The East Nashvillian 12.4 July-August '22

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ONCE UPON A TIME, HEAVY METAL HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH MUSIC. Our latest exhibition showcases stunning examples of European arms and armor from the renowned collection of the Museo Stibbert in Florence, Italy. More than one hundred rare objects—including full suits of armor, mounted equestrian figures, helmets, swords, and other weaponry—tell the tale of the evolution of the European knight. Come learn about the historical and functional context of these works of art and experience firsthand their undeniable beauty.

J U LY 1– O C T O B E R 1 0

D o w n t o w n N a s h v i ll e, 9 19 B r o a d w a y, N a s h v i l l e, T N 372 0 3 Fr i s t A r t M u s e um .o r g @ Fr i s t A r t M u s e um # T h e Fr i s t # Fr i s t K n i g h t s

Organized by Contemporanea Progetti in collaboration with the Museo Stibbert, Florence, Italy Supported in part by

Spanish translation sponsor

The Frist Art Museum is supported in part by

Italian (Lombardy). Suit of armor, ca. 1540–50. Steel, leather, fabric, and wood, 74 3/4 x 29 1/2 x 19 5/8 in. Collection of 2022 Museo Stibbert, Florence, Italy taf


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Founder & Publisher

Lisa McCauley Associate Publisher

Scott Hylbert

Benjamin Rumble Photo Editor

Travis Commeau

Social Media

Rena MacMonegle WebDev

Pete Pulkrabek AD Design

Layout & Design

Benjamin Rumble

Creative Director

Chuck Allen Illustrations

Benjamin Rumble Dean Tomasek Tommy Womack Contributing Photographers

Chad Crawford Stacie Huckeba


Chuck Allen Managing Editor

Kristin Whittlesey Associate Editor

Randy Fox Contributing Writers

Dana Delworth Michael DeVault James Haggerty Leslie LaChance Theresa Laurence Tommy Womack


The East Nashvillian is a bimonthly magazine published by Kitchen Table Media. All editorial content and photographic materials contained herein are “works for hire” and are the exclusive property of Kitchen Table Media, LLC unless otherwise noted. This publication is offered freely, limited to one per reader. The removal of more than one copy by an individual from any of our distribution points constitutes theft and will be subject to prosecution. Reprints or any other usage without the express written permission of the publisher is a violation of copyright.

©2022 Kitchen Table Media P.O. Box 60157, Nashville, TN 37206

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9. 11.

On the Cover Todd Snider

photographed by Chuck Allen


15. 18.

23. 30.

Tomato Art Fest Special Edition Intro by Kristin Whittlesey

Letter From the Publisher by Lisa McCauley

Editor’s Letter by Chuck Allen

Know Your Neighbor

Jack Davis by Michael DeVault

Painting the East Side Red

Neighborhood’s creative juices fuel Tomato Art Fest By Theresa Laurence

Tomato Art Fest 2022 Official Guide

Citizens, Kind

For Meg and Bret MacFadyen, business was always personal By Dana Delworth

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INTRO TO THIS EDITION You say “tomato,” we say East Nashville. That's nothing new, of course. East Nashville and the tomato have been synonymous since 2004, when a quirky little one-off art show developed delusions of grandeur. Nor is it any secret that The East Nashvillian loves all things tomato, and Tomato Art Fest, and East Nashville in general. It’s how we got our start 12 years ago, and has been an annual highlight for us ever since. Nashville was a different place in 2010. We were still drying out and rebuilding from a devastating spring flood. Housing was still a bargain compared with other parts of the country. The bachelorettes were still wooing it up in Vegas, or wherever they went before they all started coming here. East Nashville was different too. It was still emerging; still becoming. East Nashville needed The East Nashvillian then. And so, for 12 years these pages have chronicled the people, places, and parties that make East Nashville so very special. OK, great. So why am I writing to you about all this? Well, because Nashville has changed. What East Nashville needed 12 years ago isn’t what it needs now, and we have bigger fish to fry as well. (More about that very soon!) For now, please enjoy this retrospective Tomato Art Festival program guide.

The cover of this super-ultra-mega-collectible Tomato Art Fest Special Edition honors the O.G. East Side Ambassador himself, Todd Snider. He knew the place was cool way before it became internationally famous and even named a record after the joint. He's also the first artist we had on the cover; our fourth issue, to be exact, way back in 2011. And three times after that. If you missed any, we have them up on our website. Don't miss the cavalcade of stars lined up for the Purple Building, Todd's center of operations, during this year's festivities.

