The nonprofit Tennessee Performing Arts Center and Nashville Symphony announced a two-year joint health and safety partnership with HCA Healthcare and its TriStar Health affiliate based in Nashville to guide the safe reopening and return to live performances for the essential arts and cultural organizations in Middle Tennessee.
In addition to providing valuable financial support through a grant from the HCA Healthcare Foundation, HCA Healthcare-TriStar Health will serve as the official health and safety partner for both TPAC and the symphony to build resilience in the performing arts community and deliver safe and enriching arts experiences for artists, musicians, patrons, staff and volunteers.
“As we look forward to returning from an extended intermission, our top priority is ensuring the more than 450,000 patrons, students and teachers we serve each year have complete confidence to enjoy meaningful and safe experiences with the arts,” said Jennifer Turner, TPAC President and CEO. “Partnering with HCA Healthcare-TriStar Health brings their expertise to that commitment and sets the stage for a rousing second act when we can again bring our community together through the arts. Health and safety will play an essential role in our response to COVID-19 and as an ongoing presence in society, and we foresee this as one of the most crucial partnerships in TPAC history.”
The partnership builds on decades-long relationships between the organizations and HCA Healthcare-TriStar Health, which has sponsored TPAC’s annual Broadway at TPAC series for 14 years and supported the presentation of more than 70 Broadway productions to 1.5 million people.
“We are beyond grateful to HCA Healthcare-TriStar Health for expanding our partnership to provide critical resources and support as we plan for our reopening,” said Nashville Symphony president and CEO Alan Valentine. “Through their generosity and partnership, we are now taking our next steps toward providing our community with live music again. Their expertise will help us open on the right timeline with proper precautions for our musicians, staff and patrons. We are confident that live music will once again fill our hall this year, and we’re elated to have the experts at HCA Healthcare-TriStar Health guide us in making that a reality.”
For the past seven years, the symphony and HCA Healthcare-TriStar Health partnered to offer the Legends of Music Series at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Once performances are able to resume, the partnership will enter its eighth season.
“It is our privilege to collaborate with Tennessee Performing Arts Center and the Nashville Symphony as a health and safety partner to help facilitate a safe reopening and return to live performances,” said Dr. Tama Van Decar, chief medical officer with TriStar Health. “Through this collaboration, we will seek to deliver safe experiences utilizing clinical resources and best practices in safety protocols, which will build lasting confidence for artists, patrons and staff. It is important that we focus on returning to these enriching live experiences to support the mental health and wellbeing of our Nashville community. There is a psychological benefit in being present, immersing ourselves and participating in shared artistic experiences.”
HCA Healthcare-TriStar Health experts will work with TPAC and the symphony on best practices for safely reopening TPAC venues and the Schermerhorn Symphony Center and provide access to personal protective equipment and rapid testing for each organization’s community of performers, patrons, staff and other personnel.
Though its full scope will develop over time, the partnership’s initial focus will include:
• ongoing guidance from HCA Healthcare-TriStar Health medical and infectious disease experts on implementing effective health and safety operations.
• an assessment of public, backstage and performance spaces to recommend physical changes that protect performers, technicians, patrons and staff.
• communications to the public on how they will safely return to performances at the James K. Polk Cultural Center and Schermerhorn Symphony Center.
• COVID-19 testing resources for artists and staff.
• training and resources for staff in CPR, emergency preparedness, first-aid assistance and more.
By helping to sustain a safe environment for TPAC spaces, the partnership also will bring ballet, opera and professional theatre back to the community as TPAC is the performance home for Nashville Ballet, Nashville Opera and Nashville Repertory Theatre.
With arts education important to TPAC’s mission, the nonprofit also has asked HCA Healthcare-TriStar Health to provide supplies and health education to schools participating in its programs, which serve about 45,000 students, teachers and adults across Middle Tennessee each year.
Each arts organization will create dedicated health and safety webpages and launch social media campaigns with ongoing tips from health experts to inform patrons about reopening.