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Category: Donelson Non-Profit News

Live Music on the Grounds

Donelson Heights Methodist Church will be hosting The Moonlighters big band for a “Live Music on the Grounds” event, free and open to the community.  Bring a picnic meal and a lawn chair and enjoy an evening of live big band music.  Event starts at 6 PM and ends at 8 PM on Saturday September the 10th.

Donelson Heights Methodist Church, Donelson Neighborhood News, Donelson Non-Profit News

Roots On The Rivers Music Festival

A wonderful partnership between the Friends of Two Rivers Mansion and WMOT Roots Radio 89.5 will happen on Saturday, August 27th when they present Roots On The Rivers music festival. Gates will open at 2pm for an afternoon and evening of community vendors, food trucks, a beer garden, and no surprise, six hours of great music from friends of Roots Radio.

Roots on the River with Councilman Jeff Syracuse

Maggie Rose and Lera Lynn are among Nashville’s most cutting edge singer songwriters and sound creators. 49 Winchester from Appalachian Virginia is blowing up out of their regional base on the strength of their celebrated new album Fortune Favors the Bold. Nashville’s soul star Mike Farris will join transplant Nicki Bluhm and veteran country outfit The Lost Trailers to round out a pretty dreamy day of tunes.

The single-day mini-festival reflects a partnership with the Cumberland River Compact’s Root Nashville program, which aims to plant 500,000 trees across Davidson County by 2050. Ticket sales support programming on WMOT. Tickets are $45 and accessible here at this link. If you’re a member of the Friends of Two Rivers Mansion, you get a $10 discount. Email me for a special link for Friends members

Donelson Non-Profit News, Roots On The River

Piedmont Gas Donate to Donelson Gateway Project

Big thanks to Piedmont Natural Gas for supporting The Donelson Gateway Project. This very gracious donation helps a lot with our continued maintenance needs, especially during this dry weather when we need to water with our mobile water truck (shown behind us in the picture). All tax-deductible donations are sincerely appreciated and go directly towards keeping Donelson beautiful.

We are always seeking partners, sponsors and folks willing to help with the physical labor to maintain our sites. This is a non-profit that does a lot with a little and is something we can all be proud to support. The community was wonderful last year in supporting DGP and that went directly to purchasing a mower for all our sites as well as continued expansion and maintenance. We have many needs, so if you’re interested in assisting us, please let me know. Pictured with me are Piedmont’s Stephen Francescon, and Mike Rose, DGP President.

The Donelson Gateway Project Piedmont Donation with Councilman Jeff Syracuse

Donelson Gateway Project, Donelson Non-Profit News

Donelson Non-Profit News – March 2020

Come visit Two Rivers Mansion on Sunday, March 15th from 1pm – 4pm for the annual Open House – “Phil the House with Arts and Friends”.  Admission is Free.  The artist spotlight this year is Randy Purcell.  This event is hosted by the Friends of Two Rivers Mansion.  Please consider becoming a member and supporting this wonderful group who continue to showcase this historic gem in our community.  Many events become free with membership.

Since studying art at MTSU, Randy has been fascinated with art’s impact on memory.  The connection between the two has been the constant theme in his work.  He strives to make paintings that feel like old, happy memories.  To achieve this, he uses “encaustic art,” a process which means to ‘burn in’ and usually includes pigmented beeswax.  Randy uses beeswax as a base to create a patina, and magazine ink to add color and visual texture into the subject, like the text and imagery make up a living thought.  Adding various colors in a mosaic style allows for different lights to make up the subject.  The final effect is an iconic image reconstructed with a fluid, emotional value.  Randy’s work has been received with praise locally and beyond, with showcases that included a mural for Nashville’s ARTober celebration, a Metro Arts Nashville bike rack design, Artclectic at USN, Harding Academy, frequent showcases in the downtown Nashville art crawls, art school technique demos (including MTSU) , Artfields in SC, and international showcases like ArtPrize and solo gallery exhibits.  He is also on the board of two non-profits, Number Inc. Magazine and Turnip Green Creative Reuse.

Join FiftyForward Donelson Station for a fun night of Big Band Swing Dance.  I am a proud member of the Board of Directors of the Nashville Youth Jazz Ensemble that will be performing.  It’s a fundraiser for both organizations, so get your dancing shoes on and come have a good time for a great cause.

March 17th is the last day to order a tree in the Nashville Tree Conservation Corp’s 3rd Annual Nashville Tree Sale.  Learn about the details of this great program here.


Donelson Non-Profit News

Donelson Non-Profit News – February 2020

I recently enjoyed my visit with Community Options, a non-profit supporting people with disabilities for over 30 years.  They’re located here in District 15 and do great work to ensure our neighbors with disabilities have affordable housing and the care they need.  Thanks to Executive Director Meika McClendon for the time spent with me and also giving me a tour of one of their homes.  Please visit their website above to learn more about them and how you can get involved.

