Cheekwood

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

Mission

Celebrate and preserve Cheekwood as an historical landmark where beauty and excellence in art and horticulture nurture the spirit and serve as inspiration for a diverse and broad audience.

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.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2020, 2019 and 2018.
Register now

Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

In an increasingly technology-dependent world, Cheekwood provides a peaceful space for reconnection to nature and exploration of history and art for visitors of all ages and backgrounds. To combat barriers to cultural institutions, services are provided for historically underserved communities, and Cheekwood seeks to preserve the institution’s role as a cultural hub in Middle Tennessee.

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, monumental sculpture. Its permanent collection features 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 includes outdoor sculptures by Siah Armajani, Jenny Holzer, James Turrell, Alicja Kwade, and more. Visiting exhibitions featuring emerging artists enhance regional visual art offerings. Such exhibitions include the Martin Shallenberger Artist-in-Residence program—which recently included artists Craig Black and Michael McMath—and The Middle Tennessee Scholastic Art Awards, engaging hundreds of young artists every year.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

As a nationally accredited arboretum, Cheekwood's 55-acre botanical garden and woodland have matured into an important natural landscape and horticultural resource. Cheekwood is home to a nationally accredited dogwood collection, 10 acres of woodland, 13 display gardens, 250,000 spring bulbs, and 25,000 annuals grown in onsite production greenhouses.

Cheekwood's four seasonal festivals are community favorites and family traditions. Cheekwood in Bloom showcases vibrant color throughout the gardens, with over 250,000 blooms. Summertime at Cheekwood includes special music performances every Thursday night and eight weeks of enriching Summer Camp programs. 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 and outreach programs underscore Cheekwood’s role as a catalyst for learning in Middle TN and beyond:

• School tours are free to all school and homeschool groups from TN, southern KY, and northern AL
• Destination Cheekwood brings families from Title I schools to Cheekwood, with transportation, admission, programming, translation services, and meals provided for free
• Cheekwood GROWS, a new horticulture-focused program, provides on-site planting and harvesting experiences for 3rd grade students
• Cheekwood on the Road sends professional artists to rural and Title I schools for a half-day of immersive, hands-on activities
• Head Start Tots! brings Cheekwood educators to local preschool classrooms for story time and garden-inspired crafts. The preschool group is then welcomed back to Cheekwood for a field trip and exploration in the Children’s Garden.
• Black Arts Bash Student Exhibition features art from rising 10th—12th grade students that identify as Black or Mixed

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Camps, pre-K activities, and multi-generational learning experiences help visitors of all ages create, learn, and discover. Programs include cultural festivals, music performances, discussions with visiting artists, workshops, and daily guided tours. In the spring, Cheekwood celebrates Holi, the Hindu “Festival of Colors,” introducing visitors to the vibrant sights, sounds, and colors of Indian culture. Black Arts Bash celebrates Black artists through music, dance, storytelling, spoken word, and tasty fare from local Black chefs. Japanese Moon Viewing features kamishibai storytelling, tea ceremonies, and bilingual tours of the Blevins Japanese Garden. El Día de los Muertos, the annual Day of the Dead cultural celebration, features community art projects, live performances, and more. Summer Camps offer interactive, in-depth classes on art and nature. The popular Tots! program provides hands-on art activities and story-time for toddlers every Tues-Sat from March to October.

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

#1 Best Outdoor Fun 2021

Nashville Scene

#1 Best Place To Take Out-Of-Towners 2021

Nashville Scene

#1 Best Event/Festival, 'Holiday LIGHTS' 2021

Nashville Scene

Best Children's/Family Event, 'Fall for Cheekwood Family Benefit' 2022

NFocus Magazine

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 in the following areas:
• In horticulture, Cheekwood seeks to continue diversifying and preserving its botanical garden and grounds, protect vulnerable plant and tree species, catalogue its plant collection, and increase on-site environmental stewardship.
• In art, Cheekwood seeks to highlight pieces from its 7,000-piece permanent collection while investing in collection infrastructure, digitization, and conservation and increasing awareness of its position as a regional destination for outdoor, monumental sculpture.
• In history, Cheekwood seeks to preserve the historic mansion and surrounding landscape.
• In education, Cheekwood seeks to serve as a community resource for local and regional K-12 students, educators, and families through inclusive and culturally informed education programs that give real-world applications to classroom principles and promote lifelong learning.
• In pursuit of Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA), Cheekwood seeks to act on its IDEA pledge by realizing current initiatives and developing further initiatives to expand access to Cheekwood’s cultural, educational, and wellness resources.
• In pursuit of financial stability, Cheekwood seeks to ensure a balanced budget and strong financial position to maintain Cheekwood’s sustainability as a community resource and better serve visitors by addressing key infrastructure needs.

Cheekwood utilizes the following key strategies to accomplish institutional goals:

Initiatives to complement and enrich Cheekwood’s original landscape are informed by a Cultural Landscape Report & Master Site Plan led by Reed Hilderbrand, and art initiatives are informed by Cheekwood’s refined collecting plan and permanent collection guidelines designed to elevate the institution’s artistic merit. Cheekwood’s historic preservation initiatives are rooted in a desire to grow the institution’s recognition as one of the nation’s finest Country Place Era Estates and are financially supported by a recent capital campaign to address deferred restoration. The continued development of education, outreach, and IDEA initiatives is driven by the diversification of staff and strategic input from underrepresented individuals and multicultural advisory boards. Furthermore, Cheekwood seeks to integrate IDEA principles into its mission and all programs, as outlined in its 2022—2026 strategic plan, Forward Momentum.

