Nashville, TN -- Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum and the Nashville Public Libary and Foundation will present the world premiere of String City: Nashville's Tradition of Music and Puppetry. Many of country music’s most impactful artists, from early musical architects to contemporary superstars, will perform together on the Ford Theater stage this summer—in a manner of speaking: The world premiere of String City: Nashville's Tradition of Music and Puppetry, a colorful telling of the history of country music in Nashville, will take place June 20 at 8 p.m. at the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum. Tickets will be available on May 9, 2013.
Admission to the June 20 performance, which includes a pre-show reception at 7 p.m., is available for a $30 per person donation; tickets may be reserved starting May 9. All donations go to the Nashville Public Library Foundation and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Additional information is below.
An hour-long history of country music with an emphasis on Nashville’s transformation into Music City, this original program is made possible by a partnership between the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and Nashville Public Library and Foundation. This performance launches the 2013 Nashville International Puppet Festival.
“String City is the brainchild of Judy and Steve Turner,” said Museum Director Kyle Young. “Our city could not ask for two more dedicated patrons; they are passionate supporters of the arts and arts education. Steve is chairman of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s board, Judy serves on the advisory committee of Nashville Public Library Foundation, and they conceived String City as a collaboration between our institutions that could ultimately educate audiences around the world about Music City. The resulting show uses puppets and artists’ original recordings to take the audience on a journey through country music history, from early seminal artists and key events up to the present day.
“We envision String City as a production that will travel to festivals across the U.S. and internationally,” Young continued. “It has the potential to act as an ambassador for our institutions, our city and the genre as a whole.”
“The wide appeal of country music and Nashville’s deep roots in the genre’s history attract tourists from all over the country and the world,” said Kent Oliver, Nashville Public Library director. “String City appeals to the same crowd of music enthusiasts and demonstrates that puppetry is a fine art form, attracting fans of all interests and ages, not just the younger ones.”
The String City soundtrack features original recordings from numerous artists. The script was written by Brian Hull of Wishing Chair Productions, the library’s in-house puppet troupe, in consultation with the museum’s Jay Orr, Michael McCall and Ali Tonn.
Each of the nearly three dozen artists featured in the narrative is represented by a puppet doppelganger. Two were created by Tennessee’s own Phillip Huber, an artist best known for his work with marionettes, most notably in Being John Malkovich and in Disney’s Oz, the Great and Powerful.
String City is the largest production Nashville Public Library has ever undertaken. After its debut at the museum, String City will continue to be performed at the Nashville Public Library, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, local schools, special events, festivals and abroad.
The program is part of the 2013 Nashville International Puppet Festival, which takes place June 21–23 at the main library downtown. Free and open to the public, the festival includes a family-friendly carnival atmosphere with puppet performances, live music, food and a parade. International puppet troupes hailing from France, China, Japan, Argentina and Germany will perform. The festival is being funded by Nashville Public Library, the Nashville Public Library Foundation and the Junior League of Nashville.
The marionette tradition at Nashville Public Library dates back to 1938 when Tom Tichenor performed a rendition of Puss in Boots. Seventy-five years later, marionette shows are still performed at the downtown library on Friday and Saturday mornings by Wishing Chair Productions. Nashville’s first international puppet festival was held by the library in 2008 and attracted more than 18,000 people.
Advance tickets for String City and the preshow reception may be obtained by making a $30 donation online at www.nashvillepuppetfestival.com beginning Thursday, May 9; donations may also be made the night of show at the museum box office. Tickets are available on a first come, first served basis and are nonrefundable. Guests attending the String City premiere are also invited to a pre-show reception, which begins at 7 p.m.
Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is operated by the Country Music Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization chartered by the state of Tennessee in 1964. The museum’s mission is the preservation of the history of country and related vernacular music rooted in Southern culture. With the same educational mission, the foundation also operates CMF Records, the museum’s Frist Library and Archive, CMF Press, Historic RCA Studio B and Hatch Show Print®. More information about the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum is available at www.countrymusichalloffame.org or by calling (615) 416-2001.
Nashville Public Library maintains a collection of 2 million items, including books, periodicals, DVDs, CDs, audio books, and downloadable books, movies and music. The library also offers more than 800 public-use computers, free art exhibits, educational programs and events for all ages, such as historic marionette shows by Wishing Chair Productions enjoyed by nearly 8,000 children each month. The system also offers Bringing Books to Life, a pre-K initiative for children, teachers and families; 24/7 reference assistance; and interlibrary loan. The Oral History and Special Collections Center houses historical photographs, documents and memorabilia. The center also offers online genealogical resources such as Ancestry Library Edition and HeritageQuest, and incorporates the award-winning Civil Rights Room. Equal access is offered through the Talking Library audio reading service for the print disabled- and Library Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. For more information, call (615) 862-5800 or visit http://www.library.nashville.org.
The Nashville Public Library Foundation provides private funding to enhance library buildings, programs and collections. Recent initiatives include: opening the Oral History and Special Collections Center, funding a pre-school literacy program called Bringing Books to Life; sending the famed marionettes on the road with the Puppet Truck; starting T.O.T.A.L., a youth empowerment program; and mounting professionally curated art exhibits. Each year, the Foundation bestows the Nashville Public Library Literary Award to a distinguished author for their contribution to the world of books and reading; past recipients include Ann Patchett, John Updike, David Halberstam, David McCullough, John McPhee and Margaret Atwood. For more information on the NPLF or to make a gift, visit http://www.nplf.org.