Weekend in Progressive Nashville: Tomato Art, Black Lives Matter, Devastation & Beauty

It looks we’ll have a low-key weekend in Music City, but that’s okay. What is happening is way cool, and on Sunday, take some time for deep thought surrounding this week’s anniversary of the US bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and consider how you best can help increase peace in the world.

Let’s explore what’s happening!

  • tomatomapCelebrate the creative arts and take the opportunity to show off your coolest activist T-shirts. The annual Tomato Art Festival is back! East Nashville surrounding Five Points will be covered with art and artists celebrating the mighty tomato and “bringing together fruits and vegetables.” (Click the map above for a detailed map view.) The fest kicks off Friday at 6:30 pm with a preview party — admission is $25 — and a free concert on 11th Avenue between Woodland Holly Street with performers Neulore and Daniel Ellsworth and the Great Lakes. The festival proper is Saturday starting at 10 am, when a host of activities will take place, including contests such as the legendary Fair Food Parade, the Great Ice Cream Extravaganza, tomato-related carnival games, a Bloody Mary competition, vendor booths (including a lot of peace-progressive organizations), the Family Fun Open House, the crowning of Tomato King and Queen, and multiple exhibits of tomato-inspired art. Of course there will be music on four separate stages from the likes of Boy Named Banjo, Fanny’s House of Music Take Back the Power, Woody Pines, Richie Owens and the Farm Bureau, Cathy Roberts and Rob Stanley, the Highjivers, and many more. You will want to dive into the schedules and details via the festival website. Make a day of it in East Nashville for tomato-y goodness.
  • On a more serious tip, the Nashville chapter of Black Lives Matter gathers Saturday at 10 am for a general meeting. The gathering will facilitate discussion on activism, organizing, and ways in which people of color should unite in the movement to fight for justice and end police brutality. The North Nashville Library, 1001 Monroe St., is the event host.
  • Saturday night offers a rare opportunity to hear In Witness: Devastation & Beauty, the story of Nashville peace activist Bill Northrup. Forty years after the US withdrawal from Vietnam, Northrup joined a 17-day Veterans for Peace humanitarian tour of the country. There he witnessed the ongoing repercussions of that long-ago military action. He also saw firsthand that reconciliation efforts are underway and had the privilege of taking in the beauty of the Vietnamese people. Art & Soul Studio hosts an evening with Northrup sharing his photos and telling the story of his trek through the past and present. Light refreshments will be offered and a discussion period and reception will follow the activist’s presentation. The event begins at 7 pm at 2303 12th Ave S. in West Nashville.

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