Arts and Culture | Nashville Public Radio

Arts and Culture

Lily Williams / WPLN

Live outdoor music, an arboretum and a dog park — all downtown. On Tuesday, reporters received a sneak peak of the 11-acre expansion to Riverfront Park.

In the place where a city thermal plant used to burn trash for energy, there is now an amphitheater that is applying for LEED Gold Certification, the second highest level of environmentally friendly construction.

Monument Records publicity photo / Country Music Hall Of Fame And Museum

Nearly fifty years ago, Bob Dylan gave Nashville his stamp of approval, and an astounding number of pop, rock and folk musicians took notice. For more than a decade, they flocked here to cut song after song. But a look at the credits of those songs hints at a deeper tale about how the city’s session players used that influx of star power to expand their own careers -- and Music Row.

Jim Ed Brown via Facebook

Mourners gathered Monday morning at Ryman Auditorium to remember Grand Ole Opry member Jim Ed Brown, who died late last week at age 81. He was known for his smooth singing style and performing with his two sisters. “Three Bells” and “Pop-A-Top” were two of his biggest hits.

Ralph Hatcher is a retired Nashville bus driver who used to give riding tours to see the homes of country music stars. When they would pass Brown’s house in Brentwood, Hatcher says Brown always stopped what he was doing.

Sarah McGee / WPLN

Country music icon Loretta Lynn and alternative rocker Jack White received stars on the Music City Walk of Fame on Thursday. 

Nina Cardona / WPLN

Nashville is in a building boom. But for new skyscrapers and condo buildings to go up, something else often has to be knocked down. One local artist is trying to capture what could be lost in the process.

Joe Nolan

I most often make my way to Nolensville Pike following an appetite for huevos con chorizo or a craving for authentic kebabs or to buy ingredients for my world famous chicken vindaloo. Nolensville Pike offers some of the best dining in the city partly because it's also home to the most diverse neighborhoods in Nashville.

Erica Ciccarone

In the space left by a missing brick in a West Nashville wall, there's a tiny art gallery — complete with its own lighting and very small sculptures and paintings by Nashville artists.


Ben Griffith says it's all about having fun with art. In that spirit, visitors are directed to the gallery via scavenger hunt. (Go to Griffith's website and click "Clues for Gallery 1.") 

Kathleen Barry / United Methodist Publishing House

As long as the United Methodist Publishing House has had its headquarters in downtown Nashville, there’s been plenty of room to store dozens of rare books — some even older than the United States. But now the office is getting ready to downsize, so it’s time to assess what’s there and make some decisions.

The Methodist Publishing House dates back to the 1780s, and from the beginning, editor Brian Milford says the clergymen once known as “book stewards,” needed to have reference material on hand.

Still Rolling Productions

The upcoming Nashville Film Festival will be marked by a statistic that surprised its organizers: this year, more selected films than ever were made by female directors.

Artistic director Brian Owens says his team didn’t solicit more women to enter, and they didn’t pick movies according to any sort of filmmaker demographics. It just happened that way.

“I noticed it as the lineup was taking shape," Owens says. "When the documentary lineup had finalized I was like, there’s some strong female filmmakers here.”

Elbert Barnes / Flickr

The Country Music Hall of Fame named its class of 2015 Wednesday morning in a ceremony hosted by singer Brenda Lee.

The Oak Ridge Boys accepted the honor in person, as did Jim Ed Brown and the Browns (his two sisters, Maxine and Bonnie). Guitarist Grady Martin, who rounds out the class, died in 2001.