Vol. 1 issue 4 march–apr il 2011

Kristin Whittlesey Managing Editor

THE “ambassa dor”

Todd snidEr matt Charette

The Long Road to East Nashvil le

Running Commu nity

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uring the spring of this year I could never have imagined a flood of historic proportions descending on our area over the course of what was expected to be just another rainy weekend. What came as no surprise was the way residents of our community responded to the disaster. The outpouring of help was immediate and came from friends, neighbors, and total strangers alike. Although the genesis of The East Nashvillian predates the flood, our sense of community during and after that historic weekend has served as an inspiration as well as a call to action. The events of the late spring and early summer helped to crystallize my ideas regarding the

look, feel, and content of a community fro magazine serving the East Nashville ou inaum gurar area. True to its name, our magazine l would not be possible without the enthusiastic support of our contribeditio n uting writers, editors, photographers, design professionals, and advertisers — East Nashvillians one and all! Our sincere hope is to provide readers with an insight into our community through regular features about events, businesses, entertainment, and people. We look forward to presenting to the world at large the community, diversity, and character that is East Nashville. Thank you for reading, and for giving us the opportunity to serve you.


G 2010

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EDITOR’S LETTER Of Wolf Peaches and the Republic


n Nix v. Hedden (149 U.S. 304, 1893), the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that the tomato is a vegetable within the meaning of the Tariff Act of 1883. Writing the court’s opinion, Justice Gray basically boiled it down to how the tomato was commonly used in cooking: “Botanically speaking, tomatoes are the fruit of a vine, just as are cucumbers, squashes, beans, and peas. But in the common language of the people, whether sellers or consumers of provisions, all these are vegetables which are grown in kitchen gardens, and which, whether eaten cooked or raw, are, like potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, beets, cauliflower, cabbage, celery, and lettuce, usually served at dinner in, with, or after the soup, fish, or meats which constitute the principal part of the repast, and not, like fruits generally, as dessert.”

from ou the outside world uncovered convincing r evidence that they are better at resolving disputes than us civilized folk. edition Of course, it’s all about community to them. Concepts like nation-states are as inconceivable to them as passing a bill is to congress. A close-knit tribal community can’t afford divisions along party lines or winner-takes-all politics. To them, resolving their differences amicably is a matter of survival. Sure, I’ll stipulate the fact that we are indeed a nation, albeit a schizophrenic one undergoing a paradigm shift. What’s more important to me is that we are a people, and as a people we live and die by the covenants set forth by our enlightened forefathers in the Constitution. It’s essence, it’s very brilliance, lies in the framework it provides for balancing two constant, elemental and powerful forces that are often diametrically opposed to one another: The General Welfare and Individual Liberty. In this respect, we all have both some of the liberal as well as some of the conservative in us. Our republic was designed for these opposing forces to forever be in a dance with one another, and for things to work there must be compromise. This isn’t advocacy for my particular tribe, rather, for the entire American tribe. It’s easy to stand behind party, or worse — the anonymity of the internet, and lob spitballs at the other side. It’s a much more difficult proposition when the spitballs one is lobbing are aimed at one’s neighbors. Community is the last bastion of compromise. Working together we can promote the general welfare and at the same time respect one another’s individual liberties, being ever mindful of the fact that perfection doesn’t exist in this world. So it is with the “feeling” Meg MacFadyen describes when she talks about the Tomato Art Fest, when the community comes together in unity, led by a fruit and a vegetable. A uniter — not a divider. The tomato.

To sum it up, the tomato is botanically a fruit, gastronomically a vegetable. Within this opinion is the acknowledgement that botanically tomatoes are a fruit; specifically the fruit of plant Solanum lycopersicum. They originated in Mesoamerica, and were widely and rapidly distributed across the globe following the Spanish conquests in Central America. That’s right — Pomodoro sauces weren’t present during Caesar’s time in Rome. To sum it up, the tomato is botanically a fruit, gastronomically a vegetable. So, you see, the tomato has always had something of a split personality; one more along the lines of the yin yang rather than a chemical imbalance. The light and the dark become one, and so on and so forth. Which is why the slogan for East Nashville’s Tomato Art Fest is so … sublime: A Uniter not a Divider — Bringing Together the Fruits and the Vegetables. That’s right. We’re all in this together, like it or not. Recent anthropological studies done among the few remaining primitive tribes that have little or no contact with

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JACK Davis




hile I was at Vanderbilt, I had the privilege of serving on the Nashville Pride board and a couple of other non-profits,” Davis says, weeks away from the 2018 Tomato Art Fest, one of the largest festivals he now organizes. “I had always done live event management, arena management, and large events, so [combining the two] seemed like a good fit.”

