Cheekwood

aka Cheekwood   |   Nashville, TN   |  www.cheekwood.org

Mission

To preserve Cheekwood as an historical landmark where beauty and excellence in art and horticulture stimulate the mind and nurture the spirit.

Ruling year info

1962

President & CEO

Ms. Jane O. MacLeod

Main address

1200 Forrest Park Dr.

Nashville, TN 37205 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Tennessee Botanical Gardens and Fine Arts Center

EIN

62-0627921

NTEE code info

Art Museums (A51)

Botanical Gardens, Arboreta and Botanical Organizations (C41)

(Bon)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Cheekwood serves the community by providing • Diverse horticulture and arboreta that inspire a peaceful reconnection with the natural world • Hands-on educational experiences inspired by history, art, and gardens to promote real-world learning in a time when students are increasingly technology-dependent • Preservation and interpretation of history and art to build understanding of the human experience • Access to cultural institutions for traditionally under-served communities • Investments in sustainability and operational excellence to ensure Cheekwood’s preservation as a cultural institution in service of the community.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Art Exhibitions

Cheekwood is the region's premier repository for fine art in a historic setting and a top destination for outdoor, contemporary sculpture. Its permanent collections feature photographs by Louise Dahl-Wolfe, sculptures by William Edmondson, and works by Red Grooms, Georgia O'Keeffe, Andy Warhol, and other major American artists. Cheekwood's Ann & Monroe Carell Jr. Family Sculpture Trail, renovated for enhanced accessibility, includes outdoor sculptures by Siah Armajani, Jenny Holzer, James Turrell, and more. Cheekwood hosts numerous visiting exhibitions each year. Many features outdoor sculptures that highlight and complement Cheekwood’s sweeping vistas and rolling hills. Exhibitions of works by emerging artists, including the Martin Shallenberger Artist-in-Residence program and The Middle Tennessee Scholastic Art Awards, enhance regional visual art offerings.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

Cheekwood's 55-acre botanical garden and woodland have matured into an important natural landscape and horticultural resource. In 2020, Cheekwood was awarded national accreditation as a Level 2 Arboretum by The Arbnet Arboretum Accreditation program. Also recognized as a Center of Excellence by the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council, Cheekwood is home to a nationally accredited dogwood collection, 10 acres of woodland, 13 display gardens, 150,000 spring bulbs, and 25,000 annuals grown in onsite production greenhouses. Cheekwood's seasonal festivals are community favorites and family traditions. Cheekwood in Bloom showcases vibrant color throughout the gardens, with over 150,000 blooms. Summertime at Cheekwood includes evening programs and Summer Camp. Cheekwood Harvest features pumpkin houses, chrysanthemums, and fall favorites. Holiday LIGHTS presents over 1 million lights displayed throughout the grounds.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

School & Outreach Programs underscore Cheekwood's role as a catalyst for learning in Tennessee and its ambition to serve individuals throughout our community. Programs include: school tours aligned with TN core curriculum standards and offered free to all school groups from Tennessee, Kentucky, and Alabama; Destination Cheekwood, brings families from Title I schools and partner organizations to Cheekwood with transportation, admission, programming, translation, and meals provided for free; Professional Development Workshops offered to local teachers; Art Outreach sends professional artists to rural and Title I schools for a half-day of immersive, hands-on art activities; Home School Day shares enriching art and horticulture with homeschool students, families, and teachers; Cheekwood's Career Readiness Initiative includes partnerships with Opportunity NOW and Tennessee State University for paid internships for underserved high school and college students.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Public and family programs help Cheekwood's visitors of all ages create, learn, and discover. Camps, pre-K activities, and multi-generational learning experiences enhance exhibitions and seasonal festivals. Programs include cultural festivals, music performances, discussions with visiting artists, and workshops. El Día de los Muertos, the annual Day of the Dead cultural celebration, features community art projects, live performances, and more. Japanese Moon Viewing features kamishibai storytelling, tea ceremonies, and bilingual tours of the Blevins Japanese Garden. Summer Camps offer interactive, in-depth classes on art and nature. Tots! art and garden activities and story-time for pre-K ages are offered in the Bracken Foundation Children's Garden. Daily guided tours of Cheekwood's museum and gardens are offered to visitors.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Families
Children and youth

