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Old July 3rd, 2007, 03:26 PM   #1
Carolina Blue
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Nashville among cultural elite



Tuesday, 07/03/07

List puts Nashville in fast company among cultural elite
Magazine says city is on the verge of making list of global leaders


By BONNA JOHNSON
Staff Writer

As country music's capital and home to a diverse and creative population of musicians and artists, Nashville is on the verge of joining cultural giants like Barcelona, Spain, and Miami, Fla., as a global culture center, according to this year's "Fast Cities" list.

Fast cities are considered worldwide centers of creativity that attract youth, talent and innovation and are great places to live and work, said the editors of the national magazine Fast Company, which compiled the list.

Thirty cities were named places on the move, while an additional 20, including Nashville, were listed as on the verge.

"As a culture center, you must have the ability to attract and retain a cultural energy, and there Nashville has real buzz," said Keith Hammonds, executive editor of New-York based Fast Company.

Nashville has been able to take its status as Music City and build economic momentum and attract talent around that, although the magazine did not detail those offshoots.

Another important indicator was Nashville's high score on a "tolerance" scale, ranking 36th out of 330 U.S. cities, Hammond said.

Nashville was cited for its higher than average concentration of "bohemians" — the city's mix of artists, musicians and entertainers, said Kevin Stolarick, one of the researchers, who is based at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

The tolerance score also looked at Nashville's mix of gays, foreign-born residents and people in interracial marriages, along with how well other races and ethnicities are integrated into the city.

There is energy generated by outsiders fitting in, the magazine said.

It's not that outsiders are more creative than everybody else, but their presence signals an openness to diversity and an underlying culture that's conducive to creativity, according to the magazine.

Technology score is poor

Nashvillian Maureen La pointe is not surprised by the "verge" designation, but she said it never would have happened 20 years ago, when she first moved to town from California.

But she lives in a more artistic city now since the advent of the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, the new symphony hall and even professional sports arenas, said Lapointe, 63, who has worked as an airline ticket agent and massage therapist.

"I love the greenways and the animal-friendly parks," she said. And she's glad to see that dining opportunities have expanded beyond meat-and-threes.

She laments not enough bistro-type eateries, though, where she can get a fresh cup of cappuccino and a gelato, an Italian ice cream, and wishes Nashville did a better job of cleaning up litter.

Nashville fell short of making the elite list of fast cities because it scored poorly in technology, outpaced by places where a high number of patents are filed and the high-tech sector is expanding.

Nashville also does not have as many residents in creative-class professions, such as designers and software coders, as other cities.

Barcelona was tagged a culture center as home to 1,500 design studios and 18 design schools. Miami was recognized for its Wynwood Art District with its scores of art galleries and art spaces and fashion-forward companies such as architects Arquitectonica and its "tropical modernist" style.

Also named as a culture center was Dakar, Senegal, which hosts International Fashion Week and is home to a mix of "serious intelligentsia and a non-stop outdoor party," the magazine said.

Omaha, Neb., is named along with Nashville as on the verge of becoming a worldwide culture center. Omaha at first glance may seem an unlikely choice, but its emerging indie-music scene makes that city one to watch, Hammonds said.

Some cities were cited as being too slow or too fast. Take St. Louis, which was panned as being as bland as a flat Bud Light. And there's Las Vegas, growing too fast for its own good and with a water supply you can't bet on.

Other Southern cities made the list: Atlanta was picked as on the verge of being a creative-class mecca, and Tallahassee, Fla., was on the verge of being a green leader.

http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs....ES01/707030362
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 04:50 PM   #2
uncle dave
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I always figured we were on the verge of something...usually on the verge of making another list. We're getting a little greedy in the list department, but lists are lists and I'm sure every city could be on some list somewhere. This one sounds nice though ('cept the litter and low marks on tech...which I tend to question a tad). But, nonetheless, it's always nice to hear nice things about our town. So Barcelona, Miami, you guys watch out, we're comin to get you.

Uh, well, okay...maybe not. lol....it's nice to be nominated.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 06:28 PM   #3
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great, another list marker, lol

good anyhow though
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 11:20 PM   #4
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Although I know that Nashville has much going for it, I really tire of hearing of this whole "creative class" banter.
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Old July 4th, 2007, 08:05 AM   #5
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Although I'm seriously considering a move to Nashville, I seriously question all these rankings. Last week I saw one that said NYC had the best barbeque in the country.
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Old July 4th, 2007, 08:15 AM   #6
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lol
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Old July 4th, 2007, 06:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tennreb View Post
Although I'm seriously considering a move to Nashville, I seriously question all these rankings. Last week I saw one that said NYC had the best barbeque in the country.
You saw my reaction to that on UP! What a joke IMO!! We all know it's Memphis and KC all the way baby.
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Old July 4th, 2007, 10:14 PM   #8
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? Dakar, Senegal. Yeah, right.
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