Lately, I’ve heard some smart, observant people in my circle (including my first subject, Ivy Elrod) refer to current-day Nashville as “the Wild West." By this, they mean my adopted hometown is a place of possibility and promise where, at this particular point in time, people are taking bold chances and investing in unique ideas, figuratively and literally.
Circa 2016, Nashville is a welcoming place for creative people to live and work. Rent is relatively cheap. The community is interested and supportive. It’s accessible geographically: I can fly direct to NYC in less than two hours and be in LA in five. The perfect storm.
And the word is out. As if there were gold in Nashville’s Green Hills, hundreds of new people are moving here each week (the local Chamber puts the number at about 70). Many of them come with their metaphorical guns blazing, armed with big plans and enthusiasm to spare. With all this movement on the ground and electricity in the air, great things are happening. Stores and restaurants are popping up on streets where there once were none. Neighborhoods are evolving and becoming more accessible. There are new faces in line at the coffee shop.
The Callaway Report is my stab at corralling a bit of this modern Wild West, an attempt to use intimate storytelling and first-person reporting to put the best of old and new Nashville in perspective for locals and out-of-towners alike. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no end to the great stories here to tell; the opportunities seem infinite.
TCR will be a super-personal endeavor, driven by my interests and distinctive point of view, which is informed as much by the decade I spent in New York City, working as a fashion and lifestyle editor, as the twelve years I've lived in Nashville, immersed in our thriving art, literary, culinary, music, design and fashion scenes. It’s an entirely editorial project: I will only write about people, places, events and products that thrill, move and inspire me. Happily, lack of content will not be a problem.
The format is simple: four short “news” stories - some of them showing up here first (exclusives!) - and a longer feature celebrating the work and life of a creative local person, or a singular, praise-worthy place, endeavor or idea. Each issue will be illustrated by original photography: I’m thrilled and humbled to report that many of my favorite local talents will be contributing to TCR. New content will debut every other Thursday via an email sent to subscribers – sign up using the box on the right. After that, it will live here, on my website.
I’m not reinventing the wheel; I know that. Regardless, something about this format seems like the right way to explain and communicate the wonderful things that I see happening around me now. Doing this makes me feel like I’m building something new.
Thanks for being curious enough to stick around and find out what it is.
- Libby Callaway