Recent Events


February 5

Hannibal Lokumbe, Lecture & Conversation The New Being: Perception and The Spiritual Existence of People of Color

Tuesday – 5:30 – 8:00 pm at The Nashville Ballet (3630 Redmon St) Free and Open to the public Presented in partnership by Intersection, Metro Arts and The Curb Center for Art Enterprise and Public Policy at Vanderbilt, Composer Hannibal Lokumbe will speak to arts and community leaders about building his work in community based arts programming. To learn more about Lokumbe’s residency, visit the Intersection website.

January 14 – March 4

Free Creative Writing Workshop for Immigrants and Refugees

8 Classes
Mondays, January 14 – March 4, 2019
6:30 – 8:30 pm at The Curb Center

Have you always wanted to write? Do you have stories to tell, from your life or your imagination, but aren’t sure where to begin? Would you like to have a creative outlet in your life but struggle to set aside the time?

If so, join us for a free 8-week creative writing class for refugees and immigrants. We will learn how to transform life experiences into memoir, and how to write fiction from the imagination. Creative writing can be a great form of stress relief and self-care. As well, sharing stories with others is an opportunity for us to share our unique perspectives and experiences. In this class, we will learn about the elements of writing, have time to write in class, and have the option to share writing with the class and instructor for feedback.

This is a diverse and welcoming class, with students who have come from all over the world. Students of all experience levels with creative writing (including none!) are welcome. The class is free thanks to the Tennessee Arts Commission, Metro Arts, and the Porch Writers’ Collective. No ID or documentation required.

Space is limited. Reserve your spot today! To sign up or with any questions, email the instructor, Anna Silverstein, at

May 3

A Soiree of Science and Song

Thursday – 5:00 – 8:00 pm at the Wyatt Center Rotunda
Free and Open to the Public

The Program for Music Mind and Society at Vanderbilt presents an evening of song and science, featuring presentations and live music by MMS members. Including complimentary hors d’oeuvres, the event is free and open to the public. For more information, go to the event’s Facebook page or email

April 20

Curb Gallery Art Exhibition & Opening Reception

Friday – 4:30 – 6:30 pm at The Curb Center
Open to the public

Join Nashville artist Ashley Mintz and the community artists who participated in the “Who Am I” writing and art project. The show will run from April 20th through July 31st, with community events planned throughout the summer.  Details of those events will be posted here once finalized.

April 18

Racial Equity in Arts Leadership Seminar

Wednesday – Reception @ 5:30 pm – Talk begins @ 6:30 pm
Nashville Children’s Theatre – 25 Middleton Street, Nashville
Open to the public

A writer, producer, and entrepreneur, Anasa Troutman has dedicated her work to the importance of culture and the power of love. As founder and CEO of Culture Shift, Anasa works to build and execute cultural strategies for artists and organizations that are aligned with her vision of a loving world and her belief in creativity as a pathway to personal, community and global transformation. While she experiments with many forms of creative practice, her deepest love is writing.  She creates stories, songs and essays that reflect her unique point of view, commitment to loving kindness and thirst for beauty and adventure. Anasa is currently working on her first book, CultureShift 101, the story of her work and her theory of change being published in the fall of 2018.

April 9

An Interactive Art Exprreince

Monday – 4-6 pm  @ Sarratt Promenade
Refreshments Available

Evolving Doors is an interactive art installation created by the Curb Scholars to facilitate multiple modes of creative expression across campus. Each of the six doors showcases a different aspect of Vanderbilt’s vibrant community: Enchanted Forest, Diverse Hands, Bookshelf of Favorites, Community Honeycomb, Refrigerator Door, and Showbiz.

The Curb Scholars invite the Vanderbilt community to add its own art to this installation, in hope of inspiring dialogue about entering and exiting different communities, marking beginnings and endings while transitioning between different spaces, and fostering a sense of home by introducing features of domestic space to Vanderbilt’s public spaces.

