3 episodes

Reading deeply into words and events to unfold the layers of meaning in them to find out: "How did we get here?" Produced by Mike Lacy in Nashville, TN, this podcast started with a particular local political crisis around arts funding but is interested in much more than pointing fingers. What can we learn about the ways that power, class, and race interact when we read deeply into the {Rich Text} around us? I'm also going to bring up Tom Cruise as often as possible.

{Rich Text‪}‬ Mike Lacy

    • Science

Reading deeply into words and events to unfold the layers of meaning in them to find out: "How did we get here?" Produced by Mike Lacy in Nashville, TN, this podcast started with a particular local political crisis around arts funding but is interested in much more than pointing fingers. What can we learn about the ways that power, class, and race interact when we read deeply into the {Rich Text} around us? I'm also going to bring up Tom Cruise as often as possible.

    Strings Attached: Part II, The Fall of Summer Lights

    Strings Attached: Part II, The Fall of Summer Lights

    After a long hiatus, I'm excited to bring you the next installment of "Strings Attached: The History of Metro Arts and the Nashville Symphony." In this episode, we delve deeper into the intricate history of Metro Arts and its complex relationship with the Nashville Symphony.

    This project has been a labor of love, a dedication to preserving the historical record, and it has brought about a range of emotions, especially given the current political climate both nationally and in Nashville. The task of dissecting the politics and power dynamics of an era as old as I am can feel both irrelevant and eerily topical.

    In today's episode, we confront the challenges and controversies that surrounded Metro Arts funding 30 years ago. In a time when political violence and leadership uncertainty are rampant, and our city is becoming a haven for public hate speech, examining the past can feel like a misuse of time. Yet, it's essential to explore these stories, not to sensationalize, but to understand the systems at play.

    Through the lens of Systems Theory, we'll explore how human systems, like Nashville’s arts community, often produce outcomes not because of individual intentions but because of the relationships between people within those systems. This episode will highlight the importance of viewing these dynamics with empathy and a holistic perspective.

    We'll revisit the early years of Metro Arts funding, the privatization efforts that derailed sustainable arts support, and the fallout from those decisions. From the inception of the Summer Lights Festival to the financial struggles and political maneuvers that led to its demise, we uncover the layers of this rich history.

    Join me as we continue this journey into the past to better understand the present, and perhaps, find ways to shape a more equitable future for the arts in Nashville.

    • 33 min
    Strings Attached Bonus Content | Episode 1 Commentary with Lydia Yousief

    Strings Attached Bonus Content | Episode 1 Commentary with Lydia Yousief

    Lydia Yousief, Executive Director of the Elmahaba Center and member of Arts Equity Nashville, stops by to talk about her experience as a complainant against Metro Nashville in a Title VI complaint related to the Metro Arts Commission and what she sees as the source of this ongoing conflict in Nashville's arts community.

    • 33 min
    Strings Attached: Part I

    Strings Attached: Part I

    The History of the Metro Arts Commission & The Nashville Symphony: Part I.



    A podcast version of a Substack series published under {Rich Text}.



    In this debut episode, host Mike Lacy delves into the complex and often contentious history of arts funding in Nashville, Tennessee. Nashville's rich artistic culture extends far beyond country music, touching various genres and disciplines. But behind the vibrant arts scene lies a history marked by struggles with power, class, race, and financial mismanagement.

    Lacy explores the pivotal 2023 vote by the Metro Arts Commission, which aimed to prioritize funding for diverse art programs over major institutions like the Nashville Symphony and the Frist Museum. This controversial decision sparked legal battles, public outrage, and highlighted deeper issues of racial and economic equity in the arts community.

    Listeners are taken back to 1988, when the Nashville Symphony faced bankruptcy. Lacy narrates how Phil Bredesen, a future mayor and governor, negotiated a contentious deal to save the symphony through public funds, establishing a precedent that continues to influence Nashville's arts funding.

    Through detailed storytelling and insightful analysis, this episode of "Strings Attached" uncovers the historical roots of current conflicts and offers a nuanced perspective on the ongoing challenges in Nashville's arts scene. Join Mike Lacy as he unravels the intricate tapestry of arts, politics, and social justice in this episode.

    • 30 min

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