Monthaven Art and Cultural Center

Monthaven Arts and Cultural Center
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HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (Feb. 20, 2024) – For the first time in its seven-year history, Monthaven Arts and Cultural Center will soon offer music instruction. Middle Tennessee youth and adults interested in learning basic guitar and fiddle can now register for instruction. Cole Ritter, the popular Tennessee singer-songwriter, guitarist and fiddle player, has been tapped to teach class fiddle and guitar to children, teens and adults. Classes start March 23 and run for four-week sessions throughout the semester.

“Offering music instruction is something we’ve always wanted to do at Monthaven Arts and Cultural Center,” says MACC Executive Director Cheryl Strichik. “When we learned that Cole
Ritter was interested and available to teach class guitar and fiddle, we jumped at the

Certainly, Monthaven couldn’t have found a better music teacher. A graduate of
Belmont University School of Music, Ritter first gained national recognition in 2022 as a
contestant on the television series American Idol. In the years since, he has become a fixture in
Nashville. His soulful, jazzy voice mixed with his country and rock-and-roll roots gives his band,
The Night Owls, a unique sound.

Ritter will bring his stylistic diversity to Monthaven. Students in his Adult Guitar Class
will explore rock, pop, country and more in a fun, low-pressure environment. By the end of the
four-week session, participants will be able to strum rhythmically using all of the most common
chords. Students in Ritter’s Children’s Guitar Class will develop similar musical skills in a fun and
engaging way. The class is for children 11 and up. No prior experience is necessary for either
the adult or children’s guitar class.

Traditional fiddle playing has long been near and dear to Cole Ritter’s heart. He picked
up his first fiddle at age 3. By age 8, he was touring the Southeast with a group of other young
violinists. In his fiddle class, students of all ages will learn to play catchy fiddle tunes from
various regions and in different styles. It is recommended that students have at least two years
of experience playing violin before enrolling in Fiddle Class.

All music classes will take place at the MACC’s headquarters at Monthaven Mansion in
Hendersonville. Registration for music classes at the MACC is available online at For more information, call Deputy Director Tonya Mirtes at (615) 822-0789.

Monthaven Arts and Cultural Center (MACC) is a jewel-box art museum and education
facility housed in one of Tennessee’s most spectacular antebellum mansions. A 501(c)(3)
nonprofit organization, the MACC has staged exhibitions featuring everything from the ceramic
art of Pablo Picasso to the evening gowns of Princess Diana. The artwork of local artists and
military veterans are also on frequent display. As an art school, the MACC offers classes to more
than 900 children and adults each year. The MACC also provides free arts outreach and healing
arts to underserved children, families and military veterans. For more information, visit or call (615) 822-0789.

Kaylin Warden

External Affairs Coordinator

Kaylin Warden joined the Monthaven Arts and Cultural Center staff in 2024 as External Affairs Coordinator. In this post, she organizes special off-site events and manages the organization’s external communications. She also works with the development department by updating the MACC’s customer relations database, and she assists the executive director in setting up exhibitions. Above all else, Kaylin is passionate about the arts. It comes as no surprise, then, that she is now pursuing a master’s degree in art history. When she’s not at the MACC, you can find her reading her favorite books (especially ones dealing with maritime mysteries), cooking, gardening, playing with her cat and two dogs, and cheering for the Nashville Predators.

Ruth Chase

Regional Arts Director
Ruth Chase is the Regional Arts Director of Monthaven Arts and Cultural Center, joining the team in 2023. For Ruth, the job is all about community, bringing people together to uplift and educate artists and art lovers alike. Her role at Monthaven is to strengthen the local artist community and build connections that will enrich Hendersonville and our surrounding communities through art exhibitions, art education, and opportunities for regional artists.
Prior to joining Monthaven, Ruth worked in the arts for over 30 years and is a multimedia artist and graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute. Her artistic practice is inquiry-based and engages in community bridge-building. She was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from the City of Los Angeles, curated and juried exhibitions, and has taught at the Crocker Art Museum.
Ruth was awarded an Artist-in-Residence for Artist Activating Communities through a grant from the California Arts Council for three consecutive years. Her film Belonging screened at both the 18th Annual Nevada City Film Festival and Wild & Scenic Film Festival. She has received the Legendary Female Artist of Venice award, and she has exhibited in The Crocker Kingsley, the Museum of Northern California Art, and the Diego Rivera Gallery at the San Francisco Art Institute. Ruth also continues her work as a Curatorial Consultant and Art director for the Californian Indigenous Research Project, where she has worked with the local tribe since 2018.