Nashville Metro Arts Commission Introduces Six New Faces

Six diverse professionals join Nashville's Metro Arts Commission.

The Nashville Office of Arts + Culture, also known as Metro Arts, is delighted to welcome six new commissioners to its board, heralding a new chapter for the city’s arts ecosystem. These appointments come at a time when the arts community in Nashville is navigating the challenges and opportunities of a post-pandemic world, making the diverse expertise of the new members invaluable.

Among the new commissioners is Timothy Jester, a seasoned financial planner and fervent supporter of the arts. Jester’s dual passion for finance and the arts has seen him serve on several non-profit boards, contributing to the financial health and artistic vibrancy of the Nashville community.

Heather Lefkowitz brings her unique blend of academic insight and artistic practice to the commission. As a university lecturer and artist, Lefkowitz’s experience in fostering creative engagement among communities will be instrumental in guiding Metro Arts’ future initiatives.

John Nefflen, with over two decades of legal expertise, joins the commission bringing a wealth of experience in litigation and a deep commitment to community service. His involvement in arts and education-focused organizations speaks to his belief in the transformative power of the arts.

Dr. Arlene Nicholas-Phillips, esteemed academic and former business owner, offers a global perspective on arts and education. Her extensive experience in leadership and global initiatives will be crucial in expanding Metro Arts’ reach and impact.

Dawana L. Wade, CEO of Salama Urban Ministries, Inc., is known for her leadership in youth and community development. Wade’s experience in non-profit management and her dedication to social justice will support Metro Arts’ mission of driving a vibrant and equitable community through the arts.

Lastly, Beverly Watts’ extensive background in human rights and community building will be a significant asset to the commission. Watts’ career has been marked by her efforts to foster inclusivity and equity, aligning closely with Metro Arts’ goals.

The newly appointed commissioners will attend their first meeting on Monday, March 11, from 12:00 p.m to 1:30 p.m. Their diverse backgrounds and shared commitment to enriching Nashville’s arts and cultural landscape promise an exciting future for Metro Arts. As the commission looks forward, the integration of these new perspectives will be key to advancing Metro Arts’ mission of ensuring that all Nashvillians have access to a creative life.

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