OCTOBER 2021  |  ISSUE 19


MCB Music Advisor Willie Jones has been "barnstorming" across the country pumping up the Nashville Stars! He performed a six-city "barnstorming tour" in Boca Raton, FL, Kansas City, MO, Hutchinson, KS, St. Louis, MO, Cincinnati, OH, before finishing up in Nashville. The Recording Academy recently named Willie one of "5 Black Artists Rewriting Country Music."

Willie had a chance to stop by the Negro League Baseball Museum while on the road. Here he is with Bob Kendrick, who is the President of the NLBM and one of our valued board members.

Willie rocked the crowd at Whiskey Jam in Nashville on September 27th!

Breaking the mold can be a challenge, especially when it involves implementing a new educational model.  But local teachers Caroline Barnard and Kelsea Shaw at Isaiah T. Creswell Middle Magnet School of the Visual and Performing Arts did just that.

A few years ago, they developed a house system at the school, which is a social grouping of students based on their arts. It allows students an opportunity to interact and work with others from different grades who have similar interests. 

"We saw a need for it when we saw that students just always wanted to be in our rooms," said Shaw. "The 8th graders and the 5th graders get a chance to be in the same space and they get to know each other's names. When they do see each other in the hallway they know each other. It does start to build more of a community, and everybody starts to feel like they belong more. The younger kids feel like they have someone they can look up to and I think that's so important in middle school because you can feel so lonely and isolated as a kid."

Barnard, who is a drama teacher, blends in educating students on art and theatre history along with practical skills. This can include assembling lights, soundboards, scriptwriting, film development, acting styles, and performance. 

"Our school is the kind of place that celebrates the arts and celebrates our students and their passions," said Barnard.  "For my program, a lot of the students can come here and express themselves and also build a lot of confidence."

It is an opportunity for mentorship and growth, especially if students come into the program nervous about trying something new in the arts.

"Seeing students and middle schoolers work through those base-level fears and become confident in themselves is one of the best things and one of the biggest blessings I could probably have as a teacher," said Barnard.  "If I could get students to where they are comfortable with public speaking, having comfort within themselves and being expressive, then I've done my job." 

Shaw, is a visual arts teacher who seeks to expose students to many forms of art including plaster sculptures, printmaking, and ceramics. 

"Even if they don't end up using art as a career or using it in any way in their career, getting them to see that it is a valuable tool that they can use throughout the rest of their lives," said Shaw. "If they enjoy it, it can be useful for therapeutic reasons, stress-relief, and different things like that."

Barnard and Shaw are also supportive of their students having more role models in the community, as Music City Baseball continues the pursuit of bringing a Major League Baseball franchise to the Nashville area. 

"I had one student a couple of years ago who is now a 9th grader and is a baseball player," said Barnard. "He would come and ask me, do we have any plays about baseball? Can we read any plays about baseball? Do we have any scenes about baseball'? He was someone that I know if he had some major league baseball players to look up to that were in this city and he could go and see their games and it was right in their backyard or in the neighborhood, I think it would be something him and our students could really benefit from and enjoy," said Barnard.

This month's advisor feature focuses on a person who has spent much of her career working on diversity, program development, and inclusion for businesses and organizations. Rosalyn Carpenter currently serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Community Impact Officer for CommonSpirit Health. It is a role she says is extremely important in the business landscape.

"It's about your people," said Carpenter. "Your people get your work done, so you have to be intentional to transform from within making sure that your people are seen and heard and that their needs are being met. And they will deliver every time if you do."

Her efforts have earned her national recognition. Modern Healthcare named Carpenter one of the "Top 25 Diversity Leaders in Healthcare."

 "It's a great moment," said Carpenter. "It is an affirmation that you're being seen. It is an affirmation that you're on the right path, that you are properly utilizing your gifts and talents. We all have them and I just feel affirmed that I'm putting mine to good use and with that I'm doing well by my organization."

Carpenter's vast experience made her a natural fit for Music City Baseball's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee.

"It's a volunteer effort that I enjoy," said Carpenter. "It's a different lift giving my experiences, my skills and my talents to help MCB be successful in getting a Major League Baseball franchise for our region. The commitment is there and I know that if we are to be successful, we have to align to the best practices of diversity, equity and inclusion."

Needless to say, we are thrilled to have Rosalyn on our team!

Rosalyn's love for baseball runs deep. Here is a photo of her with Hank Aaron!


A part of our MCB crew was able to visit the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum this month. We visited with Bob Kendrick to tour the museum and attend their first annual Young Friends Event. You can sign up to be a member of the museum here

Michele Frazier, Monica Loar, Kiona Sinks (NLBM), Bob Kendrick (NLBM), Rebecca Gonzales, Lauren Whatley

Bob Kendrick, President of the NLBM, signing Stars gear!

Bob Kendrick, touring the MCB team through the Museum.

Michele Frazier (MCB DEI Committee Member) and Yuri Cunza (Chamber President) at the Nashville Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's kickoff to Hispanic Heritage Month. 

We are proud to support the Old Timers Baseball Association! This year marked their 24th year hosting this tournament. They have presented $566,000 in scholarships over the last 23 years.

Travis Copley of Old Hickory Bat Company with our co-branded Stars bat.


This November 13th, we ask you to join us in the NLBM Buck Neil 5K Walk/Run. We will walk locally to celebrate Buck and his legacy.

Take a picture of you in your Stars gear on your walk or run and tag us @NashvilleStarsBaseballClub and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum @NLBMuseumKC.


Do you want to volunteer to help bring the Stars to Middle TN? 

We are looking for supporters of our efforts to help with community events locally.  

You can sign up here!
Copyright © 2021 Music City Baseball, All rights reserved.

Music City Baseball | 2 Victory Ave, Suite 500 | Nashville, TN 37213