Biographies

COLLABORATORS

The following Nashvillians have generously contributed time and talent to help artists realize projects or public programs for Build Better Tables.

 
 

 
 

WORKING WITH ANDREA CHUNG

Ashley Couse utilizes her passion for pregnancy, motherhood, health, and wellness at Baby and Company, a modern birth center in Nashville. Couse is a doula, holistic-health counselor, childbirth educator, and the founder of Bloom & Nourish, a wellness resource for women during the childbearing years. Her desire is to support women into the journey of motherhood and encourage them to sustain a lifestyle of wellness. 

Taneesha Reynolds was drawn to midwifery as a college freshman; an experience at a women’s conference led her to pursue a career that would touch the lives of women physically, mentally, and spiritually. Reynolds graduated in 2003 from Tennessee State University with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. From Vanderbilt University, she received a master’s degree in 2010, and she holds an MBA with a focus in health-care management from the University of Phoenix. She was part of the groundbreaking team that helped to open Nashville’s only accredited out-of-hospital birthing center, Baby and Company, where she currently practices as a certified nurse-midwife. She is also an instructor at the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. As a nurse-midwife, Reynolds has overseen more than four hundred births. Her newest venture to empower women is her video blog, “Don’t Forget Your Pearls,” in which she shares bits of wisdom to help women maximize their potential to create their best lives. 


WORKING WITH TATTFOO TAN

Courtney Adair Johnson is an artist and curator who works to create sustainable communities through reuse awareness. She is interested in exploring new ideas with art to generate awareness of our waste and consumption habits. Johnson has led reuse projects with the Frist Art Museum, and Tennessee Craft, both in Nashville, TN, and Springboard for the Arts, Fergus Falls, MN. She is presently the gallery director of Tennessee State University Art Department and a co-builder of the McGruder Social Practice Artist Residency (M-SPAR). Follow Courtney on Instagram: @courtneyadairjohnson.


WORKING WITH THAXTON WATERS

Fred Bailey is Waters’s mentor and the director of the McJimpsey Center. Bailey grew up on a farm in Gallatin, Tennessee, not knowing he was blind. Following interactions with a teacher, a doctor, and his father, he learned how to find strength in his limitations. Now he strives to pass on his tenacity through his Children Are People afterschool program.

Dr. Corey Batson practices family medicine in Nashville. Four years ago, he received his degree from Meharry Medical College. His goal is to inform disadvantaged communities of healthy lifestyle habits and of the benefits of establishing trusting relationships with physicians.

Viktor Le Givens is a multimodal performance artist whose practice centers on what he calls “culinary theater,” gathering and arranging ancestral objects while offering Southern cuisine and drawing connections between these elements. He conveys magic, reverence, and mystery in his food, installations, objects, and writings. Givens has performed widely, from France to London to the backwoods of Alabama.

Robert Rooks is a professor of literature and creative composition at Fisk University, Tennessee State University, and Nashville State College. He is also a co-director of Epicenter, a program focused on college-access services for youths and families. As a guest speaker, he will offer insight on how legislation trickles down from the national to the local level.

Indigo Tucker is an object archivist who examines the complexity of urban development in relationship to Black cultural production and the family unit. As the preparator, he will bring his passion for object collecting, interior design, and hospitality to the project.

Eric Willingham is a Nashville-born videographer and photographer. Willingham’s work covers an array of genres, including architecture, fashion, and conceptual photography. He draws inspiration from twentieth-century photographers such as Eli Reed and Gordon Parks.