Blount Mansion plans Halloween event

KNOXVILLE, TN – Ghosts, goblins, witches, haints, and The Mysterious Past of Blount Mansion all come together for one event. Blount Mansion’s annual Halloween event will be bigger and better than ever this year with ghost stories, scary legends, history about death and dying in the 18th and 19th centuries, and tours of the Blount Mansion property.

There will be candy for the kids and some extra special fun with the other house on-site the Craighead-Jackson House, which event organizers say is one of the most haunted sites in Knoxville. There will be three tours starting at 8, 9, and 10 p.m. on Saturday October 28, 2017. On Monday October 30th and Tuesday October 31st, the tours will be at 8 and 9 p.m.

Tickets are $10 and available at

Oak Ridge Symphony features soprano

The Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Music Director Dan Allcott, celebrates its 73rd season with “Motor City, Mother Goose, Glitter, and Gloria!” on Saturday, October 7, 2017 at 7:30 PM at the Oak Ridge High School Performing Arts Center. The Oak Ridge Chorus, led by Jaclyn Johnson, will join the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra for Francis Poulenc’s sacred choral work, Gloria.

The opener for the 73rd season of the Oak Ridge Symphony will also feature American soprano, Alison Trainer, as soloist for Poulenc’s Gloria, in addition to music by Verdi, Bernstein, and more. Photo submitted.

Coloratura soprano Alison Trainer is a gifted singing actress, who has garnered top prizes in several major vocal competitions and is increasingly gaining recognition for her vocal beauty, sensitive and intelligent musicianship, and compelling stage presence. Alison recently received glowing reviews for her European debut as Fiakermilli in Arabella in St. Gallen, Switzerland. The St. Galler Nachrichten raved, “Completely amazing were the vocal acrobatics of Fiakermilli, sung by Alison Trainer with virtuosic and sparkling coloratura.”

“I am so pleased to reconnect with soprano, Alison Trainer, who has just started a new teaching position at Furman University after several years singing roles at the Opera House in St. Gallen, Switzerland,” said Music Director, Dan Allcott. “In addition to her featured role as soloist in the Gloria, Trainer will sing two solo arias – one from a Verdi opera, and the other, a laugh-out-loud romp from Bernstein’s Candide entitled ‘Glitter and Be Gay’”.

The concert will also feature Maurice Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite and music by celebrated American composer, Jonathan Bailey Holland. “Mr. Holland and I met when I conducted a world premiere of his music with the Dallas Symphony in 2004,” said Dan Allcott. “Since then, I have championed his works. Motor City Remix combines the rhythms and sounds of Motown in a classical remix. It’s always an audience favorite!”

The Oak Ridge Civic Music Association is a proud participant in the Penny4Arts program. All students, 18 & under, may attend any Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra, Chorus, and Chamber Music concert for free during the 2017-18 season. General admission is $25; a discounted young adult ticket (ages 19-29) is available for $10.

Alison Trainer’s appearance with the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra is made possible with generous support from Ms. Norma Woy. Music rentals for the Symphony are made possible with generous support from Mr. James Rome. Additional support for the Oak Ridge Civic Music Association is provided by the Tennessee Arts Commission and WUOT 91.9 FM.

The Oak Ridge Civic Music Association presents professional performances in the Oak Ridge community with its symphony, chorus, and chamber music series. Subscription and individual tickets may be purchased online at or by calling (865) 483-5569.

**Attached images: Alison Trainer; Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra; WUOT 91.9 FM; Tennessee Arts Commission

KCDC improves housing properties

KNOXVILLE, TN – Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation (KCDC) recently approved a $33.1 million rehabilitation initiative at three affordable housing properties. In total, 705 units at Lonsdale Homes, North Ridge Crossing and The Vista at Summit Hill will undergo significant improvements with an emphasis on energy efficiency and quality of life for residents. The plans include better insulation, LED lighting, energy-efficient appliances, plumbing repairs, roof replacement and new windows, flooring, cabinets and countertops.

“This initiative will yield significant benefits for the three properties and the residents we serve,” KCDC Executive Director and CEO Ben Bentley said. “The physical condition of these properties will be greatly enhanced and that, in turn, leads to lower operational and maintenance costs.”

