NPT’s August Membership Campaign Brings Specials, Guests and Ticket Offers

NPT’s August Membership Campaign is your opportunity to show your support for Nashville Public Television – and to take advantage of ticket offers and other thank-you gifts! This season’s offerings include concert packages, Nashville Zoo tickets and more. We’ll also have special guests in the studio on live pledge nights, Aug. 22 and 23. Here’s a preview of our special programming this month!

Bonus offer: Make a donation to NPT between Aug. 18 and Sept. 1, 2018, and you’ll be eligible to win a $1,000 VISA gift card. (Sustaining members are automatically entered into the contest.)




Nature programs are popular with NPT viewers, so we are excited to include a few special shows during this month.

Giraffes: Africa’s Gentle Giants, a Nature special, airs Wednesday, Aug. 22, at 7 p.m. Jim Bartoo from the Nashville Zoo will join us live in studio to talk about the park. Thank-you gifts available with your generous donation to NPT include a giraffe stuffed animal and a four-pack of tickets to the Nashville Zoo. For information about the Zoo package, call 844-213-5345.

Voyage of Adventure: Retracing Donelson’s Journey NPT’s original production, returns Wednesday, Aug. 22, at 8:30 p.m. Photographer Guider will join us in the studio to talk about his ambitious endeavor, as well as the many images he shot during the nearly 1,000-mile journey. Thank-you gifts with Voyage of Adventure pledges include Guider’s book The River Inside and a limited edition Guider print from the Donelson project.


See it live

The Tenors – Fan Favorites airs Tuesday, Aug. 21, at 8:30 p.m. These tenors – who are Canadian, in case you’re trying to keep track – will be performing Oct. 29, 2018, at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. For information about tickets and meet-&-greet opportunities with your pledge to support NPT, call 844-213-5345.

Ray Stevens CabaRay Nashville Special airs Wednesday, Aug. 23, at 7 p.m. Stevens will join us live in our studio for the broadcast; membership thank-you gifts include tickets to the CabaRay in west Nashville. Call 844-213-5345 for ticket information.

Pavlo Live in Kastoria airs Wednesday, Aug. 23, at 8:30 p.m. The Canadian-born Mediterranean guitarist will be live in our studio for our broadcast of his concert recorded in the Greek mountains. Call 844-213-5345 for information about tickets and meet-&-greet opportunities for Pavlo’s Jan. 20, 2019, performance at TPAC.


The Chris Botti Band in Concert, a Great Performances special, re-airs on NPT2 on Tuesday, Aug. 21, at 8:30 a.m. and Wednesday, Aug. 22, at 1:30 p.m. As a special thank-you to pledge donors, we’re offering tickets to the trumpeter’s Feb. 14 and 15, 2019, concerts at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. For information about tickets, call 844-213-5345.

Other performance shows and programs about musicians include Grateful Dead – Downhill from Here (Friday, Aug. 24, at 7 p.m.) and Dionne Warwick – Then Came You (re-airs on NPT2 on Tuesday, Aug. 21, at 7 a.m. and Wednesday, Aug. 22, at noon).


NPT Passport

Remember, donations to NPT at the $60+ level include access to NPT Passport, a member benefit streaming portal featuring on-demand episodes of many past, present and limited-run PBS and NPT shows via your favorite devices. More information about NPT Passport is available at

Enjoy this month’s special programming (check our schedule for additional airings) and please support Nashville Public Television.

NPT hosts ‘Youth & Violence: NPT Reports Town Hall’ Sept. 6 in Studio A

NPT invites the public to participate in a town-hall discussion about the prevalence of violence and its impact on youth. Youth & Violence: NPT Reports Town Hall and taping takes place Thursday, Sept. 6, in NPT’s Studio A (161 Rains Ave. Nashville 37203). The taping begins promptly at 6:30 p.m.; doors open for a reception at 6 p.m. This event is FREE, but RSVPs are required at

Young people, experts and community leaders and other members of the Middle Tennessee community are expected to take part in this conversation about what is being done to address the public health crisis emerging around youth and violence. NPT producer LaTonya Turner will moderate the discussion.

