Ringing in the New Year with Downton Abbey and NPT!

What better way to ring in the New Year than with the Crawley family? At Two O’Clock Tea with NPT, we did just that, celebrating together the thrilling start of the fifth season of Downton Abbey drama. We gallivanted about in 1920s-era clothing. We posed at the castle with friends and champagne glasses. We dined on decadent hors d’oeuvres and sipped on lovingly-prepared loose-leaf tea. Best of all, we viewed the premiere of Downton Abbey Season 5 with eager expectations, and we were not disappointed!


We can’t wait to get together with all of you again. Be on the lookout for Downton Abbey events in the future. And in the meantime, consider gracing us with your presence at our upcoming party! Get ready to get all decked out in yellow!

Can’t get enough of Downton Abbey? Consider supporting NPT and add Downton Abbey Season 5 or all five seasons to your collection by pledging here.

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Happy New Year from NPT!

Ring in the New Year with both traditional celebrations and new performances. There’s no better way to reflect on 2014 and welcome 2015 than with these special programs on NPT.  Here are some great ways to celebrate the New Year:

Lawrence Welk Show New Year’s Celebration, Saturday December 27 at 7pm, features “This Could Be the Start of Something Big,” “Auld Lang Syne,” “I Could Have Danced All Night” and “Let’s Start the New Year Right.” Maestro Welk and his musical family also salute the Rose Bowl and Rose Parade with “Moonlight and Roses” and more.

Dianne Reeves and Norm Lewis join the New York Philharmonic, led by conductor Bramwell Tovey, as they perform George Gershwin favorites. Live from Lincoln Center, Wednesday, December 31 at 7pm.

Michael Feinstein New Year’s Eve at the Rainbow Room, Wednesday, December 31 at 9pm. The energetic performer recaptures the heyday of the glamorous New York nightclubs as he hosts this celebration from high atop 30 Rockefeller Plaza in the glittering, newly restored Rainbow Room. Guests include Darren Criss (“Glee”), Aaron Tveit (“Graceland”), Leslie Odom (“Smash”), Broadway star Kelli O’Hara, nightclub legend Marilyn Maye, Tony Award winner Christine Ebersole and 17-year-old Julia Goodwin.

Always one of “our favorite things,” we continue the cherished tradition of ringing in the New Year at the opulent Musikverein with the Vienna Philharmonic under the baton of guest conductor Zubin Mehta, and featuring everyone’s favorite Strauss Family waltzes accompanied by the beautiful dancing of the Vienna City Ballet on Great Performances, Thursday, January 1 at 8pm. In addition to the Musikverein concert setting, the broadcast features a picturesque range of Vienna landmarks. Stage and screen legend Julie Andrews returns as host.
While you’re at it, don’t forget to go to wnpt.org and make your year-end gift to help support quality public television programming.

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A Downton Abbey Tea Party Just for You!


At NPT, we’ve been swimming in Downton Abbey-themed programs and events! Our 1920s soiree was an absolute hit. Nearly everyone was decked out in period attire, which was appropriate for our castle backdrop photo booth! We all clapped and laughed and boo-ed together at the appropriate times during the season 5 premiere (that sneaky Thomas)! Sharing the highs and lows of the episode with fellow Downton Abbey fans second-by-second was a rare treat!


Edie Wenczl and David Davis dancing at the abbey!

To continue our flair for all things Downton, we would like to invite everyone, whether you attended the soiree or not, for a special event here at our very own station! Make sure to get your tickets soon, because there are only 100 available!

Join us at Two O’Clock Tea with NPT in Studio A, a Downton Abbey inspired tea reception before a preview screening of the first episode of Season 5. From 2-3pm, enjoy English tea, champagne, scrumptious snacks, live music, fun photo opportunities, door prizes & more. Your ticket also includes a reserved seat at our free preview screening. Guests are encouraged to dress in their 1920s best. Proceeds from this event support programming on NPT like Downton Abbey.


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Christmas shows on NPT

Celtic Woman four Do you enjoy watching great Christmas shows? Sometimes they’re best surrounded by friends and family, other times just you and a cup of hot cider. Either way, we have several opportunities this month for you to get in the holiday spirit, from musical performances to documentaries to Christmas-themed series. Happy holidays from NPT!

Celtic Woman: Home for Christmas
Tues., Dec. 9 at 7pm
Sat., Dec. 13 at 8:30pm

Chef’s Life Holiday Special
Deck the Halls Y’all
Tues., Dec. 16 at 9pm
Thurs., Dec. 25 at 9pm

Christmas at Belmont
filmed live in Nashville
Fri., Dec. 19 at 7pm

Lawrence Welk Show
Sat., Dec. 20 at 7pm

From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians
Pt. 1 – Tues., Dec. 23 at 9pm
Pt. 2 – Tues., Dec. 30 at 9pm

Call the Midwife Holiday Special
Thurs., Dec. 25 at 7:30pm

The National Christmas Tree Lighting
Thurs., Dec. 25 at 11pm

Keeping Up Appearances
Christmas Specials
1995 – Sat., Dec. 27 at 8pm
1994 Sat., Dec. 27 at 8:30pm

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Giving Back to Our Giving Members


Well, here we are again, caught in the middle of Thanksgiving and Christmas, between turkeys and lights! Yesterday, social media (including NPT) exploded with the Giving Tuesday hashtag, and many of us jumped on the giving bandwagon. In this season of giving we hope you’ll continue this tradition and remember NPT in your year-end giving plans. It truly is the partnership of the Middle Tennessee community that allows us to create the stellar programming that our viewers depend on.