The improvements, which are scheduled to be completed in 21 months, will be funded with a combination of low-income housing tax credits and multifamily housing bonds.

Sean Gilbert, KCDC’s senior vice president of housing, said the breakdown includes 260 units at Lonsdale Homes ($11.9 million); 270 units at North Ridge Crossing ($13 million); and 175 units at The Vista at Summit Hill ($8.2 million).

The plans are part of KCDC’s transition of its public housing stock to the rental assistance demonstration (RAD) program, which was created by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 2012 to help agencies continue their housing mission without dependence on federal funds. The program allows housing agencies to leverage public and private debt and equity to reinvest in their properties.

About Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation

Since 1936, KCDC has been dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for the citizens of Knoxville and Knox County. KCDC’s mission is to improve and transform neighborhoods and communities by providing quality affordable housing, advancing development initiatives and fostering self-sufficiency. For more information, call 865-403- 1100 or visit

Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation (KCDC) recently announced a $33.1 rehabilitation initiative at three affordable housing properties: Lonsdale Homes, North Ridge Crossing (pictured) and The Vista at Summit Hill. The improvements will improve energy efficiency and quality of life for residents. Photo submitted.

IJAMS boardwalk closed for repairs

Ijams Nature Center is closing its popular River Boardwalk for the next two weeks in September and October 2017 in order to perform regular maintenance and assess long-term repair needs, says Amber Parker, Executive Director of Ijams. Last weekend, Ijams Nature Center closed the River Boardwalk as a precautionary measure when staff noticed that a rock had shifted near the foundation. After consulting with the original builder during an assessment yesterday, it was determined that the River Boardwalk is structurally sound and safe for passage.

“Anytime you have a structure that is exposed to year-round weather conditions, you have to take time for general maintenance in order to keep it in good order,” Parker said. “Over the next two weeks, Ijams Nature Center staff will be performing tasks such as replacing a few boards, pressure-washing the entire boardwalk and applying a weatherproofing sealant. This kind of work takes time and requires the boardwalk to be closed so that we can do it safely…and not spray any of our visitors!”

Located just three miles from downtown Knoxville, Ijams features 12 miles of hiking and mixed-use trails, a public access river dock, swimming, boating, biking and more. The center offers hundreds of educational programs annually, from school field trips and off-site programs to on-site outdoor and classroom education programs that focus on topics from birding and wildflowers to yoga hikes, cooking classes and art programs. The Ijams grounds and trails are open every day from 8 a.m. until dusk. The Visitor Center is open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit or call 865-577-4717.

Ijams Nature Center is a nonprofit, 300+-acre educational nature center for all ages, abilities and walks of life. Ijams’ mission is to encourage stewardship of the natural world by providing an urban greenspace for people to learn about and enjoy the outdoors through engaging experiences. Photo by Laura Long Martin, Celebrate Knoxville.

New works at Emporium Oct. 2017

KNOXVILLE, TN – The Arts & Culture Alliance is pleased to present five new exhibitions at the Emporium Center in downtown Knoxville from October 6-27, 2017. A reception will take place on Friday, October 6, from 5:00-9:00 PM as part of First Friday activities downtown to which the public is invited to meet the artists and view the artwork. Knoxville Shimmy Mob and the UT Electroacoustic Ensemble will perform during the reception. Most of the works are for sale and may be purchased through the close of the exhibition.

Tennessee Artists Association: The Fall Juried Show: 43rd Fall Art Exhibition in the lower gallery
The Tennessee Artists Association (TAA) will feature original art by over 20 Tennessee artists including oils, watercolors, acrylics, pastels, photography, and mixed media.

The Arrowmont Experience in the Balcony gallery
The Arrowmont Experience will feature work by its current Artists-in-Residence, Max Adrian, Emily Culver, Elyse-Krista Mische, Paige Ward, and Xia Zhang, as well as a small selection of works from its permanent collection. This exhibition is presented in conjunction with Tennessee Craft Week, October 6-15, a collection of craft events and happenings across the state each October.

