The Conservancy for the Parthenon and Centennial Park
2565 Park Plaza
Nashville TN 37203
Nashville's Parthenon, located in Centennial Park, is the world's only full-scale replica of Athens' ancient temple.
Mission Statement

The Conservancy's mission is to preserve, enhance and share the Parthenon and Centennial Park so that all future generations may benefit from these enriching cultural and educational landmarks.

CEO/Executive Director Ms. Sylvia Rapoport
Board Chair Ms. Paula Van Slyke
Board Chair Company Affiliation Attorney
History & Background
Year of Incorporation 1985
Former Names
Friends of Centennial Park and the Parthenon
Parthenon Patrons
Athena Fund
Organization's type of tax exempt status 501-C3
Financial Summary
Graph: Expense Breakdown Graph - All Years
Projected Expenses $1,165,324.00
Projected Annual Revenue $1,174,300.00 (2017)

The Conservancy's mission is to preserve, enhance and share the Parthenon and Centennial Park so that all future generations may benefit from these enriching cultural and educational landmarks.


The Conservancy began as The Athena Fund in 1982, when nickels and dimes were collected by schoolchildren and adult visitors to pay for the creation of the statue Athena. Upon completion of this project in 1990, we became Parthenon Patrons. In 2005, the Board voted to expand the mission and scope of our work to include Centennial Park, and since 2009 the organization has been called The Conservancy for the Parthenon and Centennial Park. Today, The Conservancy is responsible for a range of initiatives aimed at maintaining the park’s vibrancy, including Musicians Corner, free weekly concerts in the spring and fall months, and the Centennial Park restoration project to revitalize and transform the park into a model of ecological practice and horticultural excellence. Through fundraisers and private donations, The Conservancy oversees educational programs, public art exhibits, performing arts, a speaker’s bureau, symposia, classical theatre, docent training at the Parthenon and preservation of Centennial Park’s landmarks. Although we are a separately chartered foundation with an IRS designation as a §501(c)(3) organization, The Conservancy was organized with the cooperation of the Metro Parks & Recreation Department.

  • Received The Frist Foundation Revenue Development Award
  • Launched a new adult education program, "The Parthenon Series: Conversations on Art and Architecture."
  • Completed Phase One of the Centennial Park restoration project, focused on the dredging and clean-up of Lake Watauga and the daylighting of Cockrill Spring
  • Received private collection of 1897 Tennessee Exposition memorabilia and donated to Parthenon's permanent collection
  • Musicians Corner achieved significant growth, with attendance over 75,000 in 2016, and moved into its permanent location in Centennial Park, fast becoming the city's premier outdoor family entertainment destination for free music events
  • Enhanced quality of art exhibits at Parthenon, resulting in heightened interest and increased attendance
  • Continued to offer excellence in educational programming, with expanded focus on autistic, down syndrome, visually impaired and other disabled children and adult visitors
  • Installed permanent collection of Parthenon Casts and Maquettes in the Parthenon's Treasury Room
  • Purchased and donated interactive computers to Parthenon's main gallery
  • Expanded Kidsville at the Parthenon in 2016 from a monthly to a weekly program  as well as outreach to the broader community, a program connecting Nashville children and families to enriching opportunities for growth through education, experience and exploration


1.  Increased support and membership in order to carry out our core mission
2.  Funding for more development and marketing initiatives
3.  Volunteer Coordinator to develop and integrate volunteer programs for Centennial Park and the Parthenon
Other ways to donate, support, or volunteer
  • The Conservancy accepts donations by check, credit card (both over the phone and directly online via our website,
  • We provide fully tax-deductible memberships of varying levels, all of which provide free admission to the Parthenon.  
  • Our membership forms are available in the Parthenon at the front admissions area as well as directly online.  
  • We also are happy to receive in-kind donations from donors.  
  • Volunteers are sought for the Parthenon (as docents, greeters and other additional types of opportunities) and for our Musicians Corner program.
  • We will be establishing volunteer opportunities in Centennial Park as tree guides and monument tour guides.
Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Arts,Culture & Humanities / Arts,Culture & Humanities NEC
Secondary Organization Category Education / Educational Services
Tertiary Organization Category Environment / Environmental Beautification
Areas of Service
Areas Served
While physically located in Nashville, The Parthenon is a museum/cultural attraction with a broad appeal.  Centennial Park is the city's central park, with historical and cultural significance.  Although a large portion of guests are from the Southeast United States, we also have many national and international visitors.
Board Chair Statement

