Johnson Architecture wins award

The Masonry Institute of Tennessee recently awarded Johnson Architecture the 2017 Merit Award in Masonry for the firm’s design of renovations at Maryville College’s iconic Anderson Hall. Johnson Architecture, Joseph Construction Company and masonry partner, F.L. Lay Masonry Contractors in Knoxville, worked collaboratively to ensure that the masonry design maintained the integrity of the historic brick building that has long been recognized as an anchor of the campus.

“We knew from historical records that the original brick was fired on campus in the late 1800s,” said Daryl Johnson, founder and president of Johnson Architecture. “Our challenge was to preserve the history of those bricks while repairing and replacing the damaged pieces while creating a state- of-the- art educational environment.”

The firm’s design of Anderson Hall at Maryville College protected historical features, such as wide staircases, arched entryways and high ceilings, while updating other amenities, including adding an elevator, security system, flexible classroom designs and 30 faculty offices. Photo submitted.

“As we designed each new amenity, we ensured that the original construction of the building was acknowledged,” Johnson said. “We framed a small section of the interior wall to expose brick, allowing visitors to see the original construction.”

Since Anderson Hall’s reopening in 2015, Johnson Architecture has earned several accolades for the project, including the Blount County Historic Trust Design Award in 2015 and both the Knox Heritage East Tennessee Preservation Award and East Tennessee Historical Society Award of Distinction in 2016.

Pioneer Days at history museum

NORRIS, TN – Located on the beautiful grounds of the Museum of Appalachia, the “Days of the Pioneer” Antique Show has been scheduled for September 15-16, 2017. This antiques show features over sixty of the finest selection of 18th and 19th century antique dealers. The museum is located 16 miles north of Knoxville, one mile east of I‐75, exit 122.

Elaine Meyer, President of the Museum, said, “This show is truly a one of a kind event and is slated to be one of the best antique shows in the country. With the 65-acre Museum of Appalachia as a backdrop, attendees can experience the Museum which houses thousands of early American artifacts in their natural setting, and then have the opportunity to purchase similar items from scores of outstanding dealers who will be here from across the country.”

During the show, traditional craftsmen will be on the grounds demonstrating their various and centuries-old talents. The venue will also provide mountain music in different locations on the grounds while other areas will highlight Civil War-era soldiers and civilians in their period dress.

Tickets also include a tour of the Museum of Appalachia, a farm-village with some three dozen historic log structures, exhibit halls filled with authentic Appalachian artifacts, gardens, and farm animals in a picturesque setting surrounded by split-rail fences.

For more information please contact the museum at (865) 494-7680 or email

Marble Springs hosts Soiree

Marble Springs Historic Site is hosting the annual Sevier Soiree on Friday, September 15th from 6:30-8:30pm. This event is a celebration of the rich history and scenic beauty of the historic farmstead of John Sevier with music and a Southern inspired dinner prepared by Bradford Catered Events. Guests also will enjoy touring the scenic 35 acre property, 5 historic structures, and a silent auction.

Marble Springs State Historic Site is the only historic site charged with interpreting the life and times of the first governor of Tennessee, John Sevier. Marble Springs is operated and maintained by a non-profit organization, the Governor John Sevier Memorial Association. This fundraiser will help the site’s mission of education and preservation of the historic farmstead, ensure quality school tours and educational programs, and assist in the continued maintenance of our arboretum and hiking trails. Marble Springs is funded under an agreement with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Tennessee Historical Commission, and supplemented by additional funds raised by the Governor John Sevier Memorial Association.

Tickets are $50 per person and must be purchased by Sept. 2. Guests may purchase online from the Marble Springs website at A portion of your ticket price is tax deductible.


History comes alive in Knoxville

Knoxville’s 10th Annual East Tennessee History Fair is scheduled for 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, August 19, 2017. This event will celebrate the region’s history with reenactments, activities, and tours.

Presented by the East Tennessee Historical Society, along with dozens of businesses, historical organizations, museums, musicians, and individuals from across the region, the East Tennessee History Fair features fun and educational activities highlighting the people, places, stories, and events that comprise the shared history of our 35-county region. The event is free and open to the public.

Special highlights include:

–Free admission to the Museum of East Tennessee History for the day, including Voices of the Land: The People of East Tennessee and Stories in Stitches exhibitions, plus the Streetscape with Streetcar 409 and Corner Drug Store, c. 1920-1930

–Antiques Fair—downtown Knoxville’s only antiques fair with vendors selling a wide variety of primitives, antiques, and tabletop items, sponsored by Case Antiques and Building Systems Technology, Inc.

–WDVX Music Stage featuring Russ and Becky Jeffers, Travelin’ Caudells, Good Thymes Ceilidh Band, Knox County Jug Stompers, Early Morning Stringdusters, and Seven Pine

–Living History Timeline—spanning the region’s history from the Cherokee to Vietnam War

–Abraham Lincoln and wife Mary Todd, Mary Anna Custis Lee and Robert E. Lee, and many other historical characters will roam the crowd

–More than fifty historical and genealogical societies representing county, regional, and state organizations from across the region

–“Old Fashioned Tennessee Checkers Skirmish” sponsored by Mast General Store

–Book sales by Friends of the Knox County Library featuring Civil War, WWII, and other local and American history-themed books for children and adults

–“History Hound” Dog Costume Contest—guests are invited to bring their pets to Krutch Park dressed as their favorite historical character. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. and the contest begins at 10:15. Celebrity judges will award fabulous prizes from PetSafe for “Best Costume” and “Most East Tennessee Spirit.”

–Tours of Underground Gay Street
–Walking tour with Jack Neely on the history of the Worlds Fair Park
–Walking tour with Knoxville Walking Tours on “Spies, Spooks, and Scoundrels”
–Craft demonstrations–spinning, quilting, blacksmithing, tinsmithing, raku pottery, woodworking, chair caning, basket making, natural fibers, clay work, lye soap making, primitive handmade items, and more
–Art Market Gallery will be celebrating being a part of Knoxville’s history for 35 years. They will feature a special exhibition of works by gallery members entitled Original Art of East Tennessee’s Spaces and Places, and give out Cherry Coke
–An enlarged children’s activity area with special crafts, games, and storytelling by the “King of The Wild Frontier,” Davy Crockett, along with a birthday party with cake for Davy’s 231st birthday
–Jump on the Big Love Bus for tours of downtown’s historic homes, including Blount Mansion, James White’s Fort, Mabry Hazen House, and Bethel Cemetery
–Market Square Farmers Market
–Home style food, goodies, cool treats, kettle corn and barbeque
–Vintage films by the Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound at the Tennessee Theatre—Open House with free tours of the Tennessee Theatre

Attendees of the East Tennessee History Fair often have a chance to chat with historical characters and reinactors who also have a love for history. Photo by Celebrate Knoxville.

For more information on the History Fair, please visit or call 865-215-8824.

IJAMS adds additional solar panels

KNOXVILLE, TN – A $22,000 grant from the Arconic Foundation is making Ijams Nature Center a cleaner, greener place. The nonprofit, 300+-acre center used the funds to install additional solar panels on the roof of the Visitor Center.

The new panels are projected to save more than $2,700 annually in traditional electrical use. Green Earth Solar, LLC (GES) completed the installation in March 2017.

“Adding the new array saved about $540 on Ijams’ utility bill in March and April,” Ijams Facilities Manager Brenda Rayfield said. “It was such a significant savings that KUB sent out two electricians to replace our meter because they thought it was broken.”

The effort is part of Ijams’ Sustainability Initiative, which was created to educate the public about climate change and the effects of traditional energy production and use on the Earth, as well as provide information about alternative energy sources. The solar panels serve as an educational demonstration model and interpretive signage helps visitors learn about solar energy options.

“At Ijams, our mission is to educate people about nature and encourage them to become stewards of the natural world,” Ijams Executive Director Amber Parker said. “But it’s not enough to teach others to care for the Earth. Ijams needs to ‘practice what we preach’ in daily operations. Using renewable, clean energy sources to reduce Ijams’ environmental footprint is an important way to do both.

“We truly appreciate the Arconic Foundation’s support of this project,” Parker said. “Arconic’s generosity will have a significant impact on Ijams—and the environment—for years to come.”

The new 7.8-kilowatt (kW) array brings the total size of Ijams’ rooftop system to 19.04kW. Power generated each month will vary depending on the amount of sun the panels receive.

GES installed the original 11.34kW system in 2015. It produced almost two megawatt hours of power before the additional 7.8kW system was added. A megawatt hour (MWh) is equal to 1,000kW of electricity used continuously for one hour, which is approximately the same amount of electricity used by about 330 homes during one hour.