Cheekwood has numerous awards, certifications, and accreditations attesting to its standards of excellence and capabilities. 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 over 400,000 local, national, and international visitors annually. To keep up with this demand, the operating budget and staff have grown by over 20% over the past ten 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 over 1,500 hours in professional development.
Finally, Cheekwood has the support of dedicated board members, donors, members, and community partners. The number of household memberships has increased to 20,000, and the institution receives financial support from generous individuals, foundations, corporations, and government institutions. Cheekwood partners with over 60 community organizations for education programming and strategic initiatives. In addition to recent operational success and completion of a $30M capital campaign, these relationships equip Cheekwood to responsibly manage its resources and learn from valuable voices in the community.

Recently, Cheekwood:
• Experienced record attendance, welcoming 435,000 visitors and 20,000 member households in 2021
• Completed a $30M capital campaign and exceeded goals by $7M
• Presented numerous world-class art exhibitions and outdoor contemporary sculpture, such as:
- The Art of William Edmondson
- Women to Watch: Celebrating the Centennial of Women’s Suffrage
- Chihuly at Cheekwood
• Acquired Alicja Kwade’s Pars pro Toto, the first addition to Cheekwood’s permanent outdoor sculpture collection since 1999
• Built the Bracken Foundation’s Children’s Garden
• Renovated and enhanced:
- the Ann and Monroe Carell Jr. Family Sculpture Trail and the Blevins
Japanese Garden for increased accessibility
- the Frist Learning Center, Cheekwood’s education hub
- the Sigourney Cheek Literary Garden
• Hosted:
- the inaugural African American Cultural Celebration, now called Black
Arts Bash
- Tu B’Shevat celebration, the Jewish New Year for Trees
- the 6th annual Japanese Moon Viewing
- El Día de los Muertos for its 22nd year at Cheekwood
• Welcomed over 1,800 students and family members through Destination Cheekwood, a program providing complimentary transportation, admission, programming, meals, and translation services for LMI students and their families to visit Cheekwood together on weekends
• Contracted 14 adult and 523 young artists & performers, engaging 12 underrepresented artists in this capacity in 2021
• Expanded the Under the Stars concert series to include Jazz, Bluegrass, & Songwriters Under the Stars
• Launched Cheekwood’s 5-year strategic plan, Forward Momentum: Cheekwood 2022-2026

Looking forward, CW is focused on:
• Increasing inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility among board, staff, leadership, partners, vendors, volunteers, members, supporters, and visitors
• Celebrating the cultural vibrancy of Middle TN by increasing depth and diversity of public programs, cultural festivals, and musical performances showcasing local talent
• Presenting exhibitions, gardens, and programs that respond to current community needs and drive attendance, while enhancing offerings for existing seasonal festivals with new horticulture and additional programming
• Enhancing education & outreach offerings, such as expanding Destination Cheekwood and launching both Head Start Tots! and Cheekwood Grows
• Refining and building Cheekwood’s permanent art collection, with an emphasis on American art from 1910-1970 and monumental sculpture, and highlighting its significant works
• Building acquisition funds to enhance the permanent collection and period rooms in the historic mansion
• Continuing treatment and management of Cheekwood’s collection of approx. 300 endangered ash trees through the Emerald Ash Borer Response Program
• Prioritizing the preservation and stewardship of Cheekwood’s historic buildings and landscape design while continuing the institution's strong financial position and no debt

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.), 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 board,

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

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, 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, It is hard to come up with good questions to ask people, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve, It is difficult to identify actionable feedback,

Financials

Cheekwood
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our 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.

Operations

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

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

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.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

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 08/10/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Barry Stowe

Retired Chairman & CEO, Jackson National Life

Term: 2022 - 2023


Board co-chair

Mr. Ronald Roberts

DVL Seigenthaler

Term: 2022 - 2023

Nancy Abbott

Adjunct Professor, Vanderbilt University

Elizabeth Akers

Community Volunteer

Robert Beckham

Partner, WME Nashville

Martin Brown, Jr.

Attorney of Counsel, Adams and Reese LLP

Kate Burke

COO, AllianceBernstein

Andrew Byrd

President, TVV Capital

Katherine Crosthwaite

Community Volunteer

Katie Crumbo

Secretary, Community Volunteer

David Curtis

CEO, Graham Healthcare Group

William DeLay

Executive, Forterra

Jay DeMarcus

Musician and Producer

Mary Gallagher

Attorney, GSRM

Judge Alberto Gonzales

Dean, Belmont University Law School

Kate Grayken

Community Volunteer

Carl Haley, Jr.

President/CEO, Grand Avenue

William Hastings

Principal, Hastings Architecture Associates

Edith Johnson

Community Volunteer

Mike Johnson

Regional President & Head of Corporate Banking, PNC

Matthew Kisber

Co-founder & Chairman, Silicon Ranch

Lisa Kranc

Community Volunteer

Neil Krugman

Partner, Waller

Hal Lawton

President & CEO, Tractor Supply

Robert Lipman

President & CEO, RSL Holdings

Lisa Manning

Immediate Past Chair, Community Volunteer

Rita Mitchell

President & Founder, Rita P. Mitchell, LLC.

Sherri Neal

Chief Diversity Officer, HCA Healthcare

Trina Paine

Founder, Premium PR

Dee Patel

Managing Director, The Hermitage Hotel

Sam Patel

Entrepreneur

Deby Pitts

Community Volunteer

Ronald Roberts

Vice Chair, Managing Partner, DVL Seigenthaler

Barry Stowe

Retired Chairman & CEO, Jackson National Life

Josh Trusley

Partner, Ernst & Young

Barbara Turner

Community Volunteer

Cameron Wells

Nashville Market President, Truist Financial Corp.

Betsy Wills

Director of Marketing and Branding, Diversified Trust

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 8/9/2022

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

Equity strategies

Last updated: 08/09/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.