April 4

Commodities, Conflict and Climate Change in the Indian Ocean

Wednesday – 5:30 pm  @ The Vanderbilt Jean and Alexander Heard Library Community Room
Reception and Book Signing to Follow the Event

In celebration of 50 years of Asian Studies at Vanderbilt, acclaimed author Amitav Ghosh will speak about “Embattled Earth: Commodities, Conflict and Climate.” Mr. Ghosh is an renowned author of fiction and non-fiction works, including the Ibis Trilogy and The Great Derangement: Climate Change and The Unthinkable.

Co-sponsored by the Asian Studies Program, Creative Writing Program, Departments of English, History, Political Science, and Religious Studies, the Jean and Alexander Heard Library, Jewish Studies Program, Office of the Chancellor, Office of the Dean of Arts & Sciences, and the Robert Penn Warren Center for Humanities.

March 29

Invitations to Industry: Connecting Graduate Students to Career Opportunities Outside of Academia Series

Thursday – 4:10 pm  @ 102 Buttrick Hall

Miranda Garno Nesler earned her PhD in English from Vanderbilt in 2009.  After four years as an assistant professor of Shakespeare and Early Modern Literature at Ball State University, she leveraged her advanced degree to participate in a wide variety of fields.  She has been an art critic (The Curated Object), a collection development manager (at a private women’s history foundation). an instructor in curatorial policy (Sotheby’s Institute), and is now an associate at Whitmore Rare Books.

Co-sponsored by The Curb Center, Comparative Media Analysis and Practice Program (CMAP), and the English department.

March 15

“Future Ready”: How to Kickstart Your Digital Identity

Thursday – 6 pm at The Wond’ry

Larissa May will continue to discuss #HalfTheStory at The Wond’ry, where she will address wellness and how to cultivate a healthy relationship with social media.

Co-sponsored by The Curb Center, Vanderbilt University Career Center, and The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons.

March 15

The Power of Social Storytelling

Thursday – 4-5 pm @ The Commons Center MPR
Open to All Vanderbilt Students – reserve your spot on DoreWays (under Workshops)

Larissa ‘Larz’ May, founder of Livin’ Like Larz Creative Services (and Vanderbilt Class of 2015 graduate) is returning to campus to talk about the importance of telling the other h#HalfTheStory – the truth behind the perfect Instagram photos and carefully curated social media feed.  While at Vanderbilt Larissa started the#HalfTheStory project to call attention to the mental health impacts that social media was having on young people. The constant need to produce  perfect image and the equally constant consumption of media that detailed other people’s perfect lives combined to exacerbate the overwhelming anxiety and depression students were experiencing.  Through #HalfTheStory, people share the authentic stories behind the perfect pictures, cultivating a sense of shared struggle and caring.

Co-sponsored by The Curb Center, Vanderbilt University Career Center, and The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons.

March 16

20-minute Individual Consultations with Larz

Friday – 10 am – noon  @ The Vision Place – reserve your spot on DoreWays (under Workshops)

Larissa May will provide individual consultations on social media & personal branding.

Co-sponsored by The Curb Center, Vanderbilt University Career Center, and The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons.

January – March 2018

Who Am I? Exploring the Self through Painting and Writing

Curb MakerSpace
Each session is limited to 10 attendees

Join Nashville artist Ashley Mintz as she leads attendees on a path to explore self through a painting and writing, resulting in personal storybooks and portraits. At the end of the 5-week workshop, these stories will be exhibited at the Curb Center gallery, with an opening reception scheduled for Friday, April 20, 2018. Follow each week’s workshop at Wild Enemy Reveries.


March 1-2

Exploring the Intersection of Art and Science

Are you an artist interested in science?  Or a researcher whose images resemble art?  Researchers and artists met at this two-day seminar exploring the intersection of art and science.  ArtLab is the brainchild of  2017-2018 Curb Catalyst Kendra Oliver.  Art-scientists from across Vanderbilt submitted their art, which was displayed throughout the event.  Attendees also had opportunities to make their own art during the event.


