By Beth Curley
President Emerita, NPT
My 18 years at NPT have truly been the highlight of my 45-year career in public television. I am so proud of the station that we’ve built for the entire Nashville community.
The major programs and services we’ve developed ‒ including Aging Matters, Next Door Neighbors, Children’s Health Crisis and Tennessee Civil War 150 ‒ embody the ideals that led me into public television in the first place. These programs are the kind of work that I hoped to do when I began my career, and really represent the very best of what public television can and should aspire to. What makes this work so meaningful is that is it’s rooted in the experiences and needs of you, our viewers. Today NPT is an integral part of the educational, cultural and civic life of Nashville, and that’s exactly what a public television station should always strive to be—dedicated to meeting the needs of an ever-evolving community.
Although I am retiring, it’s impossible for me to just fade away! I will continue to consult on a variety of strategic issues and will develop and raise funds for a new NPT documentary on the history of Women’s Suffrage in Tennessee, which is planned for release nationally in 2020 – the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment. This documentary will be part of NPT’s ongoing Citizenship Project, a series examining how different groups have fought for, obtained and maintained the rights and access we commonly associate with American citizenship.
The suffrage documentary is very personal to me, and it is more important than ever for all of us to be aware of this history. If you go to the Tennessee Woman Suffrage Monument in Nashville’s Centennial Park, you’ll see my grandmother’s name, Mary Ann McNamara, inscribed on the wall adjacent to the statue. Mary Ann was an Irish immigrant who came to the United States in the early 1900s. As an immigrant and a woman, she did not have the opportunity to vote until well into her adult life, even though she worked tirelessly to make life better for her family. I owe her a debt of gratitude for making my work at NPT possible.
I am excited about all such personal stories that will be told in the Tennessee Women’s Suffrage documentary. I’m sure it will be one of many significant projects undertaken by NPT in the future. NPT has been all encompassing for me, and while it’s difficult to leave, I’m pleased to leave the station in great hands.
I couldn’t be happier that Kevin Crane will take over the reins as President and CEO of NPT. We have worked together for 30 years and he is the perfect choice to lead NPT into a complicated technical future. Kevin will be ably assisted by a first-rate staff and by the same executive team that has worked together for a least a decade. Together the NPT team is creative, committed, energetic and truly believes in the potential for public television to bring positive change to Nashville.
Your public station is in good hands . I will be watching – on air and online – and I’ll remain very active behind the scenes.
Thank you for all you have given me – my life is personally enriched.