This town hall will be recorded for future broadcast. Youth & Violence: NPT Reports Town Hall premieres on NPT Thursday, Sept. 13, at 8 p.m.


‘Voyage of Adventure,’ NPT Doc on History-Inspired River Trip, Airs July 26

By MiChelle Jones, NPT

On Labor Day 2016, while others spent the day grilling and relaxing, photographer John Guider set off on what would be a two-month, 1,000-mile journey along Tennessee’s waterways. His goal was to follow, as closely as possible, Col. John Donelson’s 1779 journey from Virginia to what would become Nashville. Guider’s voyage was chronicled by The Tennessean and is now the subject of an NPT original documentary, Voyage of Adventure: Retracing Donelson’s Journey, premiering Thursday, July 26, at 8 p.m. on NPT.

Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Kathy Mattea narrates the one-hour program, which was produced by NPT’s Will Pedigo. Voyage of Adventure includes stunning river footage, excerpts from Donelson’s journal and images shot by Guider during his autumn excursion. “By being on the river, just a few feet above the waterline, I get to view nature in a very unique way,” Guider says in the documentary. “I’m on the water looking up at nature. And I’m looking up in celebration, and in awe, and reverence.”

This was Guider’s third river project. The first was traveling the length of the Mississippi River, a nearly 2,500-mile journey over three years. Next came his “Great Loop” project, 6,500 miles over seven years that included waterways from the Gulf of Mexico, up the East Coast and across the Great Lakes. The idea to follow Donelson’s route came during that project when Guider came across a commemorative marker, a chance encounter that also solved a conundrum. After spending two-and-a-half years with his craft, Guider says it became so personal that he couldn’t name it (his wife declined to have it named after her).

“I named my boat the Adventure II in honor of his [boat],” Guider said. Guider continued traveling the Great Loop, but he kept coming back to Donelson. “I just couldn’t get his story out of my mind, so I decided this was going to be my next adventure: retracing Donelson’s journey and using it as a comparison, not as a reenactment. I had his journal and I knew the locations of where he was speaking…and that’s where it all began.”

Though Guider spends weeks at a time on the river, he says the trips themselves are somewhat spontaneous without a lot of planning. “I talked about it for two to three months,” he says of the Donelson project. “The boat was fairly ready, it just needed to be reconditioned and repainted.” As for his own condition, Guider tries to stay in fairly good shape, but until this year didn’t have a rigorous exercise program. “I knew if I go out on a journey, if the first day I can only row three or four hours, it’s no big deal.”

That, Guider says, is the advantage of traveling alone. “As you’re doing it at your own pace, it’s not that hard. In the morning when I wake up, I’m kind of tired and groggy, it’s just like any other morning no matter where I am,” he says. “But then I get out in the water and start rowing and the endorphins kick in. Within a few minutes, a big, broad grin is stretching across my face and I know I’m alive again and all is well.” He travels without a chase vehicle, which may seem especially adventurous, but Guider brushes it off. “Curiously enough this journey, no matter where I am, I’m only four hour’s drive from home, even though it’s a 1,000-mile water course.”

For Guider, this trip was a balance between photography mission and curiosity about Donelson’s voyage. “I wanted to learn more about Donelson and why the heck he did this. People think what I’m doing is kind of insane, but what he did was not only insane, but he corralled his whole family,” Guider says. “The other thing is my love for Tennessee; part of my mission is to educate and illuminate and make people aware of how precious this landscape is.”