Grants from the Alcoa Foundation funded both installations. When Alcoa and Arconic split into two companies, the Arconic Foundation completed the grant process.

Ijams Nature Center is a nonprofit, 300+-acre educational 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.

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. Classes focus on topics from birding and wildflowers to yoga hikes, cooking and art. The Ijams grounds and trails are open daily from 8 a.m. until dusk. The Visitor Center is open during the summer from Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, visit or call 865-577-4717.

Scientist to swim Tennessee River

Dr. Andreas Fath, a world-record-holding endurance swimmer and scientist, will kick-off a swim of the entire Tennessee River from the river dock at Ijams Nature Center’s River Landing Thursday, July 27, 2017, at 10 a.m.

This isn’t the first time the professor of Medical and Life Sciences at Furtwangen University in Germany has taken on a river. In 2014 he broke the world record for speed swimming the Rhine River from the Swiss Alps to the North Sea.

Dubbed TenneSwim, Fath’s second “swim for science” will see him swim the entire waterway from late July through August 2017. He will conduct daily analyses along his route to determine how water quality in the Tennessee River compares to the Rhine. Other testing will be done after the swim. Specifically, Fath will be looking at chemicals, pharmaceuticals and microplastics.

Data collected will increase knowledge about the quality and health of the Tennessee River, as well as raise public awareness of water quality in the Tennessee River basin. This project will be the most extensive interdisciplinary water quality survey ever conducted of North America’s most biologically diverse river.

At 652 miles, the Tennessee River is 112 miles shorter than the Rhine, but its significantly slower current will pose an even greater challenge for Fath. If completed as planned, his swim will break another world record.

U.S. partner organizations include the University of the South, the Tennessee Aquarium, The Nature Conservancy, the University of Georgia River Basin Center, Ijams Nature Center, the River Discovery Center of Paducah, Tennessee State Parks, and the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Forensic science topic of lecture

(Knoxville, TN) In a Brown Bag Lecture on Wednesday, July 12, 2017, Arthur Bohanan will discuss his new book, Prints of a Man, detailing his career of 55 years in the criminal justice field. A curious mind and a high school interest in fingerprints took him from Sevier County, Tennessee to the top of his profession as a forensics specialist, inventor, and crime solver with awards and honors too numerous to list.

Bohanan is perhaps best known for his invention of a method to take fingerprints from a dead body and for his work to identify bodies from the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. His pioneering work included the discovery of the chemical composition of children’s fingerprints and their change at puberty from a water base to an oil base, a key factor when working with the AMBER Alert system and missing children. Bohanan will also discuss his latest fascinating research to discover the rate of decay, cemeteries washed out by floods and hurricanes, and to locate and gender the long dead, in which he reports a 99 percent accuracy on blind testing.

The program is sponsored by the Gentry Griffey Funeral Chapel and Crematory and is free and open to the public. The lecture will begin at noon at the East Tennessee History Center, 601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville. Guests are invited to bring a “Brown Bag” lunch and enjoy the lecture. Soft drinks will be available.

For more information on the lecture, exhibitions, or museum hours, call 865-215-8824 or visit the website at

Blues society raffles custom guitar

Knoxville, TN – Smoky Mountain Blues Society, a 501 (c) (3) non profit organization, is giving everyone an equal opportunity to win a custom built signature guitar from Rigney Custom Guitars, an instrument that is not only one of a kind, but one which also bears the signatures of an amazing array of iconic Blues artists — Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy, Delbert McClinton, Derek Trucks, and Susan Tedeschi, among them.

The guitar will be raffled off from July 1-September 30, 2017 with the drawing scheduled to take place on October 15 aboard the Star of Knoxville during the Smoky Mountain Blues Society’s monthly Blues Cruise. Raffle tickets cost $20 each with a maximum of 500 tickets offered for sale.

Proceeds from the raffle will benefit Blues in the Schools, one of the fundamental outreach programs provided by the Smoky Mountain Blues Society. The program, which was initiated in 1995, is offered free to schools and other youth-oriented organizations for the sole purpose of exposing young people to Blues music and to educate them about the importance Blues music plays in the overall umbrella of traditional American music. In 2016, the program reached over 1,400 children in East Tennessee, students ranging in age from Elementary School to High School.

Artists who have signed the Smoky Mountain Signature Guitar to date: Ronnie Baker Brooks, Buddy Guy, Nick Moss, Carlos Johnson, Mike Ledbetter, Susan Tedeschi, Coco Montoya, Corey Dennison, Derek Trucks, Delbert McClinton, Bonnie Raitt, Ori Naftaly, Jellybean Johnson, Pat Travers, Jerry Hunt, Maurice John Vaughn, Mac Arnold, and Tinsley Ellis.

Tickets, complete list of the Raffle rules, and a calendar of events are available at the Smoky Mountain Blues Society website:

Museum of Appalachia hosts event

The Museum of Appalachia will once again celebrate Independence Day with an old fashioned “anvil shoot.” Every 4th of July, the Museum uses gunpowder to launch a 200-pound anvil hundreds of feet into the air. The anvil shoot is the centerpiece of a celebration that includes a bell-ringing ceremony, flag procession, old-fashioned games, music, and demonstrations from blacksmiths, beekeepers, patriotic re-enactors, and woodworkers. The Museum is also hosting a pie-baking contest; registration information and other details can be found at

“When the gunpowder ignites and the anvil soars into the air, the earth will literally shake,” says Museum President, Elaine Meyer. “The sound of the explosion can be heard for several miles.”

Anvil shoots were once a common way for pioneers to commemorate holidays, elections, and other special occasions. While the tradition of anvil-shooting is nearly obsolete, the Museum keeps a piece of history alive for a 21st century audience. Photo courtesy Museum of Appalachia.

July 4th anvil shoots are a nearly 30-year tradition for the Museum, but the event remains as exciting as ever. Garden & Gun magazine named the event the “Editors’ Choice” for “Goings-on in the South” in their June/July issue.

Anvil shoots are scheduled for 10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 2:30 p.m.

The Museum is open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., with special Independence Day activities from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

On this day, only, the Museum is offering a special family rate of $35. The event is free for Museum members. Tickets may be purchased at the Museum on the day of the event. For more information, visit the Museum’s website, or call 865-494-7680.

JIAM is certified LEED

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. The U.S. Green Building Council has certified the Joint Institute for Advanced Materials (JIAM) at Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus as LEED Silver. The certification has been verified by the Green Building Certification Institute. LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a globally recognized symbol of excellence in green building. LEED-certified buildings are resource efficient, using less water and energy than other structures. JIAM was designed by BarberMcMurry architects.

Through JIAM, Cherokee Farm tenants have access to materials science research capabilities available at only a handful of facilities worldwide. Additionally, JIAM is a multidisciplinary facility, marrying its capabilities with those of other research facilities at both the adjacent University of Tennessee main campus and at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

JIAM has earned two awards so far in 2017: the Orchid Award for environmental stewardship from Keep Knoxville Beautiful and the Honor Award from the East Tennessee Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus is an ideal fit for firms that will benefit from close partnerships with UT and ORNL and access to the unparalleled capabilities of the Joint Institute for Advanced Materials. The campus is leasing space and will build to suit.

Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus in Knoxville, Tennessee, is the Southeast’s only research and development park where the resources of a major research university and a leading national laboratory are combined with globally recognized researchers expressly for the benefit of tenants.

The campus is a collaborative effort of the University of Tennessee and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Located on 188 acres on the banks of the Tennessee River, the campus has 77 developable acres and includes 16 building sites that support approximately 1.6 million square feet of development. Parcels are available for immediate development, and research suite leasing is underway.

Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus’ $56 million, 140,000-square- foot Joint Institute for Advanced Materials has achieved LEED Silver status from the U.S. Green Building Council. Photo courtesy Cherokee Farm. For more information, visit

Foundation to honor fathers

The contributions of four Knoxville area men will be celebrated at the 2nd Annual Scholarship Luncheon being held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Father’s Day, June 18, 2017. The event begins at 2:00 PM. The four honorees and four scholarship recipients were selected by the Beta Theta Boulé Foundation of Knoxville.

Each honoree has demonstrated strong “Fathering” skills and have modeled leadership, a commitment to educational achievement, and civic responsibility. According to Foundation President Harold Hicks, our Foundation believes these fathers and mentors strive to teach youth about equality, mutual respect for others, and a devotion to democratic traditions.

Among this years honorees are: Elder Christopher Battle, Pastor Tabernacle Baptist Church; Reginald Jenkins, Executive Director of UUNIK Academy, Inc. and Lecturer; Adriel McCord, Vice-President at First Tennessee Bank and co-chair, Blount County MLK, Jr Celebration Committee; and Willie G. Wilson, Founder and Chief Sensei at the Karate Five Association.

