Arts and Culture | Nashville Public Radio

Arts and Culture

Hip Hop Artist Makes History at Dove Awards

Oct 14, 2015
YouTube screenshot

The Gospel Music Association has been giving out Dove Awards for 46 years. Last night in Nashville, it charted new territory by naming a rapper as its "Artist of The Year."

Porch writers Nashville
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Amid Nashville’s storytelling culture — which tends to come out through song — a new experiment has emerged. It’s called “poetry on demand.”

A group of writers hangs out at events, including this weekend’s Southern Festival of Books, and quickly writes poems based on stories shared from passers-by. Whoever wanders up answers a few questions and then the poets go to work.  

Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Keith McLeod Fund

For the first time in more than a decade, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts is putting together a major exhibition of Islamic art.

Organizers hope it'll widen Tennesseans' conception of art from the Muslim world.

"Ink, Silk & Gold" has been three years in the making. It includes more than 100 works from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Brian Latimer / WPLN

The Music City Walk of Fame unveiled four new stars Tuesday afternoon.

Former Opry manager Bud Wendell, guitarist Steve Cropper and award-winning vocalist Miranda Lambert were all recognized for their work in preserving Nashville’s country music heritage.  

Music legend Johnny Cash was also honored with a star. His youngest brother, Tommy Cash, accepted in his place.

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry opened the ceremony, saying she understands the need to maintain a relationship between music, business and politics.

Emily Siner / WPLN

The conference room inside a Veterans Affairs center in Nashville feels distinctly clinical: beige walls, gray carpet, creaky chairs.

But on a Monday afternoon in August, there's an energy that might be felt more often at an intimate Nashville club. Two dozen people, mostly women, are sitting on those creaky chairs in a circle. Some hold guitars. About half are veterans, and they're waiting to debut their very personal songs about a shared experience: sexual assault.

Nina Cardona / WPLN

Nashville’s annual month-long arts celebration, called Artober, is taking a turn toward the reflective this year. In addition to encouraging performance groups and galleries to program special events all month, the Metro Arts Commission has charged a handful of writers and musicians with creating pieces inspired by the city’s public art.

Racial Equity Nashville Arts
Metro Arts

Updated at 4 p.m. Wednesday: This story has been updated for clarity and to link to a revised version of the Metro Arts report.*

Racism and elitism have been found in some of Nashville’s arts and culture organizations. The issues came to light in a series of interviews about whether the arts are accessible to the city’s increasingly diverse population, and now Metro is responding.

Warren Westcott / Jim Reyland Productions

Most of the world ignored Johnny Ellis when he lived on the streets of Nashville, homeless and using crack. But four years after his death, a play about one of Ellis’ friendships is going on the road, hoping to help audiences around the U.S. see the human face of homelessness.

Emily Siner / WPLN

Leaders in the Nashville music industry, from songwriters to labels to commercial radio, couldn't agree this week on how to fix the problems with reimbursing artists for music — or even what the problems are.

Stix Nashville cedar
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Nashville’s most expensive — and tallest — public art piece begins to rise Monday next to the Music City Center. While the project brought criticism on the Metro Arts Commission, officials say they’re now about to be vindicated.