Jack Davis arrived in Nashville 14 years ago with a job wrangling large-scale live events for Vanderbilt University, and a keen interest in the community. The combination of the two planted a seed. He saw transformative potential in large, community-focused events, and an opportunity to become a driving force behind those kinds of events here in Nashville. Davis also noticed that, in Nashville, something was missing. “If you look back in Nashville’s history, the only festivals that were happening were tourist-driven festivals,” he says. Other cities similar in size to Nashville boast (community-focused) fests with 50, 60, or 70-year anniversaries. That wasn’t the case here. “The oldest festivals were 15 years, and there weren’t many of them.” Davis recognized a window of opportunity while working with founders Meg and Bret MacFadyen on the Tomato Art Festival (which he’s been doing for eight years now). The skills he’d developed organizing large events, pre- and during his Vanderbilt stint, gave him the resources and abilities to help coordinate a new breed of festival in Nashville — one focused on communities, and bringing people together. Davis founded JD Events in 2014, organizing a crop of outdoor festivals and concerts, and building the groundwork for a citywide network of community-engaging events. In 2017, the company rebranded

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Jack Davis photographed by Travis Commeau for this story, which first appeared in our July|August 2018 Tomato Art Fest Special Edition.

as Good Neighbor Festivals, and together with a staff of four, Davis now manages some of the area’s most popular community happenings, including East Nashville’s Cornelia Fort Pickin’ Party. “We’ve been able to come in and help create some uniquely Nashville, community-oriented events,” Davis says. “I want to make sure we help those grow and thrive.” Davis believes events and festivals like these not only bring neighbors together, but also serve an important role in opening up a community and its culture to wider audiences. A well-executed festival becomes part of the fabric of the community that hosts it. He sees the Tomato Art Festival as a key specimen. With that event, East Nashville rallied around a simple idea — the humble tomato — and created an annual celebration that’s nearly become synonymous with the neighborhood. Local businesses embraced the festival, people threw time and energy into the costume contests, and hopeful gardeners entered fruit after fruit — misshapen to splotchy — to compete for the coveted Ugliest Tomato prize. “The Tomato Art Festival is a great example of what I love about what we do,” Davis says. “People latched on to something that was fun and wacky, where they could pull their creative juices together. It becomes a weekend for them to celebrate the tomato, and also to come together and celebrate what makes East Nashville.” An East Nashvillian for all 14 of his Nashville years, Davis has a special affection for his community. It’s home, he says, but the sense of identity and camaraderie found in East Nashville is hardly exclusive. Other parts of town have similar energy — like The Nations, where the Light the Nations event street festival goes down each October, or 12South, host to the Sevier Park Fest each spring — even if they express themselves a little differently. For each of the Good Neighbor events, Davis and his team work to get to know the communities and organizations they’re working with as →

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they create and implement plans. They manage branding, marketing, and vendor relations. They coordinate stages and schedules, arrange for each event’s logistical needs. They even help recruit staff and volunteers for the festivals. Vendor manager Brittany Carlberg coordinates hundreds of local, regional, and national vendors, bringing to each community festival a unique amalgam of products and crafts for festivalgoers to peruse. Sean Pritchard relies on his relationships with local musicians and Nashville’s live music community to coordinate live performances on numerous stages, specialized for each individual event and community. And Kristyn Corder gets the word out on social media and with local media outlets.

tapestry of fun, funky, and sometimes offbeat communities, is his idea of home. If he can give back to it, he’s going to. This year alone, Good Neighbor Festivals is supporting half a dozen organizations with their services, money, and volunteer hours. They’re also managing 15 large-scale events, from neighborhood music festivals to Nashville Pride and December’s Winterfest at Centennial Park. Managing that many moving

pieces requires dedication and devotion, and Davis and Good Neighbor aim to bring both to each of their events. “For me, it’s about creating something that people can let go of their daily lives with for a couple of hours,” Davis says. “Tomato Art Festival is probably the best example of that. People can come there, be someone else, be creative, and have an outlet to have a lot of fun.”

We’ve been able to come in and help create some uniquely Nashville, communityoriented events, I want to make sure we help those grow and thrive.

Beyond, Davis and the Good Neighbor team work to develop the kinds of partnerships between festivals and other organizations that add a charitable mission to each celebration. Light the Nations supports the work of Thistle Farms, an organization that empowers survivors of human trafficking and supports them on their path to recovery. And like the festivals Good Neighbor helps build, the team also supports its community through direct engagement and involvement in the issues that are important to them. They’re active members of the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce, and an integral part of the annual, two-day Nashville Pride festival, which Davis and Co. were busy organizing during the lead-up to this year’s Tomato Art Fest. The company also supports animal advocacy organization Crossroads Campus, Friends of Shelby Parks and Bottoms, and numerous other local non-profits and charities. Davis sees a connection between building community festivals and supporting the community organizations people rely on — they go handin-hand with encouraging the thriving communities he wants to see in his adopted home. Davis hails from “all over the place” — born in Wisconsin, with stops in Utah, upstate New York, and Missouri — but Nashville, with its taf 2022



Painting the East Side Neighborhood’s creative juices fuel Tomato Art Fest BY THERESA LAURENCE


his time of year, as the Tennessee homegrown tomato emits her siren song, drawing locals to her like a June bug to a back porch light, planning for East Nashville’s 2012 Tomato Art Fest is in high gear.

