Frist Center for the Visual Arts (Nashville)

  • Local Projects
  • 2001

Thomas Frist Sr. was a founder of modern hospital systems. He and his son built the Nashville-based Hospital Corporation of America, which numbered 165 hospitals and 115 surgery centers as of 2015. They also built a charitable arm which became known as the Frist Foundation in 1997. It is dedicated to improving the quality of life in Nashville, with a particular interest in funding the visual arts.

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts opened in 2001 with 24,000 feet of space in the city’s old central post office. Rather than having a permanent collection, the center was built to host visiting exhibitions, which flow through the building every couple months, on average. Much of the $10 million granted annually by the Frist Foundation is operating support for this Visual Arts center. The foundation’s other priority in Nashville has been to build up the charitable infrastructure. It has created and sustained a community foundation, a volunteer center, management consulting services for local nonprofits, and annual grants to nonprofits to improve their technology.