Learn More About Public Programming

The AVHC strives to be a "living archive" - one that is as open as possible to community access. We are currently in the midst of a multi-year project to create an online catalog of our collection, so access to portions of our collection is limited until that catalog is complete.

While the online catalog is being completed, we continue to engage in focused community access events throughout the year. While we are not able to participate in all collaborations, we love to hear from you and we welcome your ideas!

We hold community archiving workshops, have an artist in residency program, and work with musicians, visual artists, and filmmakers wishing to incorporate archival materials into their work. If you have an idea for collaboration, contact our Audiovisual Archivist.

Current and Upcoming Public Programs

About the Artist in Residence Program

Nashville Metro Archives' Audiovisual Heritage Center (AVHC), in collaboration with Centennial Park Conservancy and the Parthenon, are pleased to announce the second annual Archives Artist in Residence (AIR) Program. This unique program explores the roles of artist and archivist and seeks to break down walls between archives and the communities they serve.

One artist in 2020 will be invited to incorporate historic audiovisual recordings at the AVHC in the creation of a new work to premiere at the Parthenon as partr of the Centennial Park Conservancy's ECHO chamber music series series. The artist will work with Metro archivists to choose endangered analog audiovisual materials for preservation, some of which have not been seen in decades. The artist will collaborate with composer Benjamin Chakoian Jones, who will create a live score to be performed by the Intersection Music ensemble. The artist and composer are encouraged to exchange ideas regarding the creation of the score. Other recorded sound elements or sounds related to the audiovisual material can be considered for inclusion in the performance as well.

The AIR Program encourages the creation of creative time-based media. Film and video pieces, light and sound installations, interactive pieces, and pieces incorporating live elements such as movement and dance are eligible for application. Artists are encouraged to consider place, community, history, regional culture, and/or the intersection of the analog and digital worlds in their piece. The new work will debut at the Parthenon on October 11, 2020. A copy of the work or documentation of the work will be deposited in the Nashville Metro Archives.

Who is Eligible to Apply/Requirements

The award is open to emerging and mid-career multimedia or performance artists 18 years old and older. Applicants must be currently practicing and show a record of exhibition or performance demonstrating their ability to carry out an artistic concept. Formal training in studio art is not required to apply. Applicants shoudl be based in Davidson County or show strong ties to the region.

  • The applicant may meet on site with Archives staff if public health guidelines during COVD-19 allow.
  • The applicant must email progress reports to the AVHC Project Manager as needed and attend phone meetings as needed.
  • The artist must supply all technical gear and software necessary to make and display the piece.
  • The Award

    The Artist is awarded a stipend of $1,200. The award is given in full to be used at the artist's discretion to support the purchase of supplies and/or living expenses while creating the work. The project also provides $800 in analog preservation of endangered materials in the Nashville Metro Archives Audiovisual Heritage Center collection. The use of the preservation funds will be determined by Nashville Metro Archives in collaboration with the artist and administered by Nashville Metro Archives.

    Deadlines and Important Dates

  • May 15: The deadline to submit application
  • May 27: The grantee will be chosen and notified
  • October 11: The premier of the completed work will be held at the Parthenon. The date of the live performance is subject to change due to COVID-19.

  • About the Partner Institutions

    Metro Archives and the Audiovisual Heritage Center (AVHC)

    The Metropolitan Government Archives, a division of the Nashville Public Library, collects and preserves the historically valuable records of Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County, as well as other records of historical or documentary significance reflecting the history of our city. The Archives has ongoing programs to maintain and develop its collections, and welcomes researchers to come explore its treasures. The Archives has over 5 million records dating from the 1780s to the present.

    About the Available Collection

    Nashville Metro Archives contains over 5,000 analog audiovisual assets on film, audio tape, and video ranging from the 1920s to the early 2000s. The collection contains home movies, news footage, amateur works, Metro Nashville council meetings, historic radio programs, oral histories, and more.

    The AVHC is engaged in a long-term project to catalog, preserve, and make the collection accessible. The majority of the collection is not preserved; much of the material is too fragile to play back unless it is being digitized.

