In recognition of National Arts and Humanities Month, the Metro Nashville Arts Commission and NowPlayingNashville.com hosted the first Artober Nashville celebration in October 2011. They partnered with more than 160 arts and cultural organizations to highlight the depth and breadth of arts activities with official Artober Nashville events. More than 660 events were posted through NowPlayingNashville.com on the Artober Nashville website.
In 2012, the celebration grew to include signature events, a check-in challenge and a VIP discount card wih 936 events and 246 community partners.
By 2013 Artober Nashville grew to become one of the largest celebrations of arts and culture in the South. The Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation named Artober Nashville in the top ten reasons to visit Nashville.