The Conservancy for the Parthenon and Centennial Park serves as a fund-raising partner of Nashville’s Parks and Recreation Department. We create opportunities for the public to contribute to and participate in the operations and growth of the Parthenon and the Park, to guarantee their future for generations of Nashville citizens and visitors from around the world. The Conservancy provides financial support to the Parthenon’s art exhibits, educational opportunities and docent educational program which provides quality docents to conduct tours that enhance the visitor’s experience.

It is difficult to overstate the impact of the Parthenon and Centennial Park on the city of Nashville and on the quality of life of the Park’s neighbors. Opened in 1903 as a public park, Centennial Park is Nashville’s iconic park. The Centennial Park Master Plan adopted in 2010 reprioritizes green space to accommodate festivals, musical performances and recreation while also providing users with a respite from the urbanizing landscapes that surround the Park. In 2015, we celebrated the completion of the first phase of improvements to the Park which focused on the cleaning of Lake Watauga and the day-lighting of Cockrill Spring to provide a source of water essential to the revitalization of the Park.

I first became actively involved with the Nashville Parthenon over 10 years ago when I became a docent and a speaker for the Parthenon Speakers Bureau, a program that provides lecturers to local groups on various topics related to the Parthenon. I continue to serve as a Parthenon docent and speaker and am passionate about sharing this Nashville treasure. After serving as a docent for 7 years, I became a member of the Conservancy Board and served as Secretary for 2 years. In 2015, I was honored to become the Board Chair. I prioritized my efforts to focus the passion of our Board members in a direction that will result in improved cultural opportunities at the Parthenon and the continued implementation of the Master Plan for the restoration and revitalization of the Park.

The Conservancy’s challenge is to provide an effective framework for the private sector to participate in the investment of this important city park. The Conservancy’s capital campaign for funding the next improvements in the Park, in partnership with Metro Nashville, is underway. The Board is diligently working to increase the forward momentum to elevate Centennial Park into an urban green space for the future. - Paula Van Slyke

CEO Statement
The Parthenon and Centennial Park have been essential parts of our city’s fabric for more than a century. As a support organization, The Conservancy is committed to strengthening, enhancing and restoring these two Nashville crown jewels for the next century and beyond.
As a classical symbol, the Parthenon represents a respect for tradition that is balanced by an equal respect for innovation that distinguishes Nashville from other cities. From educational programming to changing art exhibits to symposia, the Parthenon is one of the busiest places in town. With Centennial Park's revitalization project, there is fresh attention focused on the city’s park that holds a special place in the history of Nashville and the hearts of our community. We have a distinctive plan that honors the history of the park and will accommodate modern uses that should stand the test of time. 
As the private, not-for-profit organization which serves the community through promotion of the Parthenon and Centennial Park, we are committed to making a significant difference. Support for The Conservancy ensures that the Parthenon and Centennial Park will continue to be a place for fun, a place for music, a place for art and a place for the community.  The Parthenon and Centennial Park are two beloved venues where people with a passion for history, culture, the arts and the great outdoors gather.  – Sylvia Rapoport



Musicians Corner is a central point in Centennial Park, free and open to all, where Nashville gathers to perform and enjoy its music. Music in all forms. Music to entertain us, build bridges within our community, welcome our visitors and connect us with the world. The program supports emerging artists and provides inclusive arts enrichment to our community. Musicians Corner presents its free music events in partnership with the Mayor's Office, Metro Parks, and the local music industry. Musicians Corner has showcased over 1,000 artists since its inception in 2010, including legends like Vince Gill, The Blind Boys Of Alabama, Emmylou Harris, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and Dr. Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys. Musicians Corner's 2017 Season takes place in May, June, August, and September. Visit for details.

