A spokesperson for the YMCA of Middle Tennessee stated it would be cost-prohibitive for the organization to save the historic Russell Street Presbyterian Church located at 122 S. 11th St. Photograph by Chuck Allen, Sept. 4, 2020

East Side Buzz, September 11

Help for Music Venues and Neighborhood News!

Don’t Miss the Most Recent Issue!

There’s still time to secure your copy of the new issue of The East Nashvillian! This special issue takes a look at how we and our neighbors are navigating the unprecedented events of 2020 through our own perspectives. From the personal and financial devastation of a worldwide pandemic to the struggle for racial justice we’re all just “Feeling the Elephant.” You can pick up your copy at usual distribution points, read it online, or have it delivered directly to your home through our storefront.

And speaking of issues, our last issue is still available when you place an order for any of the deluxe merch we’re now offering through our webstore. Grab yourself a swank Shelby Bottoms shirt featuring the one and only Golden Pheasant or pay tribute to the East Side’s most famous Street (or is that Avenue? Or Pike?) Or score an East Side pride bandanna that can serve double duty as both a handy face covering or a high-flying freak flag! Show your East Side Pride with fancy duds on your body and a copy of The East Nashvillian on your coffee table. Place your order today!

COVID-19 Updates — Metrics Tick Upwards as Crowds Gather Downtown
The Labor Day weekend meant a return of careless crowds to Downtown Nashville that spilled out into other areas. Metro police issued 52 citations to individuals who were not complying with mask mandate in the downtown area over the weekend and reported that officers and Public Safety Ambassadors reminded thousands of people to wear their masks. One person was arrested on Saturday night and two others on Sunday night for not complying with the health department’s mask order.

Metro police also responded to and shut down or issued citations for several large gatherings over the weekend along with citing six operators of “transportainment” vehicles in the downtown area for violating public health orders. On Saturday, officers from the East Precinct reported that about 500 people were gathered in the 700 block of Main Street. The owner of the building said he rented it to a California-based company for an art exhibition. No representative of the company could be located. The building owner was issued a state misdemeanor citation for violation of Health Department orders.

Nashville saw a rise in key metrics this week. As of Thursday, the transmission rate was 0.92, a significant increase over recent weeks. A total of 753 new cases were reported in the last week. To date, there have been a total of 26,988 cases of COVID-19 reported in Davidson County, with 247 total deaths. More information and updates on Metro’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic are available at asafenashville.org.

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Nashville Music Clubs Receive Emergency Relief Funds
With Nashville’s music independent venues struggling life, the Metro Metro Council approved $2 million in CARES Act funding last week to help keep the heart of the Nashville music scene beating.

With the majority of smaller music venues closed for several months, and a handful operating at minimal capacity, a recent report by the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) estimated that over 50 percent of indie music clubs are just six weeks or less away from bankruptcy. The $2 million, drawn from Metro’s third CARES Act allocation, will benefit venues with annual revenue of less than $5 million. Venue owners can apply to receive up to $100,000 for two months of expenses including rent, utilities, and insurance payments.

While this is just temporary relief and does not include payroll expenses, it supplies a vital lifeline for Nashville indie venues while the 2,600 members of NIVA  continue to lobby congress to pass the $10 billion Save Our Stages act to aid local performance venues across the U.S. For more information on how you can help local music venues, visit saveourstages.com, and be sure to check out Steven Trageser’s deep-dive talk with Exit/In’s Chris Cobb, The 5 Spot’s Todd Sherwood, and City Winery’s Mike Simon for this week’s cover story in the Nashville Scene.

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EAMOTION Arrives
A new and pandemic-proof live entertainment experience, EMAOTION, will be making its world debut in Nashville next week. Conceived by Erik Anderson, CEO of Eamotion and co-founder/design principal of Cour Design, EAMOTION is a drive-thru course of 50-foot tall pyramids constructed from 2000+ video panels and 400-foot wide, projection-mapped surfaces. The course includes over 8000 lighting, video, and special effects elements.

As Anderson notes, EAMOTION came about as a result of restrictions sparking new ideas. “When everything shut down we realized this was a moment when we could make something that otherwise we wouldn’t get to create. We didn’t want it to feel like it was a band-aid for the current time — like a drive-in concert which is something that I don’t think I would go to if I had another option. We wanted to make something that felt familiar but that had vast creative potential.

