Heritage Foundation of Williamson County Archives - Franklin-Theatre
March 10

The Franklin Theatre Launches Phased Reopening for 2021

Beginning with small, private rental events, theater now looking to bring back live entertainment, movies and hybrid live-streamed shows that conform to current COVID restrictions

FRANKLIN, TN (March 10, 2020) – After going dark to public performances last year due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, TN, parent organization of The Franklin Theatre, is excited to announce the theater’s phased reopening plan for 2021.

Currently the theater is open for private rentals, including Monday nights through April where another local non-profit, Studio Tenn, is hosting its popular virtual talk show: Studio Tenn Talks: Conversations with Patrick Cassidy. In addition, as part of its mission to be a platform for local philanthropy, The Franklin Theatre is currently working in partnership with local video production companies and The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee (CFMT) to provide an opportunity for non-profits to film affordable promotional videos to support their participation in The Big Payback, CFMT’s annual 24-hour giving event that kicks off on Wednesday, May 5 at 6 p.m.

The current reopening plan, which will be modified as needed based on any future COVID-related restrictions, will bring back limited-capacity weekend movies, limited-capacity plus livestream performances through June. Until the state guidelines indicate otherwise, the theater’s capacity is approximately 75 guests, which accounts for adequate social distancing.

Beginning in July, the theater will begin presenting movies and live performances with increasing regularity and possible increased capacity. The Franklin Theatre will continue to follow the governor’s Tennessee Pledge and CDC guidelines and update reopening plans as needed.

The theater’s box office will reopen with limited hours beginning on Friday, March 12, in time for Sandi Patty’s ticket on-sale date. The box office’s limited hours will run through April and will be 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Friday, Saturdays and Sundays. In addition to new shows going on sale over the next several weeks, many 2021-2022 shows are currently on sale.

  • Sandi Patty (Limited Capacity & Livestream) – Saturday, May 8 | 3 p.m. & 7 p.m.
  • Deborah Allen (Limited Capacity & Livestream) – Saturday, June 5 | 2 p.m. & 8 p.m. – ON SALE FRIDAY, APRIL 2
  • The Isaacs – Friday, July 9 | 8 p.m. – CURRENTLY ON SALE
  • James Gregory – Saturday, July 10 | 8 p.m. – ON SALE FRIDAY, APRIL 2
  • Jeff Allen – Thursday, July 15 | 8 p.m. – CURRENTLY ON SALE
  • Larry Carlton – Saturday, July 17 | 8 p.m. – ON SALE FRIDAY, APRIL 9
  • Farewell Angelina – Thursday, July 29 | 8 p.m. – CURRENTLY ON SALE
  • John Ford Coley, Billy Dean & Tom Wurth – Backgrounds and Bridges Acoustic Tour – Thursday, August 5 | 8 p.m. – CURRENTLY ON SALE
  • Allie Colleen – Friday, August 6 | 8 p.m. – CURRENTLY ON SALE
  • Henry Cho – Saturday, August 14 | 4 p.m. & 8 p.m. – CURRENTLY ON SALE
  • Gary Puckett & The Union Gap – Thursday, August 19 & Friday, August 20 | 8 p.m. – ON SALE FRIDAY, APRIL 16
  • David Wilcox – Saturday, August 21 | 8 p.m. – CURRENTLY ON SALE
  • BJ Thomas – Friday, August 27 & Saturday, August 28 | 8 p.m. – CURRENTLY ON SALE

“We are emerging from an incredibly challenging season for The Franklin Theatre,” said Heritage Foundation COO Meg Hershey. “While we had to temporarily close the doors to public events, we are diligently working behind the scenes to reschedule some of the amazing programming that was planned for last year. We couldn’t be more excited about getting this cherished venue back open to continue its mission, bringing inspiring arts and entertainment experiences to our community.”

Hershey went on to say that surviving an unprecedented season which left the theater with very few options for programming has been nothing short of challenging.

“This theater has been sustained by the community’s embrace of underwritten marquee messages, limited small group private rental events and through the commitment of corporate sponsors and donors of the nonprofit Heritage Foundation and its division The Franklin Theatre,” she said.

The Heritage Foundation is also making plans for a 10th anniversary celebration later this year to commemorate 10 years since the theater’s restoration and grand re-opening.

December 14

When you support the Heritage Foundation, you support The Franklin Theatre.

The historic Franklin Theatre has seen a lot in its 80-plus year history. It has had glory days and days spent in disrepair. There have been world-class performances, red-carpet premieres, non-profit galas, family movies and private events. It has been called the “home of first kisses” by locals, and it has also faced uncertain days when its screen almost went dark permanently.

