Five episodes span career of late Nashville author
To celebrate the life of John Egerton, who died unexpectedly last week, we will dedicate an entire week of A Word on Words on NPT2 to Mr. Egerton’s appearances. The shows will air at 3:30 p.m. on NPT2 from Monday, December 2 through Friday, December 6. In these episodes, Mr. Egerton and host John Seigenthaler discuss Egerton’s books Where We Stand: Voices of Southern Dissent, Nashville: An American Self-Portrait and more.
NPT2 is available over-the-air on 8.2, on Comcast Channel 241 and Charter Cable channel 191.
For more on Egerton, we recommend Margaret Renkl’s beautiful tribute at Chapter 16.
Shepherd was involved in public television for 40 years as a leader on the local, regional and national levels, serving two terms on the national board of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). He began his career at WEDU in Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla. and, as producer-director of its local cooking show, met and married the former Beverly Crowell who was the program’s featured home economist. He joined WDCN in Nashville as program manager in early 1963 and two years later at the age of 32 was appointed general manager, at the time one of the youngest public television station managers in the nation. He guided the fledgling station through decades of growth until retiring in 1998.
Shepherd was at the helm of WDCN when it broadcast its first color transmission in 1967 and converted to full-color in 1974; when it began broadcasting signals from the new PBS satellite in 1974; and when it started Closed Captioning for the hearing impaired in 1989 and Descriptive Video Service for the visually impaired in 1994.
He was instrumental in creating the Nashville Public Television Council in 1971 to assist with fund-raising and operation of the station, and in 1973, he was the principal negotiator in the history-making, multi-million dollar 1973 channel swap between WDCN public channel 2 and commercial ABC affiliate channel 8 (now WKRN). He also oversaw construction of WDCN’s state-of-the-art telecommunications center, which in 1977 was national runner up for “Station of the Year.”
“Bob essentially created public television in Middle Tennessee,” said Beth Curley, president and CEO of NPT. “He was active on many local and national committees to advance the cause of public media. He was a kind and trusted advisor.”
The achievement Shepherd was most proud of for the station came shortly before his retirement when he engineered an agreement to transfer licensing of WDCN from the Metropolitan Board of Education to an independent not-for-profit entity which has become Nashville Public Television. The Midsouth chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) honored him with its Silver Circle service award and its Governor’s Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Current NPT Board Chair Richard Warren recalled that Shepherd got him involved with the station over thirty years ago to provide pro bono legal services.
“Bob had a passion for public broadcasting and managed to do excellent work both in managing the local station with very limited resources and within the larger PBS community,” said Warren. “It delighted him as he approached retirement to assist in the establishment of a community-based nonprofit organization to take over the license for the station and create a base for the station to continue to grow.”
Shepherd was born in Atlanta, Georgia on August 21, 1933, and spent his early life relocating often as the son of an Army officer. He was a 1952 graduate of Gadsden High School and served two years active duty in the U.S. Army Reserves Counter Intelligence Corps in Japan. After being honorably discharged, he completed his degree in radio and television at the University of Alabama where he was a proud member of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Beverly C. Shepherd; daughter, Nancy Shepherd Lesser (Craig) of Atlanta; son, Scott Shepherd of Alexandria, La.; son-in-law, Christopher McNutt of Woodstock, Ga.; and grandchildren Nicholas and Emily McNutt, Ellen and Julie Lesser, and Natalie Shepherd. He also is survived by sister Betty Butler of Blairsville, Ga. and beloved nieces Terri Johnson (Jerry) of Hiram, Ga. and Cindi Wheatley (Patrick) of Mableton, Ga., in addition to extended family and friends.
Visitation will be Saturday, November 30, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at West Harpeth Funeral Home, 6962 Charlotte Pike, Nashville. A celebration of Bob’s life will take place Sunday, December 1 at 2 p.m. at Hillwood Presbyterian Church, 6220 Hickory Valley Road, Nashville. Burial will be at Crest Lawn Memorial Park in Atlanta. Donations in his memory may be made to Nashville Public Television or the . WEST HARPETH FUNERAL HOME, 6962 Charlotte Pike; online guestbook www.westharpethfh.com
Portions of this obituary were culled from the obituary on Legacy.com/The Tennessean.
