Planning Begins for TPAC’s New Home

photo by Donna Vissman

Tennessee Performing Arts Center® (TPAC) and Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County (Metro) announced they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to advance the planning of a new performing arts center on the East Bank of the Cumberland River.

“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with TPAC and the state to develop a new home for this important cultural institution on Nashville’s East Bank,” said Mayor Freddie O’Connell. “A new performing arts center that offers a variety of entertainment and educational opportunities is exactly the type of development all Nashvillians can get excited about.”

TPAC serves as a critical champion for arts, culture and education in Nashville and is a major market for touring productions and world-renowned artists. A new state-of-the-art performance facility on the East Bank will support increased Broadway events; performances by TPAC residential companies, Nashville Ballet, Nashville Opera and Nashville Repertory Theatre; and educational programming.

Acting as a cultural centerpiece for the East Bank neighborhood and a major generator of activity, TPAC’s new facility will attract more than 600,000 visitors to the area annually and generate substantial economic and fiscal benefits for the city.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to work with Metro to explore all that a new performing arts center can be on the East Bank,” said Jennifer Turner, TPAC President and CEO. “This is more than a new building. Creating a visionary, innovative performing arts venue will allow us to elevate our programming and enhance the visitor experience, providing meaningful opportunities to experience Broadway shows, extensive educational opportunities for students across the state and a home to the Nashville Ballet, Nashville Opera and Nashville Repertory Theatre.”

TPAC currently resides in the State of Tennessee’s James K. Polk Cultural Center, which through a comprehensive real estate assessment has been determined by the state to be antiquated and does not fulfill the site’s highest and best use. The State of Tennessee has granted $200 million towards a new TPAC facility in the FY 2023-24 budget.

State funds are contingent on TPAC raising matching dollars from the private sector and Metro Nashville participating in the project based on the Metro-owned East Bank site and related infrastructure needs.

The MOU designates a site on the East Bank as TPAC’s new home and allows the organization to access pledged funds – both public and private – to begin designing and planning a world-class performing arts center.

The actual transfer of the TPAC site would be subject to future Council approval as part of a development agreement.

Institutional partners for Tennessee Performing Arts Center are Amazon and Nissan North America. TPAC is funded in part by support from the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission.

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