and Sarah Sharp Julia Keith, Mary Pellett Amy and Greg McCoy Jackie Zigelsky, Renee Geltzer Charles and Ilsa Krivcher Jared and Judy Book, Jane Roseman Mark Shepard, Ellen and David Levy Pam and Daniel Abromowitz, Evan and Sandy Nahmias

April 20–21


Venture to Verona and experience a whirlwind of forbidden passion and swoon-worthy romance

Choreography and Direction by Paul Vasterling

Inspired by the play by William Shakespeare

Music by Sergei Prokofiev | APRIL 2024 71

Mystery! Thrills! Romnce!

A classic evening at How About Dinner and a Movie

Some things are timeless. Shoot ’em ups. Sharing a bag of popcorn. Watching a thriller in a darkened theater. Holding hands.

All that and more conspired to transport fans of How About Dinner and a Movie to a familiar sphere, sitting amid friends sharing a classic night of film. It started, as many good things do, with a mystery. Pepe Presley’s colorful rendition of a crowd gathered in the Belcourt Theatre is widely recognized as the sign that Dinner is about to be served, but the invitation arrived without including the title of the evening’s feature film. Clues from the invite helped community actress Caroline Davis solve the puzzle. “I had to figure it out,” she said. She sported a locket containing a portrait of the valiant hero — and Oscar winner — of High Noon, Gary Cooper. Theater people are like that.

The Corner Market dinner was classic Nashville comfort: chicken croquettes, the best green beans in the county, a dinner roll and a luscious chocolate tart. Once underway, the 1952 Oscarwinning Western brought a rapt silence to the auditorium.

There’s a lot to love about How About Dinner and a Movie. The crowd is arguably the most eclectic of any nonprofit event in town, attracting creative folks of all stripes. A flock of mental health advocates nodded and applauded throughout Sheriff Daron Hall’s lively talk. He elicited laughter and lumpy throats when he spoke about the beloved Jeff Blum, whose memory was honored for the expertise, energy and eccentricity he brought to Park Center for decades.

Add to the mix Barbara Daane’s devotees scanning an impressive silent auction — friends who would attend the opening of an envelope if Barbara crooked her little finger. Park Center, which empowers people who have mental illness and substance abuse disorders, is a cause dear to their hearts, as was Jeff Blum.

“I’m not trying to be a hero,” said small town marshal Will Kane at one point in the film, sounding a little like Park Center hero Blum. “If you think I like this, you’re crazy!”

It was nobody’s first rodeo, and they loved every classic moment.

Chair Joanna Hall, Anna Cramer, Susan Schoenecker Beth and Alan Hall, Whitney Daane, JoAnna Blauw T.J. Portis, Riqué Beth Hall, Janet Miller Kenna Hassler, Jessie Craig, Alan McCannon Richard and Teresa White, Nancy Russell Teddy Clayton, honorary chair Barbara Daane, Sandy Nelson | APRIL 2024 73 Celebrating Giancarlo Guerrero BUY TICKETS : 615.687.6400 NASHVILLE SYMPHONY 2024/25 SEASON SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

Estwrd Ho!

Making friends and being bold with visions of TPAC’s new facility slated for the East Bank

The Tennessee Performing Arts Center welcomed guests to this year’s TPAC Prelude Party at The Electric Jane on a chilly Thursday in February. Judith Bright, Kelly Unger and Kelly Crockett cohosted the cocktail party — which was more of a “friendraiser” than a “fundraiser.” The event welcomed supporters old and new to engage with TPAC and its mission to “champion excellence in the performing arts” through arts education, community outreach and compelling programming.

TPAC’s 2024 gala, to be held April 6, shares the same name as the nonprofit’s capital campaign: Be Bold. The campaign aims to raise $100 million in private philanthropic donations — combined with $500 million earmarked by the state of Tennessee — to build a brand-new, state-of-the-art facility on the East Bank.