Additional broadcast times for Voyage of Adventure: Retracing Donelson’s Journey are below; the documentary will also be available for online viewing at

  • Monday, July 30, at 8 a.m. on NPT2
  • Tuesday, July 31, at 1 p.m. on NPT2
  • Wednesday, Aug. 22, at 8:30 p.m. on NPT
  • Friday, Aug. 24, at 8:30 a.m. on NPT2
  • Saturday, Aug. 25, 10:30 p.m. on NPT


This NPT original production is in partnership with The Tennessean. Major funding for Voyage of Adventure was provided by The Anne Potter Wilson Foundation, Bank of America, N.A. Trustee; Martin S. Brown Jr. and the MSB Cockayne Fund; Gilbert S. Merritt; and Dell. Additional support was provided by Eileen Beehan; Sally Pack Farms; Karen Dunn Cochran; Julie Davis; Rachel Stockley Donelson Chapter, DAR; Sally L. Dunn; Andrew Donelson Dunn; Calvin and Marilyn Lehew; and Ophelia Paine.

NPT Receives $75,000 Nissan Foundation Grant for ‘Next Door Neighbors’

Nashville Public Television is one of eight Tennessee nonprofit organizations to receive a 2018 Nissan Foundation grant. The grant will help fund NPT’s Next Door Neighbors project.

Next Door Neighbors began in 2008 and, through documentaries and video shorts, aims to shed light on Nashville’s status as a 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: Between Two Worlds, premiered in April 2018 on NPT. All the documentaries in the series are available for online viewing at

“NPT is extremely grateful to the Nissan Foundation for its long-standing, generous support of Next Door Neighbors,” said Kevin Crane, NPT’s president and CEO. “The Next Door Neighbors project is a cornerstone of NPT’s service to the Middle Tennessee. More than a decade after it began, the documentary series continues to play a vital role in building acceptance and appreciation for the diverse tapestry of cultures found in our immigrant and refugee communities. I am proud of the work NPT has done in this area and look forward to continuing another year of Next Door Neighbors.”

The Nissan Foundation’s 2018 grantees include 29 nonprofit organizations located in Southern California, North Central Texas, Middle Tennessee, Central Mississippi, Eastern Michigan and the New York and Atlanta metro areas. In total, the Nissan Foundation is awarding grants amounting to $730,000.

In 1992, Nissan North America formed the Nissan Foundation in response to the civil unrest that occurred near Nissan’s then U.S. headquarters in Southern California following the Rodney King trial verdict. Every year since, the Nissan Foundation has awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars to organizations that offer educational programs that inform, inspire and celebrate diversity among the various cultural and ethnic groups that make up society.

Over its 26-year history, the Nissan Foundation has awarded more than $10 million to approximately 120 organizations promoting respect and understanding among cultural and ethnic groups.

“It is a privilege to recognize Nashville Public Television with a Nissan Foundation grant for the work it is doing to promote the value of racial, ethnic and cultural diversity,” said Nissan Foundation President Scott Becker, who is also senior vice president, Administration, Nissan North America, Inc. “The Nissan Foundation has a proud history of recognizing and supporting organizations making a real impact in this regard.”

A New Way to Enjoy the Annual ‘Capitol Fourth’ Concert


For the 38th year, PBS and NPT will air A Capitol Fourth, the annual Independence Day concert held on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, live on July 4th. This year’s broadcast is 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 4, with an encore presentation immediately afterward at 8:30 p.m. New for 2018 is a Viewing Party Kit that includes recipes, decorating ideas games and more to help viewers celebrate the holiday with friends and family. The kit is available at

Emmy Award-nominated actor and producer John Stamos (“Fuller House,” “Scream Queens”) returns as host and performers include multiplatinum country music singer-songwriter Luke Combs; country music star and “American Idol” alum Lauren Alaina; and 12-time Grammy Award-winner gospel legend CeCe Winans.



Also on tap for this year’s concert: multiplatinum-selling music legend Jimmy Buffett with the Broadway cast of the new musical “Escape to Margaritaville”; multiplatinum-selling music legends The Beach Boys; legendary Motown stars The Temptations; three-time Grammy Award-winning and multiplatinum-selling artists Pentatonix; multiplatinum pop singer and songwriter Andy Grammer; and Grammy Award-winning soprano superstar Renée Fleming. “The Voice” Season 14 finalist Kyla Jade will open the show with a performance of the national anthem.