Where we work

Accreditations

National Register of Historic Places 2000

Tennessee Association of Museums 2000

American Alliance of Museums 2001

Tennessee Urban Forestry Council Accreditation - Level 4 Arboretum 2011

American Alliance of Museums 2016

Arbnet Arboretum Accreditation - Level II 2020

Awards

Award of Excellence, 'Kensuke Yamada: Diving Through Clouds' 2017

External Organization Award Name Year Actions Tennessee Association of Museums

Award of Excellence, 'Steve Tobin: Southern Roots' 2017

Tennessee Association of Museums

Commendation 'Cheekwood.org' 2017

Tennessee Association of Museums

Commendation, 'First Thursday Nights in the Garden feat. New Dialect' 2017

Tennessee Association of Museums

#1 Best Local Event/Festival, 'Holiday LIGHTS' 2019

Nashville Scene

#1 Best Place to Take Out-of-Towners 2019

Nashville Scene

#1 Best Outdoor Fun 2019

Nashville Scene

#3 Best Cultural Center 2019

Nashville Scene

Best Museum 2019

Nashville Parent

Best Tourist Attraction 2019

Nashville Parent

#6 Best Botanical Garden 2019

USA Today

Jane MacLeod - Most Powerful Women Award 2019

Nashville Post

Best Art Happening, 'Chihuly at Cheekwood' 2020

Nashville Scene

Best Outdoor Fun 2020

Nashville Scene

Best Art Gallery 2020

Tennessean

Best Seasonal Attraction 2020

Tennessean

Best Museum 2020

Nashville Parent

#2 Top Places to Take Kids 2020

Kids Out & About

Daniel Miller - CFO Award Honoree, Non-profit/Institution 2020

Nashville Business Journal

Award of Excellence, 'Artist-in-Residence: Hiroshi Sato' 2021

Tennessee Association of Museums

Award of Commendation, 'En Plein Air' 2021

Tennessee Association of Museums

Award of Excellence, 'Where Flower (Virtually) Bloom' Marketing Campaign 2021

Tennessee Association of Museums

Best Botanical Garden in Tennessee 2021

Travel Pulse

Best Botanical Garden in the South 2021

Style Blueprint

Hansell Marketing Award 2021

American Public Gardens Association

Affiliations & memberships

Metro Nashville Arts Commission 1990

Center for Nonprofit Management 1992

Association of Fundraising Professionals 1993

Tennessee Arts Commission 1997

American Alliance of Museums 2000

Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce 2000

Tennesseans for the Arts 2000

Tennessee Association of Museums 2000

American Public Gardens Association 2000

Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp 2000

Nashville Rotary Club 2001

PENCIL 2007

Hands on Nashville 2009

Americans for the Arts 2012

Alignment Nashville 2013

Nashville Arts Coalition 2014

National Trust for Historic Preservation Leadership Forum 2014

Southeastern Museum Conference 2014

National Endowment for the Arts 2015

Tennessee Urban Forestry Council 2018

Blue Star Museums 2019

Metro Nashville Parks & Recreation 2019

National Endowment for the Humanities 2020

American Horticultural Society 2020

Tennessee Art Education Association 2020

Tennessee Historical Commission 2019

American Horticultural Society 2021

American Public Gardens Association 2000

Tennessee Historical Commission 2019

American Horticultural Society 2021

American Public Gardens Association 2000

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of paid admissions

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Children and youth

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total number of free admissions

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Children and youth

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Total number of exhibitions

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Art Exhibitions

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Hours of volunteer service

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Cheekwood’s vision is to be a nationally recognized destination renowned for its distinctive beauty, historical significance, and excellence in art and horticulture. In pursuit of its vision, Cheekwood has outlined strategic goals:

Horticulture: create a rich and horticulturally diverse botanical garden for enhanced visitor experience; preserve the integrity of the grounds and horticulture; mitigate the emerald ash borer epidemic on native ash trees; increase on-site environmental stewardship; catalogue Cheekwood’s extensive plant collection.

Art: maintain Cheekwood’s position as Nashville’s primary art-collecting institution; manage the 7,000-piece permanent collection through investments in collection infrastructure, digitization, and conservation; increase awareness of Cheekwood’s position as a regional destination for outdoor, contemporary sculpture.