“Fifty years ago, a very brave group of women told the state of Tennessee to lift up an office tower and put a theater there — and they succeeded,” said Jennifer Turner, TPAC president and CEO. “Now, we are at a critical point where we are on the verge of breaking ground at a new performing arts center.” Standing next to large renderings of TPAC’s proposed new facility, Jennifer noted the state would provide 80% of the funding needed for the project.

“Help us to get the performing arts center that we deserve in this community,” she said.

Much like the cocktail party’s guests, The Electric Jane was dressed for the occasion with bold splashes of red florals designed by Matt Logan. Craft cocktails included classic martinis, old-fashioneds, cosmopolitans and espresso martinis, paired with delectable hors d’oeuvres like cheeseburger sliders and watermelon gazpacho.

The evening’s entertainment included a performance by Josh Jordan, who has been involved with TPAC since high school. Josh is an alum of TPAC’s Spotlight Awards program, which helps high school theater students connect, learn and hone their skills. Josh is now a student at Belmont University and recently toured with the traveling musical Jesus Christ Superstar. Guests also enjoyed a special performance by Curb recording artist Wyn Starks.

Co-chairs Kelly Unger, Judith Bright, Kelly Crockett Georgette Eftekhari, Heather Vassar, Kendall Brown Kelli Jones, Diana Pelham, Susan Perdue, Josh Jordan Wyn Starks Jennifer Turner Matt Paco and David Andrews | APRIL 2024 75
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n Evenin in Morocco

An exotic Red Carpet Evening brings out bling and film buffs

Red Carpet Evening celebrated its 25th year as the place to watch Hollywood’s Oscars ceremony. Chairman and expert event planner Amos Gott transformed the classic Belcourt Theatre into a Moroccan palace fit for royalty.

Arriving guests plucked flutes of Champagne from offered trays and found open bars tucked into every corner, from the 1966 theater to the original 1925 theater to the Smile Bar by the photo opp out front. The Diamond Lounge, an upscale private area for enthusiastic patrons, featured a premium bar and passed hors d’oeuvres all night. Throughout the space, trios of chandeliers, layered rugs and sequined cloths on raised cocktail tables added elegance with a touch of mystery, like any good film noir.

Cater615 provided the ubiquitous buffets’ mix of temptations, including classic hummus with pita, Moroccan grilled veggie kebabs, potato samosas and a decadent array of crudités, fruit, nuts and cheese.

The good-looking crew behind the lobby bar delivered drinks with personality to their patrons. Someone asked Bob Roberts, who was wearing a stovepipe hat, which Dickens character he depicted. “All of them!” he cried with the gusto of Bill Sikes. The same reply could have answered the question: How many mayors were there? Karl Dean and Anne Davis, Megan and Bruce Barry and Mayor Freddie O’Connell and Whitney Boon spiced the crowd of A-listers, along with many Belcourt board members.

Beloved benefactor H.G. Webb thanked Tom Wills for his significant part in helping preserve the Belcourt for posterity. H.G. correctly predicted that Oppenheimer would sweep the night and win Best Picture, but said he preferred Martin Scorcese’s true crime epic Killers of the Flower Moon, as well as Leonardo DiCaprio for Best Actor.

The silent auction swirled with film fans and provided endless options for bidders online and in person. This diverse crowd of movie buffs cherish the storied building and its history of entertaining Nashville. They dressed for Hollywood — red-carpetready in snappy tuxedos, dramatic gowns with jewels, layers of lace and sequins that flashed in the lights like a disco ball.

Heads up: The Belcourt debuted to show silent films in 1925, so it will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year. Look for major activities on an epic scale.

Jessie Breanne, Domo Jesse Farber-Eger, Rui Li Brooke Bernard, Stephanie Silverman, chair Amos Chase Cole, Melinda Welton and John Noel Sarah Childress, Renata Soto Jennifer Eberle, Ed Lanquist, Nan Flynn
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I (GLORIA HOUGHLAND) met Chuck Welch

20 years ago at the 10th anniversary party for Nfocus Chuck and I are both only children and share a Fourth of July birthday. Chuck has no children, and once my two daughters became parents and celebrated Santa visiting their homes, Chuck and I realized Christmas morning can be very lonely. We decided it was time to set our own tradition.