Additionally, Broadway legend Chita Rivera will introduce a special tribute to the work of famed American composer Leonard Bernstein in this, his centennial year. The segment will feature Bernstein’s beloved composition “Tonight” from “West Side Story” performed by internationally acclaimed, Grammy Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of  Jack Everly. Rivera, a two-time Tony Award-winner, rose to stardom when she originated the role of Anita in the Broadway premiere of “West Side Story” in 1957.

Find our full programming lineup at

Name That Book! on NPT’s Instagram and Vote in The Great American Read

By Dasha Didier
NPT Intern

We’re sharing Name that book! images on Instagram over the next few weeks. Follow us at nashvillepubtv to see how many books you can identify from the list of 100 titles on The Great American Read list. We plan to post three images every Wednesday through early August and we’ll post the answers the following week with the next round of images.

The idea behind Name that book! is to create a fun way to remind people of favorite books they may have read years and years ago.

To do this, I fill our Great American Read frame with objects that represent the essence of a book from the list of 100 best-loved novels. I choose books that will be relatively easy to recognize and ones I am somewhat familiar with. After a search on Google Images and Pinterest, I make a list of important symbols and distinguishable items that best characterize each novel. I send my wish list off to the props master at the Nashville Repertory Theatre (our neighbors here at NPT) and receive a box of props in return. If necessary, I print off images to further help symbolize the book and then arrange all my objects in the most aesthetically pleasing way.

Some books are easier to illustrate than others. We had an abundance of easily recognizable objects for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: the Mad Hatter’s hat, a teapot and playing cards. Others, like Beloved, were more difficult. I tried my best to distinguish that book’s literary symbols like the black, wide-brimmed hat that represented the fear of being taken back into slavery.

Keep a look out on Instagram for Name that book! And don’t forget to vote for your favorite novel at

New ‘Crossroads’ Travel Special Airs During NPT’s June Membership Campaign


NPT’s June Membership Campaign kicks off June 1 and includes music shows – some with ticket and meet-&-greet offers – and a new Tennessee Crossroads special. Just in time for summer, Weekend Getaway, a 90-minute Crossroads episode, premieres Thursday, June 7, at 7 p.m. and features suggested itineraries for quick trips in East, Middle and West Tennessee.


Road trip!

First, Danielle Allen heads home to Memphis, where she books accommodations in the elegant and James Lee House and delves into the soulful connections of a storied record label at the Stax Museum. You can’t go to Memphis and not sample barbecue, so Danielle makes a stop at The BBQ Shop. Next, Rob Wilds visits the Cumberland Plateau, checks into the Sewanee Inn, has a meal at Jim Oliver’s Smokehouse Restaurant and explores South Cumberland State Park. Finally, Tennessee Crossroads host Joe Elmore finds the hospitable Gracehill Inn in the Smokies, dines at Crockett’s Breakfast Camp and gets artistic at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts.


Live and in person

Celtic Woman: Homecoming ‒ Ireland airs Saturday, June 2, at 8 p.m., but you don’t have to wait till then to take advantage of our thank-you offers. Call 844-213-5345 for information about tickets and a meet-&-greet opportunity with the quartet at their June 15, 2018, performance at TPAC.

NPT’s annual Appraisal Day takes place Saturday, June 23, at the Factory at Franklin. Get a preview of this family-friendly day Monday, June 4, during the 7 p.m. broadcast of Antiques Roadshow. Warwick Stone, aka the Rock Collector, will be our guest during this live television event. Warwick specializes in rock’n’roll memorabilia, but you can bring almost anything to Appraisal Day; registrations are available at

Joe Bonamassa: British Blues Explosion Live airs Monday, June 4, at 8:30 p.m. In this concert recorded July 2016 at England’s Old Royal Naval College, the guitarist pays homage to Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. Thank-you gifts for Joe Bonamassa pledges include tickets to his Aug. 9, 2018, concert at the Ryman Auditorium. Call 844-213-5345 for information.

