Starting with a reception on February 5, the Centennial Art Center’s gallery will host a show of 14 local black artists. The site is the location of the Centennial Park pool that closed among the strife of the 1960s:
In 1961, a group of approximately 20 black teens decided to take a swim in the city’s ‘big pool with the concession stand’ at Centennial Park. According to The Tennessean, by late July the pool closed. Historian Leland R. Johnson wrote in his book, The Parks of Nashville, “The lack of funding was the official explanation for the closing… However, civil rights demonstrations were in progress at the time, and it is the opinion of some that Mayor Ben West and the Park Board ordered the pools closed to avoid the sort of disturbances that had occurred in other cities when swimming pools were integrated.”
The gallery, which is located in the northeast corner of Centennial Park, is only open during normal work hours 4 days a week.
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