Maintenance on NPT’s Broadcast Tower

PrintNPT’s broadcast tower is undergoing structural maintenance in September. NPT will be unavailable to some viewers during this time. Viewers who watch NPT using an antenna and subscribers to Dish Network, DirecTV and some smaller cable companies will be affected. AT&T Uverse, Comcast and Charter Communications subscribers should not be affected.

We apologize for the inconvenience. If you have questions, please contact NPT at 615-259-9325.

Dine with Public TV Chef at NPT’s Lidia Bastianich at Mangia Nashville Event

lidia-bastianichOn Tuesday, Oct. 25, Nashville Public Television will present an evening with famed Italian chef, best-selling cookbook author and Emmy Award-winning public television personality Lidia Bastianich at Mangia Nashville. The event will feature a five-course meal inspired by Bastianich’s latest cookbook, Lidia’s Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine, curated by Mangia Nashville’s Nick Pellegrino, and including wine and sparkling water.

When setting the menu, Pellegrino will use a combination of Bastianich’s recipes (there are more than 400 in this book alone) and his own dishes. It’s a formula he employed four years ago for NPT’s previous event with Bastianich. “Her recipes, because they’re so family-oriented, they’re very conducive to what we do. It’s not like a normal restaurant where you’re preparing one dish and sending it out, we’re sending out platters of food,” Pellegrino said, referring to the multi-course Italian feasts he hosts each weekend at his Berry Hill restaurant.

Those began five years ago as pop-ups in Franklin and include, as will NPT’s Lidia Bastianich evening, singing and dancing to Italian-American classics by Sinatra, Frankie Valli, The Rascals and others. “Everybody works off about 1,000 calories, then you sit down and you eat some more,” Pellegrino said.

In addition to food and dancing, the Lidia Bastianich at Mangia Nashville evening will offer guests the opportunity to meet and mingle with Bastianich and other diners in a casual environment. Again, this meshes well with the atmosphere in Pellegrino’s restaurant. The space has a décor that is both stylish and relaxed with a large bar, open kitchen and dark rustic tables that Pellegrino built himself. Pellegrino, who opened this location in the spring of this year, also designed the 100-plus foot long banquette that wraps around one side of the restaurant.

The apple green leather banquette makes it easier to reconfigure tables when accommodating large groups, Pellegrino said. That should come in handy during Lidia Bastianich at Mangia Nashville. As Bastianich writes in the introduction to her latest cookbook: “Italian food is all about authentic ingredients, intense flavors, and the enjoyment that comes when family and friends get together.”

Tickets to Lidia Bastianich at Mangia Nashville are available at and are $200 per person (dinner only) or $250 per person (includes a copy of Lidia’s Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine cookbook which Bastianich will sign at the event). The book was co-written with Tanya Bastianich Manuali, the chef’s daughter, and includes nearly 100 pages of ingredients and techniques (kinds of food, condiments, tools and preparation methods); more than 400 recipes, among them appetizers and desserts; and concludes with a glossary and brief section on Italian culture and language.

Learn more of Bastianich’s by watching Lidia’s Kitchen Saturdays at 1:30 p.m. on NPT and Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on NPT2.

NPT Produces New ‘Champions’ Spots for American Graduate Day, Sept. 17


The fifth annual American Graduate Day is Saturday, Sept. 17, and will feature a live block of programming hosted by journalist Soledad O’Brien with news segments, performances, interviews and mini-documentaries.

NPT is an active participant in the American Graduate: Let’s Make It Happen public media initiative and as such regularly creates documentaries and short video projects highlighting education issues in Middle Tennessee. This month we are rolling out three Champions videos. Champions work to improve their communities by dedicating their time, talents and resources to help students achieve better educational and personal results. Over the past few years, NPT has featured nearly 30 individuals and organizations in Champions videos and all are available on YouTube and on our American Graduate website in addition to regular broadcasts on-air.

Our new Champions videos highlight:

  • Benjamin Smith, executive director of Southern Word, a literary and performing arts program helping youth to build literacy and presentation skills. In the video, Smith and students – including Cassidy Martin, Nashville’s Youth Poet Laureate – talk about the benefits of the program. The video also shows clips of Southern Word performances.
  • David Lockett, a teacher who runs a camp incorporating the arts into STEM curricula. Lockett’s Camp STEM is a series of one-week programs in which young students try hands-on activities across genres, from art to technology. This approach, Lockett tells us in the video, is beneficial to children who are visual learners and helps all students develop problem-solving and communication skills.
  • Sheila Calloway, whose commitment to young people extends beyond her duties as a juvenile court judge. In the new Champions spot, Judge Calloway discusses options such as finding mentors or activities to help young people avoid a path that may lead them to jail.

