TASTE, Nashville’s premier annual culinary tasting event, is just around the corner on November 24, 2019! With over two dozen vendors from Nashville’s finest restaurants and caterers offering samples of their most popular dishes and signature cocktails, TASTE delights attendees year after year. Do you have your tickets yet? TASTE is the largest annual fundraiser for the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce, which enables the Chamber to fulfill its mission to provide education, resources, and connections for LGBT business owners and professionals. This year, TASTE returns to OZ Arts Nashville, the site of the first TASTE gathering in 2012. OZ Arts Nashville has been a proud member of the Nashville LGBT Chamber for all those years and is excited to host the event once again to help the Chamber reach its goals.
This OZ Arts building, a memorable home for a wide array of performances and special events, may be familiar to most Chamber members. However, to truly witness OZ as one of Nashville’s premiere voices for contemporary arts, it is the cutting edge artistic season, curated by new artistic director Mark Murphy, that one must experience. The 2019-2020 season currently underway celebrates diversity through powerful artistic expression. Performances include a unique blend of influential contemporary artists and ensembles from around the world, as well as groundbreaking Nashville-based artists, with special emphasis on multidisciplinary performances, and work that highlights new uses of visual and audio technology.
Up next, OZ welcomes explosive Brazilian dance ensemble Companhia Urbana de Dança on November 14–17. Deemed “so wonderful that it seems miraculous” by The New York Times, the hyper-athletic company deconstructs Rio de Janeiro street dance through a high-energy fusion of styles, including hip-hop and capoeira.
From Brazilian dance to a weirdly wonderful keyboard instrument from the 1960s, Mellotron Variations offers a modern tribute to a unique sound on December 7. Famously used in the iconic introduction of The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields,” the ultra-rare mellotron takes center stage with the creative quartet of Pat Sansone (Wilco), John Medeski (Medeski, Martin and Wood), Robby Grant (Big A*s Truck; Vending Machine), and Jonathan Kirkscey (Memphis Symphony Orchestra; Mouse Rocket). With unique arts performances at OZ every month, there is a wealth of bold creative experiences to explore this season.
While supporting the development and presentation of significant performing and visual artists and their work, OZ is equally committed to arts access, accessibility, and engagement. Evidenced by lower ticket prices and multi-event ticketing packages, audiences are encouraged to frequent OZ for a consistently electrifying experience.
Community engagement activities are also key to every OZ Arts season with many visiting artists participating in a variety of supplemental programming from free workshops and masterclasses to community performances in schools. From year-long partnerships with MNPS to the annual $5 Family Day festival, OZ engagement represents a promise to the greater Nashville community that arts access and arts education go hand-in-hand.
A versatile space that can accommodate virtually any gathering, OZ Arts has become a favorite site for many fundraisers and community events, including those important to the LGBT community. In addition to TASTE, OZ has welcomed annual fundraising events for numerous area nonprofits, including The Oasis Center, which serves at-risk youth in Nashville through a variety of programs such as “Just Us,” for LGBTQI+ youth.
Just last month OZ hosted the Global Diversity Leadership Exchange, which meets each year “to serve as a catalyst for innovative ideas and solutions among C-Suite and thought leaders who understand the intersection of diversity and inclusion and sustainability in the global economy.” Frequently held at the New York Stock Exchange and the United Nations, the Global Diversity Leadership Exchange felt right at home in Nashville, signifying the city’s growth and development from a global perspective. As a demonstration of their partnership with the Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce, OZ Arts Nashville President and CEO, Tim Ozgener, generously donated tickets for two Chamber members to attend this exclusive event.
“We strive to offer arts programming that is as diverse and beautifully multi-faceted as Nashville,” says Ozgener. “Our membership in the LGBT Chamber helps us stay connected to the audiences we serve, supporting our goal of bringing the community together through inspiring, artistic experiences.”
Brittany Carlton, the Marketing and Communications Manager for OZ Arts, says they offer a variety of packages that make great introductions to the wide range of arts performances at OZ Arts. The popular Flex Pass starts at only $140 and allows arts lovers to redeem a pack of 4–8 tickets in any combination throughout the season. With individual tickets starting at just $25 for most performances, there has never been a better time to explore the wonderful world of brave new art at this Nashville gem.
To find out more about upcoming performances and purchase your tickets, please visit ozartsnashville.org. And there’s still time to get your tickets for TASTE on November 24, so visit the Nashville LGBT Chamber’s website for more information!