The $2,000 Zaevion Dobson Scholarship will be awarded to K’nori T. Bone, a student at Austin East High School. The other scholarship awardees are Moriah J. Brown, a student at Hardin Valley High School; Nisrine J. Hilizah, a student at West High School; and Chelsey B. Jordan, a student at the Webb School of Knoxville.

The Beta Theta Boulé Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization. The Foundation is affiliated with the Beta Theta Boulé, which is the Knoxville Chapter of the African American professional fraternity, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated. The Knoxville Chapter, was organized twenty-one years ago and has an impressive record of community service. The proceeds from this event will be used to fund scholarships for meritorious high school students in the Knoxville area.

Tickets to the event may be obtained from Nathaniel Foster, telephone number 865 386-4067, or by email at Tickets to the luncheon are available for a donation of $55.

Historic sites celebrate Statehood Day

Knoxville, TN – June 1, 2017 marks the 221st anniversary of Tennessee’s admission as the 16th state in the union. East Tennessee’s most important cultural heritage sites are partnering to celebrate Statehood Day on Saturdays, May 27 and June 3, and Sundays, May 21 and May 28. The sites include places of historical significance in the exciting journey from the creation of our country to the founding of our state. The Historic Homes of Knoxville include: Blount Mansion, Crescent Bend, James White’s Fort, Mabry-Hazen House, Marble Springs, Ramsey House, and Historic Westwood. Each site will have individual ways of celebrating the birth of Tennessee. These are free museum days to the public.

Westwood (Sunday, May 21, 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM)
Built as a “wedding promise” in 1890 by John Edwin Lutz and his wife, Ann Adelia Armstrong Lutz, on property owned by her grandfather, Drury P. Armstrong. The highlight and most significant component of Westwood is the studio which was designed by Ann Adelia Armstrong Lutz, an accomplished artist. Today Historic Westwood is home to Knox Heritage and the East Tennessee Preservation Alliance. The home will be open for free tours. Parking available at Laurel Church of Christ. Address: 3425 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919. Information: 865-523-8008,

Blount Mansion (Saturday, May 27, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM)
Construction on Blount Mansion began in 1792. The restored mansion was open for tours in 1930, making it the oldest museum in Knox County. Commemorate the creation of the state of Tennessee and celebrate the pioneers who settled and transformed the southwest territory into the vibrant state of Tennessee. Hosting free admission. Address: 200 W. Hill Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37902. Information: 865-525-2375,

James White’s Fort (Saturday, May 27, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM)
Built in 1786, James White’s Fort was home to the founder of Knoxville. More than 10,000 visitors tour the Fort each year and experience the frontier lifestyle through hands-on interpretations. Tennesseans for Living History volunteers will be demonstrating the lifestyle of 1796: open hearth and fire pit cooking, weaving, spinning, and other pioneer era tasks. Free admission; donations gratefully accepted. Address: 205 E. Hill Ave, Knoxville, TN 37915. Information: 865-525-6514,

Mabry-Hazen House (Saturday, May 27, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM)
Built in 1858 and housing three generations of the same family from 1858-1987, the Mabry-Hazen House served as headquarters for both Union and Confederate forces during the Civil War. The Civil War, a gunfight on Gay Street in 1882, and a Breach of Promise lawsuit in the early 1930’s are only a few stories that bring life and color to a visit to the museum. Hosting free admission with living historians. Donations are appreciated. Address: 1711 Dandridge Avenue, Knoxville, TN, 37915. Information: 865-522-8661,

Marble Springs (Saturday, May 27, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM and Sunday, May 28, 11:00 – 4:00 PM)
Marble Springs was the home of John Sevier (1745-1815), Tennessee’s first governor and Revolutionary War hero. Marble Springs State Historic Site will commemorate Statehood Day with a living history weekend. Visitors are invited to experience 18th century demonstrations such as wood carving, spinning, and weaving; 18th century style militia drills; weapons demonstrations that will showcase period appropriate firearms; and much more. Details are subject to change. Free admission; donations gratefully accepted. Address: 1220 West Gov. John Sevier Highway, Knoxville, TN 37920. Information: 865-573-5508,

Crescent Bend House & Gardens (Saturday, June 3, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM)
Crescent Bend House & Gardens is one of the Southeast’s finest house museums and gardens. Built in 1834 by Drury Paine Armstrong, Crescent Bend was once a 900-acre working farm and so named for its prominent setting overlooking a majestic crescent bend in the Tennessee River just west of downtown Knoxville. Hosting free admission. Address: 2728 Kingston Pike Knoxville, TN 37919. Information: 865-637-3163,

Ramsey House (Saturday, June 3, 12:00 PM – 3:00PM)
Ramsey House was built in 1797 by Knoxville’s first builder, Thomas Hope for Francis Alexander Ramsey, one of Knoxville’s first settlers. Celebrate Statehood Days with one of the founding Families of Knoxville. Ramsey House will host free tours until 3:00 PM, and visitors are invited to stay and enjoy a lively game of vintage baseball until 4:00 PM. Address: 2614 Thorngrove Pike, Knoxville, TN 37914. Information: 865-546-0745,

In addition to the Historic Homes of Knoxville, Sequoyah Birthplace Museum (Vonore) and Crockett Tavern Museum (Morristown) will also host Statehood Day events on June 3.

Crockett Tavern Museum (Saturday, June 3, 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM)
The Museum was built on the site of the boyhood home of Davy Crockett. It is a reconstruction of the 1790’s John Crockett Tavern. Open with free admission. Address: 2002 Morningside Drive, Morristown, TN 37814. Information: 423-587-9900,

Sequoyah Birthplace Museum (Saturday, June 3, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM)
The mission of the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum, a property of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, is to promote the understanding and appreciation of the history and culture of the Cherokee Indians in Eastern Tennessee, particularly the life and contributions of Sequoyah. The Museum will collect, preserve, interpret, and exhibit objects and data that support this mission. Free admission. Demonstrators will include corn husk dolls and other activities with living historians. Address: 576 HWY 360, Vonore, TN 37885. Information: 423-884-6246,

About the Historic Homes of Knoxville
The Historic House Museums of Knoxville is a partnership that shares resources from each historic site in presenting the history, culture, and heritage of Knoxville and East Tennessee:

Family Fun Day at McClung Museum

KNOXVILLE—The McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will host a free family fun day on Saturday, May 6, 2017, from 1 to 4 p.m.

The “Day of Clay” on May 6 will highlight the museum’s collection of ceramics by featuring clay objects from different cultures and time periods. Visitors will have the opportunity to work with clay and bring home their own work of art.

All materials will be provided and reservations are not necessary.

The McClung Museum is at 1327 Circle Park Drive. Museum admission is free, and the museum’s hours are 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 1–5 p.m. Sundays. Free two-hour museum parking passes are available from the parking kiosk at the entrance to Circle Park Drive during the week. Free parking is available on the weekends. Free public transportation to the museum is available via the Knoxville Trolley Vol Line.

Sheep Shearing Day at Museum

NORRIS, Tenn. –This Friday, from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., the Museum will host its second and final Sheep Shearing Day of the year. Students and families are invited to join the Museum as they welcome the warmth of spring by trimming the winter’s heavy growth of wool from their flock of sheep.

Last Friday, more than 1,000 students, parents, and teachers visited the Museum to celebrate a pioneer tradition.

Museum President, Elaine Meyer, said that this is the first year that the Museum is hosting two Sheep Shearing Days. Meyer said, “adding a second Sheep Shearing Day affords us the opportunity to share Appalachian history and culture with an even greater number of young people than ever before.”

The event will feature demonstrations of shearing, carding, spinning, weaving, and other ways that pioneers turned fleece into woven goods. Guests will also enjoy sheep herding, Appalachian music, an animal meet & greet, storytelling, and several historic demonstrations, including soap carving, beekeeping, sawmilling, blacksmithing, pioneer gardening, and dulcimer lessons.

Admission includes a tour of the Museum mountain farm and village, which contains some three-dozen historic log structures, exhibit halls filled with thousands of Appalachian artifacts, gardens, and free-range farm animals. For rates, go here:

School groups, homeschools, families, and individuals are all welcome to attend. Special student and group rates are available, and the event is free for Museum members. Groups of 20 or more, please call 865-494-7680 to make a reservation.

The Museum is located 16 miles north of Knoxville, one mile east of I-75, at Exit 122.