Tomato art entries are being accepted at festival headquarters, Meg and Bret MacFadyen’s Art and Invention Gallery, and event organizers are busy putting together a full slate of events for the neighborhood’s biggest, most imaginative festival of the year. The Tomato Fest works so well, Meg says, because “the kind of people who live here are really willing to play,” lending a freewheeling spirit to the festival that makes it such a draw to neighbors as well as those across the river and beyond. By now, most East Nashvillians know how the Tomato Art Fest grew from one-off art show to a street festival attended annually by 20,000 people. But neighborhood residents may not know quite how organically it has evolved over the years. In 2004, the MacFadyens were searching for inspiration amidst the dog days of summer, contemplating a new art show for August. The idea for a tomato-themed art show came together among Meg, her friend and heirloom tomato grower Diane Gross, and another friend and gallery patron Ann Edgerton. Edgerton brought the MacFadyens a clipping about a festival in California that featured wine

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and tomato pairings, as well as tomato art. Meg passed it along to Gross, and the three women, with the help of Bret, began cooking up the idea for their own art show paying homage to Tennessee’s “official fruit,” as designated by the state legislature in 2003. Little did they know that 1,000 eager arts patrons would show up — quite a few of them in costume — to celebrate tomato art at that first event. “We had no intention of it being anything but a one-time art show,” Meg says, but “it turned into a big party.” Soon, neighbors began asking what they could do to take the art show to the next level and make it a bona-fide festival. For the first few years, events were held on the Art and Invention property, but it soon grew too big to be contained, spilling into the streets of Five Points and beyond. The second line parade, which was initiated after many New Orleans residents relocated to Nashville following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, is now the popular kickoff to the festival. “Anybody can take ownership of an idea and run with it,” Bret says, explaining how some of the day’s events got started and continue still. The various goofy contests, such as the wet burrito contest, where contestants eat a burrito while being sprayed with a water hose, were all dreamed up by neighbors and small business owners. →

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Bret and Meg MacFadyen Photo taf by2022 Stacie Huckeba




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Even some of the musicians, such as East Nashville’s favorite agnostic hymnist, Todd Snider, approached the organizers about performing at this year’s fest. Meg’s reaction? “Wow!” And so Snider’s alter ego Elmo Buzz and his band the Eastside Bulldogs, which includes Elizabeth Cook and Tim Carroll, will close out the festival on Saturday night. Meg and Bret are insistent they never sat down and brainstormed ideas to design a festival. “We’re like the clearinghouse, the train station where ideas come in and out,” she explains. The MacFadyens’ Art and Invention Gallery is a bit like a train depot, with customers, artists, friends and neighbors coming and going during both official and unofficial business hours. Art and Invention is part gallery and part workshop, a place to showcase artwork, as well as a space for these two working artists to spend time on their own projects. This is not a gallery with a dozen paintings on the wall and a few sculptures on pedestals that would require a second mortgage to afford. For sale here are whimsical, functional and affordable pieces of art and jewelry, a good bit of it by East Nashville artists. The space embodies the funky, laid-back vibe of the neighborhood. During a recent visit, Meg, wearing paint-splattered overalls, a T-shirt, baseball cap and a beaded crystal necklace, flits between customers and chats easily with them while ringing up purchases. Bret, in a white T-shirt, jean shorts, and a wristwatch, takes a slightly more behind-thescenes approach. He spends most of his days in the vast Invention laboratory at the back of the building known as Garage Mahal, surrounded by wood, metal, and all types of materials used in his design/build business.

Not one to clamor for credit, Bret talks about some of his well-known projects when nudged. In the immediate vicinity, he designed the Five Points Collaborative modular buildings next door and the I Dream of Weenie hut, which the MacFadyens owned before selling it to a new owner. Bret also designed the interior space of the Provence restaurant at the downtown library, and has a hand in the new development currently under construction at Fatherland and 11th streets, which will become storefronts for new small businesses, the lifeblood of the neighborhood. “People are the driving force [of East Nashville],” he says. “There’s so much goodwill energy and a critical mass of creativity here, it’s unbelievable.” The shops, restaurants and other small businesses run by these creative people are the reason that people are choosing to live in and visit East Nashville. “There’s no big economic juggernaut” drawing people here, he notes. Indeed, there are no big corporate headquarters in the neighborhood, no hospital, no mall, no pre-packaged family entertainment destination. “People make their own fun here,” Meg says. With East Nashville restaurants like Mas Tacos Por Favor and Mitchell’s Deli getting recent national media attention, Bret says, “This seems to be a pivotal year for East Nashville.” When the MacFadyens, who live in the Belmont area, first purchased the big sheet metal building at 1106 Woodland Street in 2000, they weren’t quite sure what to expect of the neighborhood. As post-tornado pioneers, they were here before the Slow Bar began its brief run of glory and before Margot Café opened its doors. They have watched the neighborhood grow at an almost unfathomable rate over the last dozen years.