Nashville Public Television productions picked up 10 nominations last night when the 28th Midsouth Regional Emmy® Awards were announced at BMI on Music Row. Productions grabbing nods run the full gamut of NPT’s offerings, from public affairs programs like NPT Reports: Children’s Heath Crisis and Domestic Violence: Living in Fear, to historic programs like Tennessee Civil War 150: Looking Over Jordan, to children’s programs like ArtQuest.
A full listing of categories and productions, including those individuals nominated, follows.
NPT Reports: Translating the Dream, LaTonya Turner
NPT Reports Domestic Violence: Living in Fear, Greta Requierme, Suzy Hence
Looking Over Jordan, Ed Jones, LaTonya Turner, Joey Hodge, Joe DelMerico, Clarence Ball
Light: Bruce Munro at Cheekwood, Ed Jones
NPT Reports: Children’s Health Crisis – Family Health, Will Pedigo, Suzy Hence
ArtQuest: What Is a Line?, Linda Wei, Matthew Emigh, Samantha Andrews, Anne Henderson
ArtQuest: Art Is All Around You, Linda Wei, Matthew Emigh, Samantha Andrews, Anne Henderson
SPECIAL EVENT COVERAGE
Puppet Pledge, Linda Wei, Lelan A. Statom, Janet Ivey-Duensing,
ArtQuest: Editing Composite, Matthew Emigh
Hodge DelMerico Composite, Joey Hodge, Joe DelMerico
NPT Presents ‘Community Cinema in Studio A’ Free Lunchtime Screenings
New season of documentary film series to take place at NPT Arts Center; Includes five films over six months.
Community Cinema, a national civic engagement initiative by ITVS featuring screening of films from the Emmy ® Award-winning PBS series “Independent Lens,” will partner with Nashville Public Television (NPT) and take place this season in NPT’s Studio A, inside the NPT Arts Center at 161 Rains Avenue in Nashville. The screenings will be free, include a complimentary light lunch, and occur at 11:30 a.m. one Wednesday a month from December to May (excluding April). Screenings of the approximately one-hour films will conclude with a facilitated discussion. Attendees should RSVP to screenings by the Monday prior to each screening at http://communitycinemastudioA.eventbrite.com.
Films this year include “The State of Arizona” (Carlos Sandoval, Catherine Tambini/USA); “La Marthas” (Cristina Ibarra/USA); “The New Black” (Yoruba Richen/USA); “The Trials of Muhammad Ali” (Bill Siegel/USA); and “Medora” (Andrew Cohn, Davy Rothbart/USA). A full schedule, with a synopsis of each film follows.
Community Cinema, which takes places in dozens of cities through the country, celebrates its sixth year in Nashville with the 2013-14 season. It was previously held at the downtown Nashville Public Library.
Studio A, in the NPT Arts Center in the Wedgewood/Houston Neighborhood, is home to numerous NPT productions and events, including A Word on Words and NPT Reports Town Halls, as well as the rehearsals for NPT Arts Center tenants Tennessee Repertory Theatre and Nashville Shakespeare Festival, and the TN Rep’s popular look-ins and Ingram New Works Festival. New seating, provided by the Frist Foundation, can accommodate more than one-hundred guests.
“Studio A is a hidden treasure and one we’re excited to invite the community in to,” says Joe Pagetta, NPT director of media relations and online strategies, who will coordinate Community Cinema. “Community Cinema’s slate of films each year is always stellar, provocative and entertaining, and this season is no exception. We encourage you to take a little extra time, have lunch with us, and partake in some lifelong learning with these films.”
Wednesday, December 4 at 11:30 a.m.
The State of Arizona
(Carlos Sandoval, Catherine Tambini /USA)
“The State Of Arizona” captures the volatile emotions and complex realities behind Arizona’s headline-grabbing struggle with illegal immigration. Tracking the year after Arizona passes SB1070, its controversial “papers please” law, this unflinching film presents Arizonans on all sides of this divisive issue. Full of drama and unexpected twists, THE STATE OF ARIZONA depicts a state and its people testing the edges of our democratic values and struggling for the very heart and soul of America.
