Judy and Steve Turner

Civic Leaders and Pacesetting Donors

Steve: Nashville Public Library makes such a statement for our city – it’s the symbol of our culture. Our city is lucky to have a superbly run library that not only reaches out to the community, but embraces change to remain a relevant source of information and education for the entire community.

We’ve been supporters of Nashville Public Library for almost 20 years. Judy remembers the library’s book mobile as a child and often took our grandchildren to see the legendary puppet shows by Tom Tichenor. In 2001, we became more invested in the library’s future, just as the Country Music Hall of Fame, Frist Center for the Arts and the new Main Library were all opening downtown. It was the beginning of Nashville’s renaissance and, in my opinion, what led us to become the “It City.”

Every child is born with the wonderful gift of imagination, and puppetry inspires that imagination to explore and believe.

Judy: Our favorite aspect of Nashville Public Library has always been the children’s programming and its ability to creatively nurture children and grow them into lifelong readers. We both enjoy puppetry as an art form and feel it’s such a meaningful way to touch a life. Every child is born with the wonderful gift of imagination, and puppetry inspires that imagination to explore and believe. It’s a great way to pass a message on to a child and it’s a wonderful art form put to great use in our library system.

Steve: In early 2011, the idea for “String City” struck me like a lightning bolt. As a board member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and a longtime donor of the Library Foundation, it occurred to me that we could create a puppet show about WSM and the history of country music in Nashville as a way to educate citizens about Music City and its roots. Thanks to Brian Hull, Performing Artist Director at NPL, and the team at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, “String City” is a love letter from Nashville that will serve as an ambassador for the city for years to come. Its impact on the city is ongoing and enduring, and I believe, 100 years from now, “String City” will still be the way Nashville celebrates its roots and country music history. Today, we still consider “String City” to be one of the best gifts we’ve ever given and are so pleased with how our gift to the library was stewarded. We like to say, “a creative city deserves a creative library,” and are pleased that the show was performed 20 times to a total audience of more than 5,000 people this summer.

Judy: What the library has done, is doing and will continue to do will stand the test of time. It will continue to be there and serve our community because it serves such a great purpose. I think the whole world should shine its light on our library.