Sallie Hussey and Charmin Bates

Fifty Forward Meets Creative Girls Rock

Sallie Hussey, CEO of Fifty Forward, and Charmin Bates, founder and CEO of Creative Girls Rock, talk about the collaboration of their two non-profits to create a new resource hub–the Bordeaux collaborative in North Nashville’s Bordeaux community. Fifty Forward is the leading resource for adults 50+ in Middle Tennessee, and Creative Girls Rock has a mission to educate and empower young girls and women to utilize their creative talents to enhance their lives and the world around them.

Tell us about the Bordeaux Collaborative and how it came about.

“Well, it really came about organically and started I think in 2018, 2019 when a host of nonprofits came together to really talk about the needs in the Bordeaux community in North Nashville and the gaps in services over there.” Sallie tells us, “And we started talking just to each other and really did a needs analysis. And then over that year and the next year thought about what it would look like if we maybe shared some space and really came together to serve the Bordeaux community a little bit differently. That’s how it all started.” Both Sallie and Charmin were already serving the Bordeaux community through their non-profits.

How did the two of you come together?

In 2021, Charmin tells us, Creative Girls Rock launched their mobile mural project through Metro Arts Commission. “We conducted that mobile mural project in March of 2021, and each week in March, we had our youth, our teens, our adults and seniors. And so a lot of the seniors came from the Bordeaux Fifty Forward location, and it just organically just came about. We were already doing programming and it was beautiful to meet the seniors and their testimonies.”

How does Creative Girls Rock service the North Nashville area?

“We were founded in 2017 just to address the needs of arts programming within the greater Nashville community, and we primarily work with girls ages six and up. And so we break our participants through brackets. So we have our youth ages six to 11, our teens, 12 to 17, our adults, which are 18 and up. And when that mobile mural project kicked off in 2021 is when we added the senior component. And then from that turned into color psychology classes and different art programming classes with seniors.”

Sallie, tell us what Fifty Forward does and how that matches up with Creative Girls.

Fifty Forward has been serving for 68 years with the mission to support and enhance the lives of adults over the age of fifty, offering a variety of programs from health and exercise, to art and poetry. Sallie continues, “When Charmin and I started talking, I thought, wow, what a wonderful opportunity to have an actual physical space that we’re sharing with a program like Creative Girls Rock. And we can provide intergenerational programs all day, every day or on a weekly basis where it really is right there in the building and we don’t have to imagine them. We can actually see them all day every day.”

What does the new Bordeaux building look like?

“We’ll break ground, we think, early summer,” Sallie shares, “It’s going to be close to 10,000 square feet. The Bordeaux library right now is tiny. It holds about 40 people. So this one will be two stories. It’ll be in that same place right off of John Millette Drive, but will house both our agencies. We’re still both of us. We’ll be keeping our agency autonomy, but it will then offer some shared space too. I think one of the things we learned back in 2019 when we did this needs assessment was there’s a real need for connection for all of the citizens, the community members in Bordeaux.”

How do you see yourselves marketing the center once it opens?

“We have some really good marketing PR partners that are going to help us again to achieve this goal of the $1 million that we need to raise. So you’ll see a lot more of that marketing material, videos, flyers or posts on social media that we’ll both have on our social media handles. And so it’ll just encourage you to donate to the collaborative.

And just imagine if we do have this safe space for these young girls and even our young boys. Just recently this past year, we launched the Creative Kids Rock, which is a program strictly for schools. You can come to a weekend or afterschool care or at the Bordeaux collaboration. And so that will be some of the things that we will market as well.”

Resources and Links

Websites: and