About a year ago, The Contributor magazine was out of money. The Board of Directors disbanded, the doors were all but sure to close. What was going to happen next? Everything was up in the air until Cathy Jennings decided to revive The Contributor in newspaper format.
The first thing she had to do was put together a team to help her make her....DETAIL
Ever since the 2016 presidential election, we often hear everyone from news anchors to pundits to our neighbors repeat a popular refrain: “This is the most divided our country as ever been.”
But one art exhibition in Nashville takes a hard look at the divisions that our government drew in the past. Red Line by Nashville native Omari....DETAIL
Organizations that serve people experiencing homelessness are a lot whiter than the populations they serve — and homelessness disproportionately affects people who are black as it is, according to a report put together by the data committee of the Nashville/Davidson County Continuum of Care.
The CoC is a collection of 37 organizations....DETAIL
It was the last campground of the season — Seven Points, space 25. From that spot, you can see the beautiful sunsets and peaceful waves rolling upon the lake. It was the first space my son Paul and I ever backed into when we got the RV two years ago. This spot is occupied most of the time so when I saw it was available for four nights I....DETAIL
Gardening: Keith D.
Keith D. had saved some bread to give to “the kids.” That’s how he greets the chickens who live in his yard. It’s part of his evening routine after selling The Contributor, along with tending to his garden.
This season Keith gave out between 120-and-140 pints of cherry tomatoes. He gives to customers,....DETAIL
Around 20 times from Nov. 8, 2018 through early March of last year, temperatures in Nashville got low enough that Metro opened overflow shelters for people sleeping on the streets. When the weather drops below 28 degrees, emergency shelters open and volunteers canvass camps and places they know people often sleep outside, attempting to....DETAIL
To look at it, some would say the house was haunted. Joan leisurely padded through the complicated labyrinth of hollow rooms deliberately adjusting her step around the larger slabs of crumbling sallow-waxy wall. She diverted her dull sunken eyes from the cells that contained the mummified bodies of her dead sisters as she passed to answer the....DETAIL
I am celebrating one year volunteering at The Contributor vendor office, but my connection to the newspaper actually began years ago through a vendor I befriended named Curtis.
I met him because I would walk my dogs by his spot at 8th and Wedgewood. I developed a real fondness and admiration for Curtis and I would take him to run errands, get....DETAIL
A longstanding camp located 2nd Avenue and Jefferson Street has been broken up.
A week ago Thursday, those living there were told by police that they had one week to move away. That one week expired on Oct. 17. Residents said police cited repeated calls because of fights at the camp as the reason for enforcing the criminal trespassing....DETAIL
I was a born a Mainer. Even though I was forced to move away by necessity, I’m still a Mainer by heart. I remember the days of my youth very vividly now when I’m sitting alone at Shelby Park by the river’s edge, and it stirs my mind to revive those wonderful times with my grade school friends. The summers were always the best.
Peggy Snow’s painting of the International Market on Belmont Boulevard remains unfinished. The familiar red-brick building is depicted in Snow’s signature impressionistic style. She had positioned her easel across the street, to the left of the market, and the thick brick wall on the side of the building ascends up Bernard Avenue. A small....DETAIL
Richard T. is trying really hard not to get choked up. He’s talking about his customers — the ones who have been loyal to him throughout his last nine years selling The Contributor. It’s these customers, as well as his relationship with God, that he credits with getting him through a depression. Soon he’ll move on to a more traditional....DETAIL
Launch Pad is looking to the future. As part of its mission to provide safe sleep shelters for youth experiencing homelessness, the nonprofit recently recruited a new executive director, long-time volunteer Ty Brown.
Brown is not new to working on youth homelessness. He began volunteering with Launch Pad in 2016, eventually rising to the....DETAIL
Imagine being without health insurance. Most people just freak out at the thought, but for many people experiencing homeless it’s a reality. Imagine not being able to see a doctor when you need to or having to rely on emergency rooms when the illness is just too unbearable to handle anymore. Imagine having Type 2 diabetes, high blood....DETAIL
Healthcare is a topic that is on the minds of many Americans. The subject of healthcare affects the housed, the unhoused, the working poor and the middle class.
I find myself having been on both sides of the healthcare issues as a homeless uninsured individual 13 years ago, and as a Certified Medical Assistant (NCMA-NCCT) today. I can say....DETAIL
Back in 1976, Neighborhood Health looked a bit different, according to Brian Haile, the network’s CEO. First of all, the clinics were operated from an old house on 12th Avenue South....DETAIL
Local mental health service provider Centerstone recently introduced a program just for people experiencing homelessness, called Keys to Recovery.
“It’s hard to work on the substance abuse....DETAIL
When it comes to health insurance coverage, there’s a gap. There are about 280,000 Tenneseeans in it, including many of our neighbors who are homeless, according to Tennessee....DETAIL
Mike P. has been out of jail for three months, and in that time he has taken part in multiple outpatient recovery programs for drug use, and joined The Contributor — all while staying sober. His lack of permanent housing makes it all more challenging. Mike wanted to talk about how he feels the criminal justice system is broken, having seen....DETAIL
When we re-launched The Contributor newspaper in November 2018, our executive director’s husband John played a very fitting song on his guitar. It was, “Here Comes The Sun” by The Beatles. It was fitting because the lyrics made several key points applicable to what was happening with the paper at that time. Here are just a few examples:
In an exhibition that will run through Feb. 2, the Tennessee State Museum is exploring the “rich and diverse history of Tennessee’s food” in Let’s Eat! Origins and Evolutions of Tennessee Food.
“Whether barbecued, fried, roasted, pickled, or chilled, the food of Tennessee, and the southern United States, is a meeting of Southeastern....DETAIL
There are a couple of things that make Julie B. known around The Contributor office. She submits writing regularly. And she is also always toting around her service dog, Oreo — a cute, tiny Chihuahua that you might not even notice at first.
Julie describes herself as determined, stubborn, and, “not a fluff person.” We know her as a....DETAIL
When I get ready to go out and play my music when I’m on my wheelchair walker, people on the scooters got them parked in the middle or laying flat down in the middle of the sidewalk. There have been as many as four in the middle at once. I’m 100 percent disabled and it kind of hurts me to pick up one of those scooters and move it, but I....DETAIL
Tourists will flock to Nashville to take advantage of the long Labor Day weekend, but Labor Day will likely not be a day off for many of Nashville’s low-wage workers. These workers, who build the hotels and maintain the rooms where tourists stay, often do not have health insurance or get paid overtime. They deal with at best unpleasant....DETAIL
Rachel Rose, 24, lives with her mother in an apartment about 15 minutes east of Nashville. She’s saving up for a car. She’s worked at places like Sonic, Waffle House and a gas station nearby. On Monday nights she plays Dungeons and Dragons with some friends in a strip mall near her house. A self-described nerd, she’s obsessed with....DETAIL
Four years ago, Megan Gill and her husband embarked on their low-waste journey. They started taking stock of the single-use plastics, recyclables and non-recyclables that were coming into their home and did what they could to reduce, reuse and recycle.
But Gill said she knew that wasn’t enough. Most of the everyday essentials she and her....DETAIL
Sheryl Crow is going on about Eric Clapton, about the part he played on George Harrison’s “Beware of Darkness,” one of 14 songs on her new album Threads. As someone who’s lent her voice to Don Henley and Michael Jackson, the songwriter/multi-instrumentalist rock icon understands the power of a supporting player to really drive home a....DETAIL
The Nashville-Davidson County Homelessness Planning Council released a three-year strategic plan on Thursday. The goal of this plan is a 25-percent reduction in street and shelter homelessness.
The plan’s authors seek to achieve this through four main goals. One is to optimize resources and manage a housing inventory, including local,....DETAIL
Oasis Center, which provides services for youth in crisis in Nashville, has been awarded $3.4 million in federal funds to address youth homelessness over the next two years. On Tuesday, the center announced how they will use those funds as part of a Youth Homelessness Demonstration Project.
Of those funds, $2.1 million will be designated....DETAIL
On a two-block walk from 5th to 7th street, Carla B. greets six people along the way and hugs three of them. She’s extremely enthusiastic and outgoing. When she was told she could be this issue’s Vendor Spotlight, she broke into a happy dance. Having struggled with mental health, addiction and abuse on top of homelessness, Carla says....DETAIL
Before we became homeless we adopted Faith from Metro Animal Control. She was four weeks old and weighed in at 3.4 lbs. This itty bitty fur ball curled up on a pillow in a cage stole my heart right away without even realizing the impact she would have on my life. I’ve had pets before — from rabbits to cats to birds — but this little one,....DETAIL
Mario, a longtime Contributor vendor, has always loved dogs. In fact, he says they saved his life. At a low point in Mario’s journey, he was living in a truck with his dogs, feeling ashamed and embarrassed and unsure about where his life was going.
“One night I thought about ending it all,” Mario says. “But I looked at my dogs and....DETAIL
When ICE agents cornered a Hermitage man and his son in their car Monday morning, Stacey Farley was one of the neighbors who came to help. After a three and a half hour ordeal, no arrest was made.
Farley is a former vendor of The Contributor, and her husband Michael still sells in Hermitage and Franklin. They were experiencing....DETAIL
Chuck C. holds vendor badge number 0002. For a frame of reference, The Contributor trained its 3,472nd vendor as this article went to press.
Chuck has been selling The Contributor for nearly 12 years. He remembers when it printed once every other month, just 2,000 copies distributed among six or so vendors (now we’re at between eight and....DETAIL
A damp and heavy dawn thickens around the hackberry tree in my back yard. Without leaves, the limbs reach out like the wiry fingers of crones. March fog hovers above the dewed grass and I wrap myself tighter in the blanket that was once my aunt’s. My hands fold over the rim of my mug to hold in the heat and my palms warm with steam as if the....DETAIL
Being a homeless woman in Nashville has taught me so many life lessons through others. Many times we are too caught up in our own problems to realize that there are other people with much worse problems. While homeless, I worked on my life’s pursuits preparing to become an activist on behalf of poor children. I became homeless in 2012. The....DETAIL
It was 2007 when Margie Quin first began to do work to end human trafficking.
As an assistant special agent in charge at the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Quin served as the missing children’s clearinghouse manager and the AMBER Alert coordinator for the state.
“That’s when I learned of Tennessee’s trafficked youth,” said....DETAIL
Meet Lily. After losing their apartment, and spending time in a shelter, she and her family are staying on Sesame Street with their friend Sofía (played by actress Jasmine Romero) while they look for housing.
“I love watching Lily,” says Kama Einhorn, senior content manager at Sesame Workshop, who speaks fondly of the “sweet, hopeful,....DETAIL
Sitting in the parking lot next to an apartment complex I really didn’t expect to meet anyone new to homelessness, and yet I did. They were an elderly couple sitting by the curb with with enough nice furniture to fill a house — not something I’d throw away and yet it was by the curb.
Now that only means one thing: They’d been evicted.....DETAIL
One Sunday in May I decided to go downtown and ride the bus around. A Sunday drive, as most folks would say. Once I was downtown I got on bus 56 BRT limited stops headed towards Rivergate. I wasn’t really going anywhere particular, just enjoying the day.
As the bus was traveling down Gallatin Road making its stops, one particular situation....DETAIL
Beginning July 1, people attempting to register citizens to vote could face fines if they turn in incomplete forms to the election commission.
The law, which was passed during this year’s legislative session and then signed into law by Gov. Bill Lee, is already facing lawsuits.
A complaint filed by the NAACP, Democracy....DETAIL
When Nashville native Todd Lawrence was in school, he remembers not learning much about how to protect the environment. In fact, he said conversations around sustainability and conservation were nonexistent in the classroom.
Now as the executive director of the nonprofit Urban Green Lab, he is working with a team of environmentally-conscious....DETAIL
1. I learned of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor when I was visiting my grandmother Wills at her home Far Hills (now the Governor’s Mansion) on Curtiswood Lane in Nashville. We heard the attack announced over the radio on a cold Sunday afternoon. My parents, my brother and sister, an aunt and uncle, and three first cousins, along with my....DETAIL
JOHN RAY CLEMMONS
1. How do you think the city is doing in terms of helping its most vulnerable citizens?
Nashville is failing its most vulnerable citizens. Metro is failing to address the root causes of homelessness — wages, education, lack of public transportation, and access to health care services. A lack of vision and strong....DETAIL
By the end of the 1960s, the Hollywood studio system was on its last legs and losing a generation of young moviegoers to television. In a bid to appeal to the rebellious youth culture of the era Columbia Pictures green lit a new outlaw biker film. The movie was produced by and starred Peter Fonda, the son of a Hollywood legend and an authentic....DETAIL
Keith Urban had a plan.
“I told Nicole before they even read the nominees, ‘If we go to the left, straight up the stairs and over the stage, we can get right to the car,’” says the man who headlines CMA Music Fest’s Sunday night Nissan Stadium show when asked what he was thinking in the moments before being named the 2018 Country....DETAIL
The annual count of people experiencing homelessness — called the PIT (Point-in-Time) Count — was released on May 8 by the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency. And while the number of people experiencing decreased by 14 percent from 2018, MDHA, the Homeless Impact Division and advocates alike all say the overall number is not....DETAIL
“Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it: the tree is the real thing.” – Abraham Lincoln
The shadow cast by the 111th Tennessee legislature has shed a dark pall of corruption over the entire state. Accounts of the excessive use of illegal drugs in the state house, debauchery, and....DETAIL
When you look at people experiencing homelessness what do you think? Maybe they’re an alcoholic, an addict, a felon, a sex offender, or a criminal, right? Many myths follow all homeless people throughout their journey to find a home. It’s hard to overcome stigmas and it causes more obstacles making a hard journey that much....DETAIL
About a year ago I was selling The Contributor in Bellevue at the corner of Hicks Rd. and Old Harding Pike. I work at a four way stop sign, and I try to wave at everyone that passes by. I guess it was around 3 p.m. or so when I turned to wave at the cars coming down Hicks Road and I saw something lying in the road. I walked over to see what it....DETAIL
What do you want to talk about today?
I would like to talk about being a vendor.
What’s it like being a vendor?
Being a vendor has helped me find my way. Because some people don’t know what it’s like to be homeless. Some people like to make fun of people who are homeless, but how can you speak if you haven’t been there, ya....DETAIL
Michelle Obama spent Mother’s Day with a sold out crowd at the Ryman Auditorium on May 12. Her stop at the Mother Church was the last of a 34-city book tour for her memoir Becoming, which has sold more than 10 million copies since it was released in November of last year.
The former first lady was in discussion with The Late Show host....DETAIL
In public schools across America, more than 1.3 million students have been identified as homeless.
Students experiencing homelessness are 87 percent more likely to drop out of high school, according to Education Leads Home, a national campaign working to break the cycles of poverty and homelessness in the United States.
Within Metro Nashville....DETAIL
The night was short, and the morning came fast. I really wanted to go back to sleep, but I had appointments for PT, OT, and speech therapy. All for evaluations that needed to be done. The bus was late so I missed the PT evaluation but made the OT and speech. I’d been doing them all through YouTube videos and thought I’d made excellent....DETAIL
Tell me what you know,
or think you know.
They don’t tell us everything.
Very little really.
When we ask, they send us to their websites
where there’s a scant collection
of stock answers
to what they say are
commonly asked questions.
There’s no real information there.
They manage everything very cleverly,
like magicians with sleight of....DETAIL
We’re All in The Dumps With Jack and Guy
Classic children’s book authors choose their subjects, words and imagery with deep care, and Maurice Sendak is one of the masters of the genre. Sendak's choice to take on childhood homelessness with We’re All in The Dumps With Jack and Guy (1993) was no exception. It masterfully....DETAIL
I’ve often wanted to create a guide for those going through homelessness. A what-to-do kind of guide for those entering the horror called homelessness with the goal of obtaining housing (most likely, years later). Nashville already has what I call the Homeless Bible: the Where To Go In Nashville book tells you every place for food, housing,....DETAIL
It is indeed
cruel and unusual punishment
to require a woman
imprisoned in a
Tennessee correctional facility
to give birth
to give life
with her hands restrained in handcuffs
and her ankles weighted and hobbled
It would appear to be more
dehumanizing and prurient
than necessary for security.
Shame on the men who mandate
As so many people have noted, the destruction of the cherry trees wasn't just about the trees. It was about how alienated so many people in Nashville feel from their own city. It feels like there’s so much that we are constantly being required to do without so that tourists stay happy. We're paying for a water park we'll have to pay a....DETAIL
The first time I met Cynthia she approached me after a new paper release meeting with a notebook full of artwork. Using pen and a little highlighter, she draws brightly colored hearts filled with crosses and flames. My favorite piece, though, was a smiling clown with the phrase “Don’t worry, be happy” written neatly underneath. I....DETAIL
“This is a sanctuary, and you belong here,” said Deen Entsminger, Belmont University Professor of Music.
At first, I didn’t know how to respond. All I wanted was to tell him that my financial aid had fallen through, and that I was required to drop all my classes. But it was two weeks into the semester and in Deen’s mind, I was already....DETAIL
On April 12, 2019, Tennessee State University celebrated former TSU players who made it to the pros and the Super Bowl.