Boyd family donates to Knoxville Zoo

The family of Randy and Jenny Boyd have made a $5 million pledge to Zoo Knoxville, the largest private gift in the zoo’s history. To honor their generosity, the zoo has named the new 4 acre group of habitats for tigers, birds and primates the Boyd Family Asian Trek.

“Jenny and our family have always loved the zoo, so it’s personal,” said Randy Boyd. “The economic impact on the region is more than $34 million annually, but what children learn when visiting the zoo about care and love for animals is priceless.”

The pledge makes it possible for the zoo to fulfill plans to construct new habitats and experiences for both animals and guests. In April, Zoo Knoxville will unveil Tiger Forest, the first completed project of a 10-year master plan to transform the zoo. The new Malayan tiger habitat and breeding facility is part of the Boyd Family Asian Trek, which will expand to include new primate habitats for langurs and gibbons and a new café in 2018. The master plan also includes construction of a new reptile facility and otter habitat scheduled to open in 2020.

“The legacy of the Boyd family’s commitment to our zoo started many years ago. It was Randy’s vision while serving as the chair of our facilities committee that challenged us to think beyond anything we had ever done,” said Lisa New, President and CEO of Zoo Knoxville. “Their gift will transform the experience we give our guests, the care we provide our animals and the impact we will have in saving animals from extinction.”

“This takes our zoo to the next level,” said Eddie Mannis, Chair of the Zoo Knoxville Board of Directors. “It is our goal to be the ‘must see attraction’ in Knoxville and the ‘most talked about’ destination in the region. The Boyds’ generosity is the catalyst for these aspirations. We intend to welcome 800,000 visitors annually by 2025, and a majority of those will be tourists contributing to our local economy. The Boyd commitment benefits not just Zoo Knoxville but our entire community.”
Zoo Knoxville is a nonprofit entity situated on 53 wooded acres just east of downtown Knoxville. For more information visit

Volunteers needed for river clean-up

If getting a little dirty to make Knoxville a cleaner place excites you, you’ll want to volunteer for Ijams River Rescue Saturday, April 1, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Presented by Keurig Green Mountain and TVA, the 28th annual Ijams cleanup event focuses on 30-40 locations along the Tennessee River and its associated creek tributaries from the river’s headwaters in Knoxville to the shores of Loudon County.

“Between 800-1,000 people pick up 10-14 tons of trash and debris as well as numerous old tires during this event each year,” Ijams Executive Director Amber Parker said. “We welcome individuals as well as groups of all sizes from local businesses, nonprofit organizations and scout troops. It’s a fun way to get involved and help ensure healthier, cleaner water for the residents and wildlife of East Tennessee.”

Volunteers can register online at through March 31. All supplies will be provided, including gloves and bags that have been donated by TVA and American Rivers’ National River Cleanup program.

Participants will receive a commemorative t-shirt designed by Ijams senior naturalist, artist and author Stephen Lyn Bales. This year’s shirt features a frog, one of the earth’s most environmentally sensitive creatures.

“Frogs live in two environments: land and water,” Bales said. “They have very thin skin, which easily absorbs toxic chemicals and other pollutants, so frogs are a good indicator of environmental stress. We can tell how healthy an environment is by how many amphibians live there.”

The 28th annual Ijams River Rescue presented by Keurig Green Mountain and TVA is sponsored by the City of Knoxville, First Tennessee Foundation, Grayson Subaru, Dow Chemical Company, Mesa Associates Inc., Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union, River Sports Outfitters, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Wood Realtors, Knox Area Climbers, AmeriCorps, and the Water Quality Forum.

Ijams Nature Center is a nonprofit, 300-acre educational and outdoor adventure park 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. 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 daily 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.

Poets read for library series

KNOXVILLE, TN – On Monday, March 27, 2017 poets Maria James-Thiaw and Bobby C. Rogers will present readings at the University of Tennessee. The event is part of UT’s Writers in the Library reading series. The mission of Writers in the Library is to showcase the work of novelists, poets, and other literary craftsmen. Some of the best voices on the literary scene today are invited to read.

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.

Maria James-Thiaw began bringing poems to life on stages during the spoken word revolution of the mid-nineties. Her works have been published in several journals including Cutthroat Journal of the Arts, Black Magnolias, Love Your Rebellion, the Spirit Speaks anthology, and others. She serves on the board of Philadelphia Stories and the Writer’s Wordshop. She is the author of three poetry collections including “Talking ‘White,’” which deals with issues of class and culture while celebrating our literary history. She is a professor of writing in the Department of English and Communication at Central Penn College in Pennsylvania.

Bobby C. Rogers is Professor of English and Writer-in-Residence at Union University. His first book, “Paper Anniversary,” won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize. In 2015, he was named a Witter Bynner Fellow at the Library of Congress by Poet Laureate Charles Wright. His new book, “Social History,” has just been released by LSU Press in their Southern Messenger Poets series.

Writers in the Library 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, or visit for a complete schedule of Writers in the Library readings for the 2016-2017 academic year.

DNA testing lecture at ETHC

(Knoxville, TN) In a free workshop on March 25, 2017, from 1-3pm, noted genealogist Dr. George K. Schweitzer will explain how DNA testing works and how you can use it in family research. A frequent lecturer and the author of 22 books on genealogy, Dr. George K. Schweitzer is a professor of chemistry at the University of Tennessee and member of the ETHS Board of Directors.

Every cell in your body has a set of chemical strings called DNA. They contain DNA inherited from many of the ancestors in your family tree. Modern technology permits us to find the portions given to you by your forebears. By correlating this information with your genealogical research, you can trace back to most, if not all, of your ancestors through the past five generations. Comparison of your results with those of others can help you discover unknown cousins who may have valuable genealogical information which lets you expand and enrich your family tree. The test will also estimate your ethnic origins.

The workshop is part of the East Tennessee History Center’s free genealogy courses presented by the East Tennessee Historical Society, Knox County Public Library, McClung Historical Collection, and Knox County Archives. The workshops are free and open to the public. The lecture will begin at 1:00 p.m. in the auditorium at the East Tennessee History Center, 601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville.

For more information on the lecture, exhibitions, or museum hours, call 865-215-8824 or visit the website at

ETPA seeks property nominations

Knoxville – The East Tennessee Preservation Alliance (ETPA) is now accepting nominations for the 2017 East Tennessee Endangered 8, a listing of the eight most threatened historic sites in our region. The objective of the list is to inform our communities about the real threat of losing these important sites to development, demolition or lack of maintenance as well as the value of what will be lost if action isn’t taken soon to avoid their destruction. Nominations are due by March 30, 2017 and are accepted for sites at least 50 years old and located in Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Hamblen, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, Monroe, Morgan, Roane, Scott, Sevier and Union counties. The 2017 East Tennessee Endangered 8 will be announced on May 1, 2017 to kick-off National Preservation Month. The nomination form and more information is available online at

ETPA has presented a list of endangered heritage sites in our region since 2010. The organization seeks to develop preservation strategies for each property included on the list. Endangered properties can be saved by working with property owners, developers, government officials, citizens and local historic organizations to find preservation solutions that work. Past endangered heritage lists can be found online at

About the East Tennessee Preservation Alliance

The East Tennessee Preservation Alliance works to preserve the structures and places with historic or cultural significance in Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Hamblen, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, Monroe, Morgan, Roane, Scott, Sevier, and Union counties.

ETPA partners with Knox Heritage to serve as the regional arm for preservation activities in the 16 counties mentioned above. The ETPA board of directors is comprised of local leadership from each of the 16 counties. ETPA advocates on issues of major importance to historic preservation, collaborates with other organizations with similar interests and goals, works to educate the public on the many benefits of historic preservation and actively seeks strategies for addressing challenging historic preservation issues in the region.

New works at the Emporium Gallery

The Arts & Culture Alliance is pleased to present five new exhibitions at the Emporium Center in downtown Knoxville from April 7-28, 2017. A public reception will take place on Friday, April 7, from 5:00-9:00 PM to which the public is invited to meet the artists and view the artwork. Most of the works are for sale and may be purchased through the close of the exhibition. The First Friday reception also features jazz music by Vance Thompson & Friends from 7:00-9:00 PM in the Black Box. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres will be available.

Little River Artists in the lower gallery
Little River Art & Frame recently launched an international website selling fine art giclees from originals created by their artists. In addition, Little River owns several collections of 18th and 19th Century bird, botanical and equine prints.

Sharon Gillenwater and Michael McKee: Acrylics and Oils in the Balcony gallery
Raised in a small coal mining community in southern West Virginia, Sharon Gillenwater teaches locally and in her home studio as well as nationally at workshops, seminars and conventions.

