The following is a note from a woman named Heather Lea Gerdes, who was introduced to the Franklin Theatre during a visit to Franklin four years ago. At that time Heather found herself inspired by Franklin’s valiant efforts to restore the Franklin Theatre – so much so that she chose a picture of the theatre as the foundation for a design she submitted for a Keith Urban t-shirt contest.
I’m a Keith Urban fan. Let’s just say that his music opened my musical tastes to Country and inspired me to launch my special dance exercise program, Country Cardio. But this is not about that.
Four years ago over the July 4th holiday, I took my first trip to Nashville. Urban was also playing in a concert that weekend. Urban fans know he lives in Franklin, so of course, it was on my “To-Do” list. As I walked along lovely Main Street taking pictures, I came upon The Franklin Theatre. It was shut tight, covered with poster pleas for help. Even the marquee was reaching out: Save the Franklin Theatre.org, and I was really drawn to the place. I had studied film in college and made a documentary about a group of people trying to save the last drive-in in a small town in Florida, near where I grew up. Naturally, the Franklin effort filled my heart with a feeling of solidarity.
Earlier this week, I learned of a fun contest to design a t-shirt for Keith. As I was looking at photos from my Nashville trip, I came across the one I’d snapped of the theatre. It was the inspiration I was hoping for! Using a combination of pencil tracing, freehand, and one software effect, I came up with a simple design that I hope pays homage to the history of that crucial turning point for the Franklin Theatre and gives a nod to the town Urban also calls home.
I wanted to share my story with the folks at the now thriving Franklin Theatre and they have been kind enough to share it with you!
You can view and vote for Heather’s design along with many other wonderful designs in Keith Urban’s t-shirt contest by visiting: