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Podcast Technology at Frist Center

NASHVILLE, TN.- In today’s world of instantaneous information and simultaneous accomplishment, it’s a rarity to be the first or even among the first to do anything. But the Frist Center for the Visual Arts is certainly among the first major visual arts institutions to take advantage of new podcasting technology with the posting of three podcast programs at

A relatively new phenomenon in the fast-changing world of the internet, podcasts enable listeners to subscribe to audio feeds of all kinds of programming and have the content delivered to them automatically. Those audio files can be accessed on a computer or downloaded to any mp3 audio player and made completely portable.

“While there are podcasts around about museums and exhibitions, we are told we may be the first major arts institution to create our own podcasts specific to our institution,” said Frist Center Director of Communications Ellen Pryor. “We believe the technology and what the technology can do is a wonderful fit for us at the Frist Center, allowing visitors to ‘sample’ the sounds as well as the sights of the Frist Center in a new and innovative way.”

The Frist Center’s first podcasts were made possible by friends of the Frist Center Mary Mancini, Tim Moses and Bill Butler who have formed as the worldwide guide for museum and gallery podcasts.

“When we first got the idea to do this I approached Tim, Mary and Bill, and they were totally exited about the idea of applying this technology to the world of visual arts, and they jumped into this with such amazing enthusiasm.”

“Podcasts have been around for about a year and are growing in popularity at an exponential rate. We believe the Frist Center is certainly among the first major visual arts organization to embrace podcasting by producing their own unique programs,” Butler said, “and we wanted to be a part of making this happen for them.”

Mancini added, “They asked us if we knew of any other museums in the country using podcasting in this way, and we couldn’t find one. To our knowledge, this is a real first in the art world. It seems to us to be a natural fit with all kinds of exciting applications for museums.”

The Frist’s first podcasts are posted at and feature a discussion of the organization’s new exhibition The Fragile Species: New Art Nashville with the Frist Center Curator Mark Scala and docents Mancil Ezell and Jay Turman in a conversation about the exhibition and Nashville’s burgeoning community of artists.

“Being a part of an event that makes a little history in the art world is exciting,” said Scala. “We are always looking for ways to deepen and enrich people’s understanding of our exhibitions, and this is a marvelous marriage of art and technology.”

A second podcast features a visit with budding artists in the Frist’s popular Martin ArtQuest interactive gallery, and the third features Mancil Ezell offering an architectural overview of the building which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Frist plans to add podcasts regularly to the Frist Center site, and upcoming programs will include gallery lectures, docent-led tours of the galleries and audio “eavesdropping” on the Frist’s popular summer camps for kids.

The Frist Center’s podcasts will be listed on a number of popular podcast directories, including, where listeners can vote for their favorite programs.

“We are hoping Frist Center visitors and art lovers will find the sounds of the Frist interesting, thought provoking, fun and informative,” Pryor said, “and will lead them to visit us to take full advantage of the magnificent art that fills our galleries and the wealth of programming we offer.”

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