Franklin’s Charge As the founding chairman emeritus of Franklin’s Charge: A Vision and Campaign for the Preservation of Historic Open Space my goal was to join with others to secure and preserve both battlefield and other historic open space in Williamson County, Tennessee, where I live. Uniting the preservation community, Franklin’s Charge took on the massive mission of saving what remained of the eastern flank of the battlefield at Franklin – the largest remaining undeveloped fragment of the battlefield – and turning it into a public battlefield park. The American Battlefield Protection Program has called this endeavor “the largest battlefield reclamation in North American history.” By the end of 2005, Franklin’s Charge had already raised over 5.5 million dollars toward this goal, surpassing anything ever done within any other community in America to preserve battlefield open space. As Jim Lighthizer, President of the Civil War Preservation Trust has said, “There is no ‘close second’ in any community in America, to what Franklin’s Charge has done in Franklin.” Franklin’s Charge has begun a new campaign to purchase lots around the Carter House Cotton Gin site and piece together ground zero of the battlefield at Franklin, reconstructing the cotton gin and the trench line where the heaviest of fighting occurred leading to 11 Congressional Medals of Honor later being given. It’s going to be an up-hill battle, much like Franklin was, to do what we have set to do, but we will do it. www.franklinscharge.org The Battle of Franklin Trust made up of The Carter House www.carterhouse.org and Historic Carnton Plantation. For over twenty years I have worked as a volunteer at Carnton. In December 1997, after a third term as President of the Carnton board, by board resolution they summed up my work there with: “the driving force in the restoration and preservation of Historic Carnton Plantation.” My goal in my work in Franklin is the preservation of the battlefield and battlefield sites. In December 2005, the Nashville Tennessean named me ‘Tennessean of the Year’ for the impact THE WIDOW OF THE SOUTH has had on Tennessee, heritage tourism and preservation in Franklin and Tennessee. www.carterhouse.org www.carnton.org Historic preservation I’ve had the privilege to serve on the boards of the Tennessee State Museum, The Williamson County Historical Society, and the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. I presently serve on the board of directors of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans and The Battle of Franklin Trust. www.tnmuseum.org www.oldsalem.org www.ogdenmuseum.org Collector I am a lifelong collector, the first Tennessean to be listed among Arts & Antiques magazine’s Top 100 Collectors in America – the collection focuses on Outsider Art, Tennesseana, and Southern Material Culture. I served as co-curator on the exhibition, Art of Tennessee, at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville. The exhibition was a seven-year endeavor from conception at my kitchen table to it’s opening, September 2003. I was co-editor of the exhibition’s award winning and critically acclaimed catalog, Art of Tennessee (University of Tennessee Press, September 2003). www.fristcenter.org Music Working over the years as a music publisher and in artist management with country and alternative-rock music, my passion for music remains both broad and varied. A partner in the B. B. King’s Blues Clubs in Nashville, Memphis, Orlando and Los Angeles with the title of ‘Curator of Vibe’ of the corporation. Because of my passion for music my first book, collaboration with French-American photographer Michel Arnaud, came out in 2000: Nashville: the Pilgrims of Guitar Town (Stewart, Tabori & Chang). www.bbkingsclub.com
Classical Garden Design I became interested in gardening as a child, but it wasn’t until my work with the restoration of Carnton and the building of my own garden that I became passionate about classical garden design. Given the opportunity by friends to serve as an advisor on vernacular architecture led to being asked to consult, then design new gardens using the principals and rules of the past. Working with Justin Stelter, the Head Gardener at Carnton, we have created a strong design partnership and are doing some amazing projects. www.justinstelter.com
All these varies interests and passions for community have led me write essays on regional history, preservation and southern material culture for numerous publications over the years, even to get my thoughts out there in a series of opt-eds for the NEW YORK TIMES on contemporary politics in the South.