History: preserve and present Cheekwood’s history through contextual, site-wide interpretation for a comprehensive visitor experience; develop social history interpretation that effectively tells the estate’s complete history; partner and collaborate with peer institutions.

Education: provide K-12 students with education programs that give real-world applications of classroom principles; increase literacy initiatives through meaningful community partnership; enhance STEAM curriculum; develop more inclusive and informative cultural programs; provide adult education programs to encourage life-long learning.

Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion: act on Cheekwood’s DEAI pledge by realizing current initiatives and developing new initiatives with concrete timelines; expand access to Cheekwood for historically under-served communities; foster inclusion for every Cheekwood visitor, regardless of personal characteristics or background.

Financial: ensure a balanced budget and strong financial position to ensure Cheekwood’s viability and sustainability; address key infrastructure needs related to the property’s historic nature in order to better serve visitors.

Cheekwood utilizes key strategies to accomplish institutional goals:

Garden operations are informed by a Cultural Landscape Report and Master Site Plan led by Reed Hilderbrand designers. These plans, which Cheekwood has already begun, include restoration of several gardens and Sculpture Trail as well as development of new gardens that will complement the original landscape and fill community needs.

Art initiatives are pursued by referencing Cheekwood’s refined collecting plan and permanent collection guidelines. Fidelity to these guidelines elevates Cheekwood’s artistic merit, allows for more scholarly exhibitions, and provides greater access to the collection’s archives.

Historic initiatives are pursued by preserving the historic estate and interpreting its rich history. This is rooted in the desire to grow Cheekwood’s national recognition as one of the nation’s finest Country Place Era Estates.

Education programs are driven by a vision to fill gaps in school programs, expand access for those who would not otherwise have it, and enrich the minds of participants. Cheekwood staff draws on the historic estate, botanical gardens, and art museum to create interdisciplinary content for learners of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities.

Cheekwood’s pursues diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion by acting on current initiatives that were informed by under-represented individual and community experiences. Outreach and cultural programs are being created to address barriers and welcome individuals of all characteristics. Historic interpretation is being developed to present an honest and equitable narrative of Cheekwood’s earliest history. Cheekwood is working to implement DEAI policies, practices, and internal trainings for staff.

Cheekwood focuses on financial stability through balancing the budget each year. Cheekwood is also pursuing initiatives to address parking and infrastructure needs for ongoing maintenance and growing attendance.

Cheekwood has numerous awards, certifications, and accreditations attesting to its standards of excellence and capabilities. Since Cheekwood became a public institution in 1960, its botanical garden and woodland has matured into an important natural landscape and horticulture resource for Tennessee. Cheekwood is nationally accredited as a Level II Arboretum by The Arbnet Accreditation Program and recognized by the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council as a Center of Excellence. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, Cheekwood is one of the nation’s finest remaining examples of an American Country Place Era estate and has a 7,000-piece permanent collection.

Cheekwood’s strategic plan focuses on community involvement, excellent horticulture, dynamic exhibitions and festivals, and compelling programming. Cheekwood welcomes 300,000 local, national, and international visitors annually. To keep up with this demand, the operating budget has grown by 21% and the staff has grown by 22% over the past nine years. Cheekwood is invested in its employees, striving to ensure each member of “Team Cheekwood” has the support and resources they need to excel in their service to the organization. Over the past year, staff members invested around 800 hours in professional development.

Finally, Cheekwood has the support of dedicated board members, donors, members, and community partners. The number of household memberships increased from 15,000 to 19,000 and the institution receives financial support from generous individuals, foundations, corporations, and government institutions. Cheekwood partners with 60 community organizations for education programming and strategic initiatives. In addition to recent operational success and completion of a $30M capital campaign, these many relationships equip Cheekwood to responsibly manage its resources and learn from valuable voices in the community.

