Reba McEntire, Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires, Shemekia Copeland and special guest John Prine descended on the Ryman Auditorium on Wednesday (May 3rd) to mark the momentous milestone of the 20th Anniversary of Thistle Farms. The evening featured rousing collaborations between the all-star lineup, punctuated by the inspirational testimonials of the women of Thistle Farms, survivors of addiction, prostitution and trafficking.
The heartfelt event also saw Founder & President Becca Stevens and CEO Hal Cato share their belief that “Love Heals” and their personal experiences that led them to the achievements of Thistle Farms today. Reba brought the evening to a close, embracing the community warmth of the organization and inviting up all of the previous performers from the night to the stage for a crowd singalong of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.”
The City of Nashville, TN also honored the occasion by lighting up major landmarks across town in purple, as a nod to Thistle Farms’ signature color. Ascend Amphitheatre, Bridgestone Arena, Gateway Bridge, Hotel Indigo, Nashville Courthouse, Omni Hotel and The Parthenon all joined in on the festivities.
Thistle Farms’ mission is to heal, empower and employ women survivors of trafficking, prostitution, and addiction. This is done by providing safe and supportive housing, the opportunity for economic independence, and a strong community of advocates and partners. Founded by 2016 CNN Hero Becca Stevens in 1997 under the name Magdalene, it now employs 50 local survivors and supports over 1,500 women, through global partners and a national network of sister organizations. Thistle Farms stands as a witness to the truth that in the end love is the most powerful force for change.
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.