The Artists-in-Residence Program provides early career, self-directed artists time, space and support to experiment and develop a new body of work in a creative community environment. Each year, five artists of different media are selected for the eleven month program, which begins mid-June and continues through late May of the following year. Participants receive exhibition opportunities, teaching experience, professional development and a private studio. Arrowmont’s artists-in-residence will showcase contemporary, craft-based works using a range of media including ceramics, fiber, mixed media, drawing, and installation. The current Artists-in-Residence include:
Max Adrian – fiber artist creating three-dimensional sculptural forms:
Emily Culver – multimedia jeweler:
Elyse-Krista Mische – printmaking, drawing, and ceramics:
Paige Ward – ceramic and sculpture artist:
Xia Zhang – multi-media artist creating work centered on the vessel:

Synthia Clark: Anthropomorphize in the display case
With a background in photojournalism, Synthia Clark is an award-winning photographer based in Knoxville with a focus towards what she calls “the little things.” To Synthia, these are the obscure, usually unnoticed details all around us. In this exhibition, she focuses on finding faces in our surroundings.

Richard Jansen: Painting with Light on the North Wall
Photography has been Richard Jansen’s passion since 1970 after he returned home from Vietnam. As a freelance photographer, his motivation comes from his surrounding world. Image: Courtesy Richard Jansen.

“It is what I believe to be a beautiful gift from God,” says Jansen.

Melanie Fetterolf: The Love of Nature in the Atrium
The Love of Nature Painting series reflects a spiritual belief by the artist that a higher power has a hand in all that we do. The paintings are begun by hand, then given to nature (rain), and finally finished again by the artist. The paintings are a study of the juxtaposition of color and line, an experiment in the use of texture, and the abstract, uncontrolled nature of falling rain. They reflect a need by the artist to let go of control and allow the random and chaotic nature of the technique to create beauty.

The exhibitions are on display at the Emporium Center, 100 S. Gay Street, in downtown Knoxville. Exhibition hours are Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM. For more information, please contact the Arts & Culture Alliance at (865) 523-7543, or visit the Web site at

Domino ensemble at Modern Studio

KNOXVILLE, TN – The Knoxville-based Domino ensemble will be presenting its show “Purple ego” at the Modern Studio in Knoxville on September 26, 2017 at 7 PM. Exclusively dedicated to new music, the group will offer a selection of original works that involve some electronics and a great deal of improvisation.

In its original quartet format, the ensemble will feature: Mark Boling (guitar), Keith Brown (drums), Jon Hamar (double bass) and Jorge Variego (clarinets and compositions).

Domino Ensemble

The Modern Studio is located on 109 W Anderson Ave, Knoxville, Tennessee 37917. Tickets are $10, (students $5 w/ID) available only at the door.

Guitarists featured at fundraiser

KNOXVILLE, TN – Join Keep Knoxville Beautiful on Friday, September 29, 2017 from 6 pm until 10 pm at the Mabry-Hazen House for a music-filled fall evening. The Rocky Top Pickin’ Party will feature Kelsey Woods with special musical guest Andy Wood, the Tennessee Stifflegs, and you. All musicians are invited to play.

This family-friendly and waste-free fundraiser for Keep Knoxville Beautiful is unlike any other in Knoxville; in between sets, pickers of all levels will form breakout sessions around the grounds. Bring your own instrument to join in one of these pickin’ sessions and you will receive one free beer/beverage. General advance tickets are $10 or $5 at the door and all kids under age 12 get in free. The Captain Muchachos and Oinks and Cluckers food trucks will be on-site, and beer and beverages will be available.

Come join KKB in celebrating our clean, green, and beautiful city with music, pickin’, good food, and friends.

For tickets visit

Three Sisters at Carousel Theatre

KNOXVILLE, TN – Anton Chekhov’s classic “Three Sisters,” in a new adaptation by Libby Appel, will play in the Carousel Theatre September 27 to October 15, 2017. A Talk Back with the cast will take place Sunday, October 8 following the matinee and the Open Captioned performance is Sunday, October 15 at 2:00 pm.

Languishing in a provincial town far from their beloved Moscow, sisters Olga, Masha and Irina yearn for the sparkling city of their childhood, where they believe all dreams will come true. Acknowledged as a masterpiece of the world stage, “Three Sisters” is Chekhov’s tour de force investigation of a family navigating the space between reality and dreams. Image: Carlène Pochette, Emily Kicklighter, and Lauren Pennline in the CBT’s 2017/2018 production of “Three Sisters.” Photo by Elizabeth Aaron.