This year American Graduate Day comes at the end of Spotlight Education, a week of public television programming highlighting America’s students and new approaches to educating them. There will be special episodes of Frontline, NOVA and other shows, as well as special reports from PBS NewsHour and PBS NewsHour Weekend.

Here’s an overview of the week’s offerings on NPT.

Sunday, Sept. 11, at 10 & 10:30 p.m. Two NPT original American Graduate productions will air back-to-back. NPT Reports: Choice or Chance? is about school choice options in the Nashville area, followed by American Graduate: Translating the Dream, about the challenges faced by non-native English speakers as they try to navigate the education system in their new home.

Monday, Sept. 12, at 9 p.m. POV’s All the Difference (2016) is about two African-American males who manage to achieve their goal of graduating from college despite overwhelming odds and difficult life situations. One of the young men, Krishaun Branch, attended Fisk University.

Tuesday, Sept. 13, at 8 p.m. Frontline’s A Subprime Education is a look at the for-profit college industry and is especially relevant given the recent closure of ITT Technical Institutes across the country. The program considers accusations of predatory behavior and fraud among education chains. In that same episode, The Education of Omarina shows how an innovative program to curb the high school dropout crisis has affected one girl’s journey.

Tuesday, Sept. 13, at 9 p.m. The focus is on innovative approaches to education in TED TALKS: Education Revolution. Speakers include Anna Deavere Smith and Sal Khan discussing the school-to-prison pipeline, the impact of micromanaging kids, and transforming struggling students into scholars.

Wednesday, Sept. 14, at 8 p.m. NOVA offers suggestions of how the School of the Future should look in our age of information, rapid innovation and globalization.

Thursday, Sept. 15, at 11:30 p.m. The story told in Time for School began in 2003, when the five teens featured were starting their first year of school in their respective countries. Current-day footage is combined with material filmed over the intervening years as the children struggled to attain a basic education and now approach what should be their graduation dates.

Saturday, Sept. 17, 1 to 5 p.m. Look for NPT’s original video shorts – including the three new Champions spots– during American Graduate Day programming. We’ll also offer another chance to watch the NPT original production American Graduate: Translating the Dream at 5:30 p.m.

NPT announces the death of longtime ‘Crossroads’ producer Ken Simington

Ken Simington_Studio_A_MCNPT is sad to announce the death of Ken Simington, a longtime NPT staff member and executive producer of Tennessee Crossroads. Simington died at his home last night after a fall and is survived by his wife Janice, two sons and grandchildren.

Simington’s broadcast career began at small radio stations in the northeast part of his home state of Arkansas. He earned a Master of Visual Arts from Southern Illinois University and a Bachelor of Science in Radio/TV from Arkansas State University. Simington joined NPT (then WDCN) back in 1979 and worked his way through the ranks from studio supervisor to senior producer/director. He most recently served as a governor of NATAS Nashville/Midsouth Regional Emmys.

Simington’s affiliation with Tennessee Crossroads began at the show’s launch in October 1987, when he worked as a segment producer; he became the show’s executive producer a few years later. Simington was a consummate professional; he also had a terrific sense of humor, a knack for storytelling and a green thumb when it came to homegrown tomatoes.

Simington received 16 Regional Emmy nominations for Director and Magazine Programs – and won once for Living On: Tennesseans Remembering the Holocaust (2006). But he was perhaps proudest of Tennessee Crossroads and its consistently high ratings and popularity. Now in its 29th season, Crossroads remains the most watched locally produced program in the entire PBS system. Tennessee Crossroads is carried by public television stations across Tennessee, Kentucky and North Carolina.

“Ken Simington was the granddaddy of NPT’s production staff and had the distinct honor of being the celebrated producer of Tennessee Crossroads,” said Beth Curley, NPT’s president and CEO. “Ken loved every minute of his work, which viewers could witness every week. Ken had a long and distinguished career at NPT and was beloved by all of our staff. He was a unique talent who is already sorely missed by everyone at NPT.”