But thanks to the theater’s parent organization, the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, TN, and the generosity of the community, the theater was given another chance to serve as the gem of downtown Main Street – with millions raised so the rich history could be preserved and the theater renewed to its most glorious state in history. After reopening to the public in 2011, our beloved theater has once again become a central hub for the local community with live events, music, movies and a key factor in the economic vitality of our beloved Main Street.

This year was set to mark yet another milestone with a new live Performing Arts Series and a lineup of live music that would rival some of Nashville’s greatest venues.  But our theater, along with our downtown festivals and local Main Street retailers, felt the impact of the pandemic and had to temporarily close our doors to the public.

Everyone at the Heritage Foundation is focused on 2021 and reopening The Franklin Theatre, hosting our downtown community street festivals, supporting visitors and vibrancy along our Main Street, and preserving the rich history of our community. Would you help us? When you support the Heritage Foundation and our end-of-year annual fund, you support the theater and our beloved downtown Franklin – and so much more.  Your contribution is completely tax deductible and so much appreciated.

From the hearts of our teams at the Heritage Foundation, The Franklin Theatre, Downtown Franklin Association and Franklin Grove Estate and Gardens, we thank you for your support and wish you a happy and healthy holiday.

Sincerely,

Bari Beasley

Heritage Foundation CEO

DONATE HERE

August 24

The Heritage Foundation Announces New Advisory Board for The Franklin Theatre

Thought leaders in entertainment, marketing and non-profit industries unite to support Franklin’s beloved historic theatre.

The Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, TN has appointed a new Advisory Board for The Franklin Theatre with 16 board members representing a rich portfolio of experience in entertainment, marketing and non-profit industries, announced Bari Beasley, Heritage Foundation CEO.  The Advisory Board will work with The Franklin Theatre and the Heritage Foundation teams over the next several years to support long-term vision and planning.

“We couldn’t be prouder of this group of talented people who have stepped up to serve and support our beloved historic downtown theatre and the Heritage Foundation. The combined experience, talent and passion of these 16 people will be a key factor in our strategic planning, fundraising and programming for long-term vision of The Franklin Theatre. With this talented team rallying for us, the sky’s the limit for the possibilities,” says Beasley.

THE FRANKLIN THEATRE ADVISORY BOARD, August 2020

 

 

CHAIR Jennifer Parker.  A resident of Franklin for more than 20 years and owner of Parker Haven Interiors, Jennifer Parker brings more than a decade working in the Nashville music industry with artist labels, management companies, recording studios, and branded artist events and marketing. A Leadership Music graduate, she serves on the Heritage Foundation Board as the VP of The Franklin Theater, as well as the Board of Studio Tenn.

Trey Bruce.  An Emmy Award-winning American songwriter, Trey Bruce has written eight Billboard Number One singles with songs performed by Randy Travis, Diamond Rio, Lee Roy Parnell, among others. He has also co-written numerous Top 10 singles for artists including Faith Hill, Leann Rimes, Trisha Yearwood, Trace Adkins, Reba McEntire and Carrie Underwood.

Ramon Cisneros. A specialist in marketing and engagement for Latinos in the U.S. and Latin America, Ramon Cisneros is also a consultant for corporations nationwide. He has served on the boards of Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, the Nashville Arts & Business Council, Nashville Symphony, Nashville Opera, Cheekwood, W.O. SMITH School of Music, Sister Cities of Franklin & Williamson County, Williamson Medical Center Foundation and many others. He is a graduate of Leadership Music.

Carla Denham. Carla Denham is a passionate brand campaign producer and marketing strategist with decades of achievement with major product, service and non-profit organizations globally. A veteran in the brand business, she has led and/or grown brand marketing agencies in the South, California and Hawaii and represented brands ranging from Philips Electronics, Chick-fil-A and Gymboree to World Vision, Soles4Souls and Feed the Children.

Fletcher Foster. One of the most connected music industry leaders serving on Nashville’s Music Row, Fletcher Foster has worked with almost every record label and publishing company across the nation, as well as artists that span genre and generation including Keith Urban, Garth Brooks, Kelsea Ballerini, Whitney Houston and Annie Lennox. Currently president/CEO of F2 Entertainment Group, he serves on numerous boards including the Academy of Country Music, Leadership Music, Make-a-Wish of Middle Tennessee and the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau Council.