    Content includes but is not limited to:

    Various Donor-Based Collections
    Formats: 16mm film
    Years: 1948-1970s
    Description: Advertisements, educational materials, historic sites (BNA, Centennial Park, etc.)

    Tom Tichenor Collection
    Formats: 16mm film
    Years: c.1972-c.1985
    Description: Audio recordings of pyuppet shows (and sound effects tracks), film series of narrative costume films with live actors, film series of puppet show performances

    Home Movie Footage
    Formats: 16mm, 8mm, Super-8mm
    Years: c.1920-c.1985
    Description: Travelogues, family celebrations, documentation of local events, street footage

    Metro Archives Collection
    Formats: Various
    Years: Mostly 1950s-1980s
    Description: Educational films, metro council meetings, oral histories

    ECHO Chamber Music Series:

    ECHO is an engaging chamber music series that features new classical music composed and arranged for the unique reverb of the Parthenon Naos and performed in front of the 42 foot statue of Athena.

    The PArthenon, owned and operated by the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County's Parks and Recreation Department, is the city of Nashville's longest-lived art museum. Opened as a museum in 1931, its galleries are the home of the distinguished Cowan Collection of American art and feature several temporary exhibitions per year. The galleries are housed on the lower level of the Parthenon, the world's only full-scale replica of the fifth-century BCE temple in Athens, Greece. Beloved symbol of civic pride to Nashvillians since its original manifestation as the art building for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition in 1897, it welcomes hundreds of thousands of Nashvillians and visitors to the city per year. The Parthenon is open Tuesday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sundays 12:30-4:30 p.m. Admission to the Parthenon is $6 for adults, $4 for seniors 62 and over, and $4 for children 4-17. Children under 4 are admitted free. Admission includes access to all exhibitions and the Parthenon's upper level, graced by a colossal statue of the goddess Athena.

    Centennial Park Conservancy (CPC) is a for-purpose 501(c )(3) not-for-profit organization.
    Although we are a separately chartered organization, CPC was organized with the cooperation of the Metro PArks and REcreation Department. CPC funds are presents a variety of enriching programs in the Parthenon and Centennial Park that make a widespread imprint on the Nashville community and our visitors. CPC's mission is to preserve, enhance, and share the Parthenon and Centennial Park so that all future generations may benefit from these enriching cultural and educational landmarks.

    How To Apply

    Overview of Application Materials
    Applicants must submit the following three documents to apply.
    Guidelines for writing your Application are listed under "Guidelines" below.
    Please submit documents in Word.
    Email your submission to Kelli.Hix@nashville.gov with the subject line: ARCHIVES ARTIST IN RESIDENCE APPLICATION 2020

  • 1. Letter of intent
  • 2. Application
  • 3. Current CV (with link to website if applicable)

  • Guidelines for the Letter of Intent

  • Name, date, and intent to apply
  • A brief narrative overview of the applicant's experience, body of work, and reason for applying
  • Guidelines for the Application
    The application should contain the following subheadings and approximate word counts. Please title and number each subheading on your application.

  • 1. Artist and Bio Statement (250 words max)
  • 2. Ties to the Region (100 words max)
    - Describe the applicant's ties to the Southeastern United States and/or Nashville-Davidson County (example: "I am currently a Nashville, Tennessee resident and have resided here since 2012.)
  • 3. Overview of Proposed Concept (400 words max)
    - Describe the concept behind the project and how it will be carried out.
    - Describe any interactive or live components and how the audience will experience and interact with the piece.
    - Describe how the piece will potentially incorporate archival audiovisual material.
  • 4. Technical Aspects of the Work (250 words max)
    Describe any relevant equipment or software that might be used to create, display, or present the work. Where relevant, describe the length of the work. This section can be formatted using bullet points if the applicant wishes.
  • 5. Positive Collaboration (250 words max)
    This project requires close, positive collaboration between the artist and Metro Archives. Describe in this section how the applicant has shown ability to communicate clearly and collaborate on a project or projects in the past.
  • 6. Participants
    List the primary point of contact (the artist), full name, email address, and telephone number. List an other possible participants.
  • To Submit:
    Applications must be mailed to Kelli.Hix@nashville.gov with the subject line: ARCHIVES ARTIST IN RESIDENCE APPLICATION 2020