The Salute to Greatness-Excellence on the Gridiron took place at the Renaissance Nashville Hotel downtown with a reception and dinner followed by a program. The emcee of the program was legendary and award winning....DETAIL
Downtown Nashville continues to transform as the city prepares to host the 2019 NFL Draft. Lower Broadway and the area outside Nissan Stadium will host free, public activities for the event taking place April 25-27, which is expected to be the largest event ever held in Music City.
For the uninitiated, the NFL Draft is an opportunity for....DETAIL
The word affordable gets thrown around a lot in advertising and in media. It suggests that anyone can afford the suggested item. Take for instance rentals in the area advertised as “affordable” that require you to be making three times the suggested rent. So with an apartment renting for $1,200 per month, you’d need to be making $3,600....DETAIL
The first time Sandy sat down with me to do a vendor spotlight was about seven years ago. We were both fairly new to The Contributor. We reconnected recently at a Contributor paper release to talk about what’s been happening since the last spotlight.
What's been going on Sandy?
Well, my wife Elizabeth had a double cardiac arrest, November....DETAIL
In a recent Contributor vendor meeting, the staff asked us to share our opinions. Now, I myself have many of those, most of which I dare not even mention in today’s society. But I do have one which I feel anyone reading this article will both appreciate and agree with.
I have to assume that you, the reader, are either Contributor staff, a....DETAIL
Mayor David Briley announced a bold plan to attempt to increase the affordable housing stock in Nashville. Will it work?
Over the past decade, Nashville hasn’t been able to keep pace with the amount of affordable housing the city needs. As the city continues to experience an influx of new residents, the problem gets worse and worse. A....DETAIL
I want you as the people to ask me any questions you might have. Write in to email@example.com, and I will answer them in future ditions of The Contributor. Keep in mind your questions must be clean — nothing dirty. Ask things you think nobody can answer and I’ll do my best to give it a shot.
Maybe you need someone to talk to.....DETAIL
I know this because people tell me.
“Wooo, don’t get too big now,” a teen once howled as I perused the snack aisle at a Walgreens. The rest of society has never really been much better.
In films, TV shows, commercials, hell, every aspect of pop culture, fat people have almost always been portrayed as one-dimensional....DETAIL
Studying the neurological responses to how we engage with other people around us
A survey found that 74 percent of people were worried about levels of homelessness. The survey commissioned by the U.K. charity Crisis measured attitudes toward 236,000 people experiencing homelessness and its findings seemed positive – 61 percent of people....DETAIL
The Contributor responds to Metro Council proposal
Bill 2019-1543, a measure that effectively bans panhandling on certain downtown Nashville streets, was proposed by District 19’s Freddie O’Connell at Wednesday evening’s Metro Council meeting. The Contributor does not believe it would be negatively impacted by the legislation.
Though a similar measure was struck down in 2017, a bill in the Tennessee legislature is seeking to make it illegal for a doctor to perform an abortion once a heartbeat is detected in a fetus.
Under the proposed law, physicians who do not test for a heartbeat would be charged with a misdemeanor. Performing an abortion when a heartbeat is....DETAIL
I walk into my first Contributor paper release meeting in over a year and recognize Dale immediately. He still has his signature mustache, his kind eyes and a warm smile that matches his sweet spirit.
Dale has been selling The Contributor for nearly eight years to his loyal customers in Franklin. We talk for about half an hour, and Dale lets....DETAIL
One day as I was going about my daily routine, I ran across a guy that told me about an old fashioned fish fry that occurs on the corner of Dickerson & Cleveland on Fridays. I went by just to check it out, and when I got there I noticed an emblem over a Red Door. It was the same emblem from a T-shirt I got from a guy named Roy who had....DETAIL
It’s been more than 40 years since Loretta Lynn released “The Pill” — a controversial song bemoaning a life comprised of birthing and raising children and singing praise for birth control.
The song was banned from many country radio stations, but it continued to be popular among fans despite the stations’ reluctance to spin it. It....DETAIL
You see them every once in a while in parking lots — vehicles filled to the brim with belongings. Most don't even think twice about it. Some may think, “Well they're not homeless, they have a car.” The realism is yes they are homeless. They are counted among the “unsheltered” homeless and most have jobs. It's heartbreaking that....DETAIL
Let’s talk about menstruation. It’s the natural biological function of a woman’s reproductive system during her child-bearing years. It begins at puberty and continues through menopause. Once every lunar month the ovaries release eggs. As an egg makes its way through the reproductive system, the lining of the uterus becomes engorged with....DETAIL
Community Care Fellowship is quite literally on the edge of Cayce Homes’ redevelopment, yards away from some of the first new apartments built as part of the Envision Cayce process. Even as every building bordering it is leveled and rebuilt, the organization will continue to serve those experiencing homelessness, a population that could....DETAIL
In 1960, Tennessee State University women’s track coach Ed Temple and a group of female track stars did something nobody had ever done before. They broke the so-called color barrier at the Olympics.
When the team first started competing nationally: “Coach Temple was given $300 and two station wagons and told to go compete against the....DETAIL
A new report from WeGo bus riders in Nashville found that the neighborhoods where public transit was needed most fared worst in the city for transit service.
The 20-page report, called the Bus Route Report Card, was put together by Music City Riders United, a group of bus riders who want better transit options in Nashville. According to MCRU,....DETAIL
I don't write much about Faith, but she's here and there in tidbits. She's my anchor, my BFF, my inspiration, my everything. She's a 50 pound husky/lab mix that stole our hearts at Metro Animal Control five years ago. Her story before her rescue is amazing.
Faith's mother had left her two-week-old litter of eight probably to find food and....DETAIL
In September of 2018 I was told that one of the apartment complexes in my area was accepting applications. I didn’t waste any time. I got the application as soon as I could. Well, I should say my son actually got it for me, along with an appointment on Nov. 14 at 1 p.m. to go over it with apartment management.
That day, I arrived a few....DETAIL
I remember the day I met Cyntoia Brown. They had just banned smoking at the Tennessee Prison For Women here in Nashville. Cyntoia was housed on the 2nd level. I was housed on the 1st floor. We both were in Unit 3 East.
I can remember it like it was yesterday. When I saw her I didn’t know her story. However, I knew the little girl must have a....DETAIL
Ode to Odd
“You’re good enough,
you’re smart enough,
and, gosh darn it, people like you!”
that starting each day
in front of a mirror
delivering a positive affirmation
of your worth to the world,
And may, in fact,
have the opposite effect.
BECAUSE, LET’S FACE IT, YOU’RE ODD!
“As a writer, I have to leave my heart open,” Dolly Parton begins. “That’s why I have always said I never could harden my heart, even against hurt or anything. Because as a writer, if you harden your heart, you’re not going to feel all that emotion you need to feel, and you won’t be to write what people feel.
“I always say I’ve....DETAIL
In early December, as developer Tony Giarratana stands in front of his project and the tallest residential building in downtown Nashville — called 505 Nashville — he points out some of his company’s other nearby projects: Cumberland on Church, Viridian Tower, Bennie Dillon. He motions toward the ones a little further away: Encore and....DETAIL
Laura Lacy is woven into the fabric of the music industry. For more than a quarter of a century, Lacy has been the right hand and personal assistant to country music icons, entertainment legends and television and movie personalities. But, at 60 years old, she was battling osteoarthritis in her knees with unbearable pain and fatigue....DETAIL
Over the past year, a team of agronomists, soil scientists and food scientists at Tennessee State University have been trying to figure out just what bud (of the cannabis variety) grows best in Tennessee. In September, faculty at TSU — one of the country’s leaders in hemp research — hosted a forum on hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) with....DETAIL
Before she began her next song, Rachel Rodriguez called “Sofia Tortilla” to the stage.
With urgency, Sofia got up from her seat at Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival and moved in position behind a microphone. Draped in a traditional Mexican floral dress and wearing pink and white flowers in her hair, she waited patiently as her....DETAIL
“I’m 30 miles into my bike ride. May I call you back?” asks Victor E., when he answers a request for an interview. As it turns out, a 30-mile bike ride for Victor is nothing — he regularly rides up to 70 miles at a time. Cycling, he says, is a great outlet for him since the former cross-country runner can no longer run or jump rope....DETAIL
Word about Victor precedes meeting him. He’s one of The Contributor’s newer vendors, but he’s already got a reputation as “a trip,” “a character,” and “really something.”
Victor is a popular and well-known figure around the offices of The Contributor and Room In the Inn, where the magazine is housed. Mention his name, and....DETAIL
As decades-old trees are chopped down to make way for ritzy apartments within scooter-ing distance of dog boutiques, many Nashvillians are wondering what the impact of the dwindling canopy might be on Music City. Rachel Gladstone, who has lived in the Nations for the past 16 years and has made a habit of fighting to save Nashville’s trees,....DETAIL
A few weeks ago, the Nashville Fraternal Order of Police filed a complaint with Davidson County Circuit Court requesting review of a petition calling for the creation of a community oversight board. Their argument in this suit is that Community Oversight Now — the organization pushing for the creation of the board — did not pass the....DETAIL
Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean’s campaign headquarters are modest and efficient. There are a few people on their laptops — sending emails, Tweeting, writing press releases, tracking donations — surrounded by yard signs, bumper stickers, and other marketing materials. The space suggests one thing: utility. There’s a sobriety and a....DETAIL
War Memorial Plaza is bumping on a recent Monday night. More than 100 people mill about, waiting in lines for barber chairs. Hair stylists ask their clients about their preferences — “You like a little more around the edges, right?” — queries a black-beanied stylist of the man in his chair. Jen Harley, sporting a pink mohawk and....DETAIL
This election season, Please Vote Nashville is promoting voter participation with social incentives, ballot literacy.
Tennessee currently carries some of the lowest voter participation rates in the nation, but a new Nashville organization is working to change that with a unique selling point: social incentives for voting.
Saint Thomas Health Medical Mission is partnering with 30 organizations in the Nashville area to provide free medical care on Sept. 22. The event will include more than 600 volunteers, including physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses and pharmacists.
“Many individuals in Nashville and the surrounding communities who are uninsured or....DETAIL
Nashville artists are transforming the cityscape with work both whimsical and inspired.
Mike Cooper’s mark is all over Nashville. Cooper, who is originally from Memphis, has lived in the city for more than 30 years, and for about that long, he’s been painting the town. “Painting murals for me started as a hobby — I went to....DETAIL
One vendor's lawn care business spurred by years of sales with his closest companion.
Mario M. and his four dogs were living in his maroon Chevy. It was back in 2012, during a dip in the economy and after losing his business staining log cabins, that Mario became homeless. He began selling The Contributor at the Jackson Downs Shopping....DETAIL
As a woman living in Nashville's homeless encampments, reality is harsh but reminders of internal strength soar.
Isn’t life funny? The way things happen and fall into place right at the exact moment? When I was asked by The Contributor to write this article (and then told the topic), I had to laugh! The humor lies in the irony of my....DETAIL
Contributor Editor Holly McCall walks a mile in our vendors’ shoes, sharing what she learns along the way.
Looks easy standing out there selling magazines, doesn’t it? It can’t be hard: All you do is find a busy intersection, put on a smile and wait for the Abrahams to roll in. Or so I thought. As editor of The Contributor, I....DETAIL
Does anyone else remember when the Nashville Scene’s annual “Best Of” issue used to include a category that went something like, 'Best Place that Makes You Feel Like You’re Not in Nashville’?
At the time, it was meant to make you ponder places that were hipper than O’Charley’s. Places like the patio at Sunset Grill, or Mirror....DETAIL
For vendor Joey S., the loss of his brother leads to a loving musical tribute.
Joey Shumpert remembers clearly the last time he visited with his brother, Josh.
It was January 2016, and Josh, only 27, was in Vanderbilt Hospital with brain cancer. But, he was having a good day, laughing and blowing kisses to his young daughter. “Josh....DETAIL
Everyone has something to cheer for with these classic football films
Football is a sport made for the movies: it’s full of movement and color, explosive speed and crushing collisions. With its streaking running backs, long-bomb passes and hard-nosed tackles, football translates directly to cinema. Like all sports, it brings the ready....DETAIL
Tennessee’s favorite backyard bandit gives the down low on his role in bringing the upcoming NFL draft to Nashville and what he whispers in Mariota’s ear.
T-Rac, while raccoons are the Tennessee state animal, other species are plentiful. Have you taken any flak from possums or skunks who feel like they should have been the public....DETAIL
“Midday 180” host Jonathan Hutton, also the sideline reporter for the Titans Radio Network, recently sat down with Titans wide receiver Corey Davis ahead of the 2018 season. The Titans have a new-look offense led by Mike Vrabel and offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur, and Davis is one of the players expected to contribute in a big way.....DETAIL
As we head into the 2018 college football season, veteran sports writer Maurice Patton breaks down just where Middle Tennessee’s teams stand.
After all the hype over the offseason hires of first Phillip Fulmer and then Jeremy Pruitt at the top of the Tennessee athletic department and football program, Volunteer....DETAIL
For vendor Joey S., the loss of a brother leads to a musical tribute.
Joey Shumpert remembers clearly the last time he visited with his brother, Josh.
It was January 2016, and Josh, only 27, was in Vanderbilt Hospital with brain cancer. But, he was having a good day, laughing and blowing kisses to his young daughter. “Josh was goofy....DETAIL
Riff on MLK's Poor People's Campaign leads to local civil disobedience and arrests
Fifty years after civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., led thousands to participate in a Poor People’s Campaign to garner economic justice in America, hundreds more are answering the same call in Tennessee. Local activists say their involvement....DETAIL
"It's free to be kind:" Mary Ann F. has a smile for everyone
Around The Contributor, Mary Ann F. is like everyone’s favorite aunt or mother. Cheerful and quick with smiles and hugs, positivity radiates from her.
Her good nature, she says, has come through deliberate decisions to be happy despite hardships.
“When you’ve got burdens,....DETAIL
In this edition, Rhelda Mae takes on CMA Fest, airport fashion and Airbnb takeovers
Dear Rhelda Mae,
I came to Nashville once as a child for Fan Fair. I understand it’s now called the CMA Music Festival and is much bigger. I don't do well in crowds and heat is an issue. Worth the bother next year? Yours, Tentative Traveler.
With thousands of families separated, President Trump's administration has faced much public outcry
For weeks, national news has extensively covered the story of family separation at the southern border between the U.S. and Mexico, complete with heart wrenching tales — and photos — of children being taken from their parents.
For a long time, in a variety of Christian churches, women have often been told, or made to feel, that suffering abuse was just to be endured — that forgiveness should be doled out under any and all circumstances and for any and all transgressions. And that maybe they're not as important as their male counterparts. But that tide might be....DETAIL
The Beatles’ cartoon classic hits The Belcourt
From black suits and mop-tops to sideburns and sunglasses, The Beatles’ fashion sense was as creative and iconic as the band’s timeless tunes. One of the bands most memorable looks came in the form of their animated avatars, which were featured in the psychedelic cartoon classic Yellow....DETAIL
On Robert Kennedy’s 1968 Vanderbilt Visit
Did you hear what the political candidate said at Vanderbilt’s Memorial Gymnasium?
“Today, as the world seems to unravel all around us,” he said, “there is much to dissent from. So … we must ask: Who is it that is truly dividing this country? I believe it is not those who call for....DETAIL
Nashville residents find a new passion in the city's soccer team
Southern states have never been known as oases for fútbol or hockey culture, both sports found more often in Northern and coastal states. But, the times have changed, eh? Just as the Nashville Predators invigorated Nashville’s interest in hockey, so too has the....DETAIL
Franklin’s McLemore House hosts echoes of jubilant celebrations.
As the annual Juneteenth celebration commenced, the words of the Negro National Anthem, sung by Charlene Harrison, rang out across rows of people crowding the shaded green lawn. Harrison, a native of Williamson County, says she's been in attendance at Franklin's annual....DETAIL
Celebrating its 4th birthday, nonprofit Poverty & The Arts provides entrepreneurial training, art supplies to artists experiencing homelessness
Beth Gunn became homeless when she moved to Nashville in July 2015. Gunn grew up in Massachusetts, and she is a survivor of sexual violence and trafficking. But that, she says, doesn’t define....DETAIL
Six Geyrhalter documentaries and over 20 years of filmmaking
I love documentary films, and I watch them all the time. Nonfiction films can be just as inventive and profound as their fiction counterparts, and directors as diverse as Werner Herzog, Agnes Varda, Ross McElwee and Michael Moore have all excelled when focusing their cameras on....DETAIL
Vendor Michael reps the Crimson Tide in Vol Country.
Michael Farley has been with The Contributor since day one, he says, when founder Tom Wills noticed him during an event at Downtown Presbyterian Church and urged him to become a vendor for the new paper.
At age 20 and only a couple of years after moving to Nashville, Michael was one....DETAIL
The barbershop singing style isn’t just the hum of a pitch pipe before those men in red and white striped jackets begin harmonizing. For Brian Lynch, who has been a “barbershopper” for the past 21 years, it’s really more of a calling. “For so many people, it starts out as an amusement, turns into a hobby, then it becomes a lifestyle....DETAIL
A hopeful performer strides onto the stage. The sound of rock music fills the room. The lights dim, and then, the fingers start flying across an invisible instrument. The crowd roars with applause. This is the strange, exciting world of Nashville air guitar. Some participants of the recent Nashville Air Guitar Championships, which took place....DETAIL
Weighted blankets provide language skills and jobs to immigrants, restful nights to the anxious.