Wednesday, January 22 at 11:30 a.m.
The annual debutante ball in Laredo, Texas is unlike any other. Part of the largest celebration of George Washington’s birthday in the world, a 114-year tradition, a select group of mostly Mexican-American girls is chosen each year to dress in elaborate gowns representing iconic figures from America’s colonial history. Their goal: to recreate a party hosted by Martha Washington, but this time set along the US/Mexico border. “Las Marthas” follows two of the girls as they prepare for this extraordinary rite of passage.
Wednesday, February 19 at 11:30 a.m.
The Trials of Muhammad Ali
“The Trials Of Muhammad Ali” covers the explosive crossroads of Ali’s life. When Cassius Clay becomes Muhammad Ali, his conversion to Islam and refusal to serve in the Vietnam War leave him banned from boxing and facing a five-year prison sentence. Ali’s choice of belief and conscience over fame and fortune resonates far beyond the boxing ring, striking issues of race, faith and identity that continue to confront us all today.
Wednesday, March 26 at 11:30 a.m.
(Andrew Cohn, Davy Rothbart/USA)
A once-booming rural community with a thriving middle class has seen its factories and farms close as the population dwindles. A deeply personal look at small-town life, “Medora” follows a down-but-not-out varsity basketball team as its struggles to compete parallel the town’s own fight for survival.
Wednesday, May 21 at 11:30 a.m.
The New Black
“The New Black” is a documentary that uncovers the complicated and often combative histories of the African-American and LGBT civil-rights movements. Specifically, the film examines homophobia in the black community’s institutional pillar – the black church and reveals the Christian right wing’s strategy of exploiting this phenomenon in order to pursue an anti-gay political agenda.
About Community Cinema:
Community Cinema is a national civic engagement initiative featuring free screenings and curricula for films from the Emmy Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens. In 100 cities and online, community members come together to learn, discuss, and get involved in key social issues of our time.
About Nashville Public Television:
Nashville Public Television, Nashville’s PBS station, is available free and over-the-air to nearly 2.4 million people throughout the Middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky viewing area, through its main NPT and secondary NPT2 channels, and to anyone in the world through its stable of NPT Digital services, including wnpt.org, YouTube and the PBS video app. The mission of NPT is to provide, through the power of traditional television and interactive digital communications, high quality educational, cultural and civic experiences that address issues and concerns of the people of the Nashville region, and which thereby help improve the lives of those we serve.
Hosted by internationally renowned mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves and taped at Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center, nearly 700 student musicians join the Belmont School of Music faculty and the Nashville Children’s Choir later this month for the taping of Christmas at Belmont. Produced by Nashville Public Television (NPT), the annual production of traditional carols, classical masterworks, world music and light-hearted seasonal favorites will premiere on NPT on Thurs., Dec. 19 at 8 p.m. Central followed by the PBS premiere on December 20 at 9 p.m. Central, with an encore broadcast Christmas Eve at 7 p.m. Central. This is the 11th consecutive year Christmas at Belmont has been seen by a national audience on PBS. Previous hosts have included Brenda Lee, Josh Turner, Trisha Yearwood and Laura Bell Bundy.
This year’s edition of Christmas at Belmont features the University Symphony Orchestra, Belmont Chorale, Percussion Ensemble, Musical Theatre, Jazz Ensemble and Bluegrass Ensemble, as well as mass choir. The performance includes both classic sacred holiday music such as “The First Noel” and “God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen,” as well as festive seasonal songs such as “Carol of the Bells” and “We Need a Little Christmas,” to name a few.
Graves has already established a strong rapport with Belmont students, sharing her story with students in a convocation event in February and performing with a number of student ensembles that week in a “Celebration of Unity” concert held in Belmont’s McAfee Concert Hall. Recognized worldwide as one of today’s most exciting vocal stars, Denyce Graves continues to gather unparalleled popular and critical acclaim in performances on four continents. USA Today identifies her as “an operatic superstar of the 21st Century,” and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution exclaims, “if the human voice has the power to move you, you will be touched by Denyce Graves.”
