It was a great year for public affairs and history documentaries at Nashville Public Television. We brought you two new installments in our Tennessee Civil War 150 series, the first installment in our new NPT Reports: Aging Matters series, as well as new American Graduate and Children’s Health Crisis episodes. We even gave you a new cultural documentary, as we walked you through the Bruce Munro exhibit at Cheekwood. Many of these that premiered in the eligible period have been nominated for regional Emmys. And these productions were in addition to Town Hall specials, new episodes of our weekly series Tennessee Crossroads, Volunteer Gardener and A Word and Words and so much more. If you missed some of these documentary specials, we’re happy to inform you that they’re all online, right now, for you to watch for free. So end the year, and start the new one, informed and inspired, with some great NPT produced documentaries, made possible by, and for, you.
Happy New Year!
Looking Over Jordan: African Americans and the War (Emmy nominated)
The Civil War began as a means of preserving the Union. But to nearly four million African Americans, it held a much more personal promise. As Northern armies swept south, self-emancipated slaves sought refuge behind Union lines. Determined to claim basic human rights, former slaves turned soldiers helped defeat their oppressors. But the road to freedom would be a rocky one. Despite continued oppression and violence, African Americans worked tirelessly to rebuild families torn apart by slavery, to educate themselves, and to claim their rightful place as American Citizens. Through in-depth interviews with Civil War scholars, historical reenactments, and moving songs of faith and hope that made life bearable, “Looking Over Jordan” highlights the African American experience in Tennessee during and after the war.
Rivers and Rails: Daggers of the Civil War (Emmy nominated)
As Charles Dickens might have described it, rivers and rails brought the best of times and the worst of times to 19th century Tennessee. “Rivers and Rails: Daggers of the Civil War,” the latest episode in the “Tennessee Civil War 150” series, a joint venture between Nashville Public Television (NPT) and The Renaissance Center, explores how transportation by water and steel brought great prosperity to the state just before the Civil War, only to give the invading Union Army a highway directly into the Deep South, eventually helping force the Confederacy to its knees.
“Rivers and Rails: Daggers of the Civil War,” co-produced by the Emmy Award-winning team of Stephen Hall and Ken Tucker of The Renaissance Center, is the seventh episode in the “Tennessee Civil War 150” series, a multi-part project coinciding with the Sesquicentennial anniversary of the Civil War. Previous installments include “Secession,” “Civil War Songs and Stories,” “No Going Back: Women and the War” and “Shiloh: The Devil’s Own Day” and “No Looking Back: African American and the War.” All have either won or been nominated for regional Emmy Awards.
Aging Matters: End of Life
Most Americans say they prefer to die at home. However, 70% of deaths occur in a hospital, nursing home or long term care facility. “NPT Reports: Aging Matters: End of Life” weaves personal stories of families alongside interviews with scholars, doctors, and medical ethicists to explore the complicated experience of dying, and why so few live the death they say they want. Produced and presented by Nashville Public Television (NPT), the program explores how the culture of death and dying in America has been radically transformed by medical science, how the medical system reinforces our culture-wide unwillingness to face death, as well as efforts to change how Americans understand and talk about dying. Among the topics addressed in “Aging Matters” are the roles of advance directives, palliative care and hospice in an end-of-life strategy. Kathy Mattea, the Grammy® and CMA® Award-winning singer-songwriter and advocate for a number of causes, including AIDS awareness and research, global warming and Appalachian mining practices, hosts the show.
American Graduate: Graduation by the Numbers
Take an in-depth look at efforts in Nashville to keep students in school until they graduate in “NPT Reports: Graduation by the Numbers,” part of the national “American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen” initiative. In Nashville Public Schools in 2012, one in 11 students dropped out — 8.8 percent — which is almost four times the previous year’s dropout rate. But a student counted as a dropout is not necessarily someone who does not graduate. The result is that the graduation rate can go up—even as the rate of dropouts goes up.The NPT report, produced and narrated by LaTonya Turner, looks at why the numbers for graduates and those for dropouts often don’t add up.
NPT Reports: Children’s Health Crisis: Family Health (Emmy nominated)
“NPT Reports: Children’s Health Crisis – Family Health” explores the role families play in the health of Tennessee’s children. Family Health acknowledges that changes in family structure over the last fifty years have changed the roles many parents play. Focusing on early childhood, Family Health shares stories of non-traditional families overcoming challenges and demonstrates the importance of parents in child development. More children than ever are living with a single parent. With fathers statistically the most likely to be absent from their child’s life, increasing the involvement of fathers may lead to improvement in the overall well-being of Tennessee’s children. NPT Reports: Children’s Health Crisis – Family Health is the eighth program in the series.
NPT Reports: Domestic Violence: Living in Fear (Emmy nominated)
The number of incidents and severity of domestic violence has been a public safety crisis in Tennessee for a decade, and the staggering statistics show there is no typical victim. Tennessee ranks third in the nation for the number of women killed by men, and fifty-two percent of the reported violent crimes in the state are related to domestic violence. In “NPT Reports: Domestic Violence: Living in Fear,” we learn about the survivors, the perpetrators, and the witnesses to these criminal acts of violence. Produced by Emmy Award-winning Greta Requierme (“No Going Back: Women and the War”), “NPT Reports: Domestic Violence: Living in Fear” includes candid interviews with Nashville domestic violence experts and survivor advocates. Those interviewed include Captain Kay Lokey, Head of the MNPD Domestic Violence Division; Valerie Wynn, Founder and CEO of Mary Parrish Center; Emily Nourse and Lani Ramos, both with Family and Children’s Services; and Pamela Sessions, YWCA.
Light : Bruce Munro at Cheekwood (Emmy nominated)
Using an inventive array of materials and hundreds of miles of glowing optic fiber, light artist Bruce Munro transformed Cheekwood’s beautiful gardens into an enchanting, dream-like landscape in the summer of 2013, and NPT was there to capture it with our own documentary, Light: Bruce Munro at Cheekwood. This beautiful profile of the exhibit by the British artist, only his second in America, includes gorgeous photography and in-depth interviews.