Member Spotlight: Gina Jackson
Published: May 24, 2021
At Cheekwood, our members are at the very heart of what we do. We wanted to highlight a new member and share some of the reasons she enjoys being a member at Cheekwood.
As an Air Force veteran and a Senior Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs headquarters, Gina Jackson is a frequent traveler and Nashville has been a favorite destination. The first time she visited Cheekwood she knew it was a place she wanted to see again and again, so Gina became a member in 2020 even though she lived in Virginia. However, a firm believer in serendipity, Gina has since had the opportunity to move and make Nashville her home permanently!
When Gina’s not handling interviews and media requests in her day job, she serves as a Board member and public relations adviser for the non-profit organization Operation Song – an organization that pairs professional songwriters with Veterans to help them tell their often difficult stories through song. In her spare time Gina loves music, travel and photography and she can often be found wandering the Cheekwood gardens with a camera in hand.
Cheekwood is open year-round and hosts four seasonal festivals. What is your favorite season at Cheekwood and why OR What is your favorite Cheekwood festival and why?
I think it’s tough to beat Cheekwoood in the springtime! It’s a great feeling when the weather finally starts to warm up and you can spend more time outdoors again and the gardens during Cheekwood in Bloom are absolutely breathtaking.
With 13 gardens, The Carell Trail, Historic Mansion & Museum, café, gift shops, and more, there is a lot to explore at Cheekwood. What is your favorite garden or area and why?
That’s a tough choice…but I love the Color Garden because it’s always amazing to see the incredibly colorful mixture of flowers each season and I love the Water Garden area because it’s very serene to just watch/listen to the water flowing down the small falls.
What is your favorite room or area in the Historic Mansion & Museum and Why?
I love the room with the curved staircase and the bell chandelier. Photography is a passion of mine and this room has great lines, curves and angles to photograph…from above looking down and from below looking up. There’s also some great details in the iron work on the staircase…it’s a beautiful area of the house.
Do you have a favorite art piece at Cheekwood, OR a favorite exhibition that Cheekwood has hosted? What about the artwork or exhibition interested you?
I loved the Chihuly exhibit! I’ve always been amazed by his incredible glass work and to see the sculptures displayed in the gardens was absolutely beautiful!
Tell us about a program, activity, class, workshop, or event you enjoyed and what you liked about it.
I really enjoy Holiday LIGHTS at Christmas! It’s a great activity for every age. Walking through the lights with holiday music playing over the speakers is just amazing and it’s great that you can get hot chocolate, adult beverages and make s’mores too! It’s just a really fun thing to do with friends and family around the holidays.
Why do you think Cheekwood is important – for individuals, families, and communities?
Cheekwood is a beautiful place to escape to…away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It’s not far from downtown Nashville, but once you’re there on the grounds it feels like you’re a world away. These days it seems like every square foot of space around us is being developed, so I’m thankful this beautiful place exists for everyone to enjoy.
What three songs would be on your Cheekwood playlist?
Pushing Daisies by Brothers Osborne
Desert Rose by Sting
Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls
Not a member? Join Cheekwood today and experience the unparalleled beauty of Nashville’s landmark country estate. As a member, you have unlimited access to inspiring art and garden exhibits, programs, festivals, and events throughout every season.