“He was a brother, a friend, a partner,” said Joe Elmore, Tennessee Crossroads’ longtime host. “We were like [Dean] Martin and [Jerry] Lewis – and Ken was Lewis.”

NPT Hosts Free ‘Poldark’ Preview Screening Sept. 15 at the Frist Center

NPT Poldark EventPoldark on Masterpiece returns this fall for a second season, but first, join NPT for a free advance screening from Season 2 on Thursday, Sept. 15, in the Frist Center for the Visual Arts auditorium. The event is free; but RSVPs are requested at ($3 parking will be available with validation).

NPT will screen the first hour of the new season from 6 to 7 p.m. The museum’s café will be open for guests who want a glass or wine or a light meal before or after the screening; the café will also have live music from 6 to 8 p.m.

Poldark Season 2 will air on NPT Sundays at 8 p.m., beginning with a two-hour premiere on Sept. 25 and continuing through Nov. 27 (pre-empted Sunday, Oct. 9).

During the first season, Capt. Ross Poldark stunned his relatives and neighbors by returning late, but alive from fighting in the American War of Independence (aka The Revolutionary War). His father was dead, his affairs and finances in disarray. Meanwhile, Poldark’s uncle and cousin, Charles and Francis Poldark, were running a prosperous mining operation; unscrupulous George Warleggan had a rival operation; and Elizabeth, Poldark’s first love, had caught the eye of both Francis and George. Poldark married Demelza, a miner’s daughter.

As Season 2 starts, Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner) is on trial for a capital offense, accused of murder and “wrecking” — luring a cargo ship to the rocks for plunder. But neither betrayal, pestilence, nor starvation can stop him from fighting for justice in his native Cornwall. Returning with Turner for the second season are Eleanor Tomlinson as Demelza, Heida Reed as Elizabeth, Kyle Soller as Francis Poldark, and Jack Farthing as George Warleggan. This season John Nettles (Midsomer Murders) joins the cast as Ray Penvenen.

Poldark is based on the novels of Winston Graham.

For more NPT events, go to Find our full programming schedule at

NPT Presents Special Programming on Thursday Nights

PrintOver the coming weeks, NPT will broadcast a number of programs that examine our nation’s history of political and racial tensions so that we might better understand the events of today. “Through engagement with these topics, we seek to enrich the lives of everyone who calls Nashville home,” said Beth Curley, NPT’s president and CEO. On Thursday nights, Aug. 11 through Aug. 18 and Sept. 8 through Oct. 13, NPT will pair an episode of the second series of Eyes on the Prize with a documentary about a related issue.

Thursday, Aug. 11, at 8 p.m. Eyes on the Prize: The Time Has Come (1964-1966)
The second series of this seminal chronicle of the civil rights era begins in the mid-1960s, as the fabric of the traditional movement changes with the rise of the Black Power movement. Malcolm X takes nationalism to urban streets as a younger generation of black leaders listens.

Thursday, Aug. 11, at 9 p.m. Independent Lens: Let the Fire Burn
On May 13, 1985, a longtime feud between the city of Philadelphia and controversial radical urban group MOVE came to a deadly climax. By order of local authorities, police dropped military-grade explosives onto a MOVE-occupied row house. It was only later discovered that authorities decided to “let the fire burn.” Using archival news coverage and interviews, filmmaker Jason Osder brings to life one of the most tumultuous and largely forgotten clashes between government and citizens in modern American history, one that ended with the deaths of 11 people (including five children) and the destruction of 61 homes.

Thursday, Aug. 18, at 8 p.m. Eyes on the Prize: Two Societies (1965-1968)
The Kerner Commission finds that America is becoming “two societies, one black, one white, separate and unequal.”

Thursday, Aug. 18, at 9 p.m. Freedom Riders: The Nashville Connection
Nashville veterans of the 1961 Freedom Rides recall their role in the landmark event of the civil-rights era in this 2011 panel discussion moderated by journalist John Seigenthaler.

Thursday, Sept. 8, at 8 p.m. Eyes on the Prize: Power! (1966-1968)
The call for Black Power takes various forms across communities. In Cleveland, Carl Stokes wins election as the first black mayor of a major American city. The Black Panther Party, armed with law books and guns, is born in Oakland.

Thursday, Sept. 8, at 9 p.m. Vel Phillips: Dream Big Dreams
The story of civil rights leader Vel Phillips, now in her 90s, who became the first African-American judge in Wisconsin and the first woman, and African American, in the nation elected to executive office in state government.

