Movers & Thinkers

I launched Nashville Public Radio’s first podcast, Movers & Thinkers, in 2015. The station is now producing a veritable fleet of home-grown shows. For Movers & Thinkers, I interviewed fascinating Nashvillians about why they do what they do — and how their work influences the way they see the world. Most of these interviews happened in front of a live audience.

Writing About Life, Death And Grief In The South
New York Times columnist Margaret Renkl felt betrayed after her mother’s unexpected death. Then she started looking around. “If I forced myself to see this rat snake coming out of the chickadee nest box and the crow stealing the cardinal’s babies … then I would stop feeling so singled out for suffering.”

What Is Love?
Three people who think deeply about romance — searching for it, keeping it and ending it amicably — dissect those fuzzy feelings that can lead to such meaning and heartache. “We point our finger and say, ‘You’ve changed,’ and what’s really changed, of course, is our brain chemistry.”

The Disrupter
Five decades after Rip Patton rode to Montgomery as a Freedom Rider, he looks back on his role as a “disrupter” — sitting, standing and singing to make major societal change. “Singing and talking to each other was like being in a university. We learned a lot in Parchman Penitentiary.”

Where Does Creativity Come From?
A songwriter, poet and public artist discuss how they harness their creative instincts, one piece of work at a time. “My best ideas — I feel like they weren’t mine. They sprung from themselves and forced their way into my life.”

Curious Nashville

I was one of the founding producers of Curious Nashville, a show that investigates questions from listeners about their city, from the quirky to the serious.

What Happens When The Wrong Stuff Gets In The Recycling Bin?
It’s a simple question with a not-so-simple answer that takes us down an infrastructural rabbit hole.

A Nashville Tombstone Mystery
Why is there a gravestone in the Nashville City Cemetery with an epitaph that reads, ominously, “She turned from bloodkin”? 

Podcast Party

By 2017, I had been producing Movers & Thinkers for two years, bringing younger and more diverse audiences into the station to watch live interviews. But I wanted all of our podcasts to engage with our audiences in person. With the help of my colleagues at Nashville Public Radio, I produced a staged variety show, filled with whimsical adaptations of each of the station’s podcasts.

Over the next three years, nearly 1,000 people would attend the station’s annual Podcast Party to see dance adaptations of Classically Speaking, Curious Nashville-themed puppet shows, live interviews from The Promise, and other multimedia forms of live podcasting.

Emily Siner interviews comedian DJ Pryor at Podcast Party 2019.