Budget 649525
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Performing Arts
Population Served General/Unspecified, Adults, Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Description Initially begun as free children’s activities at Musicians Corner, Kidsville has quickly grown into a substantial program, serving more than 7,500 Nashville-area youth in 2016. Kidsville is presented as a free program at all Musicians Corner events as well as a free weekly program on Saturdays at the Parthenon.  Kidsville provides enriching educational, experiential and exploratory activities for youth (ages 2-12) in the areas of art, music, history, literature, nutrition and fitness. At Musicians Corner events, a "Musical Meet & Greet" features an educator or touring musician to discuss and demonstrate an instrument, genre, or topic. Partnering with several non-profit organizations, such as local community centers, Kidsville provides outreach programs bridging gaps in access to the arts for at-risk youth areas across Nashville. Visit for details.
Budget 100000
Population Served , ,

The Conservancy supports both changing exhibits and the permanent collection at the Parthenon. The permanent collection consists of late 19th-early 20th century American paintings, regional contemporary work, and objects related to the Centennial Exposition of 1897, and the program includes conservation/restoration care and costs related to updates and regular wear and tear. The changing exhibits program is designed to focus on art, architecture, and archaeology. For 2017, temporary exhibitions include 1) James M. Cowan Collection Rejoined, 2) Gone South: the Photography of Jerry Atnip and 3) Her Tennessee Home: The Paintings of Camille Engel. Exhibits planned for the Parthenon’s West Gallery in 2017 are 1) Memory Fragments: the Art of Pre-Columbian West Mexico and 2) A Day at the Fair with the Ewing Centennial Collection.


Budget 10322
Population Served , ,
Description The Conservancy supports several educational programs provided by the Parthenon staff. By focusing on the contributions of the ancient Greek culture and Tennessee history and art, the subject matter runs the gamut from literature to math, from architecture to theater, and is often tailored to the ages and/or needs of specific audiences. Guided tours are provided to students aged pre-K up to university students. In addition, tours and programs are presented for sight-impaired, autistic, and Down Syndrome students. Traveling trunks take programs to elementary and middle school children, and there are several partnerships with area schools for mentoring, awards, workshops, etc. Adult offerings include the Symposia Series, in-depth lectures from national and international scholars, the Saturday Series classes each February featuring a topic related to ancient Greece or Rome, in addition to specialized tours for Alzheimer patients, stroke victims and brain trauma victims.
Budget 695
Population Served , ,
CEO Comments
This past year has been full of achievements and challenges, most dramatically evidenced by establishing partnerships with those in under-served, minority and low-income communities.  
To respond to the ever-increasing popularity of Musicians Corner, we added staff to better serve the community's desire for free music in Centennial Park. 
The expansion of our Kidsville program also resulted in adding a new program manager to assist our curriculum manager in developing and bringing programs to provide the type of educational programming that our younger visitors are enjoying 
We recently incorporated technology to provide a more interactive experience while touring the Parthenon museum. And since 2013, the Parthenon is now open on Sundays, accommodating visitors' schedules for more access to the museum on the weekends.
Board Chair
Board Chair Ms. Paula Van Slyke
Company Affiliation Attorney
Term Mar 2015 to Mar 2019
Board Members
Dr. Jo Ann Brannon Metro School BoardExofficio
Dr. Melinda Buntin Vanderbilt University School of MedicineVoting
Mr. John Darwin Morgan StanleyVoting
Mr. David Ewing Montgomery Bell Academy, FellowVoting
Ms. Beth Fortune Vanderbilt University, Vice ChancellorVoting
Mr. Justin Graham c3 ConsultingVoting
Mr. Matthew Hargis Republic Nashville, Vice PresidentVoting
Ms. Nancy Peterson Hearn Peterson Tool Company, Chairman and former CEO (retired)Voting
Ms. Phyllis Hildreth Lipscomb University, Institute for Conflict ManagementVoting
Ms. Erin Hughes Attorney, Waller Lansden Dortch & DavisVoting
Ms. Demetria Kalodimos WSMV Channel 4, News Anchor & DocumentarianVoting
Mr Neil Krugman Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP, AttorneyVoting
Mr. Chris Kyriopoulos COMPOUND Capital Management, Co-FounderVoting
Ms. Trish Lindler Civic Leader, HCA Vice-President (retired)Voting
Mrs. Brooks Mathews Civic LeaderVoting
Dr. Reavis Mitchell Fisk University, History, Division Director ChairVoting
Mrs. Monique Odom Metro ParksExofficio
Mr. Ben Page Page Duke Associates, PresidentVoting
Ms. Wesley Paine Museum DirectorExofficio
Ms. Mara Papatheodorou Bon Apetit Magazine, Food EditorVoting
Dr. Jonathan Perlin HCA, Chief Medical OfficerVoting
Ms. Sylvia Rapoport Foundation PresidentExofficio
Ms. Samantha Shore Robert W. Baird & Co.Voting
Ms. Shirley Speyer Civic LeaderVoting
Mr. Butch Spyridon Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp., PresidentVoting
Ms. Hope Stringer Civic LeaderExofficio
Ms. Candy Toler Retired Engineer, Community VolunteerVoting
Dr. Barbara Tsakirgis Vanderbilt University, Associate Professor, Classical StudiesVoting
Ms. Paula Van Slyke AttorneyVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 19
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 4 Greek Heritage
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 11
Female 15
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 90%
Does the organization have written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Does the organization have a written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage of Board Members making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of Board Members making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Does the Board include Client Representation? Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Board CoChair
Board CoChair Ms. Beth Fortune
Term Mar 2016 to Mar 2018
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Raising
Program / Program Planning
Risk Management Provisions
Commercial General Liability
Directors & Officers Policy
CEO Comments
Each and every one of our Board Members is a passionate and dedicated advocate for The Conservancy.  In order to meet the goals of the organization's core mission, the Board prides itself on active involvement in solving problems in a creative manner and birthing new ideas.  We continue to face the challenge of expanding diversity among our Board Members.  We serve the entire community and are committed to ensuring that our Board reflect that community. 
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Ms. Sylvia Rapoport
Term Start Sept 2006

