“Made In Nashville!” Festival: A Celebration of All Things Local

Here in Tennessee, we are good Southern folk who feel pride in our state, musical heritage, giving natures, and most definitely our personal talents and accomplishments. A great example of what the Volunteer State is all about is the Tennessee Literacy Coalition (TLC)—what better foundation than one with a goal to help give adults the gift of reading and writing? Or as TLC says it, “Literacy: Thatâ€TMs one powerful word!”

Think about it, living your day-to-day life as you do now, but without the ability to read. What would you lose? What if you couldnâ€TMt read a simple road sign, order your food off a menu, or read prices, labels, instructions, books, guides—even your e-mail? Itâ€TMs a crippling thought, isnâ€TMt it? Would you believe that 1 out of 8 people in Tennessee have issues with literacy? Thatâ€TMs why TLC created their program, to raise awareness of and fight to lower that staggering number of people in our state who struggle with literacy.

Mary Claire Danowitz from TLC, also in charge of the upcoming “Made In Nashville!” festival, says about the services TLC offers, “Although we do not offer direct education to those in need, we work with all sorts of providers in the Nashville area as well as across Tennessee. Through our website, those seeking education can type in their zip codes and find the types of providers they are looking for, and where to reach them!”

In the spirit of fighting the literacy odds, the Coalition is having its third annual “Made In Nashville!” Festival, headed by Danowitz. The event is not only to fund TLC in its efforts to end adult illiteracy, but also to raise awareness in our community on how we can help. “Made in Nashville!” is a free festival being held in Centennial Park on September 14, and what the Coalitions terms “a celebration of all things local.” Miss Danowitz says the event is “…a fun festival for everyone to enjoy. I also get to throw in some educational concepts about literacy for the festivalgoers.” All festival benefits go towards TLCâ€TMs fight to end adult illiteracy challenges, and with 70-plus local artists, vendors, businesses, entrepreneurs, musicians, foods, and beverages, there is sure to be something for everyone.

Now in its third year, the Coalition is expecting a crowd of over 4,000 to attend the festival. Their goal is for each attendee to learn about the thousands of Tennessee adults who live in poverty, in large part due to their lack of education. TLC is looking for sponsors, contributors, volunteers, vendors, and anyone who wants to help this most worthy of causes. If you are interested in volunteering, visit madeinnashville.org or tnliteracy.org or call TLC at (615) 259-3700.

Quite simply, the easiest way you can help is to attend the festival; listen, learn, and soak up all the information, music, food, drink, and awesome Nashville love that you can. You will have a blast, learn something new, and perhaps find a way you can help TLC in its mission. This is such a worthy cause and so very needed for the growth, success, and future of our Tennessee community.

One more thing: Did you notice that TLC, which stands for “Tennessee Literacy Coalition,” also stands for “Tender Loving Care”? Coincidence? Seriously doubtful.

By Linda Brewer