“When we first started out here, there was nothing but crickets outside,” Bret recalls. There were also the occasional loiterers and prostitutes not far from their doorstep. “Then we started seeing strollers,” Bret says. More strollers followed as young families began gravitating toward the neighborhood, rehabbing the beautiful old houses. With all the families here now, “it just gets better and better,” he adds. Meg and Bret, who met in East Nashville on the set of the 1991 film Ernest Scared Stupid, hardly recognize the Five Points area now. Back then, he was helping build largescale sets, like transforming the abandoned building that would be the future home of Margot Café into a lawyer’s office, and she was painting scenery. The skills gained while working on movie sets have helped the MacFadyens with their ability to serve as “clearinghouse” and host to the sauciest festival in town. “We know how to put things together in a red-hot hurry,” Meg says. Which is handy, since all the details for the Tomato Art Fest don’t come together until the eleventh hour. This year, like last, the MacFadyens are relying on professional event planner Jack Davis to oversee the logistics of the festival. They are particularly excited about having the funds and the manpower to pick up all the trash left behind. Then on Sunday, Aug. 12, after all the hubbub has died down, festival fairy godmother Meg MacFadyen may be able kick back with her favorite food, a luscious bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich. “There’s nothing like a BLT — period,” she says. The same could be said of East Nashville’s Tomato Art Fest: There’s nothing like it. Period.


October 6–9

TPAC’s Polk Theater

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With LIVE MUSIC by the Nashville Symphony! Reserve your seats TODAY at! taf 2022


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The existence of love within the framework of evolution is one of the philosophical conundrums of present day human beings. Fortunately for those interested in pondering such contradictions, this year’s Tomato Art Festival will provide a wonderful day in which to do so. There have been studies within the relatively obscure field of psychological anthropology that have demonstrated fairly conclusively that one of the dominating reasons for the success of homo sapiens has been its ability to effectively organize into groups. This ability is obviously not unique, but the development of higher consciousness and language gives us a decisive edge over our fellow earthly creatures. Unfortunately, we still carry a propensity toward tribalism that could, ironically, lead to our undoing. One would think that as we master our surroundings there would be a concurrent mastery of our inner reality. Nevertheless, fear and superstition remain the rule. Fear of others who don’t



look like us, talk like us, worship like us, have sex like us — fear predominantly based on ignorance and tribalism. In others words, instinct still conquers reason. Thankfully, the Great Architect saw fit to bless us with love. As difficult to truly define as it is universal, love is what gives me hope. It’s what keeps me optimistic with regard to the fate of our species. So while we may instinctually form groups in order to evolve, love is what builds bridges between these groups. Love reaches out. Love unites. And so we have the wonderful confluence of love and instinct that is the fête known in East Nashville parlance as the Tomato Art Festival. At least for a day, we can keep our latent tribal instincts at bay, join together as a community and simply celebrate being. That, and pay homage to the greatest of fruity social egalitarians — the tomato. For as we should all know by now, the tomato is a uniter, not a divider.

Chuck Allen | July 2012

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Architecture | Custom Design | Historic Renovation 6I5.76I.9902

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Home Decorating Contest


Turn your yard, porch, garage, or front door into a tomato masterpiece the week of Tomato Art Fest! The neighborhood has always had a flair for tomato yard decor, so let’s celebrate the creativity! Decorations include tomatoes, arts and crafts, humans, pets, vehicles; we have seen it all. A crew of local judges will come to judge your decorations on Wednesday, Aug. 10. Winners will be announced on Thursday, Aug. 11, and cash prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.



WHEN: Decorate the week of Aug. 8-13; judging on Wednesday, Aug. 10 WHERE: All over East Nashville

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Tomato Story Time at Tomato Art Fest Join Mr. Andrew in the kids area for a special story time about our beloved tomato and all its fruit and vegetable friends! Mr. Andrew brings the tomato love with stories and songs that can’t be missed. Children of all ages are encouraged to attend.

WHEN: Saturday, Aug. 13, 10 a.m. WHERE: Kids Area Stage



Tomato Art Show Pre-View Party

Be the first to see the 2022 Tomato Art Show at the Pre-View Party! Guests will enjoy local snacks, drinks, and entertainment, and get first shot at purchasing your favorite pieces. This party is for the tomato art enthusiast and community supporters.

WHEN: Thursday, Aug. 11, 6-9 p.m. WHERE: 1106 Woodland St., Suite 4






“Push, Pull and Wear” Parade

Tomato lovers line the streets of Five Points to check out the quirky and original parade entries every year. Local bands and drumlines bring the excitement and get the crowds involved. We want to see your group marching proudly through East Nashville in your best tomato themes! Push it, pull it, or wear it, it’s all the same to us. Just bring that tomato spirit. The parade is free for community groups to participate in, but registration is required.

WHEN: Saturday, Aug. 13. Line up at 8:30 a.m.; Parade begins at 9 a.m. WHERE: Parade lines up at the corner of South 12th and Russell Streets and ends at Five Points.