A native of Washington, DC, Graves appears continually on the stages of leading theaters in North America, Europe and Asia. She has become particularly well-known to operatic audiences for her portrayals of the title roles in Carmen and Samson et Dalila. These signature roles have brought Graves to the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna Staatsoper, Royal Opera, Covent Garden, San Francisco Opera, Opéra National de Paris, Lyric Opera of Chicago, The Washington Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Arena di Verona, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Opernhaus Zürich, Teatro Real in Madrid, Houston Grand Opera, Dallas Opera, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Los Angeles Opera, and the Festival Maggio Musicale in Florence. In 1997, PBS released a video and audio recording titled Denyce Graves: A Cathedral Christmas, featuring Graves in a program of Christmas music from Washington’s National Cathedral.
“‘Christmas at Belmont’ is an amazing opportunity to showcase Belmont University’s world-class School of Music in front of a national audience,” said Belmont University President Bob Fisher. “We’re incredibly grateful that this partnership with NPT puts our talented students and faculty in living rooms across the country. Having Denyce Graves serve as our host this year takes anticipation for ‘Christmas at Belmont’ to a new level. Her performance on campus last year was outstanding, and she provides a perfect role model of talent, commitment and grace for our students to observe and emulate.”
The performance and taping of “Christmas at Belmont” returns for the fourth time to the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, one of the few venues in the world featuring natural lighting and state-of-the-art acoustics, including motorized acoustic drapes and an acoustical isolation joint that encircles the entire concert hall and prevents sound waves traveling into or out of the hall.
“We’re always thrilled to bring Nashville to the Nation, and the ‘Christmas at Belmont’ production is one of the finest examples of this,” said Beth Curley, president and CEO of NPT, which has won 42 Midsouth Emmy® awards since 2001. “Belmont’s School of Music is world class, exemplary of the city’s dedication to music and performance in all of its forms and genres. ‘Christmas at Belmont’ is always magnificent, and a highlight of PBS’ holiday programming.”
“Christmas at Belmont” is underwritten by The Beaman Family Foundation and The Jack C. Massey Foundation.
Remote Area Medical, winner of the 2013 NPT Human Spirit Award at the 2013 Nashville Film Festival, screens tonight, Wednesday, November 6, at 8:30 pm at Lipscomb University’s Shamblin Theater, as part of the university’s excellent HumanDocs film series.
The time couldn’t be riper to see this film. Directors Jeff Reichert and Farihah Zaman’s film offers a moving portrait of patients and volunteers at the three day “pop-up” medical clinic organized by the non-profit Remote Area Medical (RAM) at the Bristol, Tennessee NASCAR speedway. With the clinic offering medical, dental, and vision care, the film captures the desperation and resignation of patients long denied access, as well as the compassion of providers giving of themselves to serve.
When awarding the film in April, the NPT Human Spirit jury said the film ‘hits close to home, capturing and communicating what it means to be human today, in Tennessee. Doctors and Nurses who once flew to Central and South America to care for people with no access to basic health care now find they don’t even need to leave the U.S. to find those people. They can find them right here in our home state. This is a beautiful, moving and ultimately troubling film that viewers will be thinking about long after it’s over.”
A brief discussion will follow the screening. The panel features Kate Payne, CEO, University Community Health Services; Dr. Bruce Wolf, founder of Dispensary of Hope; Dr. Parker Panovec, medical director, Faith Family Health Center; Nathan Owens, Lipscomb pre-med undergraduate; and Beth Youngblood, executive associate dean, Lipscomb School of Nursing.
The screening and panel are free and open to the public. HumanDocs is proud to partner with Lipscomb’s School of Nursing, the Nashville Film Festival, and Nashville Public Television to bring Remote Area Medical to the Lipscomb campus.
Shamblin Theater is in Lipscomb’s Bennett Campus Center. Parking should be available on the campus drive entered from Granny White Pike near Lipscomb Academy or in the lots parallel to Belmont Boulevard.