In the field of art, Michael McKee (work shown above) is largely self-taught and has cultivated his talents through practice and observation. His subjects of choice are animals and landscapes, and his medium of choice is acrylic. McKee is a native Tennessean and has been a member of the Tennessee Artists Association since 1992. Image submitted.

Connections by Renee Suich in the display case
Renee Suich creates mixed media art including collages inspired by nature, history and the energy. Suich now resides in East Tennessee and enjoys experimenting with new media including encaustic work.

The Enlightened and Lost by Kat Lewis on the North Wall
Kat Lewis is an East Tennessee native who grew up in Andersonville. She studied art at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville as well as Pellissippi State Community College. Her works illustrate dreams, visions and stories of spiritual awakening and enlightenment.

Barbara West Portrait Group in the Atrium
The original art group was formed in 2001 by a wonderful person named Barbara West. When she died, the group decided to continue meeting in her name. Members have come from various parts of the US and other countries, as well as from Tennessee. The exhibition includes work by Sandra Abraham, Sandy Armel, Carrie Ellen Barnes, Debbie Barnes, Beverly Burdette, Shannon Duggan, Nancy Erickson, Barbara Gray, Tony Kampwerth, Steve Romer, Bob Weir, Owen Weston, and others.

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. Please note, the Emporium will be closed on Friday, April 14, for the holiday. For more information, please contact the Arts & Culture Alliance at (865) 523-7543, or visit the Web site at

South College announces expansion

Knoxville’s South College has announced that the college has received regulatory approval to expand to Nashville and has begun accepting students at the new learning site. The first quarter of classes begins April 10, 2017.

Approval for the Nashville campus as a learning site for South College has been approved by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. South College is an active participate of the Tennessee Promise and HOPE Scholarship programs.

“Nashville is a rapidly growing community with new opportunities for career advancement,” South College President Steve South said. “Nashville’s business boom is creating an even greater need for higher education opportunities. The city was a logical step forward to expand our high-quality educational programs to even more students in the state and help meet the need for a skilled workforce for new and growing businesses in Nashville.”

The Nashville learning site is conveniently located off Interstate 40 at 616 Marriott Drive. The building is approximately 48,000 square feet with modern classroom, laboratory and social spaces.

Nick South serves as Executive Director of the learning site. Previously, he served as Executive Director of South College’s Asheville learning site in North Carolina.

“I am excited to welcome Nashville students to our campus,” Nick South said. “South College’s small class size and personalized attention is designed for student success in the classroom and in the workforce. Our Nashville learning site will offer the latest in technology and an encouraging, welcoming environment for motivated students to achieve their professional goals.”

The Nashville learning site is now enrolling for the spring quarter, which begins April 10, 2017. All South College Nashville associate degree programs will be eligible for the Tennessee Promise program. The learning site will offer the following degree programs:

Business Administration – associate and bachelor’s degrees

Criminal Justice – associate and bachelor’s degrees

Sonography (Ultrasound)– associate and bachelor’s degrees

Radiography – associate and bachelor’s degrees

Accounting – associate degree

Health science (Pre-Pharm and Pre-Nursing) – associate degrees

Investigation and security – associate degree and certificate

Network administration and security – associate degree

To find out more information about South College Nashville and enrollment in its programs, visit South College is also seeking professionals interested in Admissions and Financial Aid positions, call 629-802-3000.

McClung Museum hosts ‘Mr. Mummy’

KNOXVILLE—The McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will host Dr. Bob Brier, one of the world’s foremost experts on mummies and Egyptology, to lecture on ancient Egyptian mummification processes on February 21, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.

The lecture, which is organized by The East Tennessee Society of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) and the McClung Museum, reveals why the ancient Egyptian mummified and then goes on to describe a modern mummification.

Dr. Bob Brier, known as ‘Mr. Mummy,’ worked with Ronald Wade in 1994 to become the first people in 2,000 years to mummify a human cadaver in the ancient Egyptian style, using ancient tools and materials. The goal of the project was to learn more about the tools and surgical procedures used by ancient embalmers.

Brier and Wade went to Egypt to obtain natron, the dehydrating agent used by the ancient embalmers and also obtained frankincense and myrrh, just as the Egyptians did. Working at the University of Maryland Medical School, the two researchers used replicas of ancient tools to remove the brain through the nose and the internal organs through a three-inch abdominal incision. The project was the subject of a National Geographic television documentary

The lecture is part of exhibition-related programming for Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt, which runs at McClung Museum through May 7, 2017. The exhibition, which is organized by the Brooklyn Museum, explores the role of cats, lions, and other feline creatures in Egyptian mythology, kingship, and everyday life through nearly eighty different representations of cats from the Brooklyn Museum’s world-famous Egyptian collection.

The McClung Museum is located at 1327 Circle Park Drive. Museum admission is free, and the museum’s hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Free two-hour museum parking passes are available from the parking kiosk at the entrance to Circle Park Drive during the week. Free parking is available on the weekends. Free public transportation to the museum is available via the Knoxville Trolley Vol Line.

Auditions for TSC Shakespeare

The Tennessee Stage Company will hold auditions for the 2017 Shakespeare On The Square season on Saturday, March 4, from 1:00 – 3:00 pm and Sunday. March 5, from 1:00 – 4:00 pm at the Emporium Building, 100 S. Gay Street.

Auditionees for Shakespeare on the Square are requested to prepare two contrasting monologues, at least one classical, of no more than one minute each. Please bring two copies of a resume and standard theatrical headshot. All auditions are by appointment only. Photo by

For appointments please contact the Tennessee Stage Company by calling 546-4280 or by e-mail at

The two shows to be performed this summer are The Two Gentlemen Of Verona and The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (Abridged). They will run from July 13 – August 13, 2017. Rehearsals will begin the end of May.

For more information contact Tennessee Stage Company at 546-4280 or visit

Scholarships available for tourism college

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development and Official Tennessee Vacation Guide publisher Miles, are offering two full scholarships to Tennessee tourism marketing professionals for the Southeast Tourism Society Marketing College May 14-19, 2017 on the campus of the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, Georgia.

For Tennessee tourism professionals interested in pursuing educational opportunities, scholarship applications are now available. The deadline for application submission is March 10, 2017.

The STS Marketing scholarships will cover tuition, accommodations and most meals for the 2017 session. The scholarships will be granted based on criteria established by the Tennessee Hospitality and Tourism Association in cooperation with Miles and TDTD, that encompasses professional aptitude and future career goals in the tourism industry. Miles has sponsored Southeast Marketing College scholarships for Tennessee professionals for nine years.

The STS Marketing College is a three-year educational program for members of the tourism industry in the Southeast United States. During this week, students experience a broad-based curriculum of courses designed to teach marketing techniques from all facets of the tourism industry. Marketing College professors are working, experienced professionals from across the U.S. who bring expertise and experience to the classroom. Those who attend three years of Marketing College receive a Travel Marketing Professional certification that is presented at a special graduation ceremony at the STS spring meeting.

For an STS application, please contact or

For more information on STS Marketing College visit

CBT presents The Busy Body

KNOXVILLE, TN – A fast-paced farce packed with memorable characters, “The Busy Body” runs in the Clarence Brown Theatre’s Carousel Theatre February 22 – March 12, 2017. In this comedy, a young woman, her handsome lover, and their friends plot to escape a controlling guardian. Will a nosey nobleman ruin the plan or save the day?

Charlotte Munson as Miranda in the CBT’s “The Busy Body.”  The play was written by Susanna Centlivre in 1709, with adaptations by UT Faculty Misty Anderson and John Sipes. Photo Liz Aaron.

A Pay What You Wish Preview performance, where patrons can name their own price, will be held Wednesday, February 22 from Noon to 7 pm at the theatre. A Talk Back with the actors will take place Sunday, March 5 following the matinee. A panel discussion in association with the Commission for Women will take place on March 9 at 3:30 pm in the Carousel Theatre. The Open Captioned performance is Sunday, March 12 at 2:00 pm.

According to Restoration scholar Anderson, Centlivre’s comedy was the most popular play written by a woman in the eighteenth century and among the 10 most popular plays of the entire period. Audiences in Charleston, Williamsburg, Baltimore, New York, and other colonial theatre towns in the early days of America flocked to it. It even played in Havana and Kingston, Jamaica! The play’s pace calls for the kind of physical comedy one might have seen on “The Carol Burnett Show.”