“The emotions and ordeals of the twelve principal characters are shown through all their laughter, tears and anxieties. The play’s themes of love, desire, unrequited affection and death are just as relevant and pertinent to today’s audiences, who quickly become absorbed by the experiences of each discrete character,” said Michael Fry, director.

Michael Fry (Director) was born and is still based in London. He has worked as director and writer at theatres including, in the UK, the Liverpool Everyman, Nottingham Playhouse, Mercury Colchester, Watermill Newbury, Cambridge Theatre Company and for the Welsh National Opera and Glyndebourne. He was Arts Council Assistant Director at Chester Gateway and Arts Council Associate at the Nuffield, Southampton. Work in London includes the Young Vic, the Lyric Hammersmith, the Gate, Soho Theatre, the King’s Head, the Royal Court and the National Theatre. Work abroad includes Ireland, Italy, France, Romania, Estonia, South Africa, China and frequently in the United States. His plays and adaptations have been performed in theatres throughout England, America and Australasia. He has been artistic director of Floorboards Theatre Productions, Great Eastern Stage and Not the National Theatre, senior lecturer at Coventry, Middlesex and London Universities and Visiting Professor of Theatre at Washington and Webster Universities in the US. He is currently Deputy Director of East 15 Acting School in London.

The cast is comprised of visiting guest artists, UT Theatre faculty and graduate and undergraduate students, as well as community actors.

Visiting guest artist Christian Gray (Aleksander Ignatyevich Vershinin) is making his Clarence Brown debut. Chicago Theatre: Court Theatre, First Folio (Artistic Associate), Remy Bumppo, ShawChicago (Ensemble Member), Writers’ Theatre, 20 others. Regional Theatre: Artists’ Ensemble (IL), Cumberland County Playhouse (TN), Fort Worth Shakespeare (TX), Kentucky Repertory, Montana Shakespeare, Pennsylvania Stage Company. Film credits: “Day 1,” “Plastic,” “Reclamation,” “Drifted,” and “The Judas Run.” Television: “Chicago PD,” and “The Blackwood Prophecies.” Commercial: Horseshoe Casino, Stein Garden and Gifts.

Visiting guest artist Joseph McGranaghan (Nikolai Lvovich Tuzenbakh) is happy to be home in Knoxville, where he grew up on live theatre at the Clarence Brown. He was last seen here in the 2013 CBT production of “Noises Off.” New York theatre credits include: La MaMa ETC and Magis Theatre, Remix, Mabou Mines Resident Artist Workshop, Hudson Warehouse, and Storm Theatre, among others. Regionally: Baltimore Centerstage, Asolo Rep, Philadelphia’s Lantern Theatre, Pittsburgh City Theatre, Quantum Theatre, Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, Chamber Theatre of Boston, Urbanite Theatre, Luna Stage, Centenary Stage Company, and others. Film and TV: “Hack My Life,” “The Lucky Six,”
“Door to Door,” and “Eight Degrees in Suburbia.” He received his MFA from the FSU/ Asolo Conservatory.

Visiting guest artist Roderick Peeples (Ivan Romanovich Chebutykin) is based in Chicago. Most recent CBT credits: “A Christmas Carol,” “The Crucible,” and “The Open Hand.” Previously at CBT he was in “The Threepenny Opera,” “Amadeus,” and “Life of Galileo.” A two-time recipient of Joseph Jefferson Citations, his Chicago credits include: Chicago Shakespeare, Goodman, Steppenwolf, Remy Bumppo, Victory Gardens, Famous Door, Court, and Next theatres. Regional credits: Utah Shakespeare Festival, Syracuse Stage, Madison Repertory, and Illinois Shakespeare Festival. Film: Robert Altman’s “The Company,” “Road to Perdition,” “Novocaine,” “The Hudsucker Proxy.” TV: “Chicago Med,” “Prison Break,” “ER,” “Early Edition,” and the “Untouchables” series (syndicated).

