Click here for Bari’s video message

In a year that has been full of difficulties, challenges, cancellations and concerns – for so many of us – I wanted to take a minute to focus on some good that has come out of 2020. Yes, we had to cancel all of our big events and festivals and we had to temporarily close the doors to The Franklin Theatre, all of which really shook us up here at the Heritage Foundation.

This has been a year like no other. It’s been a tough year. There have been sad moments. There have been scary moments. And there have been some extraordinarily great things that have happened.

So instead of focusing on all the things we didn’t do in 2020, I want to take a moment to highlight what we were able to do thanks to the ongoing support of people like you. Much of the work this year happened behind the scenes but was just as important as the more visible things we do.

  • We recruited an amazing Advisory Board for The Franklin Theatre, comprised of business professionals from a wide spectrum of fields who are already hard at work helping us ensure this beloved theater will open and once again be a place for all sorts of shows, movies and other festivities.
  • We have been hard at work developing, researching and planning to get our Franklin Grove Estate and Gardens master plan ready to present to the city of Franklin. This is going to be an amazing asset to our community and we can’t wait to get this project moving.
  • We are working to restructure our Downtown Franklin Association to ensure we take full advantage of any and all opportunities to promote our historic downtown and protect and enhance America’s Favorite Main Street. We hope to make some key announcements early in 2021 involving the DFA, the festivals and our merchant association.
  • Our Preservation and Education team has been hard at work doing physical labor at Franklin Grove, crawling through the attic and the crawl spaces to unearth as much of the history of this property and the historic homes on it as possible. They have produced a successful Warwick Lecture Series and Preservation Awards in 2020, that both were done in a virtual setting for the first time ever.
  • To continue our efforts to drive people to our downtown merchants during the holidays, our marketing team created, promoted and executed two successful monthlong celebrations, Paint the Town Orange and Holiday Magic on Main that not only generated media attention for downtown Franklin, but reminded people that they can safely eat and shop with our downtown merchants.

These are just the highlights of what the team at the Heritage Foundation has been doing throughout this crazy year. But in order to keep this momentum going, we need your continued support.

My hope is that we can really emerge strong in 2021. I hope that at least by the second half of next year, we’re able to bring all these beloved events back to the community and get back to doing so many of the things we do well that we haven’t been able to do this year.

But it’s really going to depend on the help and the support of the people in the community stepping forward in and helping support us financially here in order to end the year strong and in be able to recover and be back well for 2021.

We have a lot of big plans ahead of us. But we need your help.

Everyone at the Heritage Foundation is focused on 2021 and reopening The Franklin Theatre, hosting our downtown community street festivals, supporting visitors and vibrancy along our Main Street, and preserving the rich history of our community. Would you help us? When you support the Heritage Foundation and our end-of-year annual fund, you support the theater and our beloved downtown Franklin – and so much more. Your contribution is completely tax deductible and so much appreciated.

From the hearts of our teams at the Heritage Foundation, The Franklin Theatre, Downtown Franklin Association and Franklin Grove Estate and Gardens, we thank you for your support and wish you a happy and healthy holiday.

Thank you!

Bari Beasley
Heritage Foundation CEO

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