Drive up to the headquarters of Weighting Comforts, and you could be in Anytown, USA. The small corporate office complex in South Nashville is indistinguishable from neighboring buildings and gives no hint of the activity inside.
This week, Rhelda Mae takes on coyote infestations, coffee prices and church anxiety
Dear Rhelda Mae,
I relocated to Nashville a while back from California. I thought I left coyotes behind, but I swear one ran up my front steps the other day, stared at my girl dogs through the screen door and then meandered off. How can I get rid....DETAIL
Amer, the daughter of two Syrian immigrants, explains the motivation behind her unusual five-course meal
The idea of fusing cultures through food is something that executive chef Rahaf Amer has known throughout her life, and it’s what she lovingly brought to the table during the Food From Inside the Travel Ban event in Nashville, which....DETAIL
The ambitious plan from the mayor's office banks on a land-swap deal with developer Tony Giarratana
An ambitious proposed plan from Mayor David Briley’s administration and developer Tony Giarratana has been praised by some as an innovative way to pull hundreds of men and women off of Nashville’s streets. However, others are not....DETAIL
CMA pairs with Chris Young to broaden national dialogue on music education
Tiffany Kerns bought a piano last year.
She always wanted to learn, but after five years with the Country Music Association Foundation, the community outreach director began lessons to better identify with the students for whom she was so often advocating.....DETAIL
Every seed counts.
Five years ago, the Nashville Public Library began its Seed Exchange Program, which allows Nashvillians to harvest vegetable, herb and flower seeds for free to grow their own garden. The program began after Detroit-area native and Nashville Public Library Bellevue branch manager Katherine Bryant saw a possible....DETAIL
Binge on. Wax off.
If you’re like me, you binge-watched YouTube Red’s new original series, Cobra Kai, as soon as it debuted on May 2. Cobra Kai could have been a disaster or maybe just a fun reunion for the cast of a beloved 1980s classic. Instead, this new series revitalizes the The Karate Kid universe for a new generation. It....DETAIL
Odd couple: vendor Josh and volunteer Andy bond with familial relationship.
They aren’t much alike, Contributor vendor Josh and volunteer Andy.
Andy is tall, with wavy salt and pepper hair and a neatly trimmed matching beard. His dress style is slightly preppy and slightly Dad — he says he puts on whatever is on the top of....DETAIL
This month, the author channels old-time Sunday newspaper notes
Congratulations to the Vanderbilt women’s bowling team on its national championship, the second NCAA title for the team since 2007 and Vanderbilt’s fourth national championship in that same time span, including baseball in 2014 and women’s tennis in 2015. Consider....DETAIL
For more than 50 years, Mary's Old Fashioned Barbecue Pit, a Jefferson Street classic, has drawn customers from around the city
Before there was Martin's and Edley's and Peg Leg and Jack, there was Mary’s.
Mary’s Old Fashioned Barbecue Pit on North Nashville’s Jefferson Street is to the current crop of Nashville ‘cue joints....DETAIL
Local barbecue judges J.A. Bucy and Chris Harmon know their way around a hog.
According to Nashvillian J.A. Bucy, a good barbecue sandwich starts with one thing: a cheap, white bread bun from a plastic bag. Next comes the meat, which Bucy, who is a Kansas City Barbecue Society certified judge, says usually starts out as a pork shoulder....DETAIL
Local barbecue pitmaster brings an artist’s touch to the restaurant’s smoked meats
Listening to UT Craven — that’s short for “Uturrius” — rhapsodize over his meat-smoking expertise is like listening to an artist talk technique or a wine connoisseur discuss France’s finest vintages.
“The first time I walked into....DETAIL
Think tank Think Tennessee cuts through spin and provides nonpartisan, useful and actionable data for the state.
While they share a title, the differences between national legislators and their statehouse counterparts are vast. A big one is the amount of available staff to spend time researching and poring over data to use when crafting....DETAIL
A documentary about homeless youth is
spotlighting an otherwise quiet epidemic.
Movie director Rotimi Rainwater knows what it’s like to live on the streets – his mother lost their home after a bout with cancer undermined their family’s income. Rainwater’s film Sugar (2013) dramatized America’s homeless youth culture and was....DETAIL
Music City has become a fantastic literary community. (Rarely is an author event not scheduled at Parnassus!) It’s an amazing time to be a reader in Nashville, so we've highlighted a few local authors you need to be reading, if you're not already.
1. Brad Thor
Known for writing the electrifying Scot Harvath series, Brad Thor moved....DETAIL
Since childhood, Jackie Ladd has been selling Nashville’s newspapers to curious readers.
The Tennessean, the Nashville Banner, and The Contributor: vendor Jackie L. has sold them all, starting his career as a professional newsboy when he was, well, a boy.
“A lawyer named J.D. Norman and his son, Kenny, had an office on Commerce....DETAIL
The social media platform is influencing the way we eat, but just how much of a consumer's purchasing decision (and a restaurant's bottom line) is being affected?
On Instagram, food is sparkly, it’s colorful, it’s bulging and overflowing and overall, it’s no longer just a source of sustenance, it’s an aesthetic. On the road to....DETAIL
At a 2008 Remembrance of Kristallnacht program in Cincinnati, Sylvia Samis, the daughter of Holocaust survivors, had the opportunity to play an instrument adorned with a mother of pearl-made Star of David. When she picked it up and put her bow to its strings, she held history in her hands. “I played a Klezmer-type folk song on it, and when I....DETAIL
When political parties boot candidates for bad bona fides, it may strengthen the party, but it’s not a good look.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines ‘bona fide’ as ‘characterized by good faith and lack of fraud or deceit.’
But that’s what the Tennessee Republican Party has accused 26 candidates running for office of, or....DETAIL
One of my favorite assignments of the year is featuring the Nashville Film Festival and the documentaries that address the kind of social issues we bring to light in our magazine. This year, I talked with the festival’s artistic director Brian Owens to get the inside word on some of the fest’s best nonfiction films — and to find....DETAIL
A sunny Friday afternoon on a Music Row corner features the usual cast of Nashville characters: music business executives, double-decker buses filled with older tourists and party barges packed with gyrating bachelorettes heading downtown. They all have a common experience: the guy hollering uplifting words as they pass.
The FBI, Southern Poverty Law Center and Metro Nashville Police Department are all reporting a rise in hate crimes. Community leaders say it's time for important conversations.
Sabina Mohyuddin was born and raised in Nashville. She's Muslim and wears a hijab — something she's done since she was in the 7th grade. In middle school,....DETAIL
When The Contributor last featured Vicky Batcher, she was living in a hotel. Her story published in The Contributor, an exposé in her own words, set in motion a chain of events — one negative, the other positive.
In the story, Vicky's depiction of living conditions in the hotel led to her eviction by management displeased with the piece.....DETAIL
The Predators mascot gets candid about about his fitness and trolling routines.
Gnash, you often perform some pretty acrobatic stunts at games. What fitness routine gets you in shape to rappel from the ceiling?
Cats are God’s most perfect athletes, so it doesn’t take too much to stay in game shape. The shape I choose is....DETAIL
Since he was drafted by the Nashville Predators in 2004, Pekka Rinne has become the face of the franchise, racking up accolades in the hockey world and amassing a rabid group of fans who call themselves “Pekka Heads.” Once again this year, he's a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, the annual award for the best goaltender in the NHL. Rinne....DETAIL
Tying the past to the present.
“What brave and unthinking men you are!”
As I’ve watched debates on transit, housing and education take place in Nashville, I keep coming back to the provocative words of Dr. Edwin H. Mitchell, a Meharry radiologist and one of the founders of the Metro Human Relations Commission in 1965. Along with....DETAIL
“I think I have some empathy in my DNA,” John Prine says, voice like crinkled brown paper. “I don’t know where it comes from, except my mother and my father and the things they went through. But something inside, I just feel things… And it’s funny when I think I’m writing a song, or I think I’m writing about someone else, then....DETAIL
Known to millions for his drum licks on Kings of Leon’s Grammy Award-winning tunes, longtime Contributor supporter Nathan Followill talks food, family and life as a Nashvillian.
Kings of Leon’s Followill brothers (Caleb, Nathan and Jared) and cousin (Matthew, the band’s lead guitarist) have sold more than 21 million records....DETAIL
Mayor David Briley took office less than two months before a referendum on a $5.4 billion capital spending plan to radically change Nashville’s transit options and on the cusp of annual budget deliberations. After a decade of unprecedented growth and marquee projects like the Music City Center and the landing of a Major League Soccer team,....DETAIL
Meet vendor Santos Aguirre, soaking up life’s rewards one day at a time.
Santos Aguirre is relishing life these days: an apartment since January, time with his children, and a shot at a career in recording technology. For many, that sounds like a mundane existence, but Aguirre, a Contributor vendor since 2009, doesn’t take his....DETAIL
Nashvillian Adelicia Acklen, known locally for her ownership of Belmont Plantation, inherited an 18,000-acre Louisiana plantation from her first husband in 1845. Her inheritance also included other properties that made her the richest woman in the....DETAIL
Cleophus Smith remembers the night of April 4, 1968, like it was yesterday. “I was trying to get some rest, when I heard commotion and....DETAIL
What a difference one year makes. One year ago, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. At that point, I didn’t know if I had a year left in me or not. Who knew what the future held? I sure as hell had no idea! But thanks to the Sarah Cannon Radiation Oncology Department at TriStar Centennial Medical Center and Dr. James R. Gray, M.D., I have....DETAIL
It’s 2018, and Tonya Harding is on everyone’s minds.
It was 27 years ago that she won her first national title, becoming the first American woman to land two triple axels in competition. She went on to place fourth at the 1992 Winter Olympics and later earned a gold medal at the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. But the Harding....DETAIL
Ayla Brown is a 29-year-old Nashvillian who, like many in this town, boasts an impressive musical résumé. She’s performed for the United States military in 13 different countries. She’s performed alongside orchestras throughout the States, has made her Grand Ole Opry debut, and as a 17 year old, she placed 13th on American Idol. But this....DETAIL
A tree without wind is one without strength. Scott Hamilton and a large glass dome in Arizona taught me that.
In the late 1980s, a research facility called Biosphere 2 was constructed in the desert as a closed and controlled ecological system that attempted to sustain and study the life systems inside of it. The controlled environment....DETAIL
Darlene Leong Neal stood body-to-body in a sea of pink cat-eared hats. She was surrounded by nearly 500,000 marchers in Washington, D.C., all waiting for the announcement to take that first step.
Neal had made the 700-plus mile trip with 12 others from Nashville to participate in the Women’s March on Washington, and after what seemed like....DETAIL
Property Brothers, the hit television show that features twin brothers Jonathan and Drew Scott is planning to make its second....DETAIL
We're a few days in to the New Year. How are those resolutions going? Among Americans who intend to make a 2018 New Year’s resolution, “Be a better person” topped the list for the second year in a row (tying with “weight loss” for the No. 1 spot), according to a new Marist Poll that surveyed adults in November. This year, the....DETAIL
Here's a number for you: Nashville residents generate 58,378 tons of food waste per year. That’s 3.5 pounds of food per week for the average Nashvillian and 33 percent of the more than 177,000 tons generated in the city, according to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). For perspective, the food waste that Nashville residents....DETAIL
Isaac Sharp has been playing music for as long as he can remember. But there’s one musical memory that sticks out: One of the first opportunities he had to perform in front of an audience was at a rescue mission. It was there, performing for people in the shelter, that Sharp began to understand the power of music.
“[So often, we make]....DETAIL
In 2007, director Paul Thomas Anderson and actor Daniel Day-Lewis teamed up to tell the origin stories of American oil and evangelism through their character study of a petrol pioneer named Daniel Plainview. There Will Be Blood is the best American film of the 21st Century, and it marks a milestone for this pairing of filmmaking geniuses. This....DETAIL
During the month of December, you'll typically find two types of holiday shoppers — the ones who have already checked every box on their shopping list by Cyber Monday. And those who, days before Christmas, are rushing to big-box stores and searching for last-minute gifts that might make their loved ones feel special.
But retailers are....DETAIL
After you’ve opened the presents, greeted the guests and feasted and fêted your way through a blizzard of cookies and eggnog, there’s no better way to settle into the spirit of the holidays than with a Christmas classic on the small screen. This year, I’ve combed the season’s online offerings to find the films that best reflect The....DETAIL
As temperatures drop, Nashvillians pull out their much-trusted winter coats to keep them warm as the bitter winter weather approaches. But that luxury is not for everyone. According to Spotlight on Poverty, an organization that seeks to inform the policy debate about reducing poverty and increasing opportunity in the United States, Tennessee....DETAIL
Originally from Bowling Green, Ky., Theresa moved to Nashville as a 21-year-old with the hopes of pursuing a higher education at Fisk University. Raised in a predominantly white neighborhood, Theresa made the decision to come to Nashville to experience life at one of the nation’s top historically black colleges.
“I first came here in....DETAIL
What happens when Native Americans are absent from elementary Thanksgiving education?
In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, teachers around the United States are lesson planning with celebrations of the holiday in mind. Through plays and classroom reenactments, children are instructed to dress the part — as Pilgrims or Native....DETAIL
If you’re looking for me in East Nashville on a Friday evening, there’s a good chance you’ll find me stopping by The 5 Spot around 6 p.m. to catch Tim Carroll’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Happy Hour. The rocker’s weekend-christening residency began in 2013, and it’s become a fixed star in East Nashville’s musical firmament. Of course,....DETAIL
Most Nashvillians understand that Music City is a town known for more than just country talent, as artists across the genre spectrum call Nashville home. But beyond the city’s dedication to its always-budding music scene, young musicians are also receiving top-notch training for future careers in orchestral and classical music through the....DETAIL
Everyone has a different idea of what ‘The American Dream’ is. For some, it’s growing up and taking over the family business. For others, it’s moving away from their small-town home for a life in the big city. For many, it’s climbing up the corporate ladder.
But for Jose Ocampo, a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)....DETAIL
Hot on the heels of one of the most well-received debuts in some time, it would be easy for new country standout Margo Price to follow this past year’s Midwestern Farmer’s Daughter with more of the same.
Instead though, the Nashville-based singer decided to use her elevated status as a platform to discuss some things of importance to her,....DETAIL
Jon Pardi met Garth Brooks last night.
And the man who changed everything in country music with his rock intensity and relentless shows had no idea who he was.
“And that’s cool,” says Pardi, a Californian whose “Dirt on My Boots” is nominated for the CMA Awards’ Single of the Year and Song of the Year, in addition to his Best New....DETAIL
It’s 10:08 p.m. in Charleston, South Carolina, and Darius Rucker has finally got the kids to bed. Ramping up for the promotional grind of launching a new record, he’ll be doing the British radio rounds in the dark hours of the coming morning, a string of TV appearances, as well as a CBS “Sunday Morning” piece they’ve just....DETAIL
Sonya Dunkham moved to Donelson in 1995 with her two small children in tow. Having lived and worked as a single mother, she remembers well how it felt to live paycheck-to-paycheck.
“I know what it was like to wonder how I would provide for my family,” she said.
More than 20 years later, she sat down to read an article about the Little....DETAIL
There are many names synonymous with the defensive corps of the Nashville Predators: Roman Josi, P.K. Subban, Ryan Ellis, Mattias Ekholm. But there’s one up-and-coming star with a name that you should get to know soon — that’s Samuel Girard. The Predators drafted Girard,a 19-year-old defenseman from Roberval, Quebec, Canada, in the....DETAIL
In the early 1960’s, blonds had more fun on the silver screen with the trifecta of Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield and Mamie Van Doren tripling down on the platinum airhead stereotype. Mansfield always played second fiddle to Marilyn, and by the middle of the decade, even her 40-G bra size became a liability as young women became....DETAIL
This might not come as a surprise to anyone who has listenedto Bully’s first album, Feels Like, but the follow-up is an emotional, visceral tour de force of feelings, growls and aggressive guitar licks.
It appears that frontwoman Alicia Bognanno went through quite the breakup (the musician’s best friend when it comes to....DETAIL
A Michigan native, Donna moved to Tennessee in 1990 with hopes of a brighter future. After drifting for a few years, she landed in Nashville. "I was working temporary jobs out of a labor pool, but it just wasn't enough."
She soon became homeless, and during an extended period without a place to live, Donna said her personal life was in....DETAIL
Nonprofits are a dime-a-dozen, but sometimes one is created with a mission that simply cannot be overlooked. Located in Murfreesboro near its historic square is Greenhouse Ministries, a charity whose goal is help move people from a situation of hopelessness and to “serve everyone with love and respect.”
“Greenhouse Ministries strives....DETAIL
Netflix could make a bigger deal out of their horror programming on Halloween, but the video-streaming service does have a special holiday section of curated carve-‘em-ups and creep-fests to celebrate the season of the witch. Even if Netflix isn’t as crazy about horror movies as I am at this time of the year, there are still a lot of....DETAIL
Things are beginning to blow up for Becca Mancari.
The East Nashville-based musician is known to those who keep an eye on the local scene as someone with hauntingly raw vocals and vulnerable lyrics. She is one-third of Bermuda Triangle, a local group that came together after a night of porch drinking and sells out venues both here and....DETAIL
A Clarksville native, Jamie has spent many years living day-to-day and watching her life "go downhill." She spent many years in St. Petersburg, Fla., before returning to Middle Tennessee in 1987, and after overcoming a toxic relationship, the vendor realized she had to make some changes. Her calling, she says, is selling papers.
