Arts and Culture

Arts and culture

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.

Cayce Russell Tennessee folklife archives
Tennessee State Library & Archives

From ghost stories, to advice on how to build a banjo, to tales from the early days of electricity — all these subjects, along with traditional music, are captured in the Tennessee State Parks Folklife Collection.

Cindy Wall

Six months after temporarily shutting its doors, the Belcourt Theatre reopened last week, showing off both new updates and meticulous preservations.

MTSU bluegrass music

A rare collection of live bluegrass recordings has a new home at Middle Tennessee State University.