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Nashville’s Biggest Givers

Four philanthropists share their reasons for giving to a few of the area’s most respected institutions

Written By:  Kate Parrish

Photographers:  Supplied

The following individuals, families, and foundations are doing their part to ensure Nashville’s legacy of being a service-centered city remains firmly cemented. From supporting the arts to healing sick children and everything in between, some of the city’s biggest givers are helping to fund Nashville’s priceless future.

Barry Stowe

Supporter of Cheekwood Estate & Gardens


When seventh generation Nashvillian Barry Stowe returned to Nashville in 2015 after more than two decades away, he and his wife, Sherri, immediately got involved with Cheekwood Estate & Gardens. “Cheekwood preserves this dimension of Nashville’s history,” Stowe says of the 55-acre botanical garden and art museum in Belle Meade. Built in 1929 and once home to Leslie and Mabel Cheek, Stowe adds, “It’s more than just a look back. It’s also this spectacular venue for the exhibition of contemporary art.”

Each year, Cheekwood attracts more than 225,000 visitors. Tourists and locals alike come for the holiday lights feature, the tulip gardens in the spring, the sprawling outdoor sculpture exhibits, and the museum’s robust collection of 20th century American fine art. Stowe, who remembers coming to the estate as a child, sees the art and architecture of Cheekwood as an integral and culturally significant part of Nashville’s past and its future.

“Historically, people may have looked at Cheekwood and said it’s in a particular part of town and emblematic of a certain kind of lifestyle,” Stowe, who also sits on the Board of Trustees, says. “But Cheekwood is for the entire community. There’s something for everyone here.”

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