“The Busy Body” gives us a window into the world of marriage at a time when women’s roles were just beginning to change, and playwrights like Centlivre were beginning to see women as equals to men. Manners and codes of conduct required curtsies, bows, and polite forms of address, but marriage contracts were also big business.
The two heroines struggle against arrangements that would turn them into mere goods traded between men using secret identities, tricks, messages in code, and helpful waiting maids. The results are hilarious and surprisingly modern; the young women are frank, spunky, and unstoppable, and their lovers seem to love them all the more for it.

Free and convenient parking is available in the McClung Tower Garage on Volunteer Boulevard.

Ancient Egyptian cats at McClung

KNOXVILLE—The McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, opens the new exhibition “Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt” on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017.

From domesticated cats to mythic symbols of divinities, felines played an important role in ancient Egyptian imagery for thousands of years. Now, 80 items from the Egyptian holdings of the Brooklyn Museum will be on view in “Divine Felines” at the museum through May 7, 2017. Stela with the Gods Bes and Tutu, 332-30 B.C.E.. Limestone, Brooklyn Museum. Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund. Image courtesy McClung Museum.

Likely first domesticated in ancient Egypt, cats were revered for their fertility and valued for their ability to protect homes and granaries from vermin. But felines were also associated with royalty and deities. Combining a lion’s body and a king’s head, sphinxes guarded temple entrances and provided protection as temple objects. The ferocious goddess Sakhmet, depicted as a lioness or lion-headed woman, and the goddess Bastet, represented as a cat or a cat-headed woman, together symbolized the duality of feline nature — caring yet dangerous. The male leonine gods Bes and Tutu were popularly worshiped as protectors of fertility, health and fortune.

Exhibition programming, all free and open to the public, also will include:

A lecture on mummification in ancient Egypt by scholar Bob Brier, co-sponsored by the East Tennessee Society of the Archaeological Institute of America, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21.

Two free family fun days—”Purrs from the Past,” 1–4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, and “To Kitties’ Health,” 1­–4 p.m. Saturday, March 25.

A stroller tour for caregivers and infants through four-year-olds, “Kitties and Toddlers,” at 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 27.

A lecture on cat behavior by Julie Albright from UT’s School of Veterinary Medicine at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 19.
“Divine Felines” is organized by the Brooklyn Museum and Yekaterina Barbash, associate curator of Egyptian Art at the Brooklyn Museum.

The exhibition is presented by the Elaine A. Evans Museum Fund, Aletha and Clayton Brodine Museum Fund, the First Tennessee Foundation, UT Ready for the World, Audrey Duncan, Wahid and Samia Hanna, the Archaeological Institute of America, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine and the Arab American Club of Knoxville. Additional support is provided by Knox County, the City of Knoxville, and the Arts and Heritage Fund.

The McClung Museum is at 1327 Circle Park Drive. Museum admission is free, and the museum’s hours are 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 1–5 p.m. Sundays. Groups may schedule tours by calling 865-974-2144 or emailing Free two-hour museum parking passes are available from the parking information building at the entrance to Circle Park Drive on weekdays by request. Free parking is available on Circle Park Drive on a first-come, first-served basis on weekends. Free public transportation to the museum is also available via the Knoxville Trolley Vol Line.

Poet reads in Library Series

Poet LeAnne Howe will read on Monday, February 6, 2017, on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, campus as part of the Writers in the Library reading series. The mission of Writers in the Library is to “showcase the work of novelists, poets, and other literary craftsmen.” Some of the best voices on the literary scene today are invited to read.

The reading at 7 p.m. in the Lindsay Young Auditorium of the John C. Hodges Library is free and open to the public; all are encouraged to attend.

LeAnne Howe, the Eidson Distinguished Professor at the University of Georgia, connects literature, Indigenous knowledge, Native histories, and expressive cultures in her work. Her interests include Native and indigenous literatures, performance studies, film, and Indigeneity. Professor Howe (Choctaw) is the recipient of a United States Artists (USA) Ford Fellowship, Lifetime Achievement Award by the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas, American Book Award, and an Oklahoma Book Award, and she was a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar to Jordan.  In October 2015, Howe received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Western Literature Association, (WLA); and in 2014 she received the Modern Languages Association inaugural Prize for Studies in Native American Literatures, Cultures, and Languages for Choctalking on Other Realities.

Her books include Shell Shaker (2001), Evidence of Red (2005), Miko Kings: An Indian Baseball Story (2007), as well as Choctalking on Other Realities (2013). She co-edited a book of essays on Native films with Harvey Markowitz and Denise K. Cummings titled Seeing Red, Pixeled Skins: American Indians and Film (2013). Howe’s most recent essay appears in a special issue of Studies in American Indian Literature (SAIL), Vol. 26, Number 2, Summer 2014, an exploration by scholars on her literary concept of Tribalography. Currently, she’s at work on a new play and a book of poems, Savage Conversations, about Mary Todd Lincoln and a Savage Indian she said tortured her each night in an insane asylum in Batavia, Illinois, in the summer of 1875.

Writers in the Library 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



Stargazing event at Marble Springs

Marble Springs will host a Winter Stargazing Session on Saturday, January 28, 2017. This session will be led by Gary Noland, adjunct instructor of Astronomy at the University of Tennessee. Guests will meet at the cottage where they will begin with a discussion about navigating from constellations.

The stargazing will begin at about 7 pm and go until 9 pm where guests will search for night sky landmarks such as winter constellations as well as identifying planets that are visible during the winter months. Participation in our nighttime viewing sessions is a $1 donation per person. Details are subject to change.

All nighttime viewing sessions will take place at Marble Springs State Historic Site at 1220 W. Gov. John Sevier Highway, Knoxville, TN 37920. For more information email or call (865)573-5508.

Programming assistance for this event is provided by Knox County. Marble Springs is funded under an agreement with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Tennessee Historical Commission, and supplemented by additional funds raised by the Governor John Sevier Memorial Association.

Marble Springs State Historic Site is the last remaining home of John Sevier. Born in Virginia in 1745, John Sevier made a name for himself as a Revolutionary War Hero during the Battle of Kings Mountain (1780), a key player & Governor of the short-lived State of Franklin (1784-1788), and ultimately was elected to serve as the first Governor of the State of Tennessee (1796).

Marble Springs was the approximate 350-acre farm that Sevier lived on from 1801-1815, the last years of his life. Sevier named his farm Marble Springs because of the Tennessee Rose Marble that was quarried on site and the natural springs that flowed on the property.

While visiting Marble Springs, visitors will have the opportunity to tour several historic structures that are designed to represent various aspects of John Sevier’s life and times. These structures include: the Tavern, Loom House, Smoke House, Spring House, and the John Sevier Cabin and detached kitchen.

Knoxville Winter Farmers’ Market begins

KNOXVILLE – Nourish Knoxville will open the Winter Farmers’ Market for its fourth season on January 14, 2017. Patrons can shop from a host of farms selling locally grown produce, meat, eggs, honey, herbs, plants, and more, along with artisan food and craft producers with baked goods, prepared foods, and handcrafted items. Food trucks will be stationed in the parking lot to provide brunch and locally roasted coffee.

As part of opening day, Nourish Knoxville will kick off the Power of Produce (PoP) Club. A nationwide program that actively engages children in healthy eating, PoP Clubs give children the opportunity to become an active part of their local food economy by empowering them to make their own food choices with their PoP Bucks. All children participating in the activity of the day receive PoP Bucks to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables or food producing plants. Any children visiting the WFM are invited to participate in the day’s activity, or join the PoP Club to participate season long, track their progress with their own PoP Passport, and receive prizes for completing multiple activities. With a curriculum created by the Knox County Health Department, PoP Club promises to be a fun and educational child-centered piece of the Winter Farmers’ Market. The PoP Club at the Winter Farmers’ Market is sponsored by OliBea, a restaurant with a commitment to purchasing local ingredients from farms in the East Tennessee region.

The Winter Farmers’ Market will also provide the Fre$h Savings program, a SNAP matching program that allows SNAP recipients to buy more fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets. For every $20 of SNAP/EBT spent, SNAP customers will receive an additional $20 to use at market on fresh produce. Fre$h Savings is made possible by the AARP Foundation and Wholesome Wave Foundation, and is available at farmers’ markets across Tennessee.

The Winter Farmers’ Market happens every other Saturday, January through April. Along with invaluable programs like PoP Club and Fre$h Savings, the WFM will offer special events throughout the season, such as monthly cooking classes with nutrition cooking master Katie Dodson. These classes will cover topics like meal planning, quick dinners from healthy ingredients, and tweaking healthy diets to maximize pleasurable eating. For more information about these and other events, visit our website at

Nourish Knoxville is a 501(c)(3) non-profit working to cultivate and support relationships between farmers, artisanal producers, and the community through outreach, education, and advocacy, and to build healthy communities through connections to local food. NK operates the Market Square Farmers’ Market, Market Square Holiday Market, and Winter Farmers’ Market in Knoxville, Tennessee, and publishes the annual East Tennessee Local Food Guide, a free publication connecting the East Tennessee community to local food.