I’m excited to share there will be a public art piece installed at the Briley Parkway / Lebanon Pike site of The Donelson Gateway Project.  Thanks to Metro Arts THRIVE program, Brian Somerville will receive funding to create an art piece to display on site. It will be temporary (for about a year) and then we will find a permanent home somewhere indoors. As part of the process, community engagement is required and so there will be two meetings to provide an opportunity to learn more and provide input. That will help make it an even more meaningful art piece that will create deeper appreciation by everyone in the community. I look forward to seeing you either Tuesday, February 11 or Thursday, February 27, both at 6:30pm at the Donelson Library.

Donelson Non-Profit News

Donelson Non-Profit News – January 2020

The Hip Donelson Farmer’s Market continues to have their Winter Market every 1st, 3rd and 5th Friday through April at The Donelson Fellowship.

Hip Donelson Winter Market
I was honored to attend the inaugural fundraising breakfast for the Akilah DaSilva Foundation.  Akilah was one of the victims of the Waffle House shooting.  His mother and family have done an extraordinary job in creating a non-profit organization in his memory to fight gun violence and provide scholarships to students.

Akilah DaSilva Foundation
Akilah DaSilva Foundation

I had the grand opportunity to be an MC along with District 32 CM Joy Styles in supporting Cremona Strings, which was founded to provide affordable string music lessons, rehearsals, training, education, performances, consultations, and advocacy.  They do a great job and it was so cool to see the positive impact this music education non-profit has on student’s lives.
MC along with District 32 CM Joy Styles in supporting Cremona Strings

Akilah DaSilva Foundation, Cremona Strings, Donelson Non-Profit News, Hip Donelson

Non-Profit Donelson News – November 2019

Big congrats to Lisa Maddox, who is our new Director of FiftyForward Donelson Station.  Lisa is a fantastic leader at the center and her energy and passion for FiftyForward’s mission can be seen and felt each and every day.  Thank you, Lisa and congrats on this very well deserved promotion!  Lisa is seen here with Mark and Kevin with Donelson Café & Catering during the recent Casino Night fundraiser.

Lisa Maddox Fifty Forward Director

Three chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution (one from California and two here in Tennessee) joined together to pay tribute and dedicate a memorial to Major John Buchanan and wife Sally, who were among Nashville’s earliest pioneers.  If not for Sally, the battle that occurred there against Native Americans would likely not have been successful.  I was joined by newly appointed Deputy Mayor for Community Engagement Brenda Haywood from Mayor Cooper’s Office.  We presented proclamations and listened to the extraordinary history at the Buchanan Station Cemetery.

DAR Buchanon Memorial

DAR Buchanon Memorial

Our older Nashville neighbors who no longer drive need assistance getting to doctor visits, the grocery store and hair appointments. You can help them stay connected to the community by becoming a volunteer driver. Senior Ride Nashville needs caring, reliable drivers Monday through Friday. Becoming a driver is easy, and you can schedule the rides most convenient for you. Learn more at

Senior Ride Nashville

I was very happy to join members of the Donelson-Hermitage Rotary Club at their regular meeting at Party Fowl.  They give back and serve this community in very meaningful ways and it was a pleasure to have lunch with them.

Donelson Hermitage Rotary Club

The Donelson Gateway Project recently completed another school beautification project at Pennington Elementary.  After the recent renovation and addition of the school, it left an opportunity to support that effort with entranceway beautification.  Thanks again to the partnership with JVI Secret Gardens along with sponsors and the PTO, this project turned out great.  Visit DGP’s Facebook page here to check out pictures a great promo video put together to advertise the very successful fundraising effort.

The Nashville Singers will return to Donelson for their wonderful Holiday Concert at Lebanon Road Church of Christ on December 7th.  See flyer below for details and visit their website for tickets.  This is a great show and funds are used to support music education scholarships.

Nashville Singers

Donelson Non-Profit News, Fifty Forward Donelson Station

Donelson Non-Profit – August 2019

Hip Donelson celebrates our 10th Anniversary!  It’s been one of the most extraordinary community efforts I’ve ever been involved with and I don’t believe when Andrew Bradley created it, did he, Frank Trew or I ever think it would become what it’s become today thanks to so many passionate and dedicated community leaders.  There will be a special celebration after the Friday, September 13th Hip Donelson Community Farmer’s Market.  I hope you’ll make plans to attend.


Hip Donelson Celebrating 10th Anniversary

Speaking of Frank Trew, we continue to honor his memory and unparalleled community spirit by engaging in a community service project we call a Day of Trewth.  This year, we beautified the Post 88 Auxiliary Veteran’s Memorial with the help of members of Holy Rosary and many community members.  It turned out great and encourage you to check it out.  Thank you to everyone who donated their time, materials and money.  Special thanks to District 15 Beautification Commissioner Michele Mazzu, who helped organize much of the event with JVI Secret Gardens consulting on the landscape design.