The Nashville Scene‘s 2013 Best of Nashville issue is out, a monster 236-page accounting from both the readers’ and writers’ perspective on the best people, places and things in our great city. At NPT, we pride ourselves on being in tune with what’s happening in the city that we serve. We strive to be its mirror. Based on the issue, we’re doing a great job. Many of the places picked by readers and writers have been profiled on Tennessee Crossroads, Volunteer Gardener, Arts Break and our new web series with Under the Guise, You Ought to Know Nashville.
Readers’ poll for best Cajun? That would be Bro’s, profiled most recently on Tennessee Crossroads episode 2535. Best family friendly restaurant? Puckett’s, visited by Crossroads in episode 2408. How about writers’ pick for best new restaurant? YOTKN visited their choice, Husk, in its very first episode. YOTKN also visited the writers’ picks for best coffeeshop (CREMA) and the reader’s pick for best new bar (The Stone Fox). On NPT Arts Break, as part of an initiative collaborating with The Nashville Shakespeare Festival and the PBS series “Shakespeare Uncovered,” we did several segments on the NSF’s winter production of “Macbeth,” named by the writers’ as “best Shakespearean spectacle.” Its title actor, Eric Pasto-Crosby, named best actor. There are even connections to our Next Door Neighbors series. Remziya Suleyman, named by the writers’ as Best Activist, is in our “Little Kurdistan, USA” episode.
There are so many more examples of this, we thought we might give it a shot and try and list them all, and embed a few videos for you to watch along the way. Thanks to Erin McInnis in the Tennessee Crossroads department for helping us cull through the issue.
Enjoy the NPT edition of the Nashville Scene‘s Best of Nashville 2013. Consider it your video companion. And be sure to get your copy of the Scene or read it online.
Film shows complexities of the Arab American experience and features those with mission to help the wider community; Nashville Arab Americans to be part of discussion
Continuing a partnership and tradition that began more than three years ago with the Next Door Neighbors project, Nashville Public Television (NPT) and the Scarritt-Bennett Center invite the community to a free screening and discussion of excerpts from the PBS documentary, Arab American Stories: Serving the Nation, on Friday, October 25 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. at Scarritt-Bennett Center (Fondren Building). After the documentary, attendees are invited to get a better understanding of issues discussed in the documentary as Nashville Arab Americans offer their thoughts and answer questions in a follow-up panel discussion. The event co-presented by the American Muslim Advisory Council is free, but RSVPs are suggested by registering at http://conta.cc/19M54d6, calling 615.340.7557 or emailing email@example.com.
Scarritt-Bennett Center is located at 1008 19th Avenue South, Nashville, Tennessee 37212.
Arab American Stories: Serving The Nation shows the complexities of the Arab American experience and features Arab Americans who all have a mission to help the wider community. They include a cardiologist, a sergeant from a sheriff’s department, and a priest in an orthodox church. The complete 13-part series is produced by Detroit Public Television and hosted by NPR’s Neda Ulaby. Each half hour features three short, character driven documentaries produced by a variety of independent filmmakers which profile Arab Americans making an impact in their community, their profession, their family or the world at large.
The screening is another in the partnership between NPT and Scarritt-Bennett Center that began in 2009 with a screening and discussion of an episode of NPT’s award-winning “Next Door Neighbors” series. Since then, the two non-profits dedicated to education, dialogue and cultural understanding have co-presented screenings and events around NPT’s original documentary series “Children’s Health Crisis” and “American Graduate,” as well as national programs.
The Next Door Neighbors series includes in-depth web content at http://wnpt.org/productions/nextdoorneighbors , public forums and panel discussions after each of the four programs.
Major support for Next Door Neighbors is provided by The Nissan Foundation, The HCA Foundation on behalf of HCA and the TriStar Family of Hospitals and a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The project is supported by a partnership with the Vanderbilt University Center for Nashville Studies which provides valuable research and community outreach.
Watch the trailer for Arab American Stories: Serving the Nation: