Writer and researcher Jack Neely is a longtime journalist whose award-winning column, “Secret History,” appeared in Metro Pulse for more than 20 years. He’s author of numerous books about Knoxville’s distinctive history, including, recently, The Tennessee Theatre: A Grand Entertainment Palace, Market Square: The History of the Most Democratic Place on Earth, and Knoxville, Tennessee: This Obscure Prismatic City. His work has been recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists, the Tennessee Library Association, the American Institute of Architects, and the University of Tennessee’s History Department. Since 2014 he has served as the executive director of the Knoxville History Project. His latest books include, Historic Knoxville: The Curious Visitor’s Guide, Historic Bearden, and Knoxville’s Old City: A Short History.
Risen from the ashes of local journalism, the Knoxville History Project publishes books, tells stories, leads tours, mounts public art, organizes events, and maintains a website of narratives and illustrations that should answer most of your questions about your favorite city, and may keep you fascinated for weeks. KHP’s recent projects have connected Knoxville to its experiences in women’s suffrage, railroads, pandemics, sports, breweries, civil rights, heavy industry, immigration, and rock ’n’ roll. And proven how they’re all related. Jack Neely, award-winning journalist and author, has been executive director of KHP for its six-year history, and will outline the nonprofit’s mission and how it’s relevant to almost everything, especially Knoxville's present and future.