Pickin' Up Tennessee:
A Scenic Tennessee Special Project
Click on the image below to see the itinerary of the 2013 Pickin' Up Tennessee Tour, with a list of each day's highlights, and links to the 20 daily video journals!
Click on the photo below to learn more about the great folks behind the scenes (and behind the cameras) of Pickin' Up Tennessee.
Click on the pic of the Pickin' Up Tennessee CD/DVD package to see what's in it, and how to order.
Pickin' Up Tennessee was the first music-centered litter-awareness campaign in the state since the popular "Tennessee Trash" ads of the 1970s—but with an important twist. Instead of focusing on the one thing we all hate about Tennessee—that's right, litter—PUTN highlighted the things we all love: Tennessee's scenic beauty, her rich musical heritage and her generous, volunteer-minded communities.
Every year, Tennessee spends millions of dollars cleaning up millions of pounds of litter from thousands of miles of roads and waterways and public spaces. And even though Scenic Tennessee thinks that a 5-cent deposit on beverage containers is a more effective solution, there's a lot to be said for raising awareness. So when we learned that Tennessee's Department of Transportation planned to give out $1 million in grants to tackle Tennessee's litter "beyond routine maintenance," we came up with Pickin' Up Tennessee.
Our project, awarded the maximum $100,000, called for a family of Chattanooga filmmakers to travel the state aboard the Pickin' Up Tennessee RV, a 32-foot motor home emblazoned with a banjo, a fiddle, a guy filling a bag of litter and a plaintive message: "Love the land. Lose the litter." By day, our crew would film community litter cleanups, visit iconic scenic spots, tour hidden local treasures and record a sound-quilt of authentic Tennessee music, from blues to bluegrass to gospel, performed by more than 125 of the most gracious volunteer musicians, singers and dancers you'll ever meet. In the evenings, they'd camp at one of Tennessee's award-winning state parks (courtesy of the Division of State Parks), where they'd blog about the day's experiences and upload video to the PUTN YouTube page.
The tour launched, with much media encouragement, on June 1, 2013. For the next four weeks, Dave Porfiri and Linda Duvoisin, principals in Mindflow Media, LLC, and their daughters Jane, 10, and Harlan, 8, were the roving ambassadors for a clean and sustainable Tennessee. Project coordinator Marge Davis tagged along with her Big Orange tent.
Some 2,800 miles, 500 volunteers, 65 videos, 38 songs, 23 cleanups and roughly a ton of litter later, the active portion of the project came to an end. The PUTN website (www.pickinuptn.org) was retired in 2018, and most of its contents transferred to this page. Follow the links to the left to learn more about the project, view photo galleries and watch all of the video journals, including the complete music performances. For a four-minute "Tour in Review," click on the video below. And if you'd like to relive the entire adventure, click here to order the Pickin’ Up Tennessee CD/DVD. This three-disc set, containing two hours of amazing music, four fours of video and twelve pages of liner notes all beautifully packaged in a wallet made from recycled paper, is available for a suggested donation of just $20 (with a share of proceeds earmarked for the volunteer groups that supported the project). Better yet, make a donation in any amount to Scenic Tennessee, and we'll send you a complimentary copy.