Hands on Nashville’s Director of Programs Josef Kaul describes the city as a place where “million dollar homes sit next to folks that are struggling to get their next meal.”
“The growth that we’ve seen in Nashville over the last five years has highlighted the discrepancies that exist in parts of our community,” he said.
At 18 years old, LeBron Hill found himself living in a shelter with men twice his age after his mother kicked him out of their house.
His senior year of high school was cut short; his mom’s decision left him with no choice but to drop out. Five years later, he’s months away from graduating from Lipscomb University – an aspiring....DETAIL
Under the Highway I40 overpass near downtown Nashville is an unlikely spot for green space, but the central location of Farm in the City brings people together to grow their own food.
It is just one of many spaces all over Nashville where residents look to community gardens and urban farms to put good use to unused land, remedy food....DETAIL
Nashville’s 21c Museum Hotel gave our city its best new contemporary art stop when it opened downtown this spring. 21c’s three floors of gallery spaces – all free of charge and open 24/7 – are currently hosting a broad and engaging group exhibition entitled "Truth or Dare: A Reality Show." On Sept. 29, 21c will pair its art with a....DETAIL
Ben Cooley is on a mission to save the world from modern day slavery, and one way he is trying to do it is through the written word.
Impossible is a Dare, his paperback and ebook from Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, the UK’s leading Christian-based publisher, was recently released and is already receiving praise globally from....DETAIL
Maurice describes himself as “a rolling stone.” Originally from Oklahoma City, Okla., he says that he lived all over the state, moving around with his mother whenever they needed to find a new place to live. By the time he was 17, Maurice was gang affiliated, hustling, and selling and using drugs.
“I was living a rough lifestyle,”....DETAIL
There is something distinctly off about the newest record from Kip Moore, the country singer who burst onto the scene with the tailgate anthem “Somethin’ ‘Bout A Truck” in 2012.
SLOWHEART, which was released Sept. 8, does not actually feel like a country record, and certainly not like kind of bro-country one would expect from a man....DETAIL
Following Hurricane Harvey, thousands are still without homes after the storms. The recovery efforts are going strong and will remain so for weeks to come.
Many of those abandoned and left homeless during the storm are perhaps the least expected: pets.
Thanks to the efforts of Animal Rescue Corps, a national animal rescue group, 156 pets were....DETAIL
Wavelength (1967) is only 45 minutes, but its status as a landmark of avant-garde cinema means it already occupies an immortal place at the edge of experimental filmmaking. Canadian director Michael Snow’s masterpiece is considered a cornerstone of “structural film,” and the movie is simultaneously regarded as one of the most important....DETAIL
Four-legged friends belonging to people experiencing homelessness and poverty received special care and attention during a pop up street clinic right outside of downtown Nashville.
The event, hosted by The Street Dog Coalition, the Southern Alliance for People and Animal Welfare (SAFPAW) and Open Table Nashville, was held Sept. 12 in the....DETAIL
To look at the man with the pewter hair scraping his collar, deep set eyes and face that can soak up any emotion, you’d never think he was a multiple Grammy-winner, Americana legend or soon-to-be-inducted member of the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame. The second most recorded songwriter in George Strait’s catalogue – after Dean Dillon....DETAIL
When we run into disagreements with others, we oftentimes come up against seemingly one of the most difficult walls to having open discussions: our tendency to want to change the minds of others and the difficulty of actually making that happen. Although personal bias has always been a part of human nature, the structure of our modern world is....DETAIL
Homelessness is a “solvable problem,” according to a pair of Indianapolis-based filmmakers who are hoping to shed light on how the country’s “Housing First” approach could effectively eradicate the issue.
“Nothing ever happens with an uneducated public,” filmmaker Don Sawyer said. “I want people to know that there is very....DETAIL
"Only after disaster can we be resurrected. It's only after you've lost everything that you're free to do anything. Nothing is static, everything is evolving, everything is falling apart." – Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club.
When we think about homelessness on screen, Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp comes to mind, and so do modern classics like....DETAIL
Vendor Geoffrey has two slogans when he sells the paper – one that he says to himself and one that he communicates to potential customers:
Outward: Hello, would you like to buy a Contributor?
Internal: Gotta sell them all, gotta sell them all. (Sung to the popular Pokemon tune.)
The quiet vendor has a shy smile, and you can feel his....DETAIL
The congregation of Woodland Presbyterian Church in East Nashville wanted to know how to help people experiencing homelessness – literally in their backyard. When the church hosts community dinners each Saturday, it attracts a number of people experiencing homelessness, and some end up sleeping on the church’s playground at night.
When a person is called the conscience of Nashville — as was the Rev. Bill Barnes when he passed away — it can make one wonder whether that means our collective loss marks that the city’s inner voice tugging it toward goodness is totally gone. What does it mean when we lose one powerful and commanding communicator — one that demands....DETAIL
Have you ever been convicted of a felony? Yes/No.
The answer to this short question on a job application can put major distance between those seeking work and their potential employers. Finding a job after being incarcerated, for most, is a very difficult road that can often result in jobs that barely make ends meet. Studies have found that....DETAIL
In a new local production, Vida Finley will portray the mother of a character loosely based on Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager who was fatally shot by a police officer in 2014.
Finley, a black single mother of two sons, knows the fear of her child not coming home safely, or even alive.
“When they step out that door, there’s a....DETAIL
Contributor Executive Director Brady Banks and Managing Editor Amelia Ferrell Knisely recently traveled to Manchester, U.K., to attend the International Network of Street Paper’s 2017 Global Street Paper Summit. The conference, held annually around the world, brings together hundreds of street paper employees in an effort to provide support....DETAIL
With all of the local musicians, it is refreshing to see one really take what it means to live in Nashville to heart, and for that to become abundantly evident through their music.
References to real places around town, from the album title itself to places nearby including Franklin, give Trinity Lane, which was released Aug. 25, a sense of....DETAIL
Now that kids are back in school and Labor Day has come and gone, it feels like summer is all but over and we’re heading into fall. I’m seeing a few leaves just starting to change and there’s already Halloween decorations popping up in retail aisles, but the real signs that autumn is upon us: the Belcourt Theatre’s Italo Shock: The....DETAIL
Contributor vendor Vicky’s writings on homelessness, poverty and family are often featured in the pages of this newspaper, and recently a story she wrote received international praise as she was nominated for “Best Vendor Contribution” by the International Network of Street Papers.
Last year, Vicky came to me with an idea: a five-part....DETAIL
It’s Sam Hunt’s day off. He’s holed up in New York City preparing to cross into Canada for a show. The young star, who continues to swerve into pop crossover country, is taking a day to just exhale, while his “Body Like A Back Road” is parked at the top of the country charts (at 25 weeks, it will ultimately become the longest-running....DETAIL
In an effort to aid their community, punk outfit Republican Hair is teaming up with local Scout’s Barbershop to host another Haircuts for Humans event.
“Last year, (we) did a pop-up where we would cut homeless people's’ hair,” said Luke Dick, frontman for Republican Hair. “Then we did another day where I went out and picked up....DETAIL
The days of a $600 lease near downtown Nashville are over, and millennials are pitching their ideas for how to change that.
On Aug. 14 at Montgomery Bell Academy, four groups presented their ideas to address what has been called an affordable housing crisis in Nashville. It was the second year for the Pitch Nashville event, put on by the....DETAIL
Movies and music are a match made in heaven. The earliest silent films were accompanied by live pianists because even then it was understood that the great magic of movies had something to do with sound and moving images coming together in a fantastic new simulacrum that was greater than the sum of its parts. It’s a profound realization that....DETAIL
Leslie S. is acquainted with hard work. He grew up on and around farms in Waterloo, Iowa, where many of his family were farmers.
“I’m a farm boy,” Leslie says. His dad worked in construction until, according to Leslie, he retired “with a gold watch and 22 gold coins from United Concrete.”
Leslie has lived all over and worked many....DETAIL
Eat dessert first.
For those who wear that motto on their sleeve, Shugga Hi is the place to be.
Located on Dickerson Pike in Nashville, owners Sandra Austin and Kathy Leslie hosted the grand opening of their bakery and café in mid-August.
The sisters are lifelong entrepreneurs, but Shugga Hi, which seats 42 people and can accommodate....DETAIL
The Contributor is seeking an individual interested in being a critical part of the production of our weekly street newspaper. This internship will provide an aspiring journalist with the opportunity to develop a portfolio of reporting and gain experiencing working with people experiencing homelessness.
Editorial interns will participate....DETAIL
After heated protests in Charlottesville, Va., over the planned removal of a Confederate statue where one woman was killed and several were injured, citizens stormed the Tennessee State Capitol demanding the removal of the bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest.
Forrest was a known slave trader, the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan and....DETAIL
Officials with CSX have forced a homeless encampment in East Nashville to pack up and move further down the road before bulldozers level the camp.
The camp, located near the TA Truck Stop off James Robertson Parkway, has been on private property for nearly 10 years.
“Metro says they want to help people, but they just keep moving people....DETAIL
On Monday, August 21 at 1:28 p.m., the moon will cover the sun completely and the skies in Nashville will go dark for about two minutes.
It’s a total solar eclipse. On that day, the moon’s shadow will sweep across the United States, and Nashville is the largest city in its path. Nashvillians will get to experience it alongside the tens....DETAIL
Interest had started to pick up after they announced. Still not enough, but a fresh kind that dealt a hotline of cultural credit. Probably a year’s worth if presales kept steady. Sure, artists in the past had created personas; Bowie and the like. Dylan had changed his name at the courthouse, but this was almost new. In a rare moment....
Life has been anything but easy for Pauline, a new vendor who joined The Contributor a few weeks ago.
Right now, she's sleeping in the back of an old semi-truck in East Nashville. She doesn’t get any government assistance, so she started selling The Contributor when she’s not working her job as a label maker for department stores in an....DETAIL
Two dozen neighbors in the Glencliff area have filed a lawsuit in an attempt to bar the construction of a micro home village that would house people experiencing homelessness.
The micro home village, dubbed The Village at Glencliff, is a project of Open Table Nashville with Glencliff United Methodist Church. The village of 22 homes would sit....DETAIL
The American Civil Liberties Union in Tennessee and nine affiliates in other states have filed open records requests demanding communications between state and federal officials about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
The DACA program, which is a policy created by President Barack Obama’s administration in 2012, grants....DETAIL
I think there is a lot of non-musical stuff that will annoy people about Soccer Mommy, the musical group made up of Nashville native and current NYU student Sophie Allison and her new band.
For one thing, she’s young.
It always seems to make people angry when it becomes clear a younger person is clearly talented, and even more so when they....DETAIL
I was born in Detroit and I spent the first 22 years of my life in Southern Michigan before I graduated from Michigan State. A few months after that I moved to Nashville, so I’ve been living in the Southeast for the last 25 years. I’m including this information so you understand that I’m not a native Southerner, and I don’t really have....DETAIL
The Senate Committee on Appropriations unanimously approved the fiscal year 2018 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations Act, which will pump significantly more money into HUD and affordable housing than allocated in President Donald Trump’s budget.
The final version of the THUD Senate....DETAIL
A Facebook post about people experiencing homelessness sparked a community forum in Murfreesboro where people gathered to discuss solutions for helping the homeless community.
The Murfreesboro Cold Patrol, a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting the homeless in Middle Tennessee, recently held an event, “Downtown Dwellers,” where....DETAIL
Judith Tackett has moved into role of director at the Metro Homelessness Commission, Nashville’s government arm tasked with addressing homelessness in the city.
Tackett had been serving as interim director of the commission since November when Will Connelly, one of The Contributor’s founders, vacated the position to take on a similar role....DETAIL
If you’re one of Keith’s customers, count yourself lucky.
The Contributor vendor, who has been selling the paper since 2011, often gifts his customers with fresh eggs or vegetables from his landlord’s backyard.
Keith helps take care of the chickens, and, in exchange, receives eggs.
“I’m able to share eggs with a lot of my regular....DETAIL
With the recent passing of The Rolling Stones’ muse Anita Pallenberg, this week’s screening of the cult classic Performance at the Belcourt Theatre’s Music City Monday event couldn’t be more timely. Pallenberg, Mick Jagger and James Fox are all featured in this countercultural crime drama that finds a wounded mobster holing-up in the....DETAIL
Nashville-based nonprofit Soles4Souls has acquired Dignity U Wear, an apparel charity out of Jacksonville, Fla., in hopes of increasing aid to families in poverty.
Soles4Souls was founded in 2006 and has distributed over 30 million shoes in the past decade. Teaming up with Dignity U Wear, a company that distributes clothing to those in need,....DETAIL
American Renaissance, an online magazine described as a “white supremacist” publication by outlets such as The Washington Post and the Southern Poverty Law Center, held a conference at Montgomery Bell State Park Inn and Conference Center in Tennessee from July 28 to July 30. On the second day of the conference, a group of approximately 150....DETAIL
In Davidson County in 2016, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department reported 306 people shot.
If a bullet hits a major artery, it could be a matter of minutes before the person loses too much blood and dies. But if that artery happens to be in an arm or a leg, a tourniquet can be placed to save the person’s life.
The first person on....DETAIL
For some Nashville area students, going back to school means looking forward to giving back to the community.
Childhood was not too young to start for Annabeth Shafer, who is 11 and going into 6th grade at Bellevue Middle School. During the summer, she volunteers at The Meadows Senior Living Communities and helps with their bingo....DETAIL
Kids are some of The Contributor’s most faithful customers, but teaching children about homelessness and what we do at The Contributor can be daunting. Use our guide to help your kids and students learn about homelessness in Nashville and our street paper.
What does it mean to be homeless?
When someone is experiencing homelessness, it....
I imagine that one of the most exciting things for a young artist is the release of your first physical album. While that may not mean as much in an era when pretty much anyone can release something online – and it actually has a larger reach than anything released in previous decades – it still has to be something special.
For the artist,....DETAIL
Metro Nashville Public Schools will reopen its doors on Aug. 7 after the summer break, and Director of Schools Shawn Joseph and his 47-member transition team have planned extensive changes and improvements for new and returning students.
Upon agreeing to a four-year contract with MNPS in May of 2016, Joseph created the transition team as a....DETAIL
Last school year, 3,407 Metro students were identified as experiencing homelessness. The number is made up of students living in shelters, campsites, hotels, cars, transitional housing programs, and “doubled up” on the couches of family members or friends.
Metro’s Homeless Family Resource Program, also known as the HERO Program for....DETAIL
Around this time each year, the back to school bug bites, leaving hundreds of Nashville children picking out the perfect lunchbox to match their backpack. However, for some, it’s not that simple. According to a 2015 study by the National Center for Children in Poverty, 26 percent of children in Tennessee live below the poverty line, meaning....DETAIL
A homeless encampment with 20 inhabitants in East Nashville is slated to be vacated by Aug. 14 so it can be cleared the day after. The camp, which is located near the TA Truck Stop north of Titans Stadium, has been established for at least a decade, if not longer.
In early June, Metro Nashville Police Department Sgt. Michael Fisher sent an....DETAIL
Star-crossed love, true love, fish out of water, family drama, war and peace, the hero’s journey – there are lots of great film themes that will always inform the stories of cinema, but one of the best, most evergreen backdrops for moving pictures evokes falling leaves, ringing bells, noisy cafeterias and a lot of growing up. The....DETAIL
While other work may come and go, vendor Randolph B. rests knowing that he can always sell The Contributor to his faithful and supportive customers.
Seventeen years ago, Randolph left Richmond, Va., for a welding job in Denver. However, when the A-frame broke off his truck in Nashville, Randolph decided to cut his trip short and make this....DETAIL
I’m a big fan of Luc Besson’s over-the-top space opera The 5th Element (1997). That film combined a menagerie of cosmic creatures and crazy costumes in a tale of a fantastic future where one perfect being saves the universe from total annihilation. The flick was big on style – it’s still one of the most original looking sci-fi films of....DETAIL
Howard’s Hope is a Murfreesboro-based charity founded in 2014 by two parents, Steve and Stacy Reeves, that funds free aquatic safety lessons and water survival training for children in economically challenged households. The Reeves were motivated to start the charity after a horrific event forever changed their lives and....DETAIL
After being ranked the 10th fastest growing city in the country, Murfreesboro officials have decided to take a look at the city’s growing homeless population.
Michael Sherr, chair of MTSU’s Department of Social Work, along with his graduate assistant Jackie Jones, met with City Council July 13 to address the issue.
At the City Council....DETAIL
Los contratos de arrendamiento. Apartment leases in Spanish – it’s been the request of hundreds of renters living at the Union on Thompson apartment complex in South Nashville.
The language barrier has meant that the Spanish-speaking renters, many of whom only have access to English through their children, have had no knowledge of how to....DETAIL
“So You Wanna Be An Outlaw?,” the title track on Earle's new album sung with Willie Nelson, posits that the romantic view today’s millennials have of the Outlaw movement might have missed the point. Rebellion has a cost. Not since Waylon Jennings rebuked the marketeers with 1978’s “Don’t You Think This Outlaw Bit’s Done Got Out....DETAIL
For 54-years legendary journalist Ted Koppel has dedicated life his life to keeping Americans informed, first as an ABC news correspondent, then as anchor of Nightline, and now as a special contributor for CBS Sunday Morning.
