Marie (Mar - ee) Shields, the 2021 Nashville Youth Poet Laureate, is a senior from Overton High School. She is a writer, poet, and trombonist. She loves science fiction and creative writing. She likes to focus her writing on the morality and temperament of humanity. She loves sushi, making people laugh, and anything related to theoretical physics.
The Nashville Youth Poet Laureate is a joint program of the Office of the Mayor, Metro Arts: Nashville Office of Arts + Culture, Nashville Public Library, Metro Human Relations Commission, Nashville Public Library Foundation, Urban Word, and Southern Word. The Nashville Youth Poet Laureate program aims to identify young writers and leaders who are committed to civic and community engagement, diversity and inclusion, and youth voice across Nashville.
When it comes to making music with both extraordinary passion and exceptional chops, few acts today can surpass the sheer excellence of The War And Treaty. Newly signed to Rounder Records—and named the 2019 Emerging Act of the Year by Americana Music Association—the husband-and-wife team of Michael Trotter Jr. and Tanya Blount-Trotter deliver a dynamic sound that joyfully blends Southern soul with elements of gospel, country, rock-and-roll, and blues. Also known for their phenomenal live show, the Nashville-based duo are now gearing up to make their Rounder debut with a sophomore album showcasing their boundless energy and tremendous generosity as songwriters and performers.
The War And Treaty spent much of 2019 touring with Brandi Carlile and Jason Isbell, as well as joining the legendary Al Green for a run of dates at iconic venues such as Radio City Music Hall. They were invited to perform at the 2020 Grammy Awards. In the fall of 2021, they will join John Legend’s national tour.
Senior Director of Education and Exhibitions at NMAAM
Tamar Smithers is a professional actress, singer, arts administrator and educator. She has over 10 years of experience in the arts administration and higher education fields. As Senior Director of Education and Exhibitions for The National Museum of African American Music, she is instrumental in creating culturally specific programs and curricula for all ages. In this role, she is committed to arts engagement and audience development and oversees all educational/curatorial programming while developing and fostering relationships with local schools, sponsors, and other non-profit organizations both locally and nationally. Tamar has served as Secretary for the Eastern Great Lakes chapter of the National Guild for Community Arts Education, and currently serves on the Association for African American Museums Membership Committee, Board of Directors for The Nashville Repertory Theatre, and Music Makes Us Advisory Council for Metro Nashville Public Schools.
Tennessee-born and Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Valerie June has been recording and performing since she was 19 years old, climbing from Memphis coffee houses to national TV performances and getting name-checked by Bob Dylan. Her latest album The Moon and Stars: Prescriptions for Dreamers (Fantasy Records / Concord) weaves a tapestry of folk, soul, gospel, country, blues, psychedelia, and symphonic pop, performed by an accomplished lineup of musicians with a dizzying palette of instruments (flute and banjo, mbira and Mellotron, saxophone and synth) absorbed in free-flowing experimentation. The album (co-produced with Jack Splash), is acclaimed by fans and critics alike and received 2021 Americana Honors and Awards nominations for both Album Of The Year and Song of the Year. June’s first book, Maps for the Modern World, is a collection of poems and original illustrations, available now through Andrews McMeel Universal Publishing. info