Thursday, Sept. 15, at 8 p.m. Eyes on the Prize: The Promised Land (1967-1968)
Martin Luther King Jr. stakes out new ground for himself and the fragmenting civil rights movement.

Thursday, Sept. 15, at 9 p.m. Independent Lens: Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People
Thomas Allen Harris’ critically acclaimed documentary presents photographic portrayals of African Americans by African Americans spanning the advent of the medium to the present day.

Thursday, Sept. 22, at 8 p.m. Eyes on the Prize: Ain’t Gonna Shuffle No More (1964-1972)
A call to pride and a renewed push for unity galvanize black America. Olympic champion Cassius Clay challenges America to accept him as Muhammad Ali. The National Black Political Convention tries to create a unified response to growing repression against the movement.

Thursday, Sept. 22, at 9 p.m. Independent Lens: American Denial
The film uses Gunnar Myrdal’s innovative research into the Jim Crow-era racism as a starting point for a look at how unconscious biases affect race relations in the U.S.

Thursday, Sept. 29, at 8 p.m. Eyes on the Prize: A Nation of Law? (1968-1971)
Black activism is increasingly met with a sometimes violent and unethical response from local and federal law enforcement agencies. At New York’s Attica State Prison, an inmate takeover leaves 43 men dead – four killed by inmates, 39 by police.

Thursday, Sept. 29, at 9 p.m. Frontline: Prison State
With unprecedented access, Frontline investigates the impact of mass incarceration in America. Around 2.3 million people are behind bars in the U.S. today, but a disproportionate number come from a few city neighborhoods, and in some places the concentration is so dense that states are spending millions of dollars annually to lock up residents of single blocks. “Prison State” examines one such community, Louisville’s Beecher Terrace housing project, and follows the lives of four residents as they move in and out of custody, while Kentucky tries break that cycle and shrink its prison state.

Thursday, Oct. 6, at 8 p.m. Eyes on the Prize: The Keys to the Kingdom (1974-1980)
Anti-discrimination legal rights gained in past decades by the civil rights movement are put to the test. In Boston, some whites violently resist a federal court school desegregation order. The Bakke Supreme Court case challenges affirmative action.

Thursday, Oct. 6, at 9 p.m. Frontline: Separate and Unequal
Sixty years after the Supreme Court declared separate schools for black and white children unconstitutional, Frontline examines the comeback of segregation in America. The film focuses on Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where a group of mostly white parents are trying to form their own city with its own separate school district, leaving behind a population of black students. Through this battle, Frontline shows the growing racial divide in American schools and the legacy of Brown v. Board of Education.

Thursday, Oct. 13, at 8 p.m. Eyes on the Prize: Back to the Movement (1979-Mid-80s)
Power and powerlessness. Pummeled by urban renewal, a lack of jobs and police harassment, Miami’s black community explodes in rioting. In Chicago, an unprecedented grassroots movement triumphs. Harold Washington becomes Chicago’s first black mayor.

Thursday, Oct. 13, at 9 p.m. POV: 15 to Life: Kenneth’s Story
Does sentencing a teenager to life without parole serve society? Following a Florida man who received four life sentences at age 15, this eye-opening film reveals a justice system that routinely condemns young Americans to die in prison.

Click to see our full schedule.

Programming Offers Historical, Cultural Look at the Olympics

It’s that time again. The Olympic team uniforms have been revealed (and critiqued), the first athletes have arrived in Rio and Olympic tie-in campaigns are well underway. But if you’re still seeking context for these Games, tune to NPT beginning this weekend for a look at historical, cultural and even gastronomic aspects of the Summer Olympics.

View of a Rio beach, from Get Ready to Rio! with Chef Hubert Keller

View of a Rio beach, from Get Ready to Rio! with Chef Hubert Keller

Get Ready to Rio! with Chef Hubert Keller, is a four-part cooking and travel series set in the Summer Olympic host city. Chef Keller meets with chefs and locals to learn about traditional and innovative Brazilian dishes, while also showcasing Rio de Janeiro’s breathtaking scenery. The series airs on NPT Saturdays, July 30 through August 20, at 1 p.m. You can also watch Get Ready to Rio! on NPT2, Wednesdays at 10 a.m., August 10 through 31.