Today, Koppel is casting his critical eye news media itself and the ideological spin within the industry that he said,....DETAIL
Every week, a 28-foot truck rolls up to a handful of Nashville’s low-income housing developments. The trailer is packed full of fresh produce, bread and canned goods. Volunteers shuffle the items from the truck to makeshift stores in the apartment complexes where hundreds of residents can load up on a few days worth of groceries for....DETAIL
For many, the summer heat is nothing more than a season that comes with tanlines and sticky heat that can be remedied with the flip of a switch on an air conditioner. However, for those experiencing homelessness, the heatwave poses a much bigger risk than perspiration.
Many think that those experiencing homelessness are only at risk during....DETAIL
Lance Crouther’s Pootie Tang character first appeared in a skit on The Chris Rock Show before making his big screen debut in 2001 in the eponymous feature film written and directed by Louis C.K. The movie bombed with critics – Roger Ebert gave Pootie Tang a half-star rating and The A.V. Club’s Nathan Rabin said the movie “borders on....DETAIL
Sneaker Waves, the newest album from country-tinged indie rocker Tristen Gaspadarek, is a very personal record that touches on a lot of traditional personal themes including loneliness and past relationships.
It is also a very good album, thanks to the natural singing talents Tristen brings to the tracks, as well as a sense of genuine....DETAIL
Having sold the paper for a little more than two years now and writing for it, I wanted to see how the paper is put together. I met Amelia (editor of The Contributor) at the vendor office, then we walked over to the main offices for The Contributor through the scaffolding of the new high rise going up across the alley. We went upstairs to....DETAIL
Nashville’s been pumping award-winning sounds onto airwaves since WSM first broadcasted country music in 1925. But there’s another enchanting sound being produced in Nashville: podcasts. Seasoned reporters, dynamic experts and skilled storytellers are making waves nationally with local podcasts that often feature Nashvillians. A comical....DETAIL
A new study from The Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness says Tennessee is in the bottom of the pack when it comes to identifying and assisting homeless students.
In its study, “Out of the Shadows: A State-by-State Ranking of Accountability for Homeless Students,” the New York City-based policy research ranked Tennessee in....DETAIL
If you know Norma, you know how much her granddaughter Avani means to her. And if you don’t, make sure to mention it the next time you see her.
“I love when (the customers) ask about my grand-babies,” Norma says, grinning. As she is raising 8-year-old Avani, Norma says she takes pride in trying to give her granddaughter as much of a....DETAIL
Perhaps the most impactful kinds of documentary films are the ones that offer a window to a world that we can’t believe exists. We expect fantastic places and otherworldly stories from far-out fiction filmmakers, but when a documentary filmmaker captures something you’ve never considered or – more importantly for cinema – have never....DETAIL
Life on Trinity Lane is greener now with the addition of two shops, FLORA and The Crop Shop.
A traveling pop up for the past year, FLORA owners Kate Holl and Kerbi Howat opened a storefront in a permanent space at 305 E Trinity Lane, Suite 103.
Kate Holl and Kerbi Howat of FLORA
Holl, originally from the Milwaukee area, moved to Nashville in....DETAIL
I suppose if you’re going to title your latest album The Nashville Sound, you better be pretty sure that what you’re producing is the sound of Nashville.
That’s not something that Jason Isbell, formerly of the beloved Drive-By Truckers, has to worry about.
Isbell’s latest release captures the spirit of the Nashville....DETAIL
If you ask 10 people to define autism, chances are you’ll get 10 different answers.
For some, it means the inability to look others in the eye and communicate based on verbal or nonverbal cues. For others, it can mean intense isolation and even self-harm.
Officially defined as Autism Spectrum Disorder (or ASD), individuals living with....DETAIL
It’s been a year since the city officially put an end to people experiencing homelessness setting up tents and sleeping in the woods around Fort Negley — but little has changed in the way of finding those people permanent housing. Though more than 20 people experiencing homelessness were living in the area in the months before the city....DETAIL
The Murfreesboro location of Room In The Inn recently closed its doors due to the city ending its lease agreement with the homeless shelter. Despite city officials claiming that the lease agreement was ended because of issues with non-compliance, Room In The Inn Executive Director Bobby Copeland stated that he was never aware of said....DETAIL
Despite promises to keep units affordable, a developer has pumped up the prices at two apartment complexes in South Nashville. The rent increase, and forced exit from developers, left tenants scrambling to find affordable housing.
Only a few tenants now remain at Premier West after Covenant Capital earlier this year gave renters notice to....DETAIL
When the Tennessee Titans finished the 2016 regular season, there was little question regarding the team's most pressing positional deficit: the secondary.
The unit allowed 269 yards per game (31st), 25 touchdowns (tied 17th), and a passer rating of 88.3 to opposing quarterbacks (15th).
Compare these numbers to those from the Titans' run....DETAIL
One of the most impressive things about the new album from one half of the Black Keys and producer extraordinaire Dan Auerbach is how effortless it sounds.
I guess that shouldn’t come as a surprise; after all, Auerbach has been involved with music on this level in some form for close to two decades now.
The newest release, Waiting on a....DETAIL
Project 615, a philanthropic clothing store, recently expanded to a new location in West Nashville, which is now allowing the business to broaden their outreach to the homeless population and to give their customers in West Nashville a more personalized touch.
As Project 615 co-founder Derek Evans explains it, the business employs men who are....DETAIL
The Night of the Hunter (1955) is a Southern Gothic, rural noir about a serial killer preacher, but the film’s bloody greatness is due to a murderers’ row of talented filmmakers: The Night of the Hunter stars Robert Mitchum in one of his most iconic roles, and the movie is written by Let Us Now Praise Famous Men author and great American....DETAIL
Over 20 years ago, Gary E., more commonly known as "Moose," moved to Nashville from East Tennessee to write songs on Music Row and live out his country music dreams. Before the age of 30, Moose had chased a wide range of careers, ranging from working for the United Parcel Service to professional boxing to wrestling bears. He found that music....DETAIL
All around Nashville you can find places that give out food boxes. These food boxes are to help people who live in camps, on the streets, and even to those who have food stamps and need a little extra food to help them until their stamps come on their cards.
Most of these food banks only serve their zip codes, and you can only get three....DETAIL
The city of Murfreesboro has ended its lease agreement with Room In The Inn, forcing the homeless day shelter to find a new home after 21 years at their West Main Street address.
The city will not be renewing the agreement that expires June 30 due to a loss of funding from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency and issues with non-compliance....DETAIL
Following a fateful trip to India in 2012, newlyweds Tasha and Mark Lemley came home with a love for traditional Chai and an idea: to bring a piece of Indian culture to Nashville while pairing it with their desire to bring change to a local community.
While in a market in Mumbai — a place Tasha describes as “beautiful and chaotic” —....DETAIL
Food from countries named in President Donald Trump’s travel ban were served at a local event held to support immigrants who require legal assistance when seeking asylum.
TN Justice For Our Neighbors hosted the event, dubbed “Food from Inside the Travel Ban,” earlier this month at Vanderbilt University. JFON is a nonprofit organization....DETAIL
Behind sliding screen windows and in nondescript strip malls away from the national headlines, local chefs have been perfecting a Nashville classic: hot fish.
Harkening back to the fish shacks of a forgotten era, whiting or catfish (and sometimes tilapia) is deep fried and covered in a spicy dry rub or hot sauce before being topped with....DETAIL
On the very day Maneet Chauhan opened her first restaurant in Nashville, Chauhan Ale & Masala House, her son Karma was born — three months earlier than expected. “He clearly wanted to make Nashville his home; it was the best decision we could have ever made,” Chauhan said.
Before her son cemented their stay, Chauhan made the decision to....DETAIL
This year we celebrate three decades of Stanley Kubrick’s 1987 Vietnam War film, Full Metal Jacket. The movie came to Netflix on June 1, and it still streams like the brutal, hilarious, bleak and indelible examination of the conflict it was during the Reagan Era. The film is just one of Kubrick’s criticisms of combatting countries, but....DETAIL
In 2009, Anita was living in the YWCA Domestic Violence Center. While experiencing alcohol addiction and homelessness, she had lost everything, including her ID and birth certificate. After attending a benevolent program at Downtown Presbyterian Church, Anita met a couple of guys wearing Contributor gear. When she asked them about the paper,....DETAIL
Across the country, people experiencing homelessness are subject to arrest for sitting, sleeping and eating outside, despite the lack of other options. An arrest could mean that individuals experiencing homelessness are taken to jail, where they remain until they can pay fines, and are subject to loss of property or employment.
Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley are laughing and talking music. It’s clear more than the good times so much of Florida Georgia Line's music promises, the pair of barely 30s from Monroe, Ga., and Ormond Beach, Fla., are consumed by music in any genre or time frame.
“If I were on a desert island,” Kelley muses, turning the possibilities....DETAIL
Longtime Contributor vendor Curtis Allen passed away May 26 at the age of 73 following a battle with cancer.
If you spent anytime at Eighth and Wedgwood over the past eight years, chances are you knew Curtis. When I think of him, I remember a man with a bright smile, strong shoulders and dark sunglasses waving, dancing and walking up and....
A short walk on a muddy but cleared trail, located on an offshoot from one of Nashville’s busiest pikes, reveals a handful of campsites. On one side of the path, a few tents circle around some damp logs, and a shopping cart holds dirty clothes, cans, whatever else fits. A different campsite holds a broken down recliner, empty tuna....
A new Sofia Coppola film starring ad- opted Nashvillian Nicole Kidman is enough of a reason for the Belcourt Theatre to give the filmmaker the Director Spotlight treatment. Add Coppola’s recent best director win at the Cannes Film Festival for The Beguiled, and this series becomes a salute to one of America’s great movie making families,....DETAIL
Smashville. It’s more than just a hashtag. It’s more than just a slogan. It’s a family that was built with a strong foundation. It may have started more as a marketing idea back in the mid 2000s, but Smashville has become a rallying cry not just for the Nashville Predators organization but also for fans of the team from all over the....DETAIL
“Right now, I’m at a point in my life where I’m learning how to live,” says Contributor vendor Tommy. “The Contributor helps me express myself.”
Tommy, a Nashville native, has been selling the paper regularly for two years in areas around Vanderbilt University and Bellevue. Preferring to bounce around and remain unmapped, Tommy....DETAIL
The first words you hear in Moonlight are “Every nigger is a star.” It’s the title line from the song by Boris Gardiner, and it speaks to Moonlight’s twin preoccupations: race and film itself. Moonlight is a dramatic epic that follows a black man named Chiron through almost three decades of his life, growing up in Miami and later....DETAIL
In many ways, Paramore is pretty representative of “New Nashville.”
The group isn’t country, the members dress as many East Nashvillians do and they managed to break through the so-called “Nashville Curse” by becoming the first local rock band to sell more than a million copies with its sophomore album, Riot!. The breakthrough....DETAIL
An annual tally of Nashville’s homeless population shows a slight decrease since the last count in 2016, while more youth are experiencing sheltered and unsheltered homelessness.
According to the point-in-time count, there are currently 2,337 people experiencing homelessness in Nashville, a slight decrease from 2,365 reported in 2016. The....DETAIL
David Poile’s resume is second-to-none.
General manager of the Nashville Predators, the Toronto, Ontario, native has served as the GM of the 1998 and 1999 U.S. National teams and the 2014 U.S. Olympic team. He’s won the Lester Patrick Trophy, which is awarded for outstanding service to the sport of hockey in the United States, has been a....DETAIL
As a person who has long been interested in social issues but has also so far only been old enough to vote in one presidential election, most of the talk I’ve heard in recent years centers around wondering how our political system got so distorted from its origin. During the most recent election, choosing “the lesser of two evils” seemed....DETAIL
Despite massive growth in Nashville, the pikes surrounding the downtown area still remain largely difficult to navigate. When Mayor Megan Barry announced at the State of Metro Address her plan to introduce light rail in Nashville, it only made sense to start with an area of town like Gallatin Pike, where people need a way to make it to work....DETAIL
Nathan, or “Nate” as we know him, can’t say enough kind words about the community where he sells the paper on Andrew Jackson Parkway in Hermitage.
When he’s out there selling The Contributor, people stop by to buy the paper, plus bring him water, meals, fruit, even a box of chocolates.
“People are so friendly,” Nate says, lighting....DETAIL
Nashville’s heat, already present as May has brought on summer-like temps, brings challenges to those living on the streets: lack of cooled shelter, lack of water and prolonged sun exposure.
It’s a common misconception that people experiencing homelessness are more vulnerable in the winter months, but homelessness advocates and outreach....DETAIL
Fashion, food, film. They’re taking off in Nashville, and behind the business boom are women. The city has been named the No. 1 city for female entrepreneurs, and they’re playing a major role in the It City’s economic growth.
One successful women-powered business is StyleBlueprint, the fastest growing digital media company in the....DETAIL
As Nashville changes from town to city, growing pains ensue. Commutes double, rent goes up, things become more expensive and institutions that were once essential parts of Music City fall victim to the wrecking ball and disappear. The change seems inevitable, but growing up here made me soft to big city ways. I still say hello to strangers and....DETAIL
Often times, it’s those who need help in our own city who are the hardest to spot. We focus on big problems on a national or even international level, and we begin to overlook the people who need us right in our own backyard.
Project Connect Nashville has set out to change that. Located in Madison, just 20 minutes outside of the heart of....DETAIL
Predators defenseman P.K. Subban perfectly summed up the Nashville Predators’ state of mind after they beat the St. Louis Blues, advancing to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history.
“The expectation is the Stanley Cup,” Subban said. “I think we took a big step for us and obviously for this organization....DETAIL
It was during her time as a Girl Scout that Cicely Woodard realized her dream of teaching. While working to earn a badge, she taught French to some young Girl Scouts, and found herself “on a high” from the experience. It was her “aha” moment that clued her into a passion and talent for instruction.
“Once the teaching bug bit me,....DETAIL
I first heard X’s music in the early 1990s – I always mixed them up with Billy Idol’s Generation X band, and I found John Doe’s non-name pseudonym to be confusing the first few times I read it in print. That said, everything I heard and read left an impression, and by the time I took my first deep dive into the music, I was ready for a....DETAIL
“If one out of every five cars would pay $2 and maybe a tip for The Contributor,” vendor Michael says, grinning, “I could build my own house.”
It’s not a dream; it’s math. Michael – or as his customers know him, “The Scribe” – has built up such a regular customer base on Harding Pike that he now sets a weekly budget based....DETAIL
Sometimes it is very shameful to tell people that I live with my son in a hotel. It’s not easy. But at the same time, I'm extremely grateful to have a roof, a hot shower and a bed.
It hurts the most when my son receives his paycheck and it all goes to the office for the rent for two weeks, then he only has a few dollars left for....DETAIL
The newest album from former Belmont University rockers COIN, How Will You Know If You Never Try, which was released April 21, continues all the good work the group started on their 2015 self-titled debut.
This is a peppy, catchy, synth-heavy dance album in the body of an indie rocker.
Many Nashvillians should be familiar with at least one....DETAIL
Late night television has been awash with vignettes about the new GOP amendment to the American Health Care Act. A favorite target is the draconian approach Republicans have taken toward people with pre-existing conditions. It’s quick and easy comedic fodder.
Stephen Colbert leaned into the amendment’s removal of premium cost caps for....DETAIL
Netflix is a go-to site when it comes to streaming the latest movies or watching new, original series. But you might have noticed that Netflix also wants to be your first click when it comes to stand-up comedy: 2017 has already seen the release of two Dave Chappelle specials, a stand up special by Amy Schumer and another by Louis C.K. In the....DETAIL
“It ain’t about the money that you got in the bank
It ain’t about how many hearts you break
It don’t matter how many people know your name
Even though that’s what they say…”
– “The Secret To Life”
Barry Zito looks like any other good looking man of a certain age. Dark hair, chiseled face, clear eyes that take in....DETAIL
“Waylon was so great with his book, I felt like I really didn’t need to write mine,” explains Jessi Colter, talking about why she waited so long to write her own memoir. “And I always felt that if I ever did write mine, I’d tell why I made certain turns, so people would understand.
The Waylon that the dark haired beauty – and at....DETAIL
It was standing room only April 21 for the debut and dedication of Walter Hood’s new public art project for the city of Nashville.
Witness Walls is a commemorative sculpture celebrating the civil rights movement in Nashville during the 1950s and 1960s. After public school desegregation began in 1957, students from the city's predominantly....DETAIL
The Belcourt Theatre has programmed a gosh darn great retrospective of films by American cinema’s reigning surrealist to celebrate the May 11 opening of the new documentary David Lynch: The Art of Life, and in anticipation of the May 21 return of the legendary Twin Peaks television series on Showtime. Jon Nguyen’s portrait of Lynch finds....DETAIL
For the first time in 27 years, Anthony has a light bill in his name.
The 55-year-old Army veteran recently signed the lease to an apartment in Nashville after spending years sleeping in hotels, at friends’ places and on the city’s streets.
“When the lady handed me my keys, I cried,” he said.
