The ambitious journalistic initiative called We Are Nashville officially launched its “House Rules” this week. Created throughout multiple interviews, the rules were created to help residents, new and old, embrace what makes Nashville great.
Nashville Ongoing Initiative
We Are Nashville is an ongoing initiative, featuring a website, billboards, films, outdoor installments, social media (@wearenashvillestory), gallery shows, podcasts, and talks. Fearing that not everyone in Nashville was benefiting from Nashville’s growth, rising self-esteem, and affluence in recent years, the late philanthropist and business leader Ben Rechter hoped to inspire the city to “take care of its own” and treat each other like family. But to do so, he said, “we have to know each other first.”
Businessmen Kerry Graham
Rechter’s vision was brought to life in collaboration with local businessmen Kerry Graham and Don Transeth, who contracted international photojournalist Phillip Holsinger to take a hard look at the city—the good, bad and beautiful—in hopes that the discovery might verify what they believed to be true about Nashville. In using a non-native journalist, the goal was to help the city see itself objectively and then to empower residents to make the choice to preserve the city’s unique character. Holsinger took a hands-on approach to the assignment by embedding himself full-time in various local communities over the past five years.
“Of all the components of We Are Nashville the “House Rules” are a great entry to the project—a way to fully understand what the aim of it is,” said Holsinger. “In addition to the existing ones we hope that people engage and suggest their own—or offer feedback on the ones here.”
To date, hundreds of Nashville residents have been interviewed for the project. Key participants for the “House Rules” include:
Carrie Underwood’s lead guitar player Ed Eason
Kurdish community leader Nazar Sharanshi
Matriarch of Belle Meade Clare Armistead
Former gang leader Erick McCord
Owner of Prince’s Hot Chicken Ms. Andrea Prince
CEO of Nashville Soccer Club Ian Ayre
Founder of Guidance Whiskey Jason Ridgel