Recently, Cheekwood:

• Welcomed 335,000 visitors in 2020, exceeding previous attendance records.
• Completed the $30M Cheekwood Campaign.
• Reached 19,000 member households, exceeding previous membership records.
• Launched Wellness 360, an institution-wide wellness initiative with classes, workshops, and health offerings.
• Hosted world-class art exhibitions of outdoor contemporary sculpture, including Chihuly at Cheekwood.
• Built the Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden.
• Restored and renovated the Ann and Monroe Carell Jr. Family Sculpture Trail and the Blevins Japanese Garden.
• Completed renovation of the Frist Learning Center, the institution’s education hub.
• Treated 200+ ash trees against the emerald ash borer epidemic.
• Further defined its permanent collections focus – American art from 1910-1970.
• Completed Historic Initiative Phase I with the installation of original and period pieces in the mansion interiors.
• Completed restoration and interpretation of the historic Stable and Tack Room in the Frist Learning Center.
• Installed improved historic interpretation signage in the Cheekwood mansion.
• Performed preservation treatments of its historic, outdoor stairs and mansion loggia.
• Grew program offerings in response to current community needs.
• Established the Cheekwood-Tennessee State University Internship program, a partnership dedicated to providing paid internship experience to horticulture/agriculture college students from diverse backgrounds.
• Established the Destination Cheekwood program, providing free transportation, admission, programming, meals, and translation resources for low-income families to visit Cheekwood together on weekends.
• Established an internal staff committee tasked with assessing and making recommendations to the Board and Executive leadership to improve the diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion of Cheekwood
• Implemented new, detailed non-discrimination policies and translation services to be more inclusive and provide better services to Cheekwood’s visitors

Looking forward, Cheekwood is focused on:

• Establishing and presenting the African American Cultural Celebration.
• Completing renovations on the Wills Perennial Garden and the Sigourney Cheek Literary Garden.
• Performing preservation treatments on the Reflecting Pool and statues in the Martin Boxwood Gardens.
• Presenting exhibitions, gardens, and programs that respond to current community needs and drive attendance, such as “The Sculpture of William Edmondson: Tombstones, Ornaments, and Stonework” and seasonal festivals.
• Creating and approving a new five-year strategic plan to begin in January 2022.
• Increasing diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion efforts by including it in Cheekwood’s next strategic plan as an institutional priority.
• Procuring funding for collections access projects, enabling Cheekwood to better engage a digital audience.
• Continuing the Emerald Ash Borer Re

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,

Financials

Cheekwood
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Cheekwood

Board of directors
as of 7/30/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mrs. Lisa Manning

Community Volunteer

Term: 2018 - 2021


Board co-chair

Mr. Barry Stowe

Jackson National Life

Term: 2018 - 2021

Nancy Abbott

Vanderbilt University

Elizabeth Akers

Community Volunteer

Russell Bates

Deloitte

Robert Beckham

Partner, WME Nashville

Charles Bone

Bone McAllester Norton

Peggy Kinnard

Swan Ball Representative

Andrew Byrd

TVV Capital

Brenda Corbin

Community Volunteer

William T. DeLay

Forterra

Elizabeth Foss

Antiques and Garden Show Representative

Kate Grayken

Community Volunteer

Carl Haley

Grand Avenue Worldwide

Randall Harness

Community Volunteer

William Hastings

Hastings Architecture Associates

James Hunt

Mayor, City of Belle Meade

Shaun Inman

Community Volunteer

Edith Johnson

Community Volunteer

Owen Kelly

Exchange Club of Nashville Representative

Carol Kirshner

Community Volunteer

Lisa Manning

Community Volunteer

Rita Mitchell

First Tennessee Bank

Trina Paine

Premium PR

Joelle Phillips

AT&T

Carla Nelson

Horticultural Society of Middle Tenn. Representative

Michael Spalding

Community Volunteer

Barry Stowe

Jackson National Life

Barbara Turner

Community Volunteer

Dudley White

Community Volunteer

Barbara White

Community Volunteer

Elizabeth Wills

Diversified Trust

Martin Brown

Adams and Reese, LLP

Katie Crumbo

Community Volunteer

Mike Johnson

PNC

Lisa Kranc

Community Volunteer

Robert Lipman

RSL Holdings

Ronald Roberts

DVL Seigenthaler

Mary Gallagher

GSRM

Alberto Gonzales

Belmont University

Sherri Neal

HCA Healthcare

Dee Patel

The Hermitage Hotel

Sam Patel

Entrepreneur

Deby Pitts

Community Volunteer

Joshua Trusley

Ernst & Young

Linde Wilson

Community Volunteer

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 07/15/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data