Arts & Culture


FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  There are still places where you can get a taste of the quiet rural community Williamson County used to be.

One of those spots is Greer’s Country Hams just south of Franklin on Southall Road. Owner Ernie Greer learned his craft as a child.

“Two or three families would get together and kill seven or eight hogs and then process’em out. …you done everything right there at the house.”

MURFREESBORO. Tenn. (ALEXIS MARSHALL)  --  It’s hard to imagine mid-state Christians and Muslims doing much of anything together, given the number of religious bias incidents being reported to police in recent months, and the heated rhetoric on social media.

But on a recent Sunday afternoon the group Murfreesboro Muslim Youth hosted hundreds of visitors at their sixth Love Your Neighbor potluck in a Rutherford County park.

State Park Service

JACKSON COUNTY, Tenn. (AMANDA GREER)  -- It’s been almost a month since two people drowned and forty more were stranded by flash flooding at Cummins Falls State Park.

The tragedy isn’t likely to hurt attendance at the park given the spot’s long history as a favorite Tennessee swimin’ hole.

Cummins Falls is located northwest of Cookeville in Jackson County. It’s been a popular summer destination for years, well before it became a state park in 2012.

It's summer! Old-timey tent revival time in Tennessee

Jul 28, 2017
William Green

GREENVILLE, Tenn. (MARSHALL)  --  They aren’t as popular as they used to be, but occasionally you do still come across an old-timey tent revival here in Tennessee. 

On a recent summer evening a small congregation in Greenville, Tennessee, gathered under a tent to listen to pastor Shannon Sizemore deliver the first sermon in a week-long revival. Sizemore, despite his inexperience in a revival setting, seemed confident and excited.

National Dance Day: Activities planned for Nashville

Jul 26, 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  It's time to get your dancing shoes laced up for National Dance Day.

The Nashville Ballet will this Saturdy be offering free sample classes and a group dance. Several different dance styles will be made available, including ballet, adult contemporary and Hip Hop. There’s also a dance workout class called DanceFix.

This is the seventh year the Nashville company has sponsored a Dance Day celebration. The ballet’s Nick Mullikin says a lot of people start out feeling self-conscious, but that doesn’t last long.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Middle Tennessee’s culinary scene is getting a lot of attention from foodies. 

Just one example, Stephanie Burt, host of the Southern Fork podcast says she’s recorded more episodes in Tennessee than any other spot outside her home base in South Carolina. She says Nashville is one of her favorite places to eat.

“It definitely has that Southern vibe, but it also has this really cool city thing, and food is following on that. So you have really traditional ingredients like okra, or cornbread, or biscuits being interpreted in new ways.”


EAGLEVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  The National Endowment for the Arts acknowledged this week what traditional music fans have known for some time; mid-state Buck Dancer Thomas Maupin is a national treasure.

Maupin is one of the few remaining practitioners of Buck Dancing, a style related to Irish Step Dancing. With the NEA recognition, Maupin is now listed among the 2017 National Heritage Fellowship recipients.

Interestingly, Maupin doesn't consider his Buck steps dancing, but rather a form of percussion. He see his feet as just another instrument in the band.

Nashville Pride president talks about the 2017 festival

Jun 22, 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (MARSHALL)  --  Nashville Pride Festival will take place in downtown Nashville this weekend.

The event will feature musical entertainment, drag, and an equality march to support members of the LGBT community.

Nashville Pride president Phil Cobucci moved to Nashville nine years ago from New York City. He’s been active in the LGBT community since then, and five years ago he got involved with Nashville Pride, lending the skills he uses at his marketing company.

Confederate and WWI vets changed the way Tennesseans remember war

Jun 9, 2017
Tennessee State Museum

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Matt Follett and Brady Watson)  --   One-hundred years ago, soldiers from Tennessee shipped out to fight in “The Great War,” World War I. Now, the State Museum is commemorating the service of some 80,000 Tennessee WWI veterans with an exhibit entitled “The Yanks are Coming.”

According to two mid-state historians, one of the more interesting aspects of the state’s war effort, was the way Tennessee chose to memorialize the sacrifices of it Great War heroes.

Deadline looms for Tennessee Promise volunteer hours

Jun 8, 2017
Tenn. State Parks

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (MARSHALL)  --   Governor Bill Haslam recently signed into law Tennessee Reconnect, a program allowing adult students to attend community college tuition free.

The precursor to Reconnect was Tennessee Promise, which affords the same opportunity to recent high school graduates. For students, however, there is a catch.

In order to be eligible for Tennessee Promise, students must first log eight hours of community service. For high school graduates attending college this fall, the due date for those hours is July 1.


UNIONVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT)  -- Early American pioneers like Daniel Boone and Davey Crockett weren’t the only adventurers to brave the wilds of North America. Protestant Christianity spread westward across the American frontier thanks in large measure to the tireless efforts of so-called circuit riding preachers.

COLUMBIA, Tenn. (Dokkestul)  --  You might be surprised to learn that Wednesday is National Puppy Day.

