Emme Nelson Baxter is a ninth-generation Nashvillian and an owner of Boulevard Communications, LLC.

Photographs by Tiffani Bing

 

Antiques & Garden Show Kickoff

There’s been a whole lot of namedropping going on in society circles lately. And perhaps the biggest one is “DK.”

With apologies to a certain “DK” at WSMV, know that these days what the “DK” people are buzzing about is beguiling, Oscar-winning actress Diane Keaton. She’s coming to town in January to headline the Antiques & Garden Show of Nashville.

Kathy Rolfe and Betsy Wilt, A&G 2015 Kickoff hosts

Kathy Rolfe and Betsy Wilt, A&G 2015 Kickoff hosts

Kae Gallagher and Julie Fleming, 2015 Show Chairmen, challenged themselves to trump last year’s homerun event which featured Lady Carnarvon, resident of Highclere Castle where the insanely popular Downton Abbey is filmed. They especially wanted to go big as it’s the event’s silver anniversary. So they turned their attention to American soil in search of an All-American icon who would complement the show’s theme: “Style.”

So scotch away those images of Jacobean country estates and start California dreaming about the Spanish colonial and edgier, less conventional architecture that has so inspired the American actress. Keaton, who has penned a couple of books on architectural design, will deliver the keynote lecture at the four-day event at the Music City Center.

Julie Fleming and Kae Gallagher, A&G 2015 General Chairmen

Julie Fleming and Kae Gallagher, A&G 2015 General Chairmen

Let’s drop a few more names from Fleming and Gallagher’s lineup for lectures and panels. Designers Christopher Spitzmiller, Alexa Hampton, and Markham Roberts will be flying in from the Big Apple. Representing the South will be Blackberry Farm’s Kreis Beall, Atlanta interior designer Suzanne Kasler, plus Rebecca Wesson Darwin and Haskell Harris of Charleston-based Garden & Gun.

These design celebs join some 150 choice exhibitors and garden folks who will be showing at the January 29 through February 1, 2015 event.

Brian Gilleland, Steve Sirls, Margaret Boyd and Hugh Howser

Brian Gilleland, Steve Sirls, Margaret Boyd and Hugh Howser

Attracting this caliber of talent is impressive and comes on the heels of myriad chairmen who’ve elevated the show into the largest of its ilk in the United States, typically drawing more than 10,000 visitors. To date, the show has raised nearly $6 million on behalf of Cheekwood and the many area charities supported by the Economic Club of Nashville.

Laura Roberts, Nan Evans and Shannon Shears

Laura Roberts, Nan Evans and Shannon Shears

That lineup, incidentally, was revealed in September—society kickoff season here—when the volunteer corps gathered for coffee at Kathy and Bobby Rolfe’s Belle Meade home. Thrilled by the news were kickoff co-host Betsy Wilt plus Kate Ezell, Jane Sloan, Elizabeth Foss, Katherine Beasley, Laura Roberts, Amy Liz Riddick, Lucie Carroll, Beth Garza, Amy Richards, Julia Spickard, Donna Dalton, Shea Ghertner, Polly Fleming, Beth Moore, Anna Kristin Yarbrough, Jackie Hicks, Dana Miller, and Sandy Sangervasi.

Symphony Ball Kickoff

Symphony Ball Chairmen Anne Maradik and Karlen Garrard dropped a few household names themselves during the event’s Prelude party held at Mary and Tom Gambill’s home. The chairs were delighted to share that Grammy Award winners Faith Hill and Tim McGraw will be presented the organization’s annual Harmony Award at the 2014 Symphony Ball on December 13 at Schermerhorn Symphony Center. The vocal power couple will also perform with the orchestra.

Anne Maradik and Karlen Garrard

Anne Maradik and Karlen Garrard

Amy Grant and Vince Gill have graciously offered to host the event’s patron party at their home.

Making their first appearances at the Symphony Ball: Virginia (14) and Claudia (12) Guerrero, daughters of Nashville Symphony Maestro Giancarlo Guerrero and his wife, Shirley Guerrero.

Mary Jo Shankle, Martha Stamps,Betsy Wills, Barbara Keith Payne, Amy Lynch

Mary Jo Shankle, Martha Stamps,Betsy Wills, Barbara Keith Payne, Amy Lynch

Now if you’re wondering what color gown to wear, bear in mind that it is the event’s 30th anniversary. So think “pearl.”

Shirley and Giancarlo Guerrero, Julie and Frank Boehm

Shirley and Giancarlo Guerrero, Julie and Frank Boehm

Since its formation in 1985, the Symphony Ball has raised almost $7 million for the organization and its programs.  Giving that news a big thumbs up were Alan Valentine, Joyce Vise, Robin and Richard Patton, Laurie Eskind, Sandra and Larry Lipman, Barbara Keith Payne, Rich Maradik, Jane Anne Pilkinton, Candy Bass, Julie Walker, Betsy and Ridley Wills, Mary Jo Shankle, and Kaki Pulliam.

Kim Holbrook, Carolyn Sorenson, Mindy Jacoway, Sue Fisher

Kim Holbrook, Carolyn Sorenson, Mindy Jacoway, Sue Fisher

Swan Ball Kickoff

Three other early-fall committee kickoffs were more about “friendraising” than announcing precious details of the signature events themselves. That’ll come later.

Swan Ball Chairmen Barby White and Kathleen Estes

Swan Ball Chairmen Barby White and Kathleen Estes

The Swan Ball held two kickoffs in late September: one at Edie Johnson and David Johnson’s pretty home for the formidable auction committee and another at Kathleen and Alec Estes’s Hill Place abode for the general committee. Kathleen Estes and Barby White are chairing the June 2015 iteration of the ball. Carolyn Taylor and Cathy East have agreed to head up the auction committee. The ball is Nashville’s foremost white-tie extravaganza and benefits Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art. In on all this good planning and enjoying nibbles by Kristen Winston Catering were Hilda McGregor, Julie Gordon, Lori Duke, Jody Hull, Nina Davidson, Sylvia Bradbury, and Claire McCall.

Swan Ball Auction Chairmen Cathy East and Carolyn Taylor

Swan Ball Auction Chairmen Cathy East and Carolyn Taylor

Alice Whitson and Amy McKelvey

Alice Whitson and Amy McKelvey

Ballet Ball Kickoff

Laurie and Annette Eskind

Laurie and Annette Eskind

The 26th annual Ballet Ball organizers opted to locate their kickoff at a non-residential venue. Their early-October launch was held at Corsair Distillery in Marathon Village. Chairmen Melissa Mahanes and Kerri Cavanaugh’s committee enjoyed custom cocktails and wicked bites from Bacon & Caviar Catering. The ball, set for Saturday, March 7, at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, is the Nashville Ballet’s largest annual fundraiser. Perennial ballet supporters on hand to toast the team included Elizabeth and Lynn Greer, Nancy Cheadle, Suann Davis, Sarah Reisner, Amy and Owen Joyner, Marci and Stephen Houff, Sandra Lipman, Elizabeth Nichols, Eleanor Nahley, and Jennifer Puryear.

Suzanne Smothers, Marci Houff, and Eleanor Nahley

Suzanne Smothers, Marci Houff, and Eleanor Nahley

Kerri Cavanaugh, Austin, the bartender and Melissa Mahanes

Kerri Cavanaugh, Austin, the bartender and Melissa Mahanes

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