February 22

Invitations to Industry: Connecting Graduate Students to Career Opportunities Outside Academia

Lucy Mensah is an art curator specializing in post-WWII and contemporary African American visual culture.  She is currently an assistant curator of Post-1950 Contemporary Art at the Detroit Institute of Arts.  Her museum career includes a fellowship at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington DC, a curatorial internship at the Frist Center for Visual Arts in Nashville, and a post-doctoral fellowship at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

This event was co-sponsored by the Curb Center, Vanderbilt English Department, and Comparative Media Analysis and Practice (CMAP)
Open to All Vanderbilt Students

February 16

2018 BOOT CAMP: Mindfulness in Creative Practice

On Friday, February 16th,  Nashville artists Lindsay Goranson, Jojo Jackson, and Jon Royal led a day of workshops centered around ‘Mindfulness in Creative Practice’.  Sessions included: Intention Setting, Movement through Mindfulness, Making Exercises (including a bespoke journal), and an interactive Sensory Walk Experience.

February 9

Creative Problem-Solving: Using Human-Centered Design and Rapid Prototyping

Based on the Stanford school model for design thinking, the project in this session will be an immersive activity meant to give participants a full cycle through the design thinking process in as short a time as possible. The activity will touch on the fundamental values of the—human-centered design, a bias towards action, and a culture of iteration and rapid prototyping—without attempting to communicate all of the methods and activities that the term “design thinking” encompasses.

January 30

A Civility Tennessee Discussion with author Jim Brown

The Curb Center for Art, Enterprise & Public Policy is thrilled to support The Tennessean’s Civility Tennessee, a yearlong campaign to engage our community behind four core values: 1) to encourage conversations that are civil and respectful, even if they are hard; 2) to enhance civic participation in conversations such as the local, state and federal elections of 2018; 3) to help promote voter registration efforts; and 4) to increase news literacy and enhance trust between our consumers and our publications.

“We stand for civility” is one of the pillars of The Tennessean Editorial Board’s four-pronged mission. That is why the Tennessean wants to be a leader in putting these words to action, and is inviting the public, elected officials and candidates to join in this journey.

January 24, 2018

Radical Inclusion: A Talk with Favianna Rodriguez

Favianna Rodriguez is an transdisciplinary artist, cultural strategist, and organizer based in Oakland, California. Her work and collaborative initiatives address migration, economic inequality, gender justice, and ecology. Favianna lectures globally on intersection of art, social justice and cultural equity to catalyze social change, and leads art interventions in communities around the country. Ms. Rodriguez collaborates deeply with social movement groups around the country to co-create art that’s resilient, empowering and transformative.

She is the Executive Director of CultureStrike , a national arts organization that engages artists, writers and performers in migrant rights. In 2012, she was featured in a documentary series by Pharrell Williams titled “Migration is Beautiful” which addressed how artists responded to failed immigrant policy in the United States. In 2016, she was a recipient of the prestigious Robert Rauschenberg Artist as Activist Fellowship and is currently focused on projects that help end mass incarceration.

January 10, 2018

Intersection, in partnership with the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy at Vanderbilt and NECAT, hosted a discussion with composers Jonathan Bailey Holland and Joel Bentley Thompson.  Moderated by Cecilia Olusola Tribble (Community and Organizational Development Coordinator for the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission) the event will explore each composer’s music, the role of race in classical music, and how art can serve as a conduit for participatory democracy.

Mr. Holland and Mr. Thompson were in Nashville for Intersection’s performance at Fisk University on Thursday, January 11, 2018 with Choral Arts Link. The performance includes the world premiere of a newly commissioned work by Holland and Thompson’s Seven Last Words of the Unarmed. Both artistic works bring forward the voices of many, explore social justice and stand in the center of our current time.

November 29, 2017

Music & the Mind
Featuring Renee Fleming and Drs. Reyna Gordon & Miriam Lense

This seminar focuses on the role of music and the mind.  Renee Fleming, world-renowned soprano, will discuss the role of music in society, including discoveries that are changing our understanding of the human brain.  Reyna Gordon, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology and Psychology and Director of Vanderbilt’s Music cognition Lab) will address the role rhythm plays in language development and disorders from behavioral, cognitive, neural and genetic perspectives.  Finally, Miriam Lense, Ph.D. (Research Instructor, Otolaryngology and the Program for Music, Mind, and Society at Vanderbilt) will discuss her research, which seeks to better understand social, affective, and cognitive processes in individuals with and without developmental disabilities such as autism and Williams syndrome.


