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Bob Pondillo is a generous, warm-hearted man, nestling into the laid-back cool of his retirement in a hoodie and jeans, a salt-and-pepper beard framing an eternally youthful face and a worn ball cap with the Human Rights Campaign logo stitched in. So, when he talks about directing short films, it isn’t all that surprising that he doesn’t …

The house lights ease down, the stage lights slowly creep up and a cloud of smoke invades the stage, creating a barrier between the audience and the evening’s headlining act. Finally, a crisp, familiar voice escapes the speakers and drowns out the uproar of applause coming from the packed arena. Although it may appear to be a …

Dylan Skye Aycock and John Connor Coulston contributed to this report A mile away from campus, tucked behind local businesses and busy intersections, is Murfreesboro Little Theatre, a non-profit “playhouse” that dates back more than 100 years. The cabin, adorned with a cherry red door and outlined with orange trim, once occupied a 1960s theatre, …

It’s all a secret, or, at least, that’s what the coordinators of Sofar Sounds hope for each month. On a warm night last fall, I pulled up to the home of an address I received in an email for a secret live show. My guest and I entered with zero precedents, our names on a list …

Two canvases ─ both bare and tightly bound by cellophane ─ lay in John Smith’s home office, the first of the pack used by his daughter who recently painted a portrait of the family dog, Savannah. Today, no one’s home and Smith, whose artistic background solely includes helping with his children’s art projects, sits down at …

With a focus on personal growth and optimism, Rylund Exum is a local rapper who steers clear from modern stereotypes of mainstream rap music. Inspired by artists such as Lupe Fiasco and Kendrick Lamar, Exum’s music tightropes between playful and inspiring, boastful and poignant, all the time keeping a soulful swagger. His tracks “Hello Universe” and …