Zoo Knoxville breaks attendance record

Zoo Knoxville had a record attendance in 2016, surpassing the 2015 record of 440,115 by more than 30,000 visitors. The 2015 record was officially broken on Nov. 11, 2016 during the zoo’s popular Dollar Days event.

“It’s been a very successful year, so we thought it only fitting to finish in the spirit of the fun and sometimes unexpected experiences we’ve offered our guests in 2016 to celebrate,” said Lisa New, President and CEO of Zoo Knoxville. The Zoo offered the last visitors of 2016 the chance to win a behind-the- scenes tour of an animal area or an annual pass.

Zoo Knoxville is a nonprofit entity situated on 53 wooded acres just east of downtown Knoxville. Zoo Knoxville features exhibits of wild animals in natural habitats and is world renowned for its efforts in conservation and species survival. Zoo Knoxville is nationally accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is committed to the highest standards in animal care and well-being, ethics, conservation, and education.

Knoxville’s largest attraction, the zoo is open every day except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Currently, the zoo is open from 10:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. daily. Admission and ticket sales stop one-hour before the zoo closes. For more information visit

IJAMS opens new adaptive dock

Great news for sports lovers who have physical challenges! This month Ijams, the City of Knoxville, and Catalyst Sports celebrated the opening of a new adaptive dock at the Ijams River Landing on the Tennessee River.


In addition to expanding paddling opportunities, the dock is the first step in Ijams offering adaptive recreation for individuals with physical challenges. Ijams plans to partner with Catalyst Sports to offer adaptive paddling programs in 2017. The nature center also recently purchased two adaptive kayaks.

The dock is free and open to the public. Motorized watercraft are not permitted. Future plans for the River Landing include new space for environmental education programs, as well as paddling rentals for those who do not have their own boards or boats.

In addition, Mead’s Quarry at Ijams has a creative new place visitors to lock up a bike or take a seat. The new bike racks and benches, created by artist Derek White of Bird on the Wire Studios, pay homage to the industrial history of the Ijams Quarries. White, along with the help of Ijams staff members, Ben Nanny and Jack Gress, and community members Kelly Brown, Gregory Tune, Claude Hardy, Duke Brown, and Noel Kuck, installed the one-of-a-kind gear-and-cog design near Mead’s Quarry Lake on Dec. 19, 2016.


Lecture offered on TN marble

(Knoxville, TN) “From the Archives: Finding East Tennessee’s Marble Story” is the subject of a lecture to be presented by Dr. Susan W. Knowles, Wednesday, December 7, 2016 at the East Tennessee History Center.

Her interest piqued by Tennessee marble she saw in the United States Capitol, Knowles set out to learn more about marble from the East Tennessee region and its use in buildings and monuments across the nation. The resulting research, images, and interviews became the subject of her doctoral dissertation and now form the basis of a feature exhibition Rock of Ages: East Tennessee’s Marble Industry, of which Knowles is the guest curator.


East Tennessee marble is prized the world over. The exhibition explores the industry and offers a first-time look into the factors that launched the rock’s fame and crowned Knoxville as the Marble City. The beautiful exhibit features an array of artifacts, videos, and photographs showcasing the importance and diversity of East Tennessee’s marble industry. Lecture attendees are invited to tour the exhibition following the lecture

Susan W. Knowles is a graduate of the Public History program at MTSU, with an M.A. in Art History from Vanderbilt University, and a Master of Library Science degree from George Peabody College. She currently serves as the Digital Humanities Research Fellow for the Center for Historic Preservation at Middle Tennessee State University. Knowles served project curator for “Trials and Triumphs: Tennesseans’ Search for Citizenship, Community, and Opportunity,” a website and digital collection on the “Jim Crow” era in Tennessee. She is currently overseeing the graduate research assistants at MTSU and coordinating building the “Southern Places” online research collections, which document more than thirty years of field work at the Center for Historic Preservation.

The program is sponsored by Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC and is and free and open to the public. The lecture will begin at noon at the East Tennessee History Center, 601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville. Guests are invited to bring a “Brown Bag” lunch and enjoy the lecture. Soft drinks will be available. For more information on the lecture, exhibitions, or museum hours, call 865-215-8824 or visit the website at

History Museum hosts holiday event

The East Tennessee Historical Society will host a Holiday Open House on Saturday, December 10, 2016, with entertainment by the Smokyland Sound Chorus of the Greater Knoxville Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society. Activities include craft demonstrations and the sale of handmade items, free ornament and craft making for the kids, and holiday refreshments. Local crafter Karen Micheletta will have a selection of her handmade items made from antique quilts to purchase.

ETHS staff will lead a special activity called “A Christmas Story: Traditions Old and New from Me to You,” where audience members, young and old, will contribute to a composition of Christmas memories from yesterday and today to create a unique Christmas story or poem.

Visitors are invited to browse the ETHS Museum Store for a 10% discount on a great selection of traditional gifts, history books, and children’s items. The 10 percent public discount is good for this day only. ETHS members receive a 10 percent discount throughout the year and 15% off throughout the month of December.

Holiday Open House events are free and open to the public from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. The Museum of East Tennessee is located at the East Tennessee History Center, 601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville.

For more information, visit or call 865-215- 8824.

Knoxville writers host potluck supper

Members of the Knoxville Writers’ Guild will share their works and hold a mix and mingle potluck for December’s monthly program. Both current members and the public are encouraged to attend and to bring a covered dish or holiday snack.

The event will begin at 7 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016 at Central United Methodist Church’s Fellowship Hall, 201 E. Third Ave. Attendees should enter off of the large parking lot behind the church. A $2 donation is welcome at the door with free and accessible parking available.

We will also have sales tables provided for KWG members to sell their work.

For those interested in reading, there are a few simple guidelines:

1) You must be a current member of the Knoxville Writers’ Guild. You can join or renew your membership before the readings begin. There will be a sign-up sheet at the door for those taking part to establish speaker order.

2) What you read should be your own work or that of another group member. If it will be the work of another KWG member, you are required to have permission to read his/her work.

3) Your reading time will be three minutes maximum. It’s not necessary that your reading last the full amount of time allotted. For instance, if you have a one-minute poem and don’t have anything else you’d like to read, that would be fine.

4) What you read should be suitable for a general audience. In other words, please show courtesy to those attending. Think of approaching your reading as something to be shared and appreciated by one-and-all.

The Knoxville Writers Guild membership is $30 and $15 for students. Visit

Call for artists for MLK tribute

The Arts & Culture Alliance of Greater Knoxville and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Commission announce a call for entries for the third annual Gallery of Arts Tribute, developed to recognize local artists and honor the life and times of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Approximately 40-50 fine art works of all media will be selected for display in the Atrium, North Wall, and display case galleries of the beautifully-restored Emporium Center at 100 S. Gay Street, Knoxville’s downtown arts anchor location, from January 6-27, 2017.

The Emporium is free and open to the public Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM and additional hours for special events.

Artwork should be delivered on Tuesday, January 3, between 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM.

The exhibition seeks to feature:
Works by African and African American artists living within 50 miles of Knoxville; and/or
Works that pertain to the themes of Unity, Community, Love, Reconciliation, Social Justice, and Civil Rights by any artist living within 50 miles of Knoxville.

Entries must be original and completed within the last five years in the following categories: 2-D (painting, drawing, mixed media, printmaking, photography) and 3-D (sculpture of all media). The maximum allowed size is 60” x 60” in any direction including frame or stand. Weight is not to exceed 50 lbs. unless special arrangements are made. Artwork must be suitably framed/mounted and wired for installation.

There is no entry fee. Each artist may bring up to three pieces for consideration. Submitted works will be juried by staff members of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Commission and the Arts & Culture Alliance.


The Gallery of Arts Tribute in 2015 featured the work of 26 local artists. Pictured works from the 2015 Tribute, by: Hawa Ware-Johnson, Albert Baah, and Tina Curry. Photo submitted.

The mission of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Commission is to reaffirm and reflect upon the American ideals of freedom, justice and peace. To that end, we pledge to work inclusively with community partners to: lift and live principles of non-violence, equality and love; tell the stories of the struggles; and provide education and leadership training for adults and youth.