Anthony has been selling The....DETAIL
“As a mother, it’s a very stressful situation to not know where you’re going, for your kids to ask you, ‘Are we moving?’ Many nights, I’ve broken down and cried,” Idella Woodard said. A mother of two boys, she is worried about where she’ll live after a real estate firm's purchase of her apartment building in West Nashville has....DETAIL
The offseason program has officially begun in Tennessee, as April 20 marked the start of voluntary workouts for the Titans. OTA workouts soon follow in May, and mandatory minicamp starts in mid-June.
As players revisited with one another at Saint Thomas Park and began to answer questions from members of the media, there was a clear sense of....DETAIL
With terror, strife and hatred often dominating today’s headlines, news outlets can become hostile environments for readers – stories about hardship weigh heavy on our consciences, and truly good stories seem harder and harder to find.
But a challenger emerges: Goodnewspaper, a quarterly print newspaper that wants to combat the scourge....DETAIL
Contributor vendor Shawna is a young woman whose life has been hard. But her past – which includes foster care – and present life as a mother are motivation to make a new life for herself in Nashville as she currently experiences homelessness.
Born in Nebraska, Shawna was placed in the foster care system just shy of her seventh birthday.....DETAIL
If you drive down Interstate 24 West towards Nissan Stadium, there’s a billboard you can’t miss right before Exit 49. It features Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker holding a snapshot surrounded by the words WhatIs13.com. Visit the website and you’ll find a pretty shocking truth. Thirteen is the average age of children when they are forced into....DETAIL
American Psycho is a 2000 film that throws-back to the go-go yuppie year of 1987. That’s the year that Oliver Stone’s film Wall Street premiered, giving the world the suitably reptilian-monikered Gordon Gekko. Director Mary Harron and actor Christian Bale borrow Gekko’s designer suits, sunglasses and slicked-back hair for American....DETAIL
The newest resident on Sesame Street is a character with autism. Julia, a cheery 4-year-old with bright orange hair and green eyes, is the newest muppet to join the show's cast in a decade.
Julia, who made her debut April 10 during Autism Awareness Month, is curious and loves to sing songs. She’s also distracted easily and sensitive to....DETAIL
Nashville is best known to the general public for its country music scene. And, for us locals, it's the robust and booming DIY/ psychedelic/garage rock scene. So, it isn’t really surprising that this is the first hip-hop album I’ve reviewed since I started writing local music reviews more than a year ago.
What might be surprising,....DETAIL
Springtime in Nashville means warmer walks on the greenways, balmy back porch evenings, and – of course – the start of the Nashville Sounds baseball season. But for Music City cinephiles, April brings amped-up anticipation for the now-10-days-long Nashville Film Festival. This is the first year the fest will be held at the Regal Hollywood....DETAIL
A new state council will seek to streamline care and support for Tennessee families impacted by autism.
Gov. Bill Haslam recently signed off on a measure that creates the Tennessee council on autism spectrum disorder. The council, made up of several state agencies, will coordinate among state agencies assisting families with ASD and make....DETAIL
Some of the biggest book news this year has been George Orwell’s 1984’s bestselling popularity on Amazon, and the book is still dominating the top spot among Classic Literary Fiction rivals like A Prayer for Owen Meany and The Odyssey. The book’s recent boom in readership started with a spike in 2013 after Edward Snowden leaked the....DETAIL
National media does not often shine light upon basketball programs from the “mid-majors,” a term that refers to all Division I conferences outside of the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, PAC 12 and SEC.
There are certain exceptions, however.
Consider Gonzaga, VCU and Butler. Although they respectively hail from the West Coast Conference, the....DETAIL
A majority of lawsuits in the last few years challenging the criminalization of homelessness, including evictions of homeless encampments and bans on panhandling, have resulted in favorable outcomes for homeless people and their advocates.
According to a new report from the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, since 2014, “most....DETAIL
Ken J. has been selling for The Contributor for nearly three years, and his story is quite unique. The 54-year-old lived a stable life until a series of unfortunate events dramatically impacted his life. But, through strength and perseverance, he overcame circumstances that would defeat almost anyone.
Ken grew up in Addison, a suburb of....DETAIL
With its wavy lines and pure '90s aesthetic, you can tell Big Surr’s intentions just by looking at the album cover for the group’s full length debut.
In Business, which features a blend of remixed older songs and new hits, heralds the changing of the seasons, acting as one of the first truly summer albums of the year to emerge from the....DETAIL
Nicholas Sand and Tim Scully aren’t household names, and even aficionados of the 1960s and 1970s counterculture would likely respond with blank faces at their mention. In the 1960s, Sand and Scully were both young men but they couldn’t have been more different. The swaggering Sand had a big ego and the relentless determination to go with....DETAIL
Free civil legal help will be made available to Tennesseans in the coming weeks through an initiative by the Tennessee Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission.
Legal clinics, expungement clinics and educational events are planned across the state, where attendees can get legal questions answered free by a pro bono attorney. Many clinics....DETAIL
A overcrowded church fellowship hall was the stage for heated debate, complete with jeers and yelling, over a proposed micro home village to help Nashville’s homeless.
Those against the project – dubbed The Village at Glencliff – outweighed its fans as neighbors cheered on speakers citing concerns over the flow of information about the....
Sharon H. has been selling The Contributor since its early days in Nashville, and she has played a large part in the expansion of the paper through launching sales in the Green Hills area. Throughout her life, she has conquered heartbreak, injury and homelessness while continuing to be one of the paper’s top-selling vendors. This past week,....DETAIL
“When you go from zero to warp speed in 0.2 seconds, and everyone knows your name and your face, you’re supposed to know how (to handle it),” says LeAnn Rimes, thoughtfully considering her start. "When you’re at the top, you’re supposed to do all that. I was a child who was dependent on so many people.
“Then my parents got....DETAIL
Alberto Gonzales – grandson of immigrants and son of migrant workers in Texas – climbed to one of the nation’s highest and most distinguished offices: U.S. Attorney General.
And the path to the position in President George W. Bush’s cabinet has taught him many lessons. Mainly, have a thick skin and ignore the critics.
“You have to be....DETAIL
Disney’s new live action Beauty and the Beast is the latest cinematic turn for the 18th-century fairy tale about a cursed prince transformed into a hideous monster who yearns for a beauty who might see beyond his gruesome countenance and love him for what’s beneath his twisting horns. The first and best Beauty and the Beast is Jean....DETAIL
Formerly homeless vendor June P. has been selling The Contributor on Belmont Blvd. for three years. She’s battled drug and alcohol addiction since she was a teenager, spurred by difficult circumstances in her life. A Belmont student directed her to the paper, and she credits The Contributor with motivating her to stay clean and helping her....DETAIL
Laurie Green is like an angel in a city of obstacles.
Twenty years ago, she started Southern Alliance for People and Animal Welfare (SAFPAW) to help homeless animals. Now, she also helps individuals who have pets living in poverty with them.
Her nonprofit, based in Nashville, receives requests for help from within Davidson County and....DETAIL
March 9, 3 p.m. CST not only marked the official start of the new NFL year, but also the beginning of NFL free agency.
Teams across the league are able to resign in-house players who have reached the end of their contract or acquire out-of-house players who have reached the end of their contract with a different organization.
Pink lines, some pale and others nearly fuschia, neatly laid out in rows on a bright white page are the epitome of artist Elisa Fox’s esthetic – modern and minimal. But the print signals more than creative graphic design; it’s a story – a story of loss.
In 2015, Fox and her husband, who live in Springfield, Ill., found out they were....DETAIL
Think of your top five favorite childhood memories and, for most people, summer camp ranks high on the list. From campfire singalongs to lifelong friendships, summer camp is the quint-essential adolescent experience, helping children all over America gain valuable skills, build healthy habits and develop into independent and confident members....DETAIL
We’re living in uncertain times when trusted institutions are being tested to their limits, and science, the press and academia are being bluntly refuted when they can’t be actually disproven. We’re living in a culture where conspiracy theories may be given equal, if not greater, weight than the substantiated facts of a news report or....DETAIL
A government agency tasked with preventing and ending homelessness will see its funding slashed under President Trump’s new budget proposal.
Trump unveiled his preliminary 2018 budget proposal today, and the plan says the president will eliminate funding for 19 federal agencies, including the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.
President Donald Trump came to Nashville Wednesday, two months after taking office, to address thousands in Nashville with a speech that sounded reminiscent of his campaign rhetoric. The 45th president emphasized health care and immigration, but failed to touch on poverty or homelessness.
"This is the hour when history is made. All we have to....DETAIL
David C., better known by his pseudonym “Clinecasso” (yes, inspired by Pablo Picasso), is known by his customers for his friendly personality and vibrant artwork that often appears in the Vendor Submission section of The Contributor. He sells the paper at Kroger in Inglewood, where he takes time to pray for each of his potential customers.....DETAIL
It’s more than four walls and a roof; it’s a housing solution that aims to prevent people from dying on the streets.
It was during a press conference March 6 that Rev. Ingrid McIntyre, director of nonprofit Open Table Nashville, became emotional when officially announcing a micro home village planned for south Nashville that will house....DETAIL
Several hundred participants turned up for Women’s Day on the Hill March 8 full of energy and a sense of empowerment.
Presented by The Business and Professional Women of Tennessee Inc., the “2017 Tennessee Women's Policy and Action Day on the Hill” worked with partners to make the day, on International Women’s Day, a success for the....DETAIL
During a series of Youth Violence Summits held throughout 2016 by Mayor Megan Barry, students in the community recommended that the city work to bolster job opportunities to help keep young people out of trouble. In response, Barry and her team have created Opportunity NOW, an initiative “designed to combat the growing gap in opportunity....DETAIL
There is some contention about what subgenre of rock Nashville native rockers All Them Witches would fall under.
While some would describe the group, which released its fourth studio album in February, as a bluesy-psychedelic rock fusion, others broadly classify it as just basic indie stoner grooves.
Both opinions are true, but this is so much....DETAIL
Jack Nicholson is known for his over-the-top off-screen personality, and even in front of the camera, he’s one of those actors we love when he’s playing some version of his highly-watchable self. Meryl Streep has made a lot of headlines lately in her feud with Donald Trump, and her record-breaking 20th Academy Award nomination. Thirty....DETAIL
The seats in Nashville’s Looby Theater were full Feb. 28 for “One Night of Empathy,” a powerful event created to foster discussions – instead of hate and violence – in today’s political climate.
The one-time production featured scenes from various full-length plays and musicals, like A Raisin in the Sun, Rent and Two Gentleman....DETAIL
The Nashville Sounds staff, not content with just helping their own team succeed, is lending a hand to another major program: Nashville’s Safe Haven homeless shelter.
Various staff members of the Minor League Baseball team paid a visit to Safe Haven, a shelter that has housed homeless families in the Nashville area for over 30 years, on....DETAIL
A few weeks ago, a fellow homeless vendor had to be in the hospital for a couple of days. When you're homeless being in the hospital is extremely scary. “What happens when I'm discharged?” “Where will I go?” “I haven't been able to work so I have no money.” These thoughts were running through my mind the day before he was to be....DETAIL
Congress and local lawmakers rarely discuss or approve legislation that offers protections to tenants, despite more Americans residing in rentals.
As homeownership has been falling nationwide for nearly a decade, according to the latest Census data released last month, the number of renters has increased by 9 million during the same period....DETAIL
Every March, my Irish American blood forces my head full of thoughts of shamrocks and leprechauns, lamb stews and hearty stouts, and I can’t help but see the world through emerald green-colored glasses. This year, I’m excited to preview an honest to goodness Irish mini-film-festival that will screen at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film....DETAIL
Two to three hundred citizens, including students, college professors and members of the NAACP, gathered for a public briefing the evening of Feb. 16 at St. James Missionary Baptist Church’s community center to garner support against police profiling of Nashville’s blacks.
The nonprofit advocacy group Gideon’s Army hosted the event –....DETAIL
Brandy Clark stands on stage at the Troubadour, West Hollywood’s legendary club where the Eagles formed, Elton John exploded into a supernova and John Lennon had that infamous night of malfunction that ultimately sent him home to Yoko. Not wearing a stitch of makeup, and with black leather melted over her body, Clark's 20,000-watt smile is a....DETAIL
How will Nashville address the city’s affordable housing crisis that is pushing people into homelessness? A panel discussion, organized by Conscious Conversation, brought together Nashville leaders who are looking for answers.
The event, part of the Conscious Conversation’s monthly discussion series, was held Feb. 23 at Refinery....DETAIL
Twenty-one youth plaintiffs have seen progress in a first-of-its-kind climate change lawsuit they filed against the federal government and fossil-fuel industries, and they remain hopeful in science – even as a climate change-denying cabinet takes over Capitol Hill.
A youth advocate team, Our Children’s Trust, filed the climate lawsuit....DETAIL
World Relief, a multinational service organization that provides aid and resettlement support to refugees and vulnerable people, has announced that it will be shuttering its Nashville office as a result of the Trump administration’s decision to scale back the number of refugees admitted to the United States each year.
British daily newspaper The Guardian has launched a year-long series on homelessness that will take a look at people living on the streets in the United States.
"We’re bringing you this series of stories about the people and places that are grappling with the homelessness crisis. Over the next year we’ll publish news articles, in-depth....DETAIL
Eric M. has been working for The Contributor for six years now. After battling drug addiction, depression and experiencing homelessness, Eric hit rock bottom. His story is one about facing and overcoming adversity in order to find happiness through faith and self-reflection.
“I was raised by my foster parents in Paris, Tenn. I was the true....DETAIL
More people in Tennessee die by suicide each year than from homicide, AIDS or drunk driving, according to the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network.
The organization has launched a Crisis Text Line, a free, 24/7 text-messaging support line for people in crisis, to help anyone in the state. People in Tennessee can text “TN” to 741-741 to....
Lawmakers in Washington and advocates are hoping to permanently extend a bill that would provide protection to renters whose homes have been foreclosed upon.
The Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act, which took effect in 2009 and expired in 2014, provided most renters with the right to at least 90 days’ notice before being required to....
In an America that is becoming increasingly uncertain for refugees, Siloam Health exists to meet their most essential needs. Currently serving over 5,000 people from 80 different countries, Siloam provides affordable health care to Nashville’s most medically vulnerable populations.
Founded in 1991, Siloam began with a vision to provide....DETAIL
It’s your 18th birthday and you’re sitting at the dining room table waiting for your mom. She called this meeting, and you’re excited and apprehensive. The possibility of this being something big to mark the day makes sense. But she’s been hinting about changes. You didn’t pay much attention – homework, hanging out with friends,....DETAIL
Trudy H., or “Pinky” as she’s called, sells The Contributor at the Bank of America Plaza in downtown Nashville, and her writing is regularly published in the paper. “I don’t like sitting at home and being bored; I like to talk and this is the perfect job for me,” she says. Trudy uses her profits from paper sales to pay for staying....DETAIL
Metro Council recently signed off on adding three affordable housing developments allocated through the Barnes Fund. The approved developments will bring 332 affordable housing units to the city.
Last year, Mayor Megan Barry pledged $10 million from Metro’s general fund to the Barnes Fund in an effort to grow the city’s affordable housing....DETAIL
Metro students with disabilities have asked state lawmakers to focus on helping them access college, employment and transportation.
Students in Metro’s Community Based Transition Program, ages 18-22, joined hundreds of participants who attended Tennessee Disability Day on The Hill on Feb. 8.
In the weeks leading up to the annual advocacy....DETAIL
John Wick: Chapter 2 begins where John Wick (2014) left off with Wick (Keanu Reeves) finally tracking down his missing car at a chop shop. All viewers really need to know about the previous movie is that Wick is a retired assassin who got back into the killing game when gangsters offed his puppy and stole his car. The long cold opening in this....DETAIL
Twelve years ago, Hurricane Ivan ripped through Jessica Thurmond’s neighborhood, destroying the house where she had been living. The 18-year-old in Florida was soon forced to live in her car while working multiple jobs.
One of her jobs was at a gym so she could use the facility’s shower and have a locker for her things. Eventually, people....DETAIL
Roberto Minervini’s The Other Side documents a down-and-out Louisiana community whose inhabitants occupy a purgatorial rural America where poverty, drugs, alcohol, racism and politics seem to collude against them as they careen toward their doom-eyed fates. The film was originally released in 2015, but its screening at Third Man this week....DETAIL
In the past couple of weeks — since President Donald Trump announced a sweeping executive order on immigration and refugee resettlement — staff at the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition have been going nonstop. Whether it’s talking with teachers about making their students feel safe, or offering guidance to local....DETAIL
There is something uniquely special about art and the way one individual can take away something entirely different than the next.
For the art sold through the Nashville Artist Collective – an online gallery featuring the work of local artists – the message is clear, however: help yourself and your community.
“We all have to get in there....DETAIL
How do we empower Nashville’s young women to become the next generation of leaders? Vanderbilt’s Dr. Katherine Brown thinks she has the answer.
Brown, a long-time occupational therapist, health educator and home care provider with the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, has been active in the Nashville community for over 16 years. No....DETAIL
Over the course of his persevering career to its recent peaking, Tim Easton’s music has changed, but his love for helping others has not. Lately, he has tried to blend the two, including sharing his love and lust for life through producing and singing tunes for Nashville’s homeless.
