Arts & Culture


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.  

An MTSU-coordinated labor of love, pieced together by a group of international artists and friends to celebrate the arts, education and cultural exchanges, is now being spotlighted in Washington, D.C.

The beautiful handcrafted quilt, comprising 81 specially designed squares contributed by 38 countries and 36 states, combines talents from Tunisia to Texas into a massive piece of fiber art recognizing the abilities and friendships of artists around the world. 

Following overwhelming critical reception and sold-out performances, ALIEN: The Musical, written by local songwriter and playwright Gregg D. Garner and produced by The Center Street Theatre Company (Old Hickory), will be performed in the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s James K. Polk Theater on July 23-26, 2015.

The eighth annual Alumni Summer College field trip took the MTSU traveling party to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, June 27. (MTSU photo by Michelle B. Stepp) Edit | Remove

— The largest turnout in the eight years of the MTSU Alumni Summer College  “performed research” and “investigated” virtually everything science recently at MTSU.

The children of MTSU's Ann Campbell Early Learning Center never slow down, so "Saddle Up," the annual fundraiser that helps keep them learning, is adding more fun options to this summer's event set for Thursday, July 30.

The 2015 "Saddle Up" event will move off-campus for the first time this year to 1546 Georgetown Lane in Murfreesboro. Hosts Gabriel and Christy Fancher, longtime supporters of the ACE Learning Center — formerly known as Project Help — have opened their home for the fundraiser.

Photos provided by Ray Wiley

Imagine a class full of college students having to forego being tied to their cell phones for 10 days.

In the 2015 study-abroad class taught in the Pacific Ocean nation of Fiji, MTSU students took advantage of the mostly unwired, nondigital atmosphere to explore a dramatically different culture.

“You don’t have service on your cellphone, and the Wi-Fi was here and there,” said Adam Thompson, a graduate student from Copperas Cove, Texas, majoring in leisure and sport management.

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Mid-state resident Alana Raybon grew up in a Christian home, but converted to Islam as a young woman.

As you can imagine, the conversion put a strain on her relationship with family, her mother in particular. Raybon says she argued with her mother frequently.

Eventually, the two stopped talking about faith altogether and the silence continued for nearly a decade. Even so, Raybon says her new faith was always the “elephant in the room” when visiting with family.

The centerpiece of Daniel Hope’s summer is Vivaldi Recomposed, Max Richter’s vivid 21st-century reimagining of The Four Seasons. It was the British violinist for whom Richter composed the work, and the subsequent Deutsche Grammophon recording was named iTunes’ Best U.S. Contemporary Classical Album of 2012 and scored Hope a sixth ECHO Klassik Award.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — One of the most sacred live music rooms in the country has just become a little sleeker.

The Tennessean reports ( ) Nashville's Ryman Auditorium is ready for its grand reopening after a yearlong, $14 million expansion.

Beginning Tuesday, visitors can tour the historic theater, where upgrades include a renovated lobby, more concessions, more bathrooms and more space.

The venue's new restaurant, Cafe Lula, sits outside the theater next to an expanded outdoor box office.

Some Tennessee school administrators will devote a small part of their summer to learning more about education in China.

The Confucius Institute at MTSU is leading a delegation of educators on a 10-day excursion to China for a whirlwind sample of Chinese elementary and secondary schools.

“It’s to get them over to China, to look at the school systems, to see some cultural sites and to really make those partnerships and build those bridges,” said Mike Novak, assistant director of the institute.

Sax: “Murfreesboro Electric Department’s commitment to reliable service and stable rates will remain our top priority through what will certainly be a long process.”