Feb 9, 2023 - News

Lee earmarks $200 million to move TPAC

The exterior of the Tennessee Performing Arts Center.

The exterior of the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. Photo: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Gov. Bill Lee included a $200 million grant in his budget proposal to help the Tennessee Performing Arts Center find a new home.

State of play: TPAC is located downtown in the state-owned James K. Polk building. The state is pursuing a redevelopment of that property, which triggered the nonprofit group to ponder a new location.

  • The facility hosts ballets, musicals, concerts, plays and opera performances and serves as an educational asset for Nashville-area students.
  • A spokesperson for Lee said that beyond the line item in the budget documents, there are no further details right now.

Flashback: Mayor John Cooper said last year he'd like to see a new TPAC facility as part of a cultural campus on the East Bank of the Cumberland River.

  • Cooper and city leaders are pressing forward with a plan to revitalize the East Bank with new roads, greenways, bike lanes and mixed-use development.
  • The biggest project on the East Bank would be a new Titans stadium. The $2.1 billion project has received initial approval from the Metro Council, which still must sign off on the final financing plan.

What they're saying: Cooper spokesperson TJ Ducklo tells Axios the administration remains in conversations with TPAC's leadership, and "we’re optimistic about finding a path forward that is aligned with both the state budget process and TPAC’s site selection process.”

Yes, but: It's not certain a new TPAC building will be built on the East Bank as an exact location has not been determined.

  • A TPAC spokesperson tells Axios the nonprofit fine arts hub is "excited to be included in the governor's budget, and we look forward to working with the administration and General Assembly through the budget process."
  • A new facility will cost a good deal more than $200 million, but there isn't a price tag yet.
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