“We Are Nashville” is the slogan that Nashville residents adopted after the major flood that destroyed much of the city and surrounding areas this past Spring. The national media was scolded for not covering the floods and eventually Anderson Cooper showed up and apologized for the media not giving Nashville the attention it deserved. Meanwhile, as the “help your neighbor” spirit was building within the Nashville community, the Gospel Music Association was apparently fast at work making plans to move the GMA Dove Awards Show to Atlanta. While the Nashville Visitors and Convention Bureau is scrambling to keep tourist coming to town, the Gospel Music Association decides to move the Dove Awards show to Atlanta? Now, that’s the perfect way to show love to the city that has supported your infrastructure for 41 years and is now in desperate need of tourism dollars. Yes, I can see the GMA is trying to be cool like the Country Music Association who took their awards show to New York a few years back but is this year really the year to be cool? The GMA should take notes from the CMA who kept CMA Fanfest in Nashville this year and they donated proceeds to Flood Relief. What the Gospel Music Association is really saying through this move to Atlanta is “We Are Not Nashville”
Seeing the GMA make this decision, makes me feel really embarrassed that I am a GMA member. I think back on all of the benefit shows that Christian artists rushed to put together to help the flood victims and now the industry totally misses the simplest way to help. I don’t plan on being in Atlanta for the Dove Awards Show this year even though Atlanta is my hometown and it would be a very easy trip to make. Instead, I will be donating the money I would pay for my 2011 GMA membership to the MusiCares Nashville Flood Relief Fund.
I don’t normally like to write negative posts but the news of the GMA moving the awards show to Atlanta really struck an emotional chord in my soul. I witness many businesses and friends struggling to rebuild from the flood disaster. There are still thousands of Nashvillians who are jobless due to the flood. This decision to move the awards show will have a negative impact on jobs and local businesses in Nashville and surrounding cities.