Viewers throughout central Ohio are invited to tune in May 13 to see and hear some of the area's finest songwriters and singers.
Channel 4.2, Me-TV, the digital subchannel of NBC-4, will air the first of a series of five "Songs at the Center" at 10:30 p.m. May 13. The half-hour shows are recorded live on a stage in-the-round at Worthington's McConnell Arts Center. They feature Worthington resident Eric Gnezda as host of talented and accomplished songwriters, who also live in central Ohio.
The in-the-round format involves the audience sitting around the artists on the stage at the MAC.
"By putting the audience on stage with the performers, we're inviting our TV viewers to participate in the unique intimacy that singer-songwriters share with their audiences," Gnezda said.
The featured performers will include Jared Mahone, who recently appeared on Katie Couric's show; R.J. Cowdery, a Kerrville Folk Festival winner; Jasey Schnaars, who penned a Top 10 hit for the late Eddie Rabbitt; and Keith Larsen, the People's Choice award winner of the Nashville Songwriters Association International/Country Music Television Songwriting Contest.
"These are good, quality writers," Gnezda said of the lineup.
The concept for the show evolved from Gnezda's experiences as a performer in Nashville.
Each show will feature at least two songwriters a week. The show mixes performances and interviews.
Over the past several years, Worthington has become known as a hub of songwriting.
Once a month, the MAC is home to the First Tuesdays Songwriters' Circle, where the aspiring and the accomplished come to sing their material.
The MAC also hosts Songwriter Spotlight, a series that presents some of the best singer-songwriters in the region performing in an in-the-round format.
Natalie's Coal Fired Pizza and Live Music, 5601 N. High St., provides another venue for songwriters and performers.
Natalie's will host a kickoff for Songs at the Center at 9 p.m. May 8.