If you’ve been thinking about getting a dog a mid-state organization has a suggestion about where you might start.

The group Russell Rescue is encouraging dog lovers to consider the option of adoption. The rescue comes to the Spring Hill PetSmart every Saturday where you can meet and interact with the dogs. Former Maury County Animal Shelter president Mary Ruth Rogers started Russell Rescue in 2002 after she noticed a pattern in the shelter.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Are you familiar with Conjunto Music? An expert in the genre will make a mid-state appearance this week to explain why you should be.

Dr. Dan Margolies of Virginia Wesleyan College has been studying Conjunto for years and says it really should get more respect.

“Conjunto music is the major social dance music of the Mexican American community of South Texas. The principal instrumentation is the accordion and a 12 string bass called the bajo sexto.”

photo submitted

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  World-class artists are performing music from the renowned Chinese Opera The Monkey King Thursday in Murfreesboro as Middle Tennessee State University opens its new Center for Chinese Music and Culture.

The performance is part of a larger celebration this week as MTSU’s opens new classroom and office space in the renovated former Rutherford County Hospital building downtown.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Millennials, now pushing into their 30s, are making the once taboo art of tattooing fashionable, but rather than a departure a mid-state archeologist says the trend is actually a return to a common human practice.

Aaron Deter-Wolf is a pre-historic archeologist for the State of Tennessee. Deter-Wolf has made himself something of a world authority on tattooing. He recently helped identify marks on a 5300-year-old mummy found frozen in the Austrian Alps as the oldest known example of tattooed human skin.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Tennessee is relatively young as American states go, but has still had time to amass hundreds of millions of official paper documents. Birth, marriage and death certificates, land titles, court records; many of these irreplaceable documents are now rotting away in the dank basements and drafty attics of aging county courthouses. But now an unlikely alliance has emerged to address the problem.

TULLAHOMA, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Are you familiar with the ancient sport of falconry? Practiced for at least the last 5000 years, falconry involves using trained birds of prey to hunt wild game. The sport is relatively new to North America. Experts say there’s no evidence Native American’s practiced the art.

Come enjoy a screening of the holiday classic at the historic Capitol Theatre just off the square in Lebanon.  Show starts at 6:30pm

The beautifully restored Capitol Theatre in Lebanon, TN will show Saturday Night Fever  Tuesday Nov 24th.

The Capitol is just off the square in downtown Lebanon. 


SMYRNA, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  It's a common scene in detective movies and westerns - the bounty hunter kneels down and carefully examines the ground, then looks up and says something like, "They were here, moving fast, toward town."

It's not all Hollywood make-believe. Mantracking is the art of following another person through wild terrain by correctly interpreting clues left by their passing. Mid-state master tracker and forensic anthropologist Hugh Berryman says tracking is the first investigative tool man ever used.

Cleveland and Bradley County, Tennessee, native Brock Howard served in the U.S. Navy.

As an aviation electronic technician, he assisted a helicopter squadron, working with equipment that would blow up enemy mines in the Middle East.

Saturday, Aug. 8, Howard will graduate with a bachelor’s degree from the College of Mass Communication. Unlike technology that would blow up enemy mines, his forte has been in video and film production in electronic media communication.

MTSU’s Todd Art Gallery will welcome works by 15 emerging young artists from across America this month in a special traveling exhibit, “The Journey,” that premiered at the Smithsonian Institution. 

The MTSU exhibition is scheduled Aug. 6-20, and a free public reception to honor the artists and their supporters is set from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 19, in Room 224 of Todd Hall. 

That electrifying sound that will be emanating soon from the MTSU campus will be the sound of young girls finding their voices.

The 13th annual Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp, slated for July 27 through Aug. 1, will give nearly 50 girls between the ages of 10 and 17 a chance to express themselves through music and show an audience what they’ve learned.

The day camp was founded by Kelley Anderson in 2003 to give young women an empowering, positive place to gain social skills and to respect themselves and others through collaboration with others.

One bright MTSU graduate’s pathway to the stars is being paved with a major monetary boost.

Katelyn Stringer, who graduated from MTSU in May 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in physics, will use her $5,000 fellowship from the Phi Kappa Phi honors society to help finance her graduate degrees in astronomy at Texas A&M University.

“I was not expecting it at all,” Stringer said of her stipend. “It was such a nice surprise.”

Stringer’s academic excellence in high school resulted in a Buchanan Scholarship, which paid for her entire baccalaureate education at MTSU.

The community can learn more about how it can support the Murfreesboro Salvation Army’s Family Thrift Store recovery efforts this Friday, Saturday and Sunday (July 10-12) by stopping by our information tent at the Uncle Dave Macon Days festival at historic Cannonsburgh Village.

We will have a hydration station at our tent with postcards detailing the many ways the community can “Stand With Us.”  We are thankful for the help we have received from the community so far and are confident that the fine people of this community will stand with us and help us to rebuild.