It’s our members who fund the likes of Tennessee Crossroads, year after year.
It’s our members who bring Downton Abbey and Doc Martin to avid Middle Tennessee fans.
It’s our members who make in-depth projects like NPT Reports: Children’s Health Crisis and NPT Reports: Aging Matters a reality.

It’s our members who make history come alive through documentary series like Tennessee Civil War 150 and Next Door Neighbors.

As a special incentive, when you make a donation before December 31, 2014, you’ll automatically be entered into NPT’s $1000 Visa Card Giveaway! A winner will be randomly selected on January 2 and it could be you! If you’ve already made a donation to NPT this year, you may also enter without making a contribution. See official rules here.  If you’re an NPT Sustaining Member, you’re automatically eligible for the drawing.  By donating to keep quality programming on the air, you can help continue the spirit of giving throughout the year and make more great programming a reality.

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NPT Productions Lands Five Midsouth Regional Emmy Nominations

Left to right: Joe Elmore and Ken Simington (Tennessee Crossroads) ; Thuy Rocco (Next Door Neighbors: Storytellers Ha & Thuy) and Mike Rocco

Left to right: Joe Elmore and Ken Simington (Tennessee Crossroads) ; Thuy Rocco (NDN: Storytellers Ha & Thuy) and Mike Rocco

NPT celebrated another successful year at the 29th Midsouth Regional Emmy Awards last night! Receiving five nominations from five different categories both inspired and encouraged our entire station.

A full listing of categories and productions, including those individuals nominated, follows.

Aging Matters: End of Life, Beth Curley, Mary Makley

Tennessee Crossroads: Ridin’ the Rails, Joe Elmore, Ken Simington

NPT Reports: Children’s Health Crisis – Food, Will Pedigo, Matthew Emigh

ArtQuest: Art Is All Around You, Linda Wei, Matthew Emigh, Beth Curley, Samantha Andrews, Anne Henderson, Dajiah Platt

Next Door Neighbors: Storytellers Ha & Thuy, Shawn Anfinson, Will Pedigo

Children’s Book Signing to Go Down in History at NPT


Anyone who has experienced change can understand a little of Savannah Green’s troubles in Gloria Respress-Churchwell’s new children’s book, Robert Churchwell: Writing News, Making History A Savannah Green Story. Uprooted by her father’s death, Savannah sulks about being transplanted to Robert Churchwell Elementary School, an unfamiliar Nashville setting. Savannah’s outlook shifts when she finds out about the school’s namesake, and how he is truly the “Jackie Robinson of Journalism.”

What makes the story even more interesting is that Robert Churchwell is Gloria Respress-Churchwell’s real-life father-in-law! Immortalizing her father-in-law through this wonderfully written children’s book, Respress-Churchwell beckons us all into an unforgettable story that encourages us to probe the family history that surrounds us.

Gloria Respress-Churchwell, former NPT board member, will be on hand Thursday, November 20 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm to sign copies of her book. If you’d like to pick up a signed copy of the book and talk with the author, we hope you’ll join us.  A portion of all book sales from the event will benefit NPT.

Don’t Ration Your Excitement for this Downton Abbey Event!


Violet Crawley, who “hates to get news second-hand,” is in good company. Nobody likes to receive news when it’s too late to do anything about it. Well, we at NPT want to make sure that you know about an upcoming event that’s sure to be a smashing success!

Though the last episode of Downton Abbey Season 4 didn’t leave us in shambles like previous seasons (alas for season 3!) we wait in eager expectation for when we get to reunite with the Crawley family and friends and see how the plot thickens.

Have you ever wanted to attend one of those fancy parties that the Crawley family hosts? Or enjoy live period music with fellow Downton fans? What about see the premiere of the first episode of Downton Abbey Season 5 on MASTERPIECE before it airs?

Here’s your chance to immerse yourself in a not-so-long-ago time at NPT’s 1920s Soirée and Screening inspired by Downton Abbey on MASTERPIECE at the Franklin Theatre on Thursday, December 11.

The 1920s Soirée will include hors d’oeuvres from Bacon & Caviar Gourmet Catering, drinks courtesy of VPT Ventures/Ajax Turner, live music and fun photo opportunities. Guests are encouraged to come dressed in Roaring 20s attire or as their favorite Downton Abbey character.

Following the Soirée, Downton Abbey enthusiasts will attend the only Middle Tennessee screening of the first episode of Downton Abbey Season 5 on MASTERPIECE, before it airs on NPT on January 4, 2015.

