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.
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.
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.