Tuesday, August 2, at 7 p.m. The opening ceremony of the Olympics doubles as a high-tech branding opportunity for the host country and includes a dramatic lighting of the Olympic flame. We’re all familiar with the torch relay leading up to the ceremony; the tradition began with the 1936 Summer Olympics held in Berlin, Germany. Those Olympics introduced much of the now-familiar pageantry, but there was also a sinister side to those Olympics. The Nazi Games – Berlin 1936 uses newly declassified documents and rarely seen archival footage to expose the darker story of the Berlin Games.

Tuesday, August 2, at 8 p.m. Everyone loves an underdog and in the 1936 Olympics, the American rowing team was just that. Boys of ’36: American Experience tells the story of the  team’s unexpected gold-medal performance and the obstacles they overcame in life as well as in sports. This new documentary is based on the best-selling book by Daniel James Brown.

Tuesday, August 2, at 9 p.m. Women competed for Olympic boxing medals for the first time during the 2012 London Games. Claressa “T-Rex” Shields won that first gold medal at age 17, but as the coming-of-age documentary T-Rex: Her Fight for Gold shows on Independent Lens, her toughest competition may come outside the ring. Shields is defending her medal in the 2016 Rio Games.

Thursday, August 4, at 8 p.m. After legendary boxer Muhammad Ali died this spring, many of the remembrances included footage that showed what an unusual a fighter he was. Other stories examined forgotten chapters in his rise from obscure Louisville kid to Olympic champion to icon. Independent Lens: The Trials of Muhammad Ali looks at Ali’s 1960s battle to overturn the prison sentence he received for refusing induction into U.S. military service during the Vietnam War.

Thursday, August 4, at 9:30 p.m. Jesse Owens: Enduring Spirit looks at the athlete’s long association with Ohio State University from the days of his record-shattering performances on the school’s track team to well after his retirement from competition.

Thursday, August 4, at 11 p.m. The modern Olympics had its darkest moment on Sept. 5, 1972, when 11 Israeli athletes were taken hostage and eventually killed by Palestinian terrorists during the Munich Games. Munich ’72 and Beyond, is a new documentary about those horrifying events and the development of a Munich monument to the slain Olympians.

Friday, August 5, at 9 p.m. Niko von Glasow would seem to be the perfect choice to make a documentary about the 2012 London Paralympics. But the disabled filmmaker had no interest in sports nor the Games – until he took the assignment and got to know the athletes profiled in My Way to Olympia on POV.

Friday, August 12, at 9 p.m. It’s not quite the Olympics, but for the senior athletes featured in POV’s Ping Pong, participating in the Over 80 World Table Tennis Championships is a chance to show off their combined 703 years of experience. Their stories are inspiring and poignant; one competitor, for example, received a diagnosis of only one week to live, while another uses the sport as a respite to dementia.

Find our full programming lineup at

NPT, Tennessee’s Public Media Stations Welcome CPB Board to State

Photo by Susan Adcock

CPB president and CEO Patricia Harrison, NPT’s Beth Curley, Gov. Bill and Crissy Haslam, and members of the CPB’s Board of Directors at the Tennessee Executive Residence

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s Board of Directors held its quarterly meeting here in Nashville on June 27 at the Hermitage Hotel.

A reception was held that evening at Tennessee’s Executive Residence for the state’s 12 public media television and radio stations. Gov. Bill Haslam and first lady Crissy Haslam welcomed the media representatives, members of their respective boards, community partners and donors.

The evening began with remarks by NPT’s president and CEO Beth Curley; Nashville Public Radio’s president and CEO Rob Gordon; the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s president and CEO Patricia de Stacy Harrison; and CPB board chair Elizabeth Sembler. NPT board chair Mike Koban introduced Gov. Haslam, who then delivered an entertaining address that shared anecdotes about Tennessee history and the governor’s residence.

Photo by Susan Adcock

Kathy Mattea performs during a reception for Tennessee public media stations.

Grammy-winning recording artist Kathy Mattea, who is the spokesperson for NPT’s Aging Matters series, talked about the most recent documentary, Aging Matters: Living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, which premiered later that night on NPT. Mattea then performed two songs, finishing with “Where’ve You Been?,” a song co-written by her husband songwriter Jon Vezner and Don Henry. The song was inspired Vezner’s grandparents, a long-married couple who in their later years lived on separate floors of a nursing home before a poignant reunion. Mattea’s moving performance brought tears to many in the room.