Brit Floyd: The World’s Greatest Pink Floyd Show celebrates the seminal rock band known for concept albums like The Wall. The program airs Thursday, June 7, at 8:30 p.m. Among the thank-you gifts available with your generous donation to NPT are tickets and a meet-&-greet opportunity for the tribute band’s Aug. 4, 2018, show in TPAC’s Jackson Hall.

Enjoy this month’s special programming (check our schedule for additional airings) and please support Nashville Public Television.

Franklin Det. Leigh Ann Hester Honored in 2018 Nat’l Memorial Day Concert

NPT observes Memorial Day with a live broadcast of the National Memorial Day Concert on Sunday, May 27, at 7 p.m. with an encore presentation immediately following at 8:30 p.m. The concert will be hosted by actors Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinese and will include a mix of performances, readings and tribute segments highlighting significant anniversaries, among them the 150th anniversary of Memorial Day itself.

Another segment will honor women in the military to mark the 70th anniversary od the signing of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act by President Harry S. Truman. The 1948 act allowed women to officially serve in the U.S. armed forces, though women had taken part in the country’s military efforts since the Revolutionary War (sometimes disguised as men) and more prominently during the two world wars and during the Korean and Vietnam wars.

Silver Star recipient SFC Leigh Ann Hester (center) in 2015 in Afghanistan. Courtesy of Capital Concerts

On Sunday, a more recent effort will be recognized. Williamson County resident Leigh Ann Hester enlisted in the National Guard as a military police officer in 2001. Four years later, she was awarded the Silver Star for valor in combat for her heroic actions during a March 2005 ambush outside of Baghdad. Hester became the first woman to receive the award since World War II and the first one to do so for valor in combat. Hester is now a detective with the Franklin Police Department.

For more on Hester’s service in Iraq and her participation in the National Memorial Day Concert, see these stories in the local media: The Tennessean; Brentwood Home Page and Williamson Herald.


Additionally, the 68-year friendship of Korean War veterans Joe Annello and Hiroshi “Hershey” Miyamura will be featured, as well as the story of Bill Rider, Purple Heart recipient during the Vietnam War.

Performers slated to appear in the 2018 Memorial Day Concert include Charles Esten (Nashville); actress/singer Cynthia Erivo (The Color Purple); actor Graham Greene; singer/songwriter Leona Lewis; Broadway star Megan Hilty; tenor Alfie Boe (Les Misérables) and the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jack Everly.

Also participating in the event are the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff with The U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, The U.S. Army Chorus and Army Voices, The Soldiers Chorus of the U.S. Army Field Band, The U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters, The U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants, the Armed Forces Color Guard and Service Color Teams provided by the Military District of Washington, D.C.


Soldiers’ stories

NPT’s Memorial Day coverage continues Monday, May 28, at 8 p.m. with Going to War, a new documentary about what it means to serve in and return from war. The film features war correspondent Sebastian Junger, Vietnam War veteran and author Karl Marlantes and other veterans.


We had a surprise guest at our recent Indie Lens Pop-Up screening of Served Like a Girl. Nichole Alred, one of the veterans featured in the documentary joined the panel discussion. Served Like a Girl chronicles a group of women who served in Iraq and Afghanistan as they compete in the Ms. Veteran America competition and work to overcome PTSD, homelessness and other challenges. Served Like a Girl airs on Independent Lens on Monday, May 28, at 9 p.m.

NPT’s ‘Aging Matters: Loneliness & Isolation’ Premiere, Preview Event in May

Decades of research have shown that social isolation and loneliness can be as dangerous to your health as smoking or obesity. On the next edition of Aging Matters, we will explore how growing older can be an isolating experience and the difference between being isolated and feeling isolated or lonely. We’ll also look at innovative ways to create communities that prevent isolation and social withdrawal as we age. Aging Matters: Loneliness & Isolation, the eleventh documentary in Nashville Public Television’s NPT Reports: Aging Matters series, premieres Thursday, May 31, at 8 p.m. on NPT. The documentary will be followed at 8:30 p.m. by a panel discussion with Gretchen Funk of FiftyForward, Brent Elrod of Urban Housing Solutions and Andrea Prince of Catholic Charities, who will discuss local resources for addressing the issue.

