“Thank you to everyone who has reached out following the devastating tornadoes that hit our city and state. Our hearts go out to all who have been affected,” said Butch Spyridon, president and CEO, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp, in a statement. “We are staying in close touch with the Mayor’s Office, our partners in the hospitality industry and other city and community leaders.
“For those who have asked, we are accepting donations through our Music City Inc. Foundation, and those funds will be immediately distributed directly to families significantly impacted. The NCVC has made an initial donation of $10,000 to start the fund.”
Spyridon says he and his team have heard from their hospitality industry partners of employees who have lost their homes and are in contact with Metro Council districts with the most damage to assist with their needs. “We are grateful that even with all the devastation, the majority of the city and the downtown entertainment district was spared. As we support those in need and focus on their immediate concerns, we are encouraged that Nashville’s music will keep playing,” he adds.
“The Grand Ole Opry, Ryman Auditorium and others are open, and many will be collecting donations from audience members. Our industry has come together to focus on helping our neighbors while also serving our visitors.”
The Basement East was most visibly affected in the East Nashville area, while several Nashville music venues have closed their doors following the storm, including The 5 Spot, 3rd & Lindsley, City Winery and TPAC.
Those wanting to help in Nashville can make a donation to Music City Inc., the 501c(3) charitable foundation of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp, via Venmo or PayPal at firstname.lastname@example.org. Checks will also be accepted written out to Music City Inc. Foundation and sent to One Nashville Place, 150 Fourth Avenue North, Suite G-250, Nashville, TN 37219.
The famed "I Believe in Nashville" mural that remains displayed on the side of the Basement East following tornado damage was first painted by artist Adrien Saporiti after the floods in 2010. Now that image is featured on a t-shirt that is being sold to benefit the victims of the tornadoes. Within the first 24 hours, 30,000 shirts were ordered generating more than $350,000 in donations for the Red Cross, Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and Music City Inc. Organized by Rich Egan, the head of the I Believe in Nashville coalition and co-owner of Hard8/Working Group Management, the t-shirt is available for purchase via the company's website.
For those in Nashville wanting to help or volunteer, Hands On Nashville is accepting volunteers via hon.org. Donations are also being accepted for everything except clothing at the Community Resource Center located at 218 Omohundro Pl, Nashville, TN 37210.