© 2017 by Erica Ciccarone

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Historically Black North Nashville is Creating Cultural Spaces that Matter

April 26, 2018

The latest mural by Norf Art Collective, “Family Matters,” is more than a piece of public art. It’s a monument to the people both at the forefront and in the background of Nashville’s student-led civil rights movement, and it’s a hopeful articulation of a future where black Nashvillians continue on that journey. This story appeared on the cover of Nashville Scene in April 2018. 

Linda Williams Jackson talks with Chapter 16 about race, class, and courage

February 09, 2018

Linda Williams Jackson’s new novel, A Sky Full of Stars, comes just a year after the first in the series––Midnight Without a Moon––but not a moment too soon. The middle-grade historical novel picks up right where Moon left off: Emmett Till’s murderers have just been acquitted by an all-white jury, and the book’s hero, Rose Lee Carter, has turned down her aunt’s offer to leave the Mississippi Delta for a home in the North. Instead, she’ll stay in the South and fight for an equitable world

The Shape of Water is Dazzling and Damn Sexy

December 14, 2017

But make no mistake: The Shape of Water is damn sexy. When Elisa first sets a hard-boiled egg on the ledge of the pool where the creature is confined, he rises like a revelation — some artifact, long left to languish beneath the surface of South American rivers. 

A Nashville worker's justice organization details conditions of hotel workers.

Nashville Artists Aim for Place-keeping More than Placemaking

September 02, 2017

On paper, the intentions of placemaking are exciting: it aspires to a bottom-up approach to developing public space in a way that is attentive to cultural and social identities. Creative placemaking, therefore, places artists at the fore; artists are already creative problem solvers, and some may approach social problems in civic life productively. While this may be true, artists are usually not social workers. Most are not trained in community organizing. And many have only a passing knowledge of identity politics that are inextricably linked to how cities invest in neighborhoods. Photo by @keep.3

Jay Jenkins AKA Woke3 organized NORF Wall Fest in North Nashville, spurring a movement. This story won the Associated Press of Tennessee's first place award for Best Writing in 2016. Photo by keep3.

Missed Opportunities Abound in Richard Levine's Submission

March 08, 2018

Based on Francine Prose’s novel Blue Angel, Submission is the undergrad version of Fatal Attraction, but it lacks the depth and relevance necessary to work for a contemporary audience. 

Weike Wang’s Chemistry is a coming-of-age novel set in a science lab

May 23, 2017

"But the real brilliance of Chemistry is found in the story’s structure: meandering, slow, inattentive—a stream of consciousness delivered in the present tense. The episodes appear to be recounted in random order, but they are woven together magically."

The Only Thing Haunting A Ghost Story Is Casey Affleck's Sexual Misconduct

July 27, 2017

"But C must keep haunting the house after M leaves, and it’s a lonesome, uneventful affair. He stands. He sits. He looks out the window. This is where you start to notice that the film is twisting and turning, trying to make up its mind about what kind of film it’s supposed to be. Comedy? Drama? Inscrutable experiment?"

Jacqueline Woodson’s Another Brooklyn meditates on the nature of friendship, love, and loss

August 30, 2016

With Another Brooklyn, celebrated children’s author Jacqueline Woodson has written her first novel for adults in twenty years—the coming-of-age story of four Brooklyn girls determined not to be defined by their families’ tragedies. The novel is a lyrical testament to childhood, pulsating with emotions that often feel beyond language. Woodson has a genius for meeting readers exactly where they are, taking a hand, and leading them through a fully realized world.

Ava DuVernay's 13th Takes an Important Look at the 13th Amendment

The film’s talking heads and archival footage may seem dull to some, but the directness is, in fact, its main strength. DuVernay packs 150 years into 100 minutes, a timeline that singles out themes and brings them back together like arrows on a chalkboard in the most riveting lecture of your life.

Alanna Styler traveled around the country to document sites of loss. 

Popular as crime podcasts, books, and documentaries have become, perhaps only skilled prose writers can render true-crime stories with the humanity and nuance that they demand. In the tradition of Truman Capote and Errol Morris, acclaimed author Beverly Lowry launches Who Killed These Girls? Cold Case: The Yogurt Shop Murders today.

How Should Schools Deal With Indian Imagery?

November 23, 2016

East Nashville parents protest school’s Thanksgiving tradition, questioning how Native American issues are taught.

In eight large-scale textile paintings and twenty small drawings, Jessica Wohl is both coaxing and shouting, praying and cursing, hopeful and afraid. She began the series after years of reflection on the visible and invisible lines that divide Americans. 

Repurposed Memories: Shinique Smith at the Frist, Nashville

December 09, 2015

Smith’s work is tied to journeys, that of adolescence to adulthood, of spiritual exploration, of art-making itself, and finally, of color. 

Vanderbilt activists try to create a more accessible campus for the disabled by mapping it from their perspective

April 14, 2016

If you're new to Vanderbilt, you're going to need a map — preferably one that has been updated to show recent changes to the university's 105-acre campus. If you're disabled, you're going to need another kind of map — one that marks entrances and ramps, shows barriers between buildings, and communicates how well-lit a path is at night. Such a map doesn't exist. Yet.

For the month of May, the Nashville-based painter and videographer is keeping regular hours at Seed Space doing only this: mending clothes for passersby. Hackett has set up the gallery like an upscale boutique. 

Room retains the terrifying premise of Emma Donoghue's bestselling novel: Ma (Brie Larson) was kidnapped at 17 and held captive. Two years later, she gave birth to Jack (Jacob Tremblay) and ensured his emotional survival by creating a whole web of myths and magic. 

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