Purse made from Nashville Arts Magazines. Photography by Eric Brown

Purse made from Nashville Arts Magazines. Photography by Eric Brown

The phone rang and a lady named Louise told me that she would like to bring some handbags to the of ce for me to look at. Well, anyone who has spent more than a passing moment with me knows that my fashion sense usually extends to whatever is clean at the moment. Still I told her to drop by whenever was convenient. When Louise did show up she brought with her a remarkable collection of woven-paper handbags. I remembered seeing something similar a long time ago, vases created by wartime prisoners usually out of woven cigarette packs. Turns out these handbags were also woven by inmates through an innovative arts program called DreamWeave at the Metro County detention facility here in Nashville. I paid a visit to the facility and watched the ladies folding each piece of paper, wrapping it with cellophane, and then weaving the strips into handbags. I asked if they would like back copies of the Nashville Arts Magazine to use, and the results are extraordinary. See for yourself and read the full account on page 60. More important, the ladies shared with me that the program has brought art into their lives and given them a renewed purpose. That is the healing power of art.

Mayor Megan Barry is just plain cool and exactly what this city needs at this time. A mayor who understands the importance of the arts in shaping and de ning a city’s future. She loves art; she buys art, attends art openings and concerts, and she recently signed into law a budget which increased funds for the Arts Commission. Way to go! You can read about Mayor Barry’s vision for our city on page 38.

It’s hot out there. The cover cools me down.

Paul Polycarpou | Publisher

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