JIM JEFFERIES OCT 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 21, 22 & 23


East Nashville Tomato 5K


Start your tomato day by walking, jogging, skipping, or sprinting a 5K through East Nashville. This race is for the whole family, with a Kids Fun Run before the 5K kicks off. Wear your tomato red and stop by the festival to celebrate finishing the race!

WHEN: Saturday, Aug. 13. Kids Fun Run starts at 7 a.m., 5K starts at 7:30 a.m. WHERE: The race starts and ends at East Park Community Center (600 Woodland St.)

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Tomato Art Show

We hope by now all of you have seen a gallery full of art inspired by the tomato and its fruit and vegetable friends. But if this is your first Tomato Art experience, just know that it’s awesome, quirky, and different than anything you have ever seen. Stop by the gallery to browse and purchase some great local art!

WHEN: Friday, Aug. 12, noon to 9 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 13, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, Aug. 14, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. WHERE: 1106 Woodland St., Suite 4


Every year you can expect to see some of East Nashville’s finest musicians take the stage at Tomato Art Fest. With three stages around the festival and pop-up performances throughout the day, you’re sure to hear great music anywhere you go. Music is played from open to close, so be sure to check out the lineups and schedule some time to see your favorite bands!

Kids Art Show

Hey, kids! What do you think of when you hear the word “tomato”? Got a great idea? Draw it and submit it to the Kids Art Show! Plenty of festivalgoers stop by the show on 11th Street to see all the great creations.

WHEN: Saturday, Aug. 13, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. WHERE: 113 11th Street (behind Fanny's)

East End UMC’s KidFest

Join us for family fun at East End United Methodist Church, which once again hosts KidFest. Crafts, inflatables, sensory play, and more will be on hand as East End welcomes the community back for this day of summer fun!

WHEN: Saturday, Aug. 13, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. WHERE: Corner of 12th and Holly Streets

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Tomato Art Fest Vendor Marketplace

Some of the most unique and creative local and regional vendors take over the streets of East Nashville for Tomato Art Fest on Saturday, Aug. 13, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. You’ll be sure to find a have-to-have, one-of-a-kind tomato treasure while you’re exploring the marketplace. The beloved tomato takes on many forms, including jewelry, pottery, blown glass, figurines, art, clothing, toys, and so many more. Vendors also offer original non-tomato items for sale that are guaranteed to be just as impressive as the tomato art.

WHEN: Saturday, Aug. 13, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. WHERE: Five Points

Tomato Art Fest Cornhole Tournament

Tomato Art Fest Haiku Contest

HAIKU: an unrhymed verse form of Japanese origin having three lines containing five, seven, and five syllables respectively. Add a tomato twist and enter the contest! Submit a tomato-related haiku in classic 5-7-5 style and snag some pretty sweet prizes. Winners are announced in person on Saturday, Aug. 13. Contest is free to enter. Judges will accept up to five (5) entries per person.

THIS YEAR’S CATEGORIES: Heirlooms (adults, ages 17 & up) Greenhouse (youth, ages 16 & under) Funnies (humor) Oddities (limerick, sonnet, freeform, anything under 200 words) WHEN: Submit entries by Aug. 10. Winners’ poems will be read on the 37206 Main Stage on Saturday, Aug. 13 at 10:40 a.m. Enter: email with your name and submission

Does your team have what it takes to go all the way to the top of the bracket in the Tomato Art Fest Cornhole Tournament? Truly a fan favorite of the festival, teams compete in a bracket-style tournament to crown the top team and win prizes from local restaurants and a cornhole set from Music City Boards!

WHEN: Saturday, Aug. 13, 11 a.m. WHERE: 1015 Clearview Ave. (the parking lot next to Treehouse)

Beautiful Tomato Contest

Picture a beauty pageant with beautiful contestants, perfect outfits, and exciting judges. Now just picture those contestants as your favorite garden tomatoes! Dress up your homegrown or storebought contestants and enter them into East Nashville’s favorite pageant. This year’s pageant is hosted by the East End Neighborhood Association and will take place on the Garden Stage in front of a panel of judges. Set the scene and be ready to present your masterpiece in front of an audience.

WHEN: Saturday, Aug. 13, 10:30 a.m. WHERE: 37206 Main Stage Hosted by: East End Neighborhood Association →

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Biggest/Littlest/ Ugliest Tomato Contest

We love UGLY tomatoes! That’s right, the uglier the better. We also love those big tomatoes and the teeny weenie ones, too! Enter your Ugliest Tomato, Biggest Tomato, and Littlest Tomato at the information booth at the corner of 11th and Woodland Streets for a chance to win PRIZES!

WHERE: Info booth at 11th and Woodland WHEN: Saturday, Aug. 13. Drop off entries from 9 a.m. until noon. Winners announced at 1 p.m.

