Democratic Representative John Mark Windle introduced a bill on Tuesday, arguing that a statue of the country music icon should be commissioned by the State.
The bill wants Parton to be recognised “for all that she has contributed to this state”, by way of a statue “to be located on the capitol grounds facing in the direction of the Ryman Auditorium”. The Ryman Auditorium is a historic music venue, the former home of the iconic Grand Ole Opry stage concert in Nashville.
Parton, a native of Pittman Center, Tennessee, is a lifelong philanthropist in addition to her status as a music icon.
She founded the Imagination Library, which mails books to children under the age of five across the world to improve child literacy, and her million-dollar donation to Vanderbilt University helped develop the highly effective Moderna coronavirus vaccine. Her advocacy for racial justice was recently celebrated in a mural in Nashville.
Windle said the state capitol commission would solicit input to develop a plan for the statue including its design. No taxpayer dollars would be spent according to the bill, which would create a fund for private gifts, grants and donations to pay for the statue.
“At this point in history, is there a better example, not just in America but in the world, of a leader that is (a) kind, decent, passionate human being?” Windle said Wednesday.
“(She’s) a passionate person who loves everyone, and everyone loves her.”
The Associated Press contributed to this story