The Community Foundation’s Heart of Nashville series revisits stories of donors and active community residents who have stepped up to ensure that our region continues to be one of the very best places to call home.

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” — Pablo Picasso

In our path to building stronger connections within our communities, artists and arts and cultural organizations remain essential. Integrating the arts more fully can only enrich a neighborhood‘s value and beauty. And in a region where creativity thrives, The Community Foundation continues to be a proud part of the Nashville area’s diverse and ever-growing art scene. The Foundation’s first fund to support the arts dates to the year of our founding.

In 1991, the Ida F. Cooney Fund for the Arts was established to honor a friend of many, whose support of the artistic community — both personally and professionally — never faltered.

Considering Ida also championed for the establishment of The Community Foundation way back when, we couldn’t imagine life without a fund named for her.

Since then many arts-centric funds have followed.

Two of the most recent were established by Anne and Charlie Roos, faithful donors whose relationship with The Community Foundation dates to 1998 when they opened their first fund, a Donor-Advised Fund.

Twenty years later, The Anne & Charles Roos Fund for the Fannie Mae Dees Dragon was established to support the annual maintenance and restoration of the Hillsboro Village park’s beloved mosaic ceramic-tiled dragon.

“In [the Fund’s] first year, we chose the Dragon because it was a project I initiated and carried through when I served on the Metro Parks Board for 10 years,” explains Anne Roos. “We are delighted that the Hillsboro/West End neighborhood was willing to raise the funds for this restoration.”

Also in 2018, The Anne & Charles Roos Fund for The Nashville Shakespeare Festival was the couple’s second established fund commemorating the 30th anniversary of The Shakespeare Festival, in honor of the support and dedication of its longtime executive artistic director, Denice Hicks.

“We have loved performances of the Nashville Shakespeare Festival since close to the festival’s inception,” says Anne. “We appreciate what a rare gift Nashville has been given that other communities have not been able to sustain.”

In large part, the most recent of the Roos’ funds were products of a required minimum distribution from their appreciated IRAs, which are taxable unless donated to a nonprofit. Since 2006, donors have turned to The Community Foundation to initiate the IRA Charitable Rollover — introduced by Congress in 2006 and made permanent in 2016 — in an effort to help reduce taxes and promote charitable giving.

”Making gifts to organizations that are at the front lines of what makes the quality of life for everyone better in our community,” says Anne, “has always been important to us. We and our own parents also have encouraged our children to do the same.”

Heart of Nashville Story Series