A free preview screening of the documentary will be offered 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, May 30, at FiftyForward’s Patricia Hart Building (174 Rains Ave., Nashville 37203). The event will include lunch and a panel discussion featuring Eugene Prichard Chambers Jr., M.D., senior medical director at Cigna-HealthSpring; and Elnora Terry, a FiftyForward foster grandparent; with moderator Robin Johnson, FiftyForward’s director of volunteer engagement. The event is free, but RSVPs are required at

Aging Matters: Loneliness & Isolation was produced by LaTonya Turner, whose Aging Matters Nutrition & Aging premiered last fall. Turner has also worked on NPT’s Town Halls and American Graduate series.

The NPT Reports: Aging Matters series is hosted by Grammy-winning singer and songwriter Kathy Mattea. Aging Matters: Loneliness & Isolation is made possible by the generous support of the West End Home Foundation, the Jeanette Travis Foundation, The HCA Foundation and Cigna-HealthSpring. Additional support was provided by the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and Jackson National Life Insurance Company.

Additional broadcast times for Aging Matters: Loneliness & Isolation are below; the documentary will also be available for online viewing at

  • Monday, June 4, at 8 a.m. on NPT2
  • Tuesday, June 5, at 1 p.m. on NPT2
  • Tuesday, June 12, at 5 p.m. on NPT

Find our complete broadcast schedule at

NPT’s 2018 Royal Wedding Coverage Starts May 14; Wedding Ceremony on NPT2

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Kensington Palace following the announcement of their engagement on November 27, 2017, in London, England. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

NPT is airing a full week of programming leading to the May 19, 2018, wedding of Britain’s Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. In addition, we’ll air five hours of live BBC coverage of the event on NPT2, beginning at 3 a.m., with an encore presentation later that day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Brush up on your knowledge of royal protocol, traditions and history with Royal Wedding Watch, a weeklong series airing at 9 p.m. Monday, May 14, through Thursday, May 17; and at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, May 18. Each nightly episode covers a different theme and will be hosted by Meredith Vieira and British television presenter Matt Baker, with the BBC’s Anita Rani reporting live each night on the preparations at Windsor Castle. In addition, English historian Lucy Worsley (familiar to NPT viewers from Tales from the Royal Wardrobe and similar programs) will provide historical tidbits and tours of royal residences.

The episodes are as follows:

Monday, May 14, 9 p.m. A Wedding Is Announced
Lucy Worsley explains how Queen Victoria started the trend of wearing white wedding gowns. Also, what a royal bride-to-be might expect in terms of training.

Tuesday, May 15, at 9 p.m. What to Wear
Worsley revisits gowns chosen by previous royal brides, while experts in the studio discuss how a royal wedding gown is not only a reflection of the styles of the day, but also of protocol, tradition and etiquette.

Wednesday, May 16, at 9 p.m. Ceremony
An exploration of previous royal wedding ceremonies and an update on preparations at Windsor Castle.

Thursday, May 17, at 9 p.m. How to Celebrate
Every aspect of the wedding celebration – from the carriage procession to the cake to the parties – is discussed. Meanwhile, Worsley visits Hampton Court (home to Henry VIII, a monarch with more matrimonial experience than most) to reveal the secrets behind a state banquet.

Friday, May 18, at 9:30 p.m. Happily Ever After
Well, we hope so. A history of Kensington Palace, traditionally the London home of royal newlyweds.

Saturday, May 19, at 3 a.m. on NPT2 Royal Wedding
Coverage on NPT2, our secondary channel, begins at 3 a.m. CT; the ceremony itself will start at 6 a.m. An encore presentation airs at 11 a.m. NPT2 is available at 8.2 over the air; Channel 241 on Comcast; Channel 176 on Charter; and on Channel 75 on Google Fiber. Unfortunately, NPT2 is not currently available on AT&T or DirecTV.