“For me, it gets personal when you see someone....DETAIL
Jerry, 61, has been selling The Contributor for a while now, and you can find him at his spot – sometimes with his dog – on Dickerson Road. He’s struggled with depression throughout the years, and has dealt with long mourning periods, isolation and even two years of hitchhiking in search of happiness. But despite what he’s been....DETAIL
Contributor vendor Theresa has been selling the paper since 2012. You can find her at her spot at the Old Harding Pike Walgreen’s, where she’ll be offering big smiles, waves and enthusiastic greetings to all who walk or drive by. Originally from Bowling Green, Ky., Theresa has been in Nashville for over 20 years. She’s currently in....DETAIL
Vendors of The Contributor in Murfreesboro recently had to pause selling the paper because of a problematic city ordinance that led to police prohibiting paper sales. While The Contributor hopes to soon resume sales there, for now the interruption means 10 Murfreesboro vendors experiencing poverty are unable to earn an income.
Jerry is one of....DETAIL
Vendor Randy “Kathmandu” Jack has sold three different street newspapers within the last year. What works for him?
“I consider myself a newspaper stand,” Randy said. “I don’t wave, I don’t smile, I just stand here. People don’t want to be bothered, so if they want a paper, they’ll come to me.”
Randy was a chef for 35 years....DETAIL
Mario, a formerly homeless vendor of The Contributor, recently reunited with his daughter after 16 years of not seeing each other.
His daughter, Dulce Arauz, along with his brother and niece, planned the surprise reunion three weeks ago.
“(I was) shocked and overwhelmed and happy,” Mario said. The father and daughter were unable to....DETAIL
Our staff asked us all last week to write a story about why we like being vendors for The Contributor. I’ll start mine by saying that utmost and foremost it’s because of my customers. Second, it’s because it’s how I pay my rent.
My customers are the greatest in the world. There are some that never even buy a paper from me yet they....DETAIL
Shawn L. has been a vendor with The Contributor for five years. At his corner outpost at 16th Ave. South near the roundabout that circles Alan LeQuire’s Musica sculpture, Shawn is known for his outgoing personality: He is all waves and thumbs up to passersby; Music Row pedestrians know him by name; and nearby café owners shout his name when....DETAIL
Black History Month is a great time for reflecting on the epic story of the African people who were brought here in bondage before their contributions to American culture made the music, art, literature and politics of our country unique in the world. Check out these streaming stories about black faces, black dreams, and black struggle, and....DETAIL
Prior to the 2016 regular season, Titans head coach Mike Mularkey made it clear that he would expect improvement from his wide receivers – a group that had the fewest catches and second-fewest receiving yards of any other team in 2015.
“They all know they’re going to be coached harder than any position there is,” Mularkey said.....DETAIL
Dr. Carter G. Woodson created “Negro History Week” in 1926 to celebrate the history and accomplishments of African Americans in the United States and beyond. Since 1976 our country has set aside the month of February to celebrate Black History. But how much African American history were you taught in your K-12 classroom? How many chapters....DETAIL
The contributions of African Americans in history would amaze you. From the red light to the gas mask that saves soldiers’ lives, black people were there.
History has taught us that Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin. I hate to tell you, my friend, it was not he. It was his slave. Because slaves could not hold a patent at that time, the....DETAIL
Here in Nashville, filling a plate of food can open a history book, a family photo album or a bottle of medication.
That is, a plate of soul food. Or Southern cuisine. The definition may be up for debate, but the symbolism is less likely to divide a table.
“You can have fried chicken, greens – usually turnip or collards – sweet potatoes,....DETAIL
On the eve of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that legally banned segregation in schools, a group of journalists and educators founded a newspaper in Nashville with one goal: to accurately and objectively report on race and the desegregation of schools in the South.
Southern School News debuted Sept. 3, 1954 – less than four months after....DETAIL
Nearly 100 outreach workers and volunteers searched Nashville overnight Thursday and into Friday morning to assess how many people are experiencing homelessness in the city.
The annual Point-In-Time (PIT) count – federally mandated by HUD and implemented by the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency – attempts to count those....DETAIL
Contributor vendor Vickie says, “God’s got something out there for me, I just don’t know what it is yet.” She has found the strength and courage to look ahead despite a difficult story: She’s currently experiencing homelessness and battling cancer for the second time. She’s spent time living in shelters. She’s a rape victim, a....DETAIL
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development came to being in 1965. It was the same year that saw the passing of the Voting Rights Act and the year after the passing of the Civil Rights Act in 1964. HUD was created to oversee federal programs that help Americans housing by increasing homeownership, supporting community development,....DETAIL
The hands of women once controlled, abused and enslaved by human trafficking are now creating beautiful, trendy jewelry, giving the survivors income and a new life.
Purpose Jewelry, based in California, is a social enterprise that currently employs about 30 sex trafficking survivors in Mumbai, India to make necklaces, earrings and bracelets.....DETAIL
The Next Door provides transitional housing and recovery programs for women coming out of incarceration, domestic violence, human trafficking, and drug and alcohol abuse. As one of Nashville’s first housing facilities and re-entry programs exclusively for women, The Next Door has helped hundreds of women in Middle Tennessee build lives of....DETAIL
In the second week of December, I was assaulted where I sell the The Contributor in Hermitage by another vendor from another paper. It was a scary situation not only for me, but I can imagine for anyone driving by. Witnesses stayed, police were called and 90 minutes later, they arrived. Statements were given and a citation was issued to the....DETAIL
In addition to writing my weekly movie column for The Contributor, I’m also a singer/songwriter, a poet and the creator of the Pikes Project photo essay series I’m making in partnership with WPLN Nashville Public Radio. This past November the project won a THRIVE award from Metro Nashville Arts Commission. The funding is supporting a....DETAIL
An after-school dinner program is making sure thousands of Metro students receive a hot meal after school at no cost before heading home.
Metro Nashville Public Schools expanded its after-school supper program in November to 35 sites, up from 12 sites participating in the program in its first year.
“We have many students in our district that....DETAIL
A series of murky black and white images at the Freedom Arts/Arte de Libertad event Jan. 7 resembled a war-torn scene on old developed film.
However, they were photographs of razed properties on Archer Avenue – alongside million dollars ones – shot by retiree Janice Key on a gray day from her front deck in Nashville’s fast-changing....DETAIL
Mary Ann has only been selling The Contributor since December, but her constant smile and thoughtful encouragement have made a long-lasting impression on Contributor vendors and staff. After growing up away from her parents, expereincing homelessness in her teenage years and suffering through a marriage to an alcoholic, Mary Ann emerged with a....DETAIL
On Jan. 5, Tennessee Titans’ controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk promoted Jon Robinson from general manager to executive vice president, the second-highest ranking position in the organization.
“Jon has done great work since his arrival to our organization and this is a way to recognize that fact,” said Strunk with regards to Robinson’s....DETAIL
I have some of the best customers ever. In fact, my customers are more than a customer. They are my friends and family. The reason I say that is because if I’m not on my corner selling papers, they worry about me. Those who have my number call me, and those who are on my Facebook hit me up and check on me.
Because of my Bellevue family, I....DETAIL
Many people, myself included, say, "God is good." But I now remember, God is not good.
He, God, is great! The Holy Spirit is so full of love, too!
Since coming to Nashville, I’ve thought how I wish I’d been born here.There is more love in people here than anywhere I have been. Since I’m a loner, there were never many friends. The....DETAIL
“Obamacare saved my life,” said Paula Hurt, a 63-year-old Chattanooga resident who is battling cancer.
In 2011, Hurt went into emergency surgery unsure what was causing symptoms including pain, asthma, hormonal issues and insomnia. The problems had caused her to leave her career as a mortgage broker. She came out of the surgery with a....
With a New Year comes a new General Assembly, and following a year of chaos, Nashville is buzzing with a sense of "What comes next?" From the legalization of medical marijuana to the first in- crease in the gas tax in decades, this year’s session of the Tennessee General Assembly is sure to make some waves. Here’s what you can....DETAIL
Renters in Nashville were educated about their legal rights under state law at an event held Sunday by community group Homes For All Nashville and the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and The Cumberlands.
About 20 people attended “Tenant Rights 101,” an informational session held at the Salama Urban Ministries Center.
How did you end up in Nashville?
I was born in Nashville. I was taken away from my home at age 5 and put into an adoption home in Donelson. I grew up around Nashville in a couple different foster homes, then I was adopted at age 10.
What was the adoption process like?
It was a blast. I was the last child in the adoption home and when my....
The Contributor is now for sale by homeless and formerly homeless vendors in Murfreesboro.
The weekly street newspaper began expanding into Murfreesboro in October and there are currently 10 active vendors selling The Contributor in the area.
“Expanding out to Murfreesboro has been an exciting and meaningful experience. It feels great to....DETAIL
Presidential elections – like all contests – result in winners and losers. While there was too much gray area in the results for many of us, the 2016 election was won by Donald J. Trump, who will be inaugurated on Jan. 20. Sore losers make for lame citizens, and no matter who we may have voted for, this is the America we live in now. That....DETAIL
A school bus is being transformed into a mobile shower to help Nashville’s homeless get a clean start to rebuilding their lives.
Shower the People is the brainchild of Russ Arnold, a Nashville resident who has been working with people experiencing homelessness for 16 years through Green Street Church of Christ.
“It can seem like one small....DETAIL
Nashvillians from across all lines gathered at Riverfront Park by the Tara Cole memorial bench to remember friends from the homeless community who died this year. The annual memorial took place Dec. 17 and brought together people experiencing homelessness, homeless advocates, politicians and friends of the 87 people who were lost in 2016.
When the Tennessee Titans travelled to Ever Bank Field on Dec. 24, they suffered a number of losses.
They lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars, they lost quarterback Marcus Mariota and they lost their opportunity to enter the playoffs.
With 0:52 remaining in the third quarter, Jaguars’ defensive tackle Sheldon Day broke through the Titans’....DETAIL
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is really good. Relax – you’re going to enjoy it. In fact, the movie is so successful that after a very quick-paced two hours and 13 minutes, I found myself wishing the studio and the filmmakers had doubled-down on the movie’s best elements: strong performances, rich supporting characters, a....DETAIL
Contributor vendors Keith and Nicki are teammates who work together to sell the paper at their spot – Murfreesboro Pike and Hamilton Church Road. What started as competition between the two has evolved into a sweet friendship. They have been a source of support to one another after each spent time in the hospital. Get to know them better in....DETAIL
The number of people experiencing homelessness in Nashville jumped 10 percent from 2015 to 2016, according to a new report. Homelessness overall in the United States dropped 3 percent during that same time.
Mario, a formerly homeless vendor of The Contributor, recently donated a portion of his paper sales profits to the victims of the fatal East Tennessee fires. Mario, along with his dog Bear, made the donation to the Smoky Mountain Wildfires Telethon aired by WSMV Dec. 2.
The Contributor, Nashville's award-winning street newspaper, debuted its second wrapping paper issue Dec. 5. The wrapping paper pages were created from using original artwork by The Contributor's homeless and formerly homeless vendors.
The issue may be purchased now through Dec. 19 from Contributor vendors in Nashville, Franklin and....DETAIL
Will Connelly, one of the founders of The Contributor, is leaving his post as director of the Metro Homelessness Commission after four years at the organization’s helm.
Connelly took a job in Denver as the executive director of the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative (MDHI), where he will help the nonprofit plan and implement strategies to end....DETAIL
The Contributor debuted the first of three special holiday wrapping paper editions Monday, Nov. 21. The issue is available from licensed Contributor vendors for $2 now through December.
The issue features four holiday-inspired designs created by homeless and formerly homeless vendors. News and vendor poetry are also included in the issue.
Kings of Leon
The good news for fans of Kings of Leon: their new album, Walls, is not something that will scare you away from listening to it.
This is the seventh studio release for the locally sourced family foursome.
They’ve been around for 15 years and when a band reaches this level, I think there is always the....DETAIL
“Delos: The vacation of the future – today!”
Westworld (1973) opens with a corporate advertisement for Delos – a travel company that offers vacations in three different artificial worlds populated by robots: Roman World, Medieval World and Western World. The hit series based on this film is HBO’s latest must-see episodic, and....
When local singer/songwriter Luke Dick saw a social media post about a stylist in New York providing haircuts to people experiencing homelessness, he decided to bring the idea to Nashville – and Scouts Barbershop in East Nashville was quick to help him make it a reality.
“I was thinking about ways I could become involved in the....
Homeless veterans in Nashville will receive help finding employment under a new program from Volunteers of America Mid-States. The Nashville Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP) will connect homeless veterans with case management, employment counseling, transportation, job training and placement. HVRP also links homeless veterans....DETAIL
Mayor Megan Barry used Veterans Day as an opportunity to focus on veteran homelessness, calling on Nashville landlords to accept Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers. The vouchers help subsidize rent for veterans and pay for moving assistance.
In a press release, Barry said, “There are many veterans who are struggling to....DETAIL
DJ remembers where she was at this time last year: sleeping on Broadway in the bus stops. Since she and her husband started selling The Contributor in October 2015 at Starbucks on Murfreesboro Pike, the couple has found permanent housing – and everything that comes with a home: showers, a kitchen to cook in and heat. She recently got to pass....DETAIL
Becca Stevens, founder of Nashville’s wildly successful Thistle Farms, pointedly summarized heroism in her response to what motivates her to help women survivors of abuse, addiction, trafficking and prostitution.
“What makes you faithful to justice is when you do it even when you’re not motivated.”
It’s her faithfulness for nearly 20....DETAIL
For many of the attendees of the eighth annual Nashville Geek Media Expo (GMX), the weekend before Halloween was a lot like a return to a beloved summer camp.
The event, which was held at the Sheraton Music City Hotel Oct. 28-30, featured some celebrities – Cartoon Network voice acting stars Olivia Olson and Zach Callison – but mainly it....DETAIL
Exploring oneself can be a very private journey, but Nashville artist SueAnn Shiah turned her identity quest into a documentary. In HuanDao, she explores what it means to be both American and Taiwanese while riding through Taiwan on a bicycle.
Shiah shot the beautiful scenes on her 450-mile trek through the country. The nation comes alive....DETAIL
Three Nashville organizations have partnered to make sure hundreds of young adults living on the city’s streets have somewhere warm and safe to sleep every night when cold weather arrives.
It’s the first time in the city’s history that youth-specific shelters will be available every night of the week.
Last year organizations Oasis and....DETAIL
Despite hot weather’s hold on fall, the cold weather months have officially arrived for our neighbors living on the streets, as well as for the support organizations, police, volunteers and the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission that coordinates the city’s response to the wintertime challenges faced by people experiencing....DETAIL
How did you end up in Nashville?
I was in the restaurant business for most of my life. I worked for Pizza Hut for 19 years so that’s how I ended up in Tennessee. I lost my job and my housing because of bad decisions, but then one of my friends told me about The Contributor. Choosing to sell The Contributor was a great decision. I have been....
In 2009, a homeless vendor revolutionized how The Contributor works, and shaped how the paper would expand to one day support hundreds of vendors.
Curtis, who grew up on a plantation in Arkansas, came to Nashville in ‘09 looking for a fresh start following a bad breakup and a difficult time in his life. He had worked in the foodservice....DETAIL
Congressman Jim Cooper, a Democrat from Nashville, has supported The Contributor from the beginning. At first, he says, he noticed a trickle of vendors selling the paper in the growing city. But now, after almost a decade and six million copies of the paper sold: “You can’t miss The Contributor.”
“On so many corners in Nashville,....
Before I started selling The Contributor, I was homeless, hungry, lonely, angry, an alcoholic and drug addict, and not in touch with my family.
Since I started selling the paper, I got clean and sober. I’m no longer lonely. I have two families: my Contributor family and I can’t forget my Bellevue family that has adopted me where I sell....
The one thing I have to do is thank The Contributor for one thing: I have turned myself into a writer. It started with poems and now has moved to articles.
The last one I turned in for publication was published the next week. That made me very proud of myself and my work. If it were not for The Contributor, I never would have picked up a....
Nashville police officers consistently stop black drivers more than white drivers. Black drivers are more likely to be searched, despite searches of white drivers being more likely to result in incriminating evidence.
These are some of the findings in an extensive new report, “Driving While Black,” by Gideon’s Army that details the....
The presidential election has been full of distractions: Hillary Clinton’s emails, Donald Trump’s “locker room talk,” the day-to-day polling data – to name some.
You could blame “the media” (and Trump has). A recent Harvard study said substantive policy issues had received only a small amount of attention from major TV networks....DETAIL
In this column I previously promised news about the 12 Hours of Terror event happening at the Belcourt this weekend from Saturday, Oct. 22, at 10 p.m. through Sunday, Oct. 23, at 10 a.m. Unfortunately, dates and times are all I’ve been able to pry from the cold dead hands keeping this lineup safely in its crypt until the seats are filled,....DETAIL
Melinda, a Contributor vendor of four years, was recently able to stop sleeping in a tent and move into permanent housing thanks to the help of her customers and local organizations. I sat down with the Nashville native to discuss this recent accomplishment:
What was the process like to find housing?
It was a really, really long process.....
13th opens with a voiceover of Barack Obama. In audio from a speech, he says, “The United States is home to 5 percent of the world’s population but 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. Think about that.” This new documentary by Ava DuVernay’s makes you think about mass incarceration in America and the corporate exploitation of the....DETAIL
THE TALE OF TOMATOES — THEIR JOURNEY FROM THE FARM TO YOU — SHOULD BE A LOVE STORY.
