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
Sep 12 2017