Soirée starts at 7:00 PM with the public screening at 8:00 PM.  Following the screening, guests are invited to go across the street for an after-party with music and champagne at event sponsor Walton’s Antique and Estate Jewelry. Get your tickets soon, because they’re going fast!

Known for her blunt honesty and expressive behavior, Violet Crawley has been known to pronounce, “At my age, one must ration one’s excitement!”

If, like Violet, you also believe you do not have time or energy for this event, peruse photos of last year’s event and see for yourself that this is an opportunity you will not want to miss!




Merle Hazard’s latest “Dual Mandate” featured on the PBS NewsHour

Local singer/songwriter/financial guru Merle Hazard (aka Jon Shayne) was featured again this week on the PBS NewsHours’ Making Sense of Financial News series. In this clip reporter Paul Solman uses Hazard’s latest hit Dual Mandate to explain the Federal Reserve’s role in stimulating economic growth while keeping inflation in check. Somehow it all begins to make much more sense when backed by steel guitar.

Here’s the clip from the PBS NewsHour:

Making Sense Graphic

And here’s the full video Dual Mandate produced here at NPT by Jon Shayne  and NPT’s own Jim DeMarco and Matt Emigh:

Dual mandate


Next Door Neighbors: New Beginnings

NPT Visits Our Next Door Neighbors From Rwanda, Haiti and Burma

NDN NewBeginnings title72 copy


NEXT DOOR NEIGHBORS: NEW BEGINNINGS, the newest episode of NPT’s Next Door Neighbors series, premieres Friday, November 7 at 7:00 p.m. on NPT. For the past eight years, episodes have highlighted Nashville’s Kurdish, Somali, Hispanic, Bhutanese and Sudanese communities (now available for viewing at ndn.wnpt.org/documentaries), and this time viewers will meet Nashville’s neighbors from Rwanda, Haiti and Burma. These three small countries hold big challenges for their residents. Following the premiere, NPT will also broadcast last year’s installment in the NEXT DOOR NEIGHBORS series, “Community.”


Refugee resettlement to the United States is often the last option displaced people have for a permanent home. The opportunity is available to less than one percent of the world’s refugees. Once in the U.S., in cities like Nashville, refugees are expected to build new lives. But what if a chance to go back to their homeland finally arrives? Which home will they choose? In three segments during the 30-minute documentary, host Danielle Colburn Allen explores why these neighbors of ours left their native countries behind and set out to make a new beginning in Nashville.



The Gatebuke family survived the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. They now live in Nashville and work to help others from the troubled African region. Alice Gatebuke is a columnist for the Huff Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alice-gatebuke/the-peace-that-wasnt-rwan_b_5183850.html









Phidomise Leveque is president of Tennessee Haitian Voice, a group that works to promote education, recreation and cultural experiences that will benefit Haitians and all cultural groups living in the Nashville area and helps eliminate disparities among Haitian families living in Tennessee with respect and love. She also hosts a weekly Haitian radio show on WFSK 88.1fm called Planet Creole.  “Phiphi” shares the plight of the Haitian people and the Nashville Haitian community’s efforts to help the poverty-stricken nation. http://www.tnhv.org/


NDN-NBeg_Alvarez_LamarExecutive Chef Lamartine Alvarez, whose mother taught culinary school, has always enjoyed cooking. Now the  Owner/Operator of Chez Lama Catering, he prepares delicious Haitian cuisine for weddings, church gatherings and other Nashville-area events. http://www.chezlama.com/Home.html






Regine Pierre, RN, BSN, was crowned Miss Port-au-Prince in 2013 and is now Miss Haiti International 2014. She uses her position to help Haiti eradicate cholera, especially after the 2010 earthquake that devastated the small island nation. https://www.facebook.com/missportauprinceformisshaitiintl2014






The Karen population from Burma saved a Smyrna church from closing its doors. This heartwarming story includes interviews with Father Randy Hoover-Dempsey and other members of All Saints Episcopal church. https://www.facebook.com/pages/All-Saints-Smyrna/100570823333593





NPT’s award-winning NEXT DOOR NEIGHBORS series looks at Nashville’s status as a destination city for refugees and immigrants and explores the rich diversity of people now calling Nashville home. Across the United States, mid-sized cities like Nashville are experiencing unprecedented growth in their international populations. Together these communities are redefining the traditional international city on a smaller local scale.

NEXT DOOR NEIGHBORS is much more than the documentary series – it also includes in-depth web content, public community forums, a televised panel discussion after the premiere of each program and literacy outreach for children and parents of immigrant families.

This extensive effort has played a key role in sharing authentic stories of immigrants and helping build bridges between their communities and Middle Tennessee’s traditional culture. Through this project, NPT has helped grow a welcoming of diversity while focusing on the many ways that new immigrants are contributing to Nashville’s growing economy and vibrant cultural life.

NEXT DOOR NEIGHBORS: NEW BEGINNINGS is made possible by the financial support of 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. A partnership with the Vanderbilt University Center for Nashville Studies provided valuable research and community outreach.


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.




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