David Garrett. A Franklin native and prominent family law attorney who manages the Franklin office of Cheatham, Palermo & Garrett, David Garrett serves as the current president of the Heritage Foundation Board. He also served as president of the Foundation’s board from 2007-2011 during the acquisition, restoration and reopening of The Franklin Theatre. Garrett also served on the Board of Trustees for Battle Ground Academy and is a recipient of the Heritage Foundation’s Patron’s Award and Franklin Tomorrow’s Anne T. Rutherford Exemplary Community Volunteer Award.

Dan Haseltine. Dan Haseltine is primary singer/songwriter for 4x GRAMMY AWARD winning band, Jars of Clay, and alt-synth pop trio, The Hawk in Paris.  Dan has written 17 #1 radio singles and is the Composer for the highest grossing crowdfunded television show in history, The Chosen. He is the Founder and Sr. Development officer of the non-profit organization, Blood:Water and co-founder of local non-profit, The PUBLIC. Dan is also author of two acclaimed children’s picture books, “The One, The Only, Magnificent Me,” and “Lulu & the Long Walk.”  He is a music producer, commercial jingle creator, speaker, songwriting coach and marketing consultant. and has lived in Franklin for 25 years with his family.

David Haskell. With more than 40 years of experience in the production business, David Haskell has served as a tour manager, production manager, front of house engineer and producer for several of the biggest names in the music industry. He began his storied career with the band Nantucket in 1978 and then went on to work with artists like Alabama, Kenny Chesney, Hall & Oates, Jim Nabors, Keb Mo and more. Haskell currently serves as president of Morris Light & Sound, a production partner of the Heritage Foundation and The Franklin Theatre.

Paul Jankowski. Paul Jankowski is a recognized expert in entertainment branding, and a thought leader, speaker and Forbes contributor on marketing and creating culturally relevant messaging in the New Heartland. His expertise in all aspects of global brand development is reflected as the founder of Nashville-based New Heartland Group and entertainment agency One Bullet Entertainment. He has served in leadership positions at Elvis Presley Enterprises, SFX Entertainment (Live Nation), Gibson Guitar Corp., MCA Records and SBK Records, and was a co-founder of the T.J. Martell Foundation.

Sherri Leathers.  Sherri Leathers has more than 20 years of experience in arts programming, with an emphasis on performances for school and family audiences. She joined Shaw Entertainment Group in 2017 and is now working as the agent for the Southeast region and supporting other aspects of its operations including artist acquisition, development and retention and a variety of special projects.

Debbie Schwartz Linn. Debbie Schwartz Linn currently serves as Executive Director of Leadership Music and spent her early career with Sony Music in both New York and Nashville. Linn has developed brand partnerships for more than 20 artists including Kenny Chesney with JC Penney; Sara Evans with Libby’s, Maytag and Johnson & Johnson; Jake Owen with Lucky Jeans; Miranda Lambert with Vanity Clothing; and the Country Strong movie and soundtrack with Pepsi and Arby’s.

Matt Logan. A Tennessee native, Matt Logan worked on Broadway for years in costuming and casting for productions like The Lion King, The Phantom of the Opera and Spamalot. In 2009, he returned to the South and founded Studio Tenn in Franklin with Emmy Award-winning producer Philip Hall and Broadway actress Marguerite Hall. Since then, he has worked in the creative space with Reba McEntire and on many other special projects.

Dionne Lucas. Currently serving as the Director of Retail Marketing and Sales for the National Museum of African American Music, Dionne Lucas started her professional career in marketing with The Coca Cola Company. She has successfully launched and managed numerous brands and received multiple accolades for her work with RJ Reynolds’ subsidiary Lane Limited and Tantus Manufacturing

Emily Magid. Emily Magid is a Middle Tennessee native and longtime Franklin resident and community advocate. For the Heritage Foundation, she’s best known as one of our most tenured volunteers, past board member, donor and one of the Foundation’s biggest cheerleaders. She also serves and supports many other local nonprofits and organizations including the Harpeth River Watershed Association, Franklin Housing Authority, Habitat for Humanity, BrightStone, Alcohol & Drug Council of Middle Tennessee, Williamson County Animal Center, Land Trust of Tennessee and others.

T.J. Portis. T.J. Portis has lived in the Williamson County community for decades and serves other nonprofit organizations like the Williamson County Library as a board member. She was highly recommended to the Foundation to serve on the Franklin Theatre advisory board by African American Heritage Society of Williamson County leader Alma McLemore.