Former board member with the organization with over 10 years of active involvement. Executive Committee of Regional Board, Anti-Defamation League, 1989-Present; Chair of Jewish Foundation of Middle TN, 2005-2007; Nashville Symphony Ball Committee Chair, 2005; Nashville Children's Theatre, 1993-1998; Executive Board, United Jewish Appeal's National Young Leadership Cabinet, 1984-98; Special Liaison to National Infant Death Syndrome Foundation, 1985-1989.

Former CEOs
Ms. Kimberlie Bloodworth Sept 2001 - Dec 2006
Full Time Staff 6
Part Time Staff 0
Volunteers 40
Contractors 6
Retention Rate 100%
Plans & Policies
Does the organization have a documented Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Does the organization have an approved Strategic Plan? Yes
Number of years Strategic Plan Considers 5
When was Strategic Plan adopted? Jan 2015
In case of a change in leadership, is a Management Succession plan in place? Yes
Does the organization have a Policies and Procedures Plan? No
Does the organization have a Nondiscrimination Policy? No
Certificate of Commendation for the exhibit "A Tale of Two Parthenons"American Association for State and Local History1997
Award of Excellence in Educational Programming for "Sijilmasa: Simulated Archaeology Dig"Tennessee Association of Museums1999
Outstanding Exhibition for "A Passion for Paint: the Art of Willie Betty Newman"Southeastern Museums Conference2002
Arts & Humanities Award for "Greeks, Gryphons and Golden Rectangles: The Parthenon as an Educational Tool"Tennessee Recreation & Parks Association2002
Honorable Mention for Exhibits under $25,000, "Greeks, Gryphons, and Golden Rectangles: The Parthenon as an Educational Tool"Inter-Museum Council of Nashville2003
Award of Excellence for Exhibits under $25,000, "A Passion for Paint: the Art of Willie Betty Newman"Inter-Museum Council of Nashville2003
Four Star Benefactor AwardTennessee Recreation & Parks Association2006
Listing of Centennial Park on the National Register of Historic PlacesU.S. Deptartment of Interior2008
Award of Excellence in Educational Programming for "Heroes of the Parthenon"Tennessee Association of Museums2010
Award of Excellence for Exhibits under $25,000, "A Passion for Paint: the Art of Willie Betty Newman"Educator Award2011
Education AwardMayor's Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities2011
Award of Excellence in EducationTennessee Association of Museums2012
Best Externship for work with Hillwood High School Academy of Art, Design and CommunicationAcademies of Nashville2012
Best Business Partner with Hillwood High School Academy of Art, Design and CommunicationAcademies of Nashville2013
SunTrust Bank Business Acumen in the Arts AwardCenter for Nonprofit Management2013
Top Five Uniquely Nashville Things to Do - the ParthenonNashville Convention and Visitor's Bureau2013
Best Park - Centennial ParkNashville Scene2013
Award of Commendation in Educational Programming for the one-man play, “Wish You Were Here”Tennessee Association of Museums2014
Academy Partnership of the Year for Arts, Media & CommunicationAcademies of Nashville2014
Frist Foundation Innovation in Action finalist for Musicians Corner programCenter for Nonprofit Management2014
Frist Foundation Revenue Development AwardCenter for Nonprofit Management2016
Senior Staff
Title Business Manager
Title Executive Director, Musicians Corner
CEO Comments
The Conservancy staff and Board work in conjunction with the Parthenon Museum and Metro Parks in providing support to supplement funding from Metro Nashville.  Our conversations regarding needs/desires/support are always fluid.  We pride ourselves on efficient administration and enhanced opportunities for sharing ideas and brainstorming. We produce excellent programming and provide stellar support with a very small staff and limited budget.  Our challenge is to continue providing quality of this caliber, with such a limited (in number, only!) staff. 
