Image Credit: metroartsnashville.com
The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –
The Metro Arts Commission is forging ahead with its “antiracist” agenda as more taxpayer money gets funneled towards funding its commitment to “drive equity in Nashville.”
Executive Director Daniel Singh has openly stated that the Commission’s goal is “long term anti-racist and sustainable funding for the arts” and in a now deleted post on Linkedin in November, he said that Metro Arts was “working on creating an equity-based, thriving culture within the staff and all of the arts community.”
More recently, the Pamphleteer has found that staff and members of the Commission were presented with an agenda advocating for the adoption of “antiracist planning” in order to create “antiracist outcomes.”
The presentation entitled “What Could An Anti Racist Cultural Planning Process Look Like,” states that producing antiracist outcomes in Nashville means returning “land, money and narrative resources to Indigenous, African/Black and Asian peoples.”
In order to achieve this goal, the commission is looking for more and more of Metro’s budget to be allocated to them. The department has its eye on eventually gaining at least 1% of Nashville’s overall budget, around $34 million but is asking for $12 million in the next budget allocation, more than double the current Metro Arts budget.
However, the organization is now being audited after failing to fully pay out operating grants to institutions such as the Nashville Symphony, the Frist Museum, the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, and others.
Singh has sought full funding of his preferred “equitable” funding vehicle, the Thrive program which was expanded from $178,600 in FY2023 to $908,000 in FY2024. Thrive’s purpose is to provide money for individuals to create public and community art projects, usually in the form of murals, but none were actually financed in FY2024.
Meanwhile, two additions have been made to the Metro Arts team. Josiah Golson, Equity and Restorative Practices Manager, and Claudia Lawhon, Equity and Restorative Practices Coordinator.
We reported last year that Metro Arts was looking to hire a racial equity manager with an annual salary range of $76,236.20 to $107,045.44 who would work closely with Singh to support the operations, development and expansion of Racial Equity and Restorative Arts programs for the agency.
Singh, who was hired in 2022 to lead the Commission previously worked as Executive Director of the Community Center in McLean, VA, where he insinuated that the community was racist, mocked the Catholic faith of those that demonstrated against a Drag Queen storytime event at a local library, and tried to cancel the annual antique show for being “elitist.”
About the Author: Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and reporter for The Tennessee Conservative.
You can reach Paula at firstname.lastname@example.org.