Several years ago, we began visiting New York City from December 22 to 25. We love every aspect of a holiday in the big city. The high point is always visiting Rockefeller Center and seemingly having it to ourselves on Christmas morning. We fly home on Christmas afternoon and make a beeline to be with our grandchildren.

This year, we decided to take it one step further. We had discussed marriage for several years but kept getting bogged down in the minutiae of making plans — who to invite, where to have it, time of year, etc. Two days before our planned trip to the Big Apple, we had a lightbulb moment: We would get married on Christmas Day in NYC, because, as Fourth of July babies, we were familiar with celebrating big life events on holidays. It helped that our friend, former Knoxville mayor and Chuck’s fraternity brother, Mike Ragsdale, and his wife, Alison, were visiting his son in New York at the same time. He agreed to officiate, and the next day we left for our wedding weekend. All was a go — or so it seemed.

We arrived at the Nashville airport to discover our plane was delayed by four hours. There was no way to make our pre-booked dinner reservations, but we were not going to let that deter us. We decided to start cel-

GloriaMarriesHoughland Chuck Welch

ebrating at the airport and were greeted by a crew from Channel 5 News reporting on air traffic delays. When they discovered we were flying to New York to get married, the camera started rolling. By the time we arrived, our phones were full of calls and messages. We looked at each other and laughed. There was no turning back now.

We met the Ragsdales the next day at Bad Roman, a new restaurant in Columbus Circle. Mike was taking his role very seriously and wanted to review our 20 years together to make sure he had his timeline and stories straight. While talking, we realized that — while I had long had an engagement ring — in our haste, we had not thought about wedding bands. Mike’s son, David, said that would not do. We followed him to his favorite jewelry store and purchased our wedding bands. Another problem solved.

That night, Chuck and I went to dinner at one of our favorite NYC restaurants, One if by Land, Two if by Sea in Greenwich Village. Covered in sparkling white lights and Christmas trees, this former carriage house of Aaron Burr’s was straight out of a holiday movie. Since this was the closest thing to a rehearsal dinner we were going to have, I will share with you our scrumptious three-course dinner: decadent, rich foie gras; perfectly cooked beef Wellington; and the pièce de résistance, a chocolate soufflé with sabayon sauce. To die for.

A pianist played a collection of Christmas classics. A single rose served, quite nicely, as a floral arrangement. And the Champagne was overflowing. Really, what more could one have wished for?

We awoke early the next morning and got dressed.

Chuck wore a dark suit with a cashmere overcoat, and I wore a winter-white Vince sweater dress I have loved for years. We met the Ragsdales at the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, where we had planned on having our nuptials. Much to our dismay, the tree was barricaded and not accessible as in years past. We quickly pivoted to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and found a perfect spot: at the top of the steps, in front of the majestic wooden doors and by a red-bowed Christmas tree.

We all laughed that Alison served as photographer, matron of honor and coat check attendant. Chuck and I thought we would just be exchanging vows, but it soon became clear that Mike had other plans. He reminded us of our long engagement, our national holiday birthdays, the meaning of a Christmas Day marriage and the strength and power of love. It was perfect. Mike had spent a lot of time preparing, and I will always cherish his words of wisdom on that very special day and the thought and love that he put into them.

Our “reception” was a Champagne breakfast for the four of us at Harry Cipriani on Fifth Avenue. The restaurant was only open for breakfast that day, and almost everyone had left. It seemed we had the entire place to ourselves.

We made several toasts — and yes, we missed our family and friends — but an impromptu marriage on Christmas morning in NYC turned out to be the perfect wedding for us.