Bloody Mary Contest

Who has the best Bloody Mary recipe in all the land? Is it you? Get your recipe together and enter the annual Bloody Mary Contest. Check out the contest on the 37026 Main Stage starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 13, as our 10 finalists vie for the title of Best Bloody Mary. Emceed and judged by a panel of experts!

WHEN: Saturday, Aug. 13, 11 a.m. WHERE: 37026 Main Stage

Bloody Mary Garden Party

Bloody Mary fans unite at the Tomato Art Fest Bloody Mary Garden Party. This tasting event features full-size Bloody Marys complete with a robust garnish bar, as well as mimosas for the non-Bloody fans, and a tomato-tastic photo area. Decorate your Derby-style hat and compete in our Hat Decorating Contest to win fun prizes from sponsors and local restaurants! Act fast, though: Tickets are limited, and have sold out the last three years in a row.

WHERE: Center of Five Points (1015 Clearview Ave.) WHEN: Saturday Aug. 13, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Ice Cream Community Art

Art can be found all across the Tomato Art Fest, even near the ice cream! Stop by the Pied Piper Ice Cream Booth on South 11th Street and add your mark to a community art piece highlighting everyone’s favorite summer treat. Participants will also receive giveaways to celebrate!

WHEN: Saturday, Aug. 13, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. WHERE: Five Points, Pied Piper Ice Cream Booth

Tomato Costume Contest

We see them every year: truly outstanding tomato costumes, hats, and outfits. This year, we want to make it official and highlight all of the tomato attire! Join us right after the Push, Pull & Wear Parade in the center of Five Points to show us your creations! A host of local judges will determine the winners and give out sweet prizes!

CATEGORIES INCLUDE: Red Hair Don’t Care • Best Dressed • Best Hat • Other Uniters Tomato Talents • Heirloom Tomatoes (kids under 12) WHEN: Saturday, Aug. 13, at 10 a.m. WHERE: Center of Five Points

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For Meg and Bret MacFadyen, business was always personal BY DANA DELWORTH



It’s a sunny, late afternoon in Five Points, around dinnertime on the last day of May. A small but very colorful crowd gathers in the walkway along the shops at the Idea Hatchery, queuing quietly with signs, tomato festooned hats, and giggles. They’re waiting for Meg MacFadyen, whom they want to celebrate in her most natural habitat one more time. It was almost impossible to keep this secret and spread it properly, but they pulled it off. The crowd keeps increasing in number, and they are soon joined by Mayor David Briley, ready to issue a proclamation declaring Meg and her husband Bret MacFadyen as Very Important Persons. As people construct a greeting area, Meg is behind the counter at the Art and Invention Gallery wearing her usual overalls and a smile, helping yet another customer after business hours


hen Bret and Meg MacFadyen purchased the building and property at 1108 Woodland St. in May 2000, Five Points was hardly a bustling center of economic opportunity. There were a few veteran businesses scattered along the row of commercial buildings, but local patrons tried to park as close as possible and then hurried into the front door to do their business. It would be a few months before Shirley’s across the street would become The Slow Bar and the concept of Five Points as a “destination” would begin to blossom. What Meg and Bret envisioned as a workshop and warehouse for fabricating movie and video sets soon became an art gallery and neighborhood nexus where your freak flag was not only welcome, but encouraged. Four years later, Meg got an idea for a summertime Tomato Art Show that quickly turned into an annual festival. Just as tomato plants have to be nurtured in a special bed before transplanting, Bret applied the same principle to small businesses in 2011 and peeled off a piece of the Woodland property to create the Idea Hatchery. →

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Saturday, September 24, 2022 10 am - 3 pm

Cedar Hill Park Madison, Tennessee

Free Event Presented by

A Day to Celebrate the Importance of Being a Good Neighbor and Making a Positive Difference Right Where You Live. Join us for the eighth annual Davidson County Good Neighbor Day Festival. Enjoy a day filled with great music, food, and fun for all ages. Highlights include the Music Stage featuring local artists, Good Neighbor Day Parade, Marketplace, Food Trucks, Fun Zone, and great games and prizes. Additional information at

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“If you know me, you know I hate being the center of attention.” MEG MACFADYEN, MAY 31, 2019. It is almost half past six and the crowd is murmur-buzzing about the delay. Meg is finally dragged out of the Art and Invention Gallery into the sunlight as hundreds of people cheer for her. Although Bret is not present, the celebration and appreciation is for him too. There are tears and many, many hugs, along with Mardi Gras beads that the celebrants heap around Megs’ neck. For those who have spent many days (and nights) walking around the Art and Invention Gallery in the years since its beginning, it was jarring to learn about the sale of both that property and the adjacent Idea Hatchery. The gallery was as familiar as a daily commute to many, a must-see every August to some, and for many others, the solution to a forgotten birthday/anniversary scramble. When the announcement of the sale and the MacFadyens’ retirement was made public on April 30, a retail-enhanced wake began as Meg and Bret slowly disassembled, sold, and then gave away pieces of the shop and gallery. Despite this swift dissipation, the memories made for the neighborhood by Meg and Bret MacFadyen will persist long after the gallery’s closing. Here is an only partial list: When New Orleans native and East Side neighborhood fixture Melissa Duke Mooney passed away suddenly in 2009 she was honored with a Big Easy-style second line parade. The day before, Meg closed her gallery to the public and provided Melissa’s Daisy Girl Scout troop with umbrellas to decorate for the parade while she lovingly fired up the glue guns, filled paint jars, and hugged mommies while the girls prepared their memorials. While we’re at it, glue guns. Have you ever had one in your home? Unless you are extremely rugged they can function as actual murder weapons. The Gallery had up to a half dozen going at a time on days when the MacFadyens opened up their work areas to children and adults alike to make Valentines, ornaments, or anything you can dream up that will leave an surging glitter vortex in a room. Did they do it for profit? Are you kidding?