    Evaluation Criteria

    The staff of the Metro Archives and The Parthenon will choose the AIR based on the following criteria:
    - Submission of all completyed application materials on time
    - Eligibility of the applicant.
    - The application demonstrates ability to communicate ideas clearly.
    - The applicant demonstrates the ability to collaborate effectively.
    - The artist shows a track record of exhibition which demonstrates a growing aesthetic or concept.
    - The proposal considers place, community, archives, history, memory, and/or thge connection between analog and digital realms.
    - The concept incorporates historic footage or audio from the Metro Archives Collection.
    - The applicant is able and willing to work with a composer to create a musical element for the piece.

    Diversity Statement
    Nashville Public Library, Centennial Park Conservancy, and the Parthenon do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion, creed, or disability in admission to, access to, or operations of its programs, services, or activities. Discrimination against any person in recruitment, examination, appointment, training, promotion, retention, discipline, or any other employment practices because of non-merit factors shall be prohibited.

    Questions can be sent to the AVHC Program Manager: Kelli Hix, Kelli.Hix@nashville.gov.

    Funding for this project has been generously provided by the Nashville Public Library Foundation. Photo still from Time Out of Mind by Brian Siskind, our 2019 Artist in Residence.

    Preservation Highlights:

  • The Sudekum Party Film: Generously funded by the National Film Preservation Foundation in 2017, this was our first major film restoration project. The project preserved a unique reel of nitrate film (now housed at the Library of Congress). To see the film click here.
  • Rangers Footage: Generously funded by the National Film Preservation Foundation in 2018, this project preserved the home movie footage of Vietnam veteran Wayne Mitsch. At the request of the donor, this footage is not publicly streaming at this time and available by request.
  • Selections from the James Kilgore Collection: James Kilgore was an avid amateur filmmaker and lifelong Nashville resident. His family generously donated his life's work to the AVHC. Spanning nearly a century, the collection documents the life of Mr. Kilgore and his family, including rare color footage shot during his time in Italy during WWII. This project was generously funded by the Al Larvick Fund. Selections from the collection can be streamed here.
  • Film Conservation Project: Generously funded by the NEH in 2018, this project supported the inspection, repair, identification, and conservation treatment of nearly 500 reels of endangered film in our collection. Through this project, films were identified for preservation, properly stored to increase their lifespan, and a healthier, cleaner storage environment was created for all of our collections.
  • Far Out Film Fest Screening:
  • We love film! All film. And we love the Far Out Film Festival. In 2018, we were pleased to show one our most unusual films at the festival - Bridgestone Arena Animation alongside the work of some of today's greatest experimental filmmakers. Learn more about the Far Out Fest here. See the Bridgestone Arena Animation footage here.
  • Community Archiving Workshops: AVHC holds abn annual Community Archiving Workshop (CAW) in our stunning third floor research room. The CAW provides a day of free training in audiovisual archiving to anyone in the community wishing to learn how to care for their collections. After the training session, volunteers get hands-on experience working with a local collection and enjoy viewing footage from the collection. To learn more about CAW, please visit the organization's website here. To sign up to be on our CAW mailing list, email Kelli Hix with the words "CAW EMAIL LIST" in the subject line.
  • Chatterbird Music Ensemble Collaboration: Nashville's Chatterbirt Music Ensemble creates innovative live music and film experiences by re-editing archival footage from the collection and performing live to silent footage. We have partnered with Cordell, OZ Arts, The Schermerhorn Symphony Center, and the Music for Seniors program to bring these experiences to audiences all over Davidson County.
  • Oliver the Crow Music Video: Nashville-based band, Olivber the Crow2, created a music video using footage from the AVHC and from the African-American Home Movie Archive. See their video here and visit the collection of the AAHMA here.
  • Past Public Programs:

  • Community Archiving Workshops at Nashville Metro Archives, 2015, 2018, 2019.
  • Community Archiving Workshops with Fisk University, 2019.
  • Chatterbird Music Ensemble Collaboration