Visiting guest artist Christopher Tramantana (Fyodor Ilyich Kulygin) is thrilled to be back at The Clarence Brown Theatre. A New York based actor, he is a proud alum of UT’s graduate acting program. New York theatre credits include: Hard Sparks, Planet Connections, TerraNOVA, Greenlight Productions, HERE, Playwrights Horizons, and NYTW. Regional theater credits include: Next Act Theater, Milwaukee, and the CBT. Christopher also teaches clown at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. BA in Theatre: Fordham University at Lincoln Center; MFA in Acting: University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

UT Theatre professional, local professional and community actors include Brian Gligor, Robert Stephan, and Nancy Duckles. UT Theatre graduate and undergraduate actors include: Charlotte Munson, Emily Kicklighter, Carlène Pochette, Lauren Pennline, Miguel A. Faña, Evan Price, Ben Pratt, Julius Gross, Ben Terpstra, Celeste Pelletier and Maddie Poeta.

The creative team for this production includes: visiting guest designer Matthew Tibbs (Sound Designer); UT MFA candidates Alice Trent (Lighting Design) and Jelena Andzic (Scenic Design); and UT Theatre faculty member Bill Black (Costume Design). Also assisting are Shelly Pack Payne (Production Stage Manager); Candace Moore (Assistant Director); Collin Hall (Assistant Stage Manager); Delaynie Rizer (Assistant Stage Manager); and Bonnie Valerio (Assistant Stage Manager).

Two Previews for “Three Sisters” are Wednesday, September 27 and Thursday, September 28 followed by Opening Night Friday, September 29. The production runs through October 15. UT faculty/staff, senior citizens, military personnel, children and students receive discounts. For tickets, call the Clarence Brown Theatre box office at 865-974-5161, Knoxville Tickets at 865-656-4444 or order online 24/7 at

New works at Marble City Opera

KNOXVILLE, TN – Marble City Opera will present a double-bill of Menotti’s The Telephone and Poulenc’s The Human Voice. Performances will be presented at The Square Room, Knoxville, Tennessee at 8:00pm on October 6-7, 2017.

Marble City Opera is pleased to return to The Square Room in downtown Knoxville with the presentation of these two short operas in English about women on the telephone. The Telephone is a 30-minute comic opera about Lucy, who is always on the phone, and Ben, who is trying to propose to her, but every time he tries to ask, the phone rings.

Poulenc’s The Human Voice is a 40-minute dramatic opera about Elle who is having her last conversation with her lover, who now loves someone else, and is based on Jean Cocteau’s play La Voix Humaine. Audiences will immediately relate to these two operas that take a look at women and their relationships through their ability to connect over the telephone.

“Marble City Opera continues to bring accessible opera performances to new venues and new audiences in Knoxville,” says reviewer Alan Sherrod of Arts Knoxville.

Tickets can be purchased online at General admission is $25 online and $35 at the door.

Author Quade is speaker at UT

KNOXVILLE, TN – On Monday, September 25, 2017 Kirstin Valdez Quade will read at the University of Tennessee. The event is part of UT’s Writers in the Library reading series. Kirstin Valdez Quade is the author of Night at the Fiestas, winner of the John Leonard Prize, the Sue Kaufman Prize, and a “5 Under 35” award from the National Book Foundation.

“Set mainly in tight-knit Catholic, Mexican-American communities in New Mexico,” write the Dallas Morning News, Night at the Fiestas “enthralls with tales of people striving to better their lives while enduring the aftermath of past mistakes.” The New York Times calls three of Quade’s stories from Night at the Fiestas “legitimate masterpieces” and goes on to say, “This is a variety of beauty too rare in contemporary literature.”

Kirstin Valdez Quade’s work has also appeared in The New Yorker, The Southern Review, and Guernica, and it has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories. Currently she is an assistant professor of creative writing at Princeton University.

The reading begins at 7 p.m. in the Lindsay Young Auditorium of the John C. Hodges Library. The event is free and open to the public; all are encouraged to attend. A brown bag Q&A, open to University of Tennessee students, will be held at noon in 1210 McClung Tower.

The mission of Writers in the Library is to “showcase the work of novelists, poets, and other literary craftsmen.” Some of the best voices in contemporary literature are invited to read. The series is sponsored by the UT Libraries and the Creative Writing Program in association with the John C. Hodges Better English Fund.

For more information, contact Erin Elizabeth Smith, Jack E. Reese Writer-in-Residence at the UT Libraries, at or visit for a complete schedule of Writers in the Library readings for the 2017-2018 academic year.