Today, Cheekwood announces lead gifts from The Bracken Foundation, The Ann and Monroe Carell Foundation, and The Frist Foundation for The Cheekwood Campaign, an unprecedented effort that will create a strong long-term foundation for the institution. With over $20M pledged to date, this major fundraising campaign aims to address deferred restoration, build capital reserves and, most importantly, raise endowment for Cheekwood.
Coinciding with this effort, the Campaign will greatly elevate Cheekwood’s offerings with the creation of a future Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden, enhanced Carell Woodland Sculpture Trail, and restoration and enhancements to the Frist Learning Center.
“When Cheekwood opened to the public in 1960, it was an incredible gift to Nashville,” said Jane MacLeod, Cheekwood President and CEO. “But gifted without an endowment, Cheekwood has struggled since its inception to care for and maintain two fully developed and separate entities—a 55-acre botanical garden and 90,000 square feet of buildings comprised of an historic residence and art museum. This important campaign will allow Cheekwood to realize its full potential as one of the finest remaining examples of an American Country Place Era estate in the United States, becoming not only a Nashville destination, but a national one.”
These lead gifts of the Campaign will fund key capital enhancements anticipated to have an immediate financial impact on the institution:
This important campaign will allow Cheekwood to realize its full potential as one of the finest remaining examples of an American Country Place Era estate in the United States, becoming not only a Nashville destination, but a national one.
BRACKEN FOUNDATION CHILDREN’S GARDEN: Cheekwood has received a $5 million lead gift from The Bracken Foundation. The gift, positioned as a challenge to raise an additional $2 million in endowment funds, will bring a permanent family feature to its grounds in spring 2019. Nashville-based architecture firm Hodgson Douglas will lead the project.
CARELL WOODLAND SCULPTURE TRAIL: With a $5 million lead gift from The Ann and Monroe Carell Foundation (Kathryn and David Brown, Edie and David Johnson, and Julie Carell Stadler), enhancements will be made to the mile-long sculpture trail considered a hidden treasure of the estate. Additions to the trail include an ADA accessible path, enhanced horticulture and nighttime lighting in 2020. The design process for the project will be led by Nashville-based Hawkins Partners, Inc. Gary Hawkins will be the principal-in-charge.
FRIST LEARNING CENTER: With a $4 million gift from The Frist Foundation, Cheekwood will restore and enhance the Frist Learning Center, its hub of education and public programs, to include a new café that will serve as a long-term satellite food service option adjacent to the future Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden, as well as reimagined meeting and interpretation gallery spaces.
Additionally, three $1 million commitments were made by former Cheekwood Board Chairman Mrs. James C. “Tooty” Bradford, Jr. for the Bradford Robertson Color Garden; an Anonymous donor; and a gift of land by Mr. and Mrs. William H. Freeman.
“Following years of transformative growth with record attendance and membership, this important campaign will enable Cheekwood to build the strong foundation that we have lacked since the beginning,” said Cheekwood Board Chair Jimmy Webb. “It has been over 18 years since Cheekwood’s last major campaign. As a landmark destination in our great city, we must not only preserve this Nashville treasure, but we should enhance it, planning for the next 50 years with the same ambition that came before us.”
When The Cheekwood Campaign quietly began in 2015, it was the first major fundraising campaign for Cheekwood in over 18 years. The campaign goal—to raise $30 million by 2018—will allocate $25 million toward endowment, capital reserves, restoration and working capital needs, and at least $5 million toward enhancements including the future Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden, the Carell Woodland Sculpture Trail and Frist Learning Center. Cheekwood’s endowment was at $4.8 million prior to the launch of this campaign.