November 16, 2017

Vanderbilt’s Department of Art and LOCATE Arts facilitated an Insight Series Q&A discussion with visiting curator Magdalena Moskalewicz and artist Dushku Petrovich . Laura Hutson, arts editor of the Nashville Scene, will moderate the event.  The popular Insight Forum brings influential art professionals to Nashville for public conversation.

November 13-14, 2017

Photography and Community Hackathon @ The Wond’ry 

The November 2017 two-day Hackathon will create digital maps of the North Nashville neighborhood based on the oral histories of the North Nashville community members.  The idea of photographic representation and how meaning is built through words, sounds and images is the foundation of the project.  Archival images and newly create dportraits will be mapped for future public use.

This project was made possible with support from the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise & Public Policy Catalyst GrantThe Wond’ry, the Vanderbilt Department of Art, and the McGruder Social Practice Artists Residency.



October 26, 2017

Invitations to Industry:
Connecting Graduate Students to Career Opportunities Outside of Academia Series

There’s More Than One Track: Career Options for the Humanities PhD with Lisa Niles
4:10 pm –  102 Buttrick Hall

Lisa Niles is the founder and managing partner of Adaptive Growth Strategies and a proven business process leader with a wealth of corporate and academic experience, offering a unique perspective on solving mission-critical issues. She is known for aligning people with the right processes and systems to enhance productivity, increase efficiency, improve bottom line performance and generate more effective analytics.

This event is sponsored by The Curb Center and the English Department.

October 16, 2017

Designing Your “Mission” Poster with Megan Kelley

Session 3 of our 4-part series on declaring your mission and communication it through a poster
4-6 pm –  Curb Center Makerspace

Now that you’ve figured out your mantra, it’s time to visualize it! Megan Kelley will help you design an 8″ x 10″ poster that transforms your words into a vibrant work of art. These single-color designs can stand alone, or transform into a silkscreen stencil for the final session, opening creative avenues for expressing your passion to the world!

October 10, 2017

We Will Not Be Erased!

Dr. Marta Moreno-Vega is the founder and president of Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI), inspired by a vision to create an international organization to promote and link communities of African descent.  She is a passionate advocate for cultural equity, cultural studies, and education.  Dr. Moreno-Vega works to ensure the contributions of African and African descendants are integrated in civil society in the Americas. She has conducted research in Yoruba belief systems in the African Diaspora and has organized international conferences uniting scholars and leading traditional experts focused on expanding the knowledge and importance of sacred African Diaspora traditions. Read more

October 9, 2017

Look and See: A Portrait of Wendall Berry

The Curb Center for Art, Enterprise & Public Policy was pleased to co-sponsor a screening of the documentary film, Look and See: A Portrait of Wendell Berry .  The screening was followed by a panel discussion with Vanderbilt faculty and community leaders. Hors d’oeuvres will be provided by the Nashville Food Project. Other co-sponsors included the Vanderbilt Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society and Vanderbilt Cinema and Media Arts.

October 9, 2017

Visual Communication: Using Images to Convey a Message with Elizabeth Meadows

Session 2 of our 4-part series on declaring your mission and communicating it through a poster
4-6 pm – Curb Center Makerspace

Visual communication is described as the conveyance of ideas and information in forms that can be read or looked upon, and is primarily presented or expressed with two dimensional images, including signs, typography, drawing, graphic design, illustration, industrial design, advertising, animation, color and electronic resources. This style of communication explores the idea that an image which accompanies text has a greater power to inform, educate, or persuade its audience.

Since 2013, Elizabeth Meadows, Ph.D. has been the Assistant Director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise & Public Policy. She leads the Curb Scholars Program in Creative Enterprise and Public Leadership, an undergraduate scholarship program that enables students to develop core creative competencies across multiple fields while integrating creativity with public engagement on campus and beyond.

