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'I Believe In Nashville' mural stood tall after EF-3 tornado barreled through East Nashville in 2020

i believe in nashville - basement east
Posted at 2:55 PM, Mar 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-03 22:25:59-05

EAST NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The tornado that hit Nashville on March 3, 2020 spared a key landmark.

The 'I Believe In Nashville' mural on the side of Basement East was untouched by the 136+ mph twister, unlike the majority of the building it was painted on.

"The fact that it was the only thing left standing proves that we are tough here in Nashville," said Tim Gerst, CMO of I Believe In Nashville.

A few years ago, an entrepreneur bought the rights to the image and turned it into a brand.

The mural is painted in three locations around the city, in 12 South, Marathon Village and East Nashville.

The original I Believe In Nashville mural was painted a decade ago after the 2010 flood.

The morning after the EF-3 tornado barreled through East Nashville, people were amazed to find that mural still standing.

"It was crazy how many people were trying to get in here just to see the mural," Gerst said.

In the year since the tornado, Nashville has been tested.

The pandemic has taxed Music City since last March. Thousands of people have lost their jobs and thousands more have died from COVID-19. In the summer, racial unrest boiled over into the streets of downtown. Peaceful marches were followed by riots at Public Square Park and Broadway. Then on Christmas morning, a bomb exploded on historic Second Avenue.

Although the I Believe In Nashville murals have been visited by tourists for years, in the year since the deadly tornadoes, Nashvillians have done what the mural says to do. Residents have believed in their city.

"I just think that morning none of us had realized what had started here in Nashville," Gerst said.

All sales on March 3, 2021 on the I Believe In Nashville website will be put in a fund for service workers.