Every time you took a peek behind the doors in the garage before it was converted to find that Bret was building some manifestation of a child’s imagination, to order. Neither he nor Meg ever told you about it, or the sometimes famous clients who had contracted them; they were just putting the space to its best use at the time.

The numerous occasions when disasters struck and the MacFadyens opened their space after hours for the storage of relief supplies. The time you or your friend called Meg up (because everybody knows her) and asked her to throw a party, or perform a wedding, or to ask her to utilize her homeopathic skills to help you figure out what THAT rash was, or to →

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just send good thoughts. Or any of those times that you were drawn to the gallery in times of loss and left felling lighter. After an almost endless parade of friends (no one is just a customer at the Art and Invention Gallery) placing strands of beads on the petite Meg, her tiny head is peaking out over the top of a beaded rainbow. Longtime neighbor Kimberly Clo leads the crowd in an appreciation. More hugs are distributed and the crowd dances along to “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge and a soundtrack that

says, “We are HERE for this!” Bret and Meg were both art majors who met while building sets for the 1991 movie, Ernest Scared Stupid. They continued to build in every step of their marriage, building not just for them but for their community. With the opening of the Idea Hatchery in 2011, they took that devotion to building into a new arena. As landlords AND neighbors, the MacFadyens provided small retail units with shared resources and affordable rent to aspiring

Our Mission: A worldwide charitable fellowship united by a common loyalty to Jesus Christ for the purpose of helping people grow in spirit, mind and body.

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business owners. The opening played well, with much excitement and several tenants out of the gate, but the row was vandalized and burgled within weeks in the still-transitional neighborhood. Because the Idea Hatchery operated like a family business, such affronts to the property felt personal, and Bret responded with aroundthe-clock work, welding, and sculpting rebar and bells on the gates that created both an art project and a clear statement that surrender to the forces of crime and chaos were not an option in his neighborhood. Tanya Coe, recording artist and proprietress of Goodbuy Girls, explains the mutual leap of faith between the Idea Hatchery owners and tenants was a mutual trust exercise writ large. “I was 23 when I started Goodbuy Girls with my best friend,” Coe says. “Our first location was by Sweet 16th Bakery and was nothing short of a hole in the wall, but we made the best of it, doing pop-ups around town. Just as we were thinking about throwing in the towel, Bil Breyer of Alegria Nashville, who was our neighbor at the time, told us about a new retail space being built in Five Points. I don’t know why they [Bret and Meg] took a chance on us, but they did and we’ve ended up being one of two shops here since the beginning. “The platform that Bret and Meg created for us was not just about cheap rent, it was a support system. I remember having a conversation with Bret early on ... I was scared because I was going through a serious breakup, traumatic family stuff, had just signed a lease on my very first apartment, had to buy a new computer and a new car, and we had this new higher rent on the store. It seemed like everything was hitting at the same time, and I was overwhelmed. ... He said ‘Tanya, you’re a smart girl, you have an accounting degree and you’re creative and resourceful, get what you need to do the things that you need/want to do and the money will come.’ That pep talk meant the world to me and little did I know that it was the first of many encouraging talks with Bret.” That devotion to friendship, trust, and mutual support among neighbors is just one many giant footprints the MacFadyens leave behind. Along with a thriving and continuing business incubator, a world class summer festival, and a stronger community, the countless acts of personal kindness or bits of good advice dispensed freely will continue to resonate. The sun is setting, and the revelers are making their ways into the rest of the weekend, with a few stragglers staying behind to pick up the party remains and give a hand to Meg with moving items out of the gallery. For every one of these neighbors and friends, no official proclamation was needed; in their hearts and minds, the title of Very Important Person was conferred upon Meg and Bret MacFadyen long before the sun set on the last day of the Art and Invention Gallery.

marketplace Misty Waters Petak M.S., CFP ®, CLU® Financial Advisor (615) 479-6415

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Featuring premium acoustics and audiovisual capabilities paired with on-site parking and access to a world-class catering kitchen. Book your next event with us today at 36 taf 2022