October 2, 2017

Wandering Map Workshop with Katharine Brooks

Session 1 of our 4-part series on declaring your mission and communicating it through a poster
4-6 pm – Curb Center Makerspace

Katharine Brooks, Ph.D. is the author of You Majored in What ? Mapping Your Path from Chaos to Career and writes a blog, “Career Transitions” for Psychology Today. She has twice been designated a “Top Ten Most Visionary Leader in Career Services” by CSO Research and received the prestigious Kauffman Award from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

Dr. Brooks has a doctorate in educational psychology and a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling from West Virginia University. Her bachelor’s degree is in sociology from Gettysburg College.  She became the new Evans Family Executive Director of the Career Center at Vanderbilt University in 2016.  Prior to that, she directed career centers at Wake Forest University, The University of Texas in Austin, and Dickinson College.

September 30-October 1, 2017

The Nashville Maker Faire is a community-based learning event that inspires attendees to experience hands-on learning while connecting with a diverse group of inventors and projects. These events provide a show-and-tell venue for people of all ages that brings out the “kid” through incredible projects and discoveries that attendees may be unaware of.  This year’s event was held Vanderbilt’s The Wond’ry.

September 28, 2017 – March 31, 2018

The Art of Farzana’s Journey: A Bangladesh story of the water, land, and people’ is an exhibit of the project completed by Vanderbilt Civil & Environmental Engineering graduate student and 2017 Curb Public Scholar Chelsea Peters. The showcase highlights the full creation process of Farzana’s Journey, from research to children’s book, with an impressive display of the colorful book illustrations, completed by a number of Vanderbilt students and affiliated artists.

Chelsea wrote a children’s book as part of her dissertation work, in partnership with the Department of Engineering’s ongoing research on the connection between humans and the environment in southwest Bangladesh. The book’s narrative follows a young girl named Farzana who must walk a long distance to fetch her family’s water. Her usual journey develops into an adventure as she meets animal characters, each of whom relays a story about the ever-changing environment and the subsequent human adaptation. 500 copies of the book, printed in Bangla, will be given to Bangladesh school children as a tangible tie between research and the local community.


September 18, 2017

Interview with Megan Kelley & Emily Carlton

Session 3 of our 3-part series on visual note taking
4-6 pm –  Curb Center Makerspace

Participants will use the skills learned in the previous two workshops to take visual notes while Elizabeth Meadows interviews Emily and Megan on their art, advice and sketch note techniques


September 11, 2017

Sketch Notes with Megan Kelley

Session 2 of our 3-part series on visual note taking
4-6 pm – Curb Center Makerspace

A lecture can sometimes feel like being on safari with a camera: there is so much to take in, and so much to capture! Sketchnotes can help the listener stay engaged, retain more information, and use unique perspectives to create new connections. Anyone can learn the basics of drawing good notes by transforming the subject matter into a visual adventure – no art degree required!

Megan Kelley has fifteen+ years of experience cultivating arts experiences in corporate, commercial, and grassroots spheres. As a sketchnote artist, she documents contemporary dialogues into Visual Summaries of information that become easily seen, understood, and shared. Ms. Kelley is drawn to contemporary dialogues about equity, policy, and community within the arts, and works to amplify marginalized voices through the visual sharing of their experiences through work with groups as diverse as Toyota, Red Bull, TEDx, Creative Mornings, The City of Nashville, The Mayor’s Dialogue for Racial Justice, Conscious Conversation, ArtCamp, Science Club, Research Club, and The Conference to End Mass Incarceration.


August 28, 2017

Visual Note Taking with Emily Carlton

Session 1 of our 3-part series on visual note taking
4-6 p.m – Curb Center Makerspace

Sketchnote Academy is a workshop designed to teach you how to really listen, capture big ideas, and share those big ideas with others through the visual note-taking method called Sketchnotes. In this small group environment, you’ll learn from the instructor (AND your peers!) as you work through foundations, tools, methods, and finishing techniques. By the end of the workshop you’ll be able to visualize and communicate ideas, and you’ll also find these skills carry over to other areas of life and study!

Emily Carlton is a freelance illustrator and designer living in Nashville where she helps individuals and businesses visualize their messages through illustration. Outside of working with her own clients and teaching workshops, Emily travels and draws for The Sketch Effect, a visual communication solutions company based in Atlanta. In the few moments she’s not putting pen to paper, you can find her outside hiking, kayaking, or longboarding