“The quickest way to describe it is it’s kind of like those drive-through Christmas light displays but with Super Bowl-level halftime production,” Anderson continues. “There are elements that are pretty much indescribable until you experience it. It’s an immersive audio-visual event that is a spectacle in itself, and it’s something you can go do safely right now.”

EAMOTION will be staged at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, September 18-22. With audience members confined to their vehicles, EAMOTION is a safe, contact-free event for the whole family. More information and tickets are available at eamotion.com.

Amazon Job Fair Coming to Nashville
Online mega-retailer Amazon is hosting a nationwide job fair with the goal of hiring 33,000 new employees nationwide, including 527 positions in Nashville and 1,128 across Tennessee.

According to Amazon’s press release, the “Amazon Career Day is more than a job fair. On top of learning about the open corporate and tech roles at Amazon in Nashville, attendees will have access to free career development resources, including 20,000 1-to-1 career coaching videoconferences in one day with Amazon recruiters, whether they want to work at Amazon or elsewhere. Plus, career-building experts and featured speakers will share practical information.”

Amazon Career Day will be Wednesday, September 16, 2020. For more information and to sign up for a Career Coaching session visit amazon.jobs/careerday.

Lend a Hand to Help with Tornado Recovery!
Hands On Nashville is planning a service day on September 26, 2020, for volunteers to go door to door in East Nashville, Donelson, and Hermitage and speak to anyone affected by the March 3 tornado.  Volunteers will be collecting information to connect people with agencies for disaster case management.

Volunteers will take special precautions with social distancing, masks, and other safety measures to protect both themselves and neighborhood residents from COVID-19. Anyone wishing to volunteer can visit the Hands On Nashville volunteer opportunities site. For more info on recovery assistance, visit tornadoresponse.com.

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Don’t Forget to Vote Early or Absentee!
A reminder that early voting for the November 3 General Election begins on October 14 and will run through October 29. Two additional Early Voting locations have been added for this election — The East Nashville YMCA and Friendship Baptist Church in North Nashville. A complete list of early voting locations and hours is available from the Election Commission’s website.

You can also now request an absentee voting ballot for the November 3 General Election. Although the Tennessee Supreme Court overturned an earlier decision that allowed Tennesseans to vote absentee for any reason, there are still a wide variety of reasons Tennesseans may do so — including having an underlying medical condition that puts you at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 or if you are the caretaker of someone with a disability or underlying medical condition.

For more information, a link to the CDC’s list of underlying medical conditions that place you at high risk, and to request an absentee ballot, visit the Davidson County Election Commission. Absentee ballots are scheduled to begin mailing to applicants on September 19, 2020. Once you receive your ballot, be sure to mail it in as early as possible to make sure your vote counts.

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Quick Bits

  • Otaku Ramen East will be teaming up with Nicky’s Coal Fired Bagels this weekend for a pop-up bagel shop at 604 Gallatin Ave. The bagels will be serving up hot on Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Walk-up orders are welcome, but you can click here to preorder.
  • East Nashville’s oldest dive bar, Dino’s reopened last week with patio-only service. Patio tables are first come, first served. Visit Dino’s on Facebook for up-to-date info on hours.
  • Local comedian Da’Herm Black is opening his new East Side comedy club, Out East, this Saturday at 1401 Gallatin Ave. Unit B. Doors open at 8 p.m. and masks and temperature checks will be required. For more info and updates, follow Da’Herm on Facebook.
  • The YMCA of Middle Tennessee has announced plans to renovate and expand its YMCA Community Action Program (Y-CAP) gymnasium at 1011 Russell St. and sell the two adjacent properties. All three buildings suffered heavy damage from the March 3 tornado. In a statement to the press regarding the plans, the spokesperson for the YMCA noted that the historic church building 122 S. 11th St. is probably worth saving, but any effort to do so would be cost-prohibitive for the organization. Built as the home for the Russell Street Presbyterian Church in 1911, the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • The Canvas, an eight-building apartment complex at 1120 Litton Ave. adjacent to the condominium development Solo East in South Inglewood is slated for a major update and expansion. The plans include a new, mixed-use building on Gallatin Pike between McDonald’s and O’Reilly Auto Parts. The plans will require zoning waivers and are slated to go before on Oct. 1.
  • A Minnesota-based company is planning a six-story senior housing project with rents below market rate for 900 Dickerson Pike. The current plans would require a height variance approval by the Metro Board of Zoning Appeals.