The CPB board then issued a proclamation expressing its deep appreciation to the public media stations of Tennessee for their service to the people of the state. In addition to NPT, the stations honored were Nashville Public Radio/WPLN-FM; Chattanooga’s WTCI-TV and WUTC-FM; Cookeville’s WCTE-TV; Cordova’s WKNO-TV and WKNO-FM; Johnson City’s WETS-FM; Knoxville’s WETP-TV, WUOT-FM and WDVX-FM; and Martin’s WLJT-TV.

“NPT is honored that the CPB board recognizes the efforts and accomplishments of NPT and our fellow Tennessee public media stations in providing educational, informative and entertaining programming to our respective audiences,” said NPT’s Beth Curley. “We are also looking forward to sharing an overview of NPT’s original productions and community engagement activities with CPB board and staff.”

On Tuesday, June 28, NPT and WPLN gave presentations about their work. In a town hall format moderated by NPT producer LaTonya Turner and interspersed with video segments, NPT’s community partners discussed their involvement on NPT’s Aging Matters, American Graduate, Children’s Health Crisis, Citizenship Project, Next Door Neighbors, Tennessee Civil War 150, and Veterans Coming Home projects. Contributing to the discussion in NPT’s Studio A were representatives from Alignment Nashville, Conexión Américas, Harpeth Hills Church of Christ, Meharry Medical College, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, Nashville Islamic Center of Nashville, the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area, Tennessee State University, and the YWCA of Nashville. A question-and-answer session followed the testimonials.

Photo by NPT staff.

NPT’s presentation to the CPB Board of Directors.

Nashville Public Radio’s Rob Gordon introduced WPLN’s part of the program, which included presentations by the radio station’s news director Blake Farmer and reporter Emily Siner, as well as local attorney and public media supporter David Ewing.


Photos by Susan Adock and NPT staff.

NPT’s Appraisal Day 2016 Reveals, Confirms Treasures

NPT hosted another fun, successful Fine Arts and Antiques Appraisal Day event this year. Held at the Factory at Franklin on June 25, the event raised more than $37,000 to support NPT’s educational, cultural and civic programming. Twenty appraisers were on hand to offer verbal assessments of furniture, silver, weaponry, musical instruments and other items. Brown & Brown Insurance Co. provided attendees with complimentary bottles of water and a chance to win a Fitbit. Two people won free admission via Now Playing Nashville and 10 NPT viewers purchased in-home appraisals during televised pledge specials leading up to the event.

Intriguing pieces appeared right from the start, among them an unusual rocking chair with a sleigh-like appearance. Selma Paul of Selma Paul Appraisal & Estate Services pulled out a flashlight for a closer look at the applied carving on the piece. “Have a seat,” she said to S.D. (Robin) Sinclair of Sinclair Appraisals and Consulting, with whom she was sharing an appraisal table. “It’s a perfect fit,” Sinclair quipped. Sinclair and Paul surmised that the piece is a convalescence chair likely designed for a woman and that could not only soothe the patient by rocking, but could also tilt back to place the sitter in a horizontal position.

S.D. (Robin) Sinclair at NPT's Appraisal Day 2016

S.D. (Robin) Sinclair at NPT’s Appraisal Day 2016

Tilting the chair back on unsuspecting friends was a favorite prank of their children, confirmed Franklin’s Mat and Pat Hughes. Originally part of a pair, the rocker was appraised at $500 and is believed to date from the 1850s.

There are always surprises at NPT’s Appraisal Day; some good, some bad. For Lisa and Bobby Keen, the news was good. At the last minute, the couple decided to bring a $20 auction purchase they were using as a pool fence decoration. Not anymore. The elongated wooden carving of a face is 19th-century Polynesian and worth an estimated $5,000 to $8,000.

Lisa and Bobby Keen at NPT's Appraisal Day 2016

Lisa and Bobby Keen at NPT’s Appraisal Day 2016

This was the Keens’ first time at NPT Appraisal Day and they made it a family affair by bringing along their sons, Jacob and Mason, who brought a small collection of vintage board games ‒ including an English “Sherlock Holmes” edition of Clue ‒ sourced from an antebellum home in Franklin. Though possessing a certain cool factor, the games were deemed to be of no great monetary value, while the painting the family brought was of indeterminate value due to an unrecognizable artist’s signature.