TAKING VOWS 80 APRIL 2024 | | APRIL 2024 81 MUSIC CITY CENTER DAVIDSON BALLROOM 11 AM - 1 PM A pril 18, 2024 To purchase tickets, visit The Power of the Purse® Luncheon directly supports The Women’s Fund endowment. This annual event enhances The Women’s Fund’s grantmaking capabilities to support nonprofit partners dedicated to serving women and girls throughout Middle Tennessee. Since its inception in 1994, The Women’s Fund has been instrumental in distributing more than $2.8 million to organizations committed to fostering economic independence, safeguarding against violence, and nurturing the health, wellness and talents of women and girls. CORRINNE TARVER Gymnast, Fisk University Head Coach and Trailblazer ThePowerofthePurse® 2024 Speaker SONGWRITERS for Streams EST 2023 2O24 Gates open at 3:30pm Benefiting: Presented by Featuring Grammy ® nominated songwriters: BARRY DEAN TOM DOUGLAS JAMES SLATER . SUNDAY, APRIL 21 5-6:3O PM At the home of Libby and Nick Sieveking along the banks of the Harpeth River $350/carload (B.Y.O.E.) or $2,000/VIP Easy button package (we provide table in premium location, chairs, cooler with beverages and charcuterie snack boxes) 615-790-9767 Join us for a family-friendly benefit to protect clean water and rivers in Tennessee.





Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s signature fundraiser, the TPAC Gala, is making its stylish return with a sunset cocktail hour, a fabulous multicourse dinner and a true performing arts experience. This black-tie gala promises to be an evening of sophisticated elegance and artistic surprises to benefit the organization’s nationally recognized educational, cultural and community engagement initiatives.



For the second year in a row, the Michael J. Fox Foundation will host A Country Thing Happened on the Way to Cure Parkinson’s at the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. The evening will feature performances by Sheryl Crow, Little Big Town, Jason Isbell and more.



OZ Arts Nashville is celebrating its 10th anniversary, and the community is invited. Offering incredible performances by New Dialect, Fable Cry and Shackled Feet Dance, as well as sculptures and interactive art exhibitions, the evening will be a night to remember. You can pay what you wish in increments of $10 or give more for extra perks like two drink tickets ($50) or free drinks all night ($100).



It’s the wildest dinner party you’ll attend all year! Benefiting the Nashville Zoo, this exclusive experience begins with cocktails, visits from some of the zoo’s wonderful animal ambassadors and a three-course dinner to follow. After dinner, guests will be captivated by an inspiring presentation from the president of the Okapi Conservation Project, John Lukas.



This year, famed designer Prabal Gurung’s designs will grace the runway at one of the most fashionable events in Nashville. The glamorous evening raises funds for the Nashville Symphony and Accelerando, a music education program offering students of diverse backgrounds the opportunity to expand their music career.



This new event on the block is not to be missed. Modeled after the former Cumberland Caper, the event will feature an open bar, a Hattie B's buffet and a live band for dancing — plus a scavenger hunt hosted in the outlet store during cocktail hour. Fittingly, the attire is “thrift shop chic.”



Among Nashville’s premier social events, the Frist Gala draws corporate and philanthropic leaders from across Middle Tennessee. Stepping into a black-tie world of art, music and culture, guests are invited to enjoy cocktails before sitting down for a delicious three-course dinner. Benefiting the museum’s general operating fund, the Frist Gala supports efforts to bring the art of the world to our community.

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THERE’S A GENTLE REFRAIN often uttered by longtime Nashvillians: “I miss McClures.” What began as a Hillsboro Village fabric store (opened by Samuel Knox Harwell Sr. in 1936) blossomed into a multi-store brand with locations around Nashville and in surrounding towns. By the mid-1950s — after her marriage in 1947 to James David Andrews III — Samuel’s daughter Evalina began to work in the store and eventually took the reins, making her a trailblazer of her day.

Throughout the following decades, Evalina, her husband and other family members — including the recently passed David Andrews IV and, for a few years after college, David Andrews V, owner of D’Andrews Bakery & Cafe — transformed McClures from a general store into one of the most respected independent department stores in the United States.

McClures was famous for so much — its bunny display during Easter, its piano player and Santa visits during Christmas and its haunted house during Halloween. The lingerie department was also renowned for its fine gowns — Fernando Sánchez, Hanro, La Perla and Donna Karan. As David Andrews IV would often say, “Have something for the kids to do, so the grown-ups can go shopping and spend money.”

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