The French used to call the red fruit pommes d'amour, or apples of love. But rather than romance, this story started on sun-scorched earth, where workers were abused. Tomato pickers have written the story’s chapters: there’s justice, change,....
Even in the very first shots of Elevator To The Gallows (1959), viewers are aware that they are in the hands of a master with director Louis Malle: Two lovers are talking on the phone, the scene switches back and forth from the woman to the man and then back to the woman. The incandescent Jeanne Moreau is one of the great beauties of....DETAIL
COUNTRY MUSIC AND AN INTERSTATE ENDED R&B’S GLORY DAYS IN MUSIC CITY, BUT ICONS ARE PLAYING FOR A COMEBACK.
Let’s start here. Two of the most successful, best-known and perhaps even legendary rhythm and blues performers played in the same Nashville-based band in the 1960s. It was when Jefferson St. roared with music.
The guitar player....DETAIL
Life can take you on a very strange and very difficult-to-predict journey.
While that is true for just about everyone, it seems to be a little bit more true for those in the music industry.
Take Sylvia Hutton for example.
In 1983, she was winning the Academy of Country Music Award for Female Vocalist of the Year, on the strength of her hit,....
Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words
October is a special time for movie lovers. I don’t watch horror cinema a lot, and I’d hesitate to call myself a “horror movie fan.” That said, when it turns crisp outside I start thinking about Halloween, and then I don’t want to watch any movies that don’t have at least one monster, maniac,....DETAIL
The first cut of night is almost gone, and the sky is just flat, thick dark. Inside the Family Wash, the music is too loud to talk. Todd Snider, the insurrectionist folk singer who practically colonized East Nashville’s hip factor 20 years ago, suggests moving to the patio. In the almost bake-in-your-own-sweat humidity, he gently settles....DETAIL
More than 100 renters came together on Sept. 24 to demand change in Nashville’s exploding rental prices that have pushed many out of the burgeoning city. The Rally Against Displacement was held in solidarity with a National Renters Day of Action, a campaign in which 50 cities demonstrated against displacement. Leaders from Homes for All....DETAIL
Jessie often walks into The Contributor office with a grin and an enthusiastic, “Bailey!” Her arms are spread open, and high energy and positive vibrations spill all over the office. We talk about her poetry and our lives, and we almost always bring up Texas.
I first met Jessie at a paper release meeting about two years ago. We were....
This November, thousands of homeless Tennesseans will struggle to make it to the ballot. What barriers do they so commonly face?
A lack of a mailing address or photo identification (ID) shouldn't keep someone from casting a vote. But in Tennessee, state laws will bar many homeless from....DETAIL
I use to think, “What can one vote do with all the millions of people voting?” Through the years, I’ve voted occasionally, but not on a regular basis, especially in national elections. It always seemed to be more trouble than it was worth, having to change addresses. When you’re homeless, it becomes more embarrassing than it should be.....DETAIL
William Giles Harding married Selena McNairy, the 17-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Nathaniel McNairy, on Nov. 19, 1829. The young couple started their married life on William Giles’s father’s Stones River Plantation. Their farm was a 579-acre tract that John Harding had purchased in 1827. Because his land contained both woods and....DETAIL
Richie Wessman won’t divulge whether “Home Run Throwback” is in Ravenwood’s special teams playbook.
But the Raptors’ first-year coach is comforted by the presence of Alan Lowry – author of the play that resulted in the Music City Miracle during the Tennessee Titans’ run to Super Bowl XXXIV – as a member of his staff.
How I lost my right to vote is sort of a roundabout story. I had a bad drinking problem during the '80s and '90s. I was locked up 14 times for DUI’s. I had 13 first offenses. Yeah, you read that right - 13 FIRST offenses. It’s amazing what money can buy!
Anyway, on my last (13th) offense, they charged me with 2nd offense enhanced because I....DETAIL
Are you from Nashville?
I am originally from Springfield, Tenn., but I moved to Nashville in 1992. Springfield got old because there weren’t really any jobs, and all my family moved to Nashville so I came with them when I was 22.
How much has Nashville changed?
I have been in Nashville for 23 years, and it has changed a lot since I got here,....
School uniforms are, in part, an effort to diminish economic barriers between students, but when you can’t afford the uniform, the barriers pop back up.
Cue a Nashville mom with a PR background and an affinity for making things easy.
Jami Oakley launched UniCycle last year, a school uniform recycling program now operating in 26 Metro schools.....
Tucked in the northeastern corner of Davidson County beside Old Hickory Lake sits a small town next to a big dam – and things are about to get explosive. Blasting permits have been issued for a rock quarry in Old Hickory Village immediately adjacent to the Old Hickory Dam, sending one of Nashville’s most historic neighborhoods into a....DETAIL
"There’s too many volatile things going on in the world,” says John Prine, assessing the fountain of inspiration for the always topical songwriting legend. “It’s always good for journalists, comedians and folk singers.“This country’s in a very odd place right now, paranoid really… traveling around, talking to strangers. Just....DETAIL
“I was born and raised in Nashville... But over the past two and a half years, I’ve been displaced three times by developers buying up properties and then getting rid of all the residents.”
“I’ve been on a public housing waiting list, I’ve been on a Section 8 waiting list, I’ve been on an apartment waiting list… It’s just a....
Are you from Nashville?
Yes. I lived in Norfolk, Va. for 15 years while I was married.
How much has Nashville changed?
I’d say a lot. For 15 years I wasn’t even here. I guess with all the construction it’s changed, and it seems like homelessness has risen. It was hard for me to get a place to live. The waitlist is long, I had to wait....
You could say Torey Agee, Vanderbilt’s 6-foot-4 defensive end, stood out among the women putting their lives back together at The Next Door’s Freedom Recovery Community (FRC). The Alabama native was a shoo-in for jobs like cleaning out the program’s apartments or setting up meeting rooms, but for once – unlike on the football....DETAIL
From the editor:
When Vicky, a Contributor vendor, pitched a series about the rarely mentioned homeless residing in hotels, her enthusiasm for writing was just one of the reasons I greenlighted the project. But when she turned in her work – five pieces with compelling angles and interviews – I knew it deserved and needed to be our cover....
William “Billy” K. may have set a Contributor record in 2010: He got into permanent housing just five days after he began selling the paper. He’s kept that housing with money he earns from selling The Contributor in Green Hills and working full-time at a MAPCO Mart. (He averages 75 hours in his work week between the two jobs.)....DETAIL
The hours after school – 3-7 p.m. – are when Nashville’s students are most vulnerable. As parents conclude work days, the unsupervised hours can leave youth susceptible to real-world dangers and a lack of academic support.
Nashville After Zone Alliance (NAZA) is there to provide not just supervision, but also structured hours for middle....
photos by RUSS HARRINGTON
People, especially women, talk about being thick-skinned, and I want to say, ‘I’m so sorry. What happened?’,” Keith Urban says, discussing the deep undercurrent of awareness and humanism in his songs. “To be raw and vulnerable, that’s the beauty of it.
“I love Joseph Campbell. He talks a lot about the....DETAIL
I’d like to set the stage for this story by saying I was diagnosed with cerebral palsy around the age of 2 1/2 because I didn’t walk. I scooted everywhere. I eventually learned to walk even though it wasn’t “normal.” I guess you could say I did it my way and it served me well for about 40 years. Then something began to change.
Tennessee had not made an appearance in the Little League World Series since 1987, before Goodlettsville broke a 25-year dry spell and won the 2012 United States championship, then fell to Japan in the final game of the tournament.
Five years later, Joey Hale has taken a team back to Williamsport, Pa., for the international event.
Formerly homeless vendor
I still have dreams but they are more narrow these days. By that I mean I tend to focus on myself and my more immediate needs. I don’t have too big of aspirations anymore. At one time I had dreams of raising a family, getting a house, work and retirement. I just always tried to do my best at whatever I was doing.....DETAIL
It’s a familiar story for the new Nashville: skyrocketing home prices, rapid gentrification and the growing demand for affordable housing. Residents, council members and housing activists agree that we need more housing for those who are struggling to afford living where they work. But a heated debate over a 96-unit workforce housing....DETAIL
New Director of Schools Shawn Joseph is ready to exceed expectations
Metro Nashville Public Schools Director Shawn Joseph started the first day of school even earlier than the city’s high school students: he was up at 4 a.m. delivering 10 dozen donuts to bus drivers. His morning continued with greeting students and parents at five....
I was asked by people at my paper to write a story about the school year starting back up. I think I was asked to do this because many of my poems that have been published in The Contributor have been about the school children and teachers that I see on my corner of Thompson Lane and Nolensville Pike every morning while I’m selling my....DETAIL
photos by DONN JONES/TITANS
Marcus Mariota at the Titans’ training camp on July 31.
As the Tennessee Titans progress through the preseason – their first under the new regime of coach Mike Malarkey and general manager Jon Robinson – they hope to find the answers to some questions that have arisen over the course of four consecutive....DETAIL
Philadelphia is jokingly referred to by locals as the “city of brotherly love… now go f*** yourself.” But while Philadelphians may be joking about the latter part, Sanders and Clinton supporters may feel exactly that way toward one another.
Heading into the Democratic National Convention, the burning question was whether or not the two....DETAIL
Michael G., better known as “The Scribe,” recently fulfilled one of his greatest dreams: He danced with his daughter at her wedding.
A few months ago, Michael was distraught over the realization that he might not be able to make it to Columbus, Ohio, in order to see his daughter Sophia on her wedding day. The fear of missing out on such an....DETAIL
A parking lot in Madison will soon be transformed into a new tiny home village created by Open Table Nashville (OTN), a local advocacy group that works to fight homelessness.
The homes will serve as “bridge housing” for the city’s most vulnerable homeless people while outreach workers help them find permanent housing. OTN Executive....DETAIL
When Mary enters The Contributor office, it lights up. She greets us with a huge hello and a puppy under her arm. She tells us how she’s feeling and how great her customers are to her. If there’s a new vendor in the office, Mary offers them advice on how to be a great seller.
Last year, Back Down South Films released a video about Mary....DETAIL
Kris Kristofferson is angry. One of the men who changed the language of country music won’t take any shots at today’s country.
It’s just not his country. Nor is it the country music of the late Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash nor is it that of Tom T. Hall and Bobby Bare, two icons who basically shrug at the style of the new country with....DETAIL
Dale P. came to Nashville in 2011 with a friend, an old car and $5 in his pocket. After being laid off from two jobs in Florida and losing his home, Dale set his sights on Nashville. Once he arrived, he slept in his car at night and applied for jobs during the day. After submitting 90 applications and hearing nothing back, Dale found The....DETAIL
"I grew up in a teeny little town in South Dakota,” begins Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Shawn Colvin of “Someday,” the Steve Earle song she recorded on her 1994 Covergirl. “I didn’t pump gas, but I could so relate to the teeny weeny hometown you needed to get out of, to know there was more to the world than (that) ... the idea of....DETAIL
An annual report paints a grim picture of Tennessee lawmakers’ efforts to help people living in poverty: Nine out of 11 U.S. senators and representatives received a grade of “F” for their failure to support poverty-related legislation. Issues like access to health care, affordable housing, removing barriers to education, and protecting....DETAIL
Nashville is among the latest round of cities that the federal government has designated as “Promise Zones,” areas throughout the country chosen to receive 10 years of intensive support for economic development and combatting poverty.
The Promise Zone includes areas south, east, and north of the central business district.
“Hello, I would like some arugula...and I would like to know what this is,” a young woman customer says, pointing to a leafy, green plant at the Nashville Farmers’ Market. Market Manager Jennifer Justus, who mans the Growing Together booth with the help of two farmers, explains that she’s pointing to komatsuna, a Japanese mustard....DETAIL
Where do you sell The Contributor?
I sell at West End Avenue and Bowling Avenue, on the corner there. Close to the synagogue that I go to, Sherith Israel. I’m orthodox, and so I go to Sherith Israel... I’m there 14 hours a day, six days a week, just about. My regular customers, we get to know each other. Some people I don’t know their....
photography RUSS HARRINGTON
I was pretty much forced to do it,” Reba McEntire admits, at the back end of a full day. “It wasn’t my choice to take over my career as manager. I didn’t see it coming, but you know, that’s life.”
For McEntire, the Grammy-winning Country Music Association Entertainer and four-time Female Vocalist of....DETAIL
How long have you been a vendor with The Contributor?
Probably about five years now.
Do you have a spot where you typically sell?
It’s Main Street and First Avenue (in Franklin). I’ve been there about two or three years now.
Have you developed a relationship with customers there?
Yeah, I’ve got a lot of customers and people like friends. I....
So, you said you’ve been selling the paper for about six years now?
How’d you get started with The Contributor?
A good friend of mine told me about it.
Do you take pride in being one of our earliest vendors?
You’ve got to take pride in what you do. It goes back to when I was a kid. I was raised to be a hard worker. You’ve....
On a rainy day in May, I drove 30 miles down winding rural roads just past Ashland City to visit my friend and Contributor vendor Mario M. at his newly purchased home. In his driveway sits Mario’s maroon truck with an “I Break for The Contributor” bumper sticker and three “Bear Care Lawn Service” signs on the doors and tailgate.....DETAIL
When Rep. Susan Lynn (R-Mount Juliet) first introduced her “Bathroom Bill,” discriminating against transgendered Tennesseans, the collective groan could be heard all around Tennessee. We knew we were in for some embarrassment this legislative session, but had no idea how....DETAIL
About four years ago when I was first starting to work at The Contributor, I interviewed Brian W. as one of my first vendor spotlights. Brian would show up to our paper release meetings and sit on the front row with a large beard and a dolly he’d use to carry out his haul of papers for the week. He was a recognizable face in the sea of....DETAIL
How long have you been selling The Contributor?
Uh, I think I’ve been with The Contributor almost two years. Yeah.
Are you from Nashville?
I am actually from Delhi, LA. We moved here when I was about 8 years old. So I am a Nashvillian.
What do you think about all the changes going on in Nashville right now?
Well, actually, I’m more of a....
"When we’re young, we’re indestructible. We’re going to capture greatness,” says lead Lumineer Wesley Schultz on the phone from Dublin, as the folk-punk trio that became a global sensation with the obsessive love declaration “Hey Ho” that would eventually sell two million records, begins a world tour. “That is so universal, and....DETAIL
How did you get started at The Contributor?
I met a Contributor vendor on the MTA bus and I said “Just out of curiosity, how did you start selling papers and where’d you go to actually sign up?” He said at the Downtown Presbyterian Church.
Twenty years ago, I started drawing disability. I have ADHD and Bipolar disorders. I have Type 2....
photos by MICHAEL NOTT
The Metropolitan Homelessness Commission’s Encampments Task Force is continuing discussions as it works to produce detailed recommendations for an authorized homeless encampment proposal for the City of Nashville.
Judith Tackett, the assistant director of the commission, told The Contributor this past week that, while....DETAIL
I heard it’s your birthday today!
Yep. I’m 61. But I flip it over to be 19. [laughs]
What have you learned in your 61 years?
Stay off of drugs, exercise — even if it’s walking, have a good attitude toward life, have a lot of religious education — most definitely religion, obey the laws, have common respect and decency toward others —....
Vendor: RANDY M.
Where are you from?
I’m originally from Alabama.
How’d you end up in Nashville?
I lived in Utah for 10 years, and decided on coming back south — came here! I’ve been here since 2014.
How do you like it so far?
I love this city. I’ve been all over the United States. Nashville, to me, is the coolest and most beautiful....
"I was levitating,” admits Nitty Gritty Dirt Band leader Jeff Hanna, about sharing the Ryman stage with Jackson Browne, John Prine, Rodney Crowell, Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, Sam Bush and Jerry Jeff Walker. “It was an out-of-body experience being the beneficiaries of all this love. It’s amazing to think: the band’s been together 50....DETAIL
Have you been a vendor with us for very long?
Since December of last year.
What have you learned since being out there?
I’ve learned that as long as you pray, have faith and be of good character and good cheer, no matter if you get a sale or not—it’s not always just about the sale—I’ve learned that I’m being blessed as well as....
Jesus. Some people love him. Some people hate him. Somehow a rabbi from 2,000 years ago on the fringes of the Easternmost reaches of the Roman Empire still elicits a strong reaction at the very mention of his name.
In present-day America, Jesus and his teachings on poverty, and on those people who find themselves on the margins of our culture....
Man, there are so many things I want to talk to you about, I hardly know where to start.
Well, the best place to start is knowing where I began. I started selling things a long time ago when I was working in my dad’s pawn shop. It’s just a little pawn shop in Alabama called Joe’s Pawn Shop. I kind of watched my dad to learn how to sell....DETAIL
How long have you been selling The Contributor?
Uh, this’ll be — let’s see, I started — two months, basically. Yeah.
Are you from Nashville?
No, originally, I was born in Chicago. I moved when I was 13 with my parents to Alabama. My parents got divorced. At 18 I met my husband, graduated, and we moved to Tennessee 10 years ago.....
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Terry J., it’s that he’s eager to share his findings of the world with others in any way he can. “There’s just so much that I have to tell, I don’t even know where to begin.” Terry’s a free-flow writer. We’ve published several of his poems in The Contributor (check recent issues for....DETAIL