Another family’s paintings were easier to appraise. The three works by Texas artist Everett Spruce were brought in by his granddaughter, Phyllis Feener of Mt. Juliet, who came to Appraisal Day with her husband, Stan. Appraiser John Case of Case Antiques Inc. pored over the paintings before accessing their value at between $6,000 and $16,000 per painting.

Everett Franklin Spruce was considered to be one of the first American Scene Painters, a regionalist who specialized in depicting the Texas Hill Country and West Texas landscapes, particularly the area included in Big Bend National Park. His use of color and textured brush strokes show the influence of expressionism. Spruce’s works can be found in the collections of several museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Dallas Museum of Art and the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco.

On the other end of the spectrum, a painted elephant tusk turned out to be merely a faux tusk with appliqued decoration and thus worth around $50, about what the owner paid for it. It’s just as well ‒ were it real ivory it would be illegal to sell it.

Other appraisers present at the event were Charlie Clements, Clements Antiques (Chattanooga); Chas Clements, Clements Antiques (Chattanooga); Mel Covington, Berenice Denton Estate Sales & Appraisals (Nashville); Mike Cotter, Back in Time Rare Books (Jacksonville, Fla.); Rick Crane (Knoxville); Berenice Denton, Berenice Denton Estate Sales & Appraisals (Nashville); Sarah Campbell Drury, Case Antiques Inc., Auctions & Appraisals (Nashville); Kirsten Rabe Smolensky, Minerva Appraisal, LLC (Brentwood); Joe Spann, Gruhn Guitars (Nashville); Sam Holden, Pickle Road Appraisers (Nashville); Mike Mouret, Nashville Coin & Currency, Inc. (Nashville); Len De Rohan, Case Antiques Inc. Auctions & Appraisals (Knoxville); Joe Rosson, Joe Rosson Estate Sales (Knoxville); Sara Stessel, Chartreuse Consultants (Nashville); J.T. Thompson, Lotz House Civil War Museum (Franklin); Mike Walton, Walton’s Antique Jewelry (Franklin); and Julie Walton Garland, Walton’s Antique Jewelry (Franklin).

What will next year’s Appraisal Day turn up? Scour your attic and basement and save the date for Saturday, June 24, 2017. Hope to see you there!

NPT Receives $70,000 Nissan Foundation Grant for Next Door Neighbors Project

nissan foundation logo

Nashville Public Television announced today that it is a 2016 recipient of a Nissan Foundation grant. The grant will help fund NPT’s Next Door Neighbors project, which aligns with the Nissan Foundation’s mission of promoting the value of cultural diversity and building inclusive communities.

Next Door Neighbors began in 2008 and, through documentaries and video shorts, aims to shed light on Nashville’s status as a new destination city for refugees and immigrants and to explore the rich diversity of people now calling Middle Tennessee home. The most recent documentary, Next Door Neighbors: Becoming American, premiered June 23 on NPT.

“We are grateful for Nissan’s generous support of NPT’s Next Door Neighbors project which shares the cultures, struggles, sacrifices and successes of our immigrant and refugee communities with the greater Middle Tennessee community,” said Beth Curley, NPT’s president and CEO. “With Next Door Neighbors, NPT has helped foster a growing embrace of diversity while highlighting the many ways that new immigrants are contributing to Nashville’s growing economy and vibrant cultural life. We are honored to be selected as one of the leading culturally diverse and relevant programs in a community that serves as a home to Nissan’s U.S. operations.”

2016 marks the 10th time NPT has received a grant from the Nissan Foundation, and it is one of 27 recipients to be selected this year. In its 24-year history, the Foundation has awarded more than $9.3 million to more than 100 nonprofit organizations across the United States.

“The Nissan Foundation is proud to support NPT’s mission to enrich people’s lives and open doors to new ways of understanding our neighbors and the world we live in,” said Scott Becker, president of the Nissan Foundation. “Diversity is a core value of Nissan. Thirty-eight percent of Nissan’s U.S. customers are ethnically diverse, the highest among major automakers in the U.S.”

About the Nissan Foundation: Established in 1992, the mission of the Nissan Foundation is to build community through valuing cultural diversity. The Nissan Foundation is part of Nissan North America’s commitment to “enrich people’s lives” by helping to meet the needs of communities throughout the U.S. through philanthropic investments, corporate outreach sponsorships, in-kind donations and other charitable contributions.

About Nissan North America: In North America, Nissan’s operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized annually by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year since 2010. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at and, or visit the U.S. media sites and