Post 88 Auxiliary Veterans Memorial Landscaping

Post 88 Auxiliary Veterans Memorial Landscape Upgrade

I had a blast being in dunk tank at a recent Hip Donelson Community Farmer’s Market that raised $274 for The Donelson Gateway Project.  Big thanks goes to Regal Realty Group and Hunter Briley for bringing the dunk tank to the market and letting us engage the community and raise money for a great cause an non-profit at the same time.  Since it was about 90 degrees outside, it felt great.  Thanks to everyone who stopped by and donated.  Vice Mayor Jim Shulman even stopped by.  He may not have hit the target with the ball, he still donated generously and found his own way to dunk me as you’ll notice in the picture below.

Jeff being Dunked at Hip Donelson Community Farmer’s Market

Thanks to Donelson neighbor and MNPS teacher Dr. Rich Ripani, he’s founded the Nashville Youth Jazz Ensemble and it’s become popular quickly and giving great opportunities for our young musicians.  I’m excited to join their board of directors.   As a 501c3 non-profit, NYJE gladly accepts donations.  If you’re interested in supporting great music education opportunities for our kids, please consider visiting the website and donate at their website above.

Nashville Youth Jazz Ensemble

I had a great time being part of a panel of arts leaders to support a board of director’s retreat for Moves and Grooves.  The Frist Museum’s Corinne Bergeron, Nashville Office of Arts & Culture’s Lauren Fitzgerald and District 29 Council Member Delishia Porterfield and I enjoyed giving their board our experiences and encouragement to better support their mission.  We discussed the role of Moves and Grooves and the state of non-profit support of kids in arts education and applying STEAM to their curriculum.  Moves and Grooves serves over 1600 underprivileged youth annually through afterschool and summer arts education opportunities in Metro since 2002.  Their latest project is the MAGIC Clothing brand.  A line of t-shirts and athletic apparel designed and promoted by teens to support youth employment in Middle Tennessee.  The MAGIC apparel was created in 2017 based on recommendations from the Mayor’s Office Youth Violence Summit as a way to connect youth to opportunity and hope.  By giving youth a positive outlet through art to express themselves, they are empowered with a voice and a choice.  The goal through MAGIC is to employ 100 creative Davidson County high school teens each year.  Teens will work six hours per week, work alongside professional artist mentors and learn the art of entrepreneurship while managing the online MAGIC Clothing store.  In addition to mastering their artistic craft, teens receive ACT/SAT support, attend financial literacy workshops and gain valuable college and career development experience to prepare them for life in the real world.

Mooves and Grooves

Donelson Non-Profit News

Donelson Non-profit News – June 2019

I am thankful the opportunity to return to visit with the Stones River Women’s Club.  They do a great deal of impactful projects in the community and I always enjoy my annual visits to bring them up to speed on things happening at Metro Council and in Donelson.


Stones River Women's Club

Speaking of Two Rivers Mansion, at the Friends of Two Rivers Mansion annual “Phil the House with Art & Friends” event, former District 15 Councilman and founder of the Friends group returned to showcase his latest series of Donelson prints entitled “Donelson Revived”.  You can see them all at Picture This.  I thought these two would be perfect together as we’re witnessing the revitalization of Donelson Plaza plus a new library.  Proceeds from the sale of these prints support the Friends group.

Don’t forget the Hip Donelson Farmer’s Market is happening there every Friday as well as tours of the Mansion property are going on now as well.  Visit this link for more information on Two Rivers Mansion events.

Donelson Plaza and Library

I’m very proud of my son Joey and his Boy Scout Troop 777 and all of the other Scouts for placing flags on the grave sites of our heroes at Nashville National Cemetery during Memorial Day weekend.

Troop 777

As you drive by our two Donelson Gateway Project entranceway signs, check out the circles on top and you’ll notice they’re new. The graphic in their circle was always hard to see and had become faded. We replaced it with the DGP logo.

Donelson Gateway Project

Donelson Non-Profit News, Jeff Syracuse, Metro Council District 15

Donelson Non-For-Profit News – May 2019

The Nashville Symphony will return to Two Rivers Mansion on Sunday, June 9th at 7:30pm.  Come early and get a good seat on the lawn.  This concert is FREE.  Tours of Two Rivers Mansion will begin soon as well.  Visit this link to view the events and to sign up as a volunteer.


Nashville Symphony

Leadership Donelson-Hermitage is now L’Evate as they celebrate their 20th year.  As Leadership Donelson-Hermitage looks forward to the next 20 years, a new name will help take the organization into new places and allow them to meet new people.  They are no longer tied to a geographic region by a name and getting more visibility in the community of sponsors and donors will make securing dollars for the organization easier, which will allow L’Evate to tell the story of the positive impact the organization has on the community.  Many are able to live, work, play, and raise families in a community that they have had a hand in creating, growing, and prospering.  The new name will allow them to continue growing and impacting new people.

Leadership Donelson-Hermitage is now L’Evate as they celebrate their 20th year

The Larry Keeton Theater returns for a great 2019 season.  See flyer below for details Larry Keeton Theater 2019 schedule and tickets.

 The Larry Keeton Theatre 2019-2020 Season

Donelson Non-Profit News, Jeff Syracuse Metro Councilman 15th District