Taylor Swift Named Tennessean of the Year
Taylor Swift has wrapped up a phenomenally successful 2013 by receiving another high honor -- this time right at home in Nashville.
The Tennessean newspaper has crowned Swift Tennessean of the Year, due in large part to her philanthropic efforts on behalf of Music City's artistic community. Swift donated $4 million to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, which opened the Taylor Swift Education Center in October. The center includes three classrooms and a learning lab, with an interactive exhibit coming in 2014.
Swift also donated $100,000 to the Nashville Symphony, which has struggled financially in the last 12 months. Her gift will help ensure that the Grammy-winning orchestra will be off to a stronger financial start in the new year.
“For her to believe in us, the hometown institutions, and to be focused on Nashville speaks volumes,” Kyle Young, the director and chief executive officer of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, tells the Tennesssean. “How often do you think she’s approached to do things, all over the world? So it means so much for her to believe in us and think that investments here would help the city she clearly cares so much about.”
The Tennessean also cited the multi-genre success of Swift's most recent album, 'Red,' as well as the record-breaking success of the international tour in support of it, calling her an ambassador for Nashville. "In many ways, Swift carries Nashville and its music all over the world," the paper notes.
Nashville Mayor Karl Dean visited China in December, where he spoke with a woman whose only knowledge of his city was that Swift lives there.
“Her rise to prominence has coincided with a lot of the things going on in Nashville,” Dean says. “She’s one of the most dynamic and popular musical performers in the world, and she’s perceived as having universal appeal across categories. She transcends genres, and that’s a great thing for the city.”