Tennessee Lawmaker Proposes Dolly Parton Statue at State Capitol

Dolly Parton; Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
Dolly Parton; Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
Dolly Parton; Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

The Tennessee state Capitol may soon be graced with a statue of Dolly Parton. 

According to the Associated Press, Democratic Rep. John Mark Windle introduced a bill earlier this week with hopes to bring a statue of Parton to the Capitol to honor the entertainment icon “for all that she has contributed to this state.” 

If approved, the statue would face the Ryman Auditorium, the original home of the Grand Ole Opry and a venue that Parton has performed at numerous times throughout her career. 

“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 on Wednesday (Jan.13) . ”(She’s) a passionate person who loves everyone, and everyone loves her.”

According to reports, the new legislation states that no taxpayer dollars would be used for the statue: “An account would be established within the state general fund, known as the Dolly Parton Fund, for the design, construction, installation and maintenance of the statue.” Funds would be generated via gifts, grants and private donations. 

Dolly Parton, a native of East Tennesee, is well-known for her music, but also her life-long philanthropy. She has gifted millions of books to children around the world through her Imagination Library program and last year, she donated $1 million to help fund research for the Moderna coronavirus vaccine. In 2016, she helped create the My People fund to assist Tennessee residents who lost their homes and livelihoods in fires that raged near Gatlinburg, resulting in millions of dollars in donations. 

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