Arts and Culture | Nashville Public Radio

Arts and Culture

Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Nashville writer TJ Jarrett is, by many objective measures, a successful artist. She's won awards for her work and has published books of her poetry about history and race and family. 

But as she tells WPLN's Emily Siner in our live series and podcast Movers & Thinkers, it's not easy getting to the point where you feel like you're doing good work.

National Endowment for the Arts

In terms of federal funding for the arts, Nashville organizations have received far more than other Tennessee cities — including twice as much as Memphis — in the past three years.

That’s one of the insights from data provided by the Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), which is celebrating its 50th year.

Emily Siner / WPLN

Editor's note: People often ask Nashville writer Steve Haruch where his name comes from, which turns out to be a complicated question. He explains the answer in this audio essay. You can read an extended version below.

honky tonks Nashville
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Nashville is known for its “honky tonks” — the popular country music bars on Lower Broadway in downtown. The origin of the term is disputed — but a recently digitized interview with a Tennessee folk musician shows the impact that early honky tonks had on traditional music.

Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

You probably won't find the work of Nashville artist Bryce McCloud in a museum.

He purposely puts it in places that are more mundane: coffee shops, a record store, even a baseball stadium. McCloud talked to WPLN's Emily Siner as part of our live series and podcast, Movers & Thinkers, about his desire to make art more accessible.

© The Irving Penn Foundation / Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Irving Penn Foundation

The 2017 exhibit season at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts shows a particular emphasis on American art, with solo shows, a retrospective and an examination of how war contributed to the development of American Modernism.

Tony Gonzalez / WPLN


These people start with a blank page and end with something that didn't exist before: a completely new piece of music, poetry or art. Featuring country songwriter Victoria Banks, poet TJ Jarrett and public artist Bryce McCloud.

Courtesy of Cumberland Heights

Nashville's Music Row is home to recording studios, publishing houses — and now, an addiction treatment facility. Cumberland Heights cut the ribbon Tuesday on a new outpatient clinic in what has been the center of of the Nashville music industry. 

Tennessee State Library and Archives
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Long before Tennessee digitized a collection of traditional folk songs and storytelling, a small group of trained researchers had to collect those recordings in the field. That started in earnest in state parks in 1979.