Dan Rogers. A 20-year veteran of the beloved Grand Ole Opry, Dan Rogers currently serves as vice president and executive producer managing more than 200 performances annually. Rogers got his start at the Opry as a graduate intern and in his words, “…just never left. I came in at minimum wage, and with a lot to learn. But fortunately for me I was given the opportunity to learn on the job.”

The Franklin Theatre, an operating division of the Heritage Foundation, has temporarily suspended all programming until 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions on live entertainment venues. The theatre continues to provide a platform for local philanthropic engagement and to offer diverse programming for all people in 2021 and beyond.

 

Visit FranklinTheatre.com for 2021 programming.

June 18

A Message From Our CEO

A Difficult Decision That Impacts Our Community

Dear friends and supporters,

Due to ongoing health concerns and continued unknowns created by the COVID-19 global pandemic, I am here to share a very difficult announcement which impacts our community and marks an unprecedented time in the history of the Heritage Foundation.

The Heritage Foundation has a mission to save places and stories that matter in Williamson County, which includes hosting long-standing signature events that create cultural community engagement. These events also serve to generate much-needed operational revenue to keep our preservation, education and community programs going.

With a clear focus on the health and safety of our community, and after much deliberation and review of economic impact, virtual options and health and government updates, the Heritage Foundation and our Board of Directors have agreed to cancel all live festivals and events for the remainder of 2020.

In addition, we will postpone all further programming at the Franklin Theatre effective June 18, 2020 with the exception of two concert events previously scheduled in July.

The Foundation events which will be cancelled for 2020 include:

  • 37th Annual Main Street Festival scheduled for July 18-19
  • 37th Annual Pumpkinfest on October 24
  • 36th Annual Dickens of a Christmas on December 12-13.

We have also made the decision to cancel the 47th Annual Heritage Ball scheduled for October 3, which is the longest-running black-tie event in Williamson County and the Foundation’s largest fundraiser.

All remaining programming, movies and events at The Franklin Theatre as of June 18, 2020 will be postponed, with the exception of two concert events previously scheduled in July (details to come).

The new live performance series slated to launch this fall will also be postponed. We are currently making our best effort to reschedule these events into our 2021/22 season and pledge to keep you informed of our progress along the way. Current ticket holders will be contacted with options, and new dates for the Performing Arts Series and other 2021/22 programming will be forthcoming.

I know this announcement is terribly disappointing to our community, vendors, local businesses and all of our supporters, but firmly believe this is the best decision to ensure that the Heritage Foundation can continue to serve our community for generations to come.

I want to thank each and every one of you who have attended any of our festivals, supported our annual fundraiser ball, or visited our beloved Franklin Theatre. Creating community and connecting people with our local heritage is critical to the mission of the Foundation. Without these major community fundraising events and theatre programming for operational revenue, we need your support now more than ever.

Only with your support can our team continue to bolster advocacy and education for historical preservation, continue our current preservation projects, and support downtown Main Street merchants through this unprecedented season. But we can’t do it without you — our community and our supporters.

We need you to be part of the story this year, so it will be possible to make 2021 a year of community celebration, reviving our downtown Franklin signature festivals and events, and filling the Franklin Theatre with the new live performing arts season.

If you would like more information about today’s decision, email info@williamsonheritage.org or CLICK HERE for a list of Frequently Asked Questions.
Our team is here to answer any questions and support our community that we love to serve.

The role you play this year will be part of our story for generations to come. Please donate, join our Leadership Society, become a member or a volunteer. Just be part of the story and help us keep it going!

Bari Beasley
Chief Executive Officer

March 31

Let’s #KeepItGoing

Join The Franklin Theatre and Heritage Foundation of Williamson County as we work to #KeepItGoing

As a division of the Heritage Foundation, we are part of their mission of saving places that matter and to serve our community. Our history, our community and our heritage matters now more than ever.

The Heritage Foundation is why we were able to re-open our doors in 2011. We’ve been bringing you world-class entertainment up close in what we think are the greatest 300 seats anywhere. And, we will not stop. We have been rescheduling shows affected by our temporary closure, as well as adding new ones to a calendar that is promising the rest of 2020 to be filled with exciting Franklin Theatre Live and Performing Arts Season programming.

This is an unprecedented time for us all as we have been forced to navigate through some tough changes. Music and the arts have the power to heal and bring us together again.

So, we are saving you a seat right here for when the doors open and the show goes on.

Join us in our commitment to #KeepItGoing and see what our future holds for you.

Visit FranklinTheatre.com.

#SavingYouASeat

Watch the video message below from our CEO, Bari Beasly.

Visit the HeritageFoundation.org for blog updates on what the divisions are each doing to #KeepItGoing.