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01 2017
Fiscal Year End Dec 31 2017
Projected Revenue $1,174,300.00
Projected Expenses $1,165,324.00
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Endowment Spending Percentage (if selected) 0%
Detailed Financials
Revenue and ExpensesHelpFinancial data for prior years is entered by foundation staff based on the documents submitted by nonprofit organizations.Foundation staff members enter this information to assure consistency in the presentation of financial data across all organizations.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Revenue$7,007,898$1,410,501$1,605,898
Total Expenses$1,712,724$1,634,884$1,357,151
Revenue Less Expenses$5,295,174($224,383)$248,747
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions$0$0$176,655
Investment Income, Net of Losses$14,607($1,073)$6,433
Membership Dues$196,749$93,709$0
Special Events$273,594$278,650$270,221
Revenue In-Kind$38,200$0$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$1,505,020$1,391,858$1,135,259
Administration Expense$88,537$60,346$53,550
Fundraising Expense$119,167$182,680$168,342
Payments to Affiliates--$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses4.090.861.18
Program Expense/Total Expenses88%85%84%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue44%66%38%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$6,490,524$1,136,298$1,374,686
Current Assets$6,277,783$1,037,936$1,166,952
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$115,969$56,887$70,922
Total Net Assets$6,374,555$1,079,381$1,303,764
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities54.1318.2516.45
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountProgram Revenue $6,484,748Program Revenue $1,039,215Program Revenue $1,152,589
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFundraising Events $273,594Fundraising Events $278,650Fundraising Events $270,221
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountMembership Dues $196,749Membership Dues $93,709Individual Contributions $176,655
Capital Campaign
Is the organization currently conducting a Capital Campaign for an endowment or the purchase of a major asset? Yes
Campaign Purpose The Conservancy is partnering with the City and Metro Parks to revitalize Centennial Park to transform this cultural landmark into a walkable, urban green space.
Capital Campaign Goal $30,000,000.00
Campaign Start and End Dates 2016 to 2019
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount $21,900,000.00 as of 2017
State Charitable Solicitations Permit
TN Charitable Solicitations Registration Yes - Expires June 2018
Organization Comments
The Conservancy provides supplemental support for the Parthenon and Centennial Park, properties managed by Metro Parks.  Support for each program is not necessarily a reflection of the priority of that program, but simply an indication of The Conservancy's endeavor to fill in the gaps. Financial Comments
Beginning in 2010, financial data is taken from audited financial statements. Prior to 2010, financial figures are taken from the 990. Audited Financials were prepared by Kraft CPAs. Form 990 prepared by Kraft & Company, PLLC.
Comments provided by Kathryn Bennett 10/16/17.
Nonprofit The Conservancy for the Parthenon and Centennial Park
Address 2565 Park Plaza
Nashville, TN 37203
Primary Phone (615) 862-6810
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Sylvia Rapoport
Board Chair Ms. Paula Van Slyke
Board Chair Company Affiliation Attorney
Year of Incorporation 1985
Former Names
Friends of Centennial Park and the Parthenon
Parthenon Patrons
Athena Fund

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