Artists may view the information, complete the entry form, and/or download an application at


UT series features best-selling author

Author Bret Anthony Johnston will read from his work on Monday, November 7, 2016 at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, as part of the Writers in the Library series. The reading will be in the Hodges Library auditorium at 7 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

Bret Anthony Johnston is the author of the internationally best-selling novel Remember Me Like This, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and the winner of the 2015 McLaughlin-Esstman-Stearns Prize. Johnston is also the author of the award-winning Corpus Christi: Stories, which was named a Best Book of the Year by the Independent (London) and the Irish Times. His work appears in The Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, The Paris Review, Glimmer Train Stories, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Best American Short Stories, and elsewhere.

His nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times, New York Times Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Tin House, The Best American Sports Writing, and on NPR’s All Things Considered.

A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Johnston is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, and a Glasgow Prize for Emerging Writers, among other awards. Johnston teaches in the Bennington Writing Seminars and at Harvard University, where he is the director of creative writing.

In addition to the public reading, there will be a Q&A for students at 3:30 p.m. in 1210 McClung Tower, also on November 7.

Writers in the Library 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

Visit for a complete schedule of Writers in the Library readings for the 2016-2017 academic year.

Twitter: utklibwriters

Food fest at World’s Fair Park

Annoor Academy of Knoxville, a local pre-k through eighth grade private school, invites the Knoxville community to its fifteenth annual International Food Festival, on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016, from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. at the World’s Fair Park Festival Lawn.

The students of Annoor Academy of Knoxville (AAK) represent a wide array of cultural backgrounds. For 15 years, the staff, parents, and volunteers of AAK have celebrated their diversity and cultural roots through an international food festival. This year, for the first time, AAK is bringing the celebration to the heart of Knoxville by hosting its largest ever International Food Festival at the World’s Fair Park this coming Saturday, October 29, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.

As event organizer Ghada Ayesh explained, “This event was really born out of a desire to share our unique cultural diversity with the Knoxville community. And what better way to bond with your neighbors than over food!”

The festival will feature food booths set up by volunteers as well as some local restaurants, representing different countries and regions, with an emphasis on the Middle East, South Asia, and North Africa, though other nations will be represented as well. “We will have food ranging from places like Indonesia to Jamaica!” Ayesh explains. In addition to food vendors, there will be a shopping bazaar and a “kids’ corner,” where kids can enjoy bouncing on inflatables, crafts and receive a passport to have stamped as they travel around the country booths. There also will be a rotating schedule of entertainment along with cooking demonstrations throughout the day.

Admission to the event is free of charge. Food tickets can be purchased on site for $1 each, and each vendor will have listed prices (in tickets) for each food item. Children wishing to participate in the “kids’ corner” can have unlimited play time in the inflatables, crafts and a kids’ passport for $5. All profits for the event go toward AAK school operations.

Annoor Academy of Knoxville is a private school serving the Muslim community in the Knoxville, Tennessee area. It was founded in 1998 and currently operates as an accredited preschool through 8th grade school located in West Knoxville. The purpose of the school is to provide children of the Knoxville Community with an excellent education in a safe, secure, religiously sensitive environment. AAK is dedicated to creating a learning environment which encourages all students to become outstanding citizens.

For more information, visit

South College merger in Asheville

South College recently announced the completion of a merger endeavor that results in the South College-Asheville campus, which had been structured as a separate institution, becoming a Learning Site of South College.

“Transitioning the Asheville, North Carolina location to a Learning Site of South College creates efficiencies within our organization and provides increased resources to Asheville students,” South College President Steve South said. “Students at the South College Asheville campus will continue to receive the same high-quality education from our outstanding faculty and staff. This merger will benefit these students by providing additional resources such as library and research materials and course offerings.”


Approval for South College adding an Asheville campus as a learning site has been approved by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). SACSCOC is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern States. South College’s accreditation was reaffirmed in 2015. Photo submitted.

“The inclusion of the Asheville Learning Site as part of our regionally accredited institution will position this campus for growth in many ways,” South said. “The accrediting process itself demonstrates to our student and peers that our academic standards reflect a commitment to excellence. Collaboration between quality staff and faculty across the institution promotes best practices for our students. I appreciate the work of our South College team to ensure that our mission is reflected in every aspect of our institution.”

The leadership team, staff, daily operations and degree and certificate offerings for the Asheville campus are not affected by the merger.

South College is a private institution accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to offer programs at the doctorate, masters, baccalaureate, and associate levels. To learn more about South College, visit

UT Gardens Plant Sale is Oct 8

UT Gardens in Knoxville will hold their fall plant sale on Saturday, October 8, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. A Preview Sale (for UT Garden members, UT Faculty & Staff and Volunteers only) will be offered on Friday, October 7, from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. Membership rates range from $15 per year for students to $100 for professional photographers.

A Bouquet Zinneas at the UT Farmers Market

This plant sale provides trees and shrubs that are known for being hardy for the Tennessee region. UT Gardens is located at 2518 Jacob Drive. From I-40 take Exit 386B onto Hwy 129 (Alcoa Hwy toward the Airport). From Hwy 129 take exit for Hwy 158 (Neyland Drive). Turn left at end of exit ramp. Turn left onto Joe Johnson Drive, and right at next light onto Chapman Drive. Visitor parking is directly across from the entrance to the UT Gardens, and is marked with signs for “2-Hr Visitor Parking.”

Featured plants for the sale include:

The Dogwood Appalachian series was developed by UT to provide the region with powdery mildew and anthracnose resistant dogwoods. Featured cultivars that will be available are ‘Appalachian Joy’, ‘Appalachian Spring’, ‘Appalachian Blush’, and ‘Appalachian Snow’.

Oakleaf Hydrangeas, cultivars ‘Ruby Slippers’ and ‘Munchkin’ feature robust bloom sets that stay upright with heavy rains. Both cultivars provide fall interest with the leaves changing from green to burgundy. ‘Sweet Tea’ Mountain Gordlinia is a new and hard-to-find hybrid of the Franklin Tree and Lolly Bay which has improved disease resistance and cold hardiness. Blooms July – September and is semi evergreen.

For a list of featured plants for the sale, visit:

Authors to speak on TN history

Tennessee Technological University professors Calvin Dickinson and Michael Birdwell will discuss their new book People of the Upper Cumberland: Achievements and Contradictions in a Brown Bag Lecture at noon on Wednesday, October 12, 2016. The anthology, recently named the “Tennessee History Book of the Year” by the Tennessee Library Association, presents a complex view of the rich history and culture of the Tennessee-Kentucky Upper Cumberland, an area composed of the 24 counties that mostly border the eastern half of the Cumberland River.
Birdwell and Dickinson will discuss the history of the region, politicians, moonshiners, changing medical practices, women’s roles, race relations, and more. Also featured will be a few of the Upper Cumberland’s most famous residents, Cordell Hull, John Gore, John Catron, Charles Faulkner Bryan, and Champ Ferguson. The book will be available for purchase and signing by Dickinson and Birdwell following the lecture.


Dr. Michael E. Birdwell is a professor of history at Tennessee Technological University and the author of several books, including Celluloid Soldiers: Warner Brothers Campaign against Nazism and Rural Life and Culture of the Upper Cumberland. Birdwell also serves as the chair of the Tennessee Great Wars Commission. Dr. W. Calvin Dickinson is a professor emeritus of history at Tennessee Technological University. He currently serves on the Tennessee Historical Commission and has written or co-authored more than 22 books, including Sister States, Enemy States: The Civil War in Kentucky and Tennessee and Tennessee: State of the Nation.

The program is sponsored by Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC and is free and open to the public. The lecture will begin at noon at the East Tennessee History Center, 601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville. Guests are invited to bring a “Brown Bag” lunch and enjoy the lecture. Soft drinks will be available.

For more information on the lecture, exhibitions, or museum hours, call 865-215-8824 or visit the website at

New giraffe at Knoxville Zoo

A new giraffe arrived in Knoxville this month to join the city’s zoo herd in the Grasslands Africa habitat. Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, one-year-old “Frances” comes to Knoxville on the recommendation of the Giraffe Species Survival Plan (SSP), which manages the breeding and social placement of all giraffes in zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). She will be a companion to the zoo’s two female giraffes, Patches and Lucille, and a potential mate for male Jumbe in a few years when she is fully grown.


Frances, a new giraffe welcomed into the herd at Knoxville Zoo, is approximately 10 feet tall and weighs 740 pounds, and her smaller stature will make it easy for zoo-goers to identify her. Photo submitted.

Also this month, Zoo Knoxville welcomed a new Western lowland gorilla, a female who has been christened “Andi”.

The baby is named in honor of Andie Ray, a community visionary who loved gorillas and supported Zoo Knoxville’s work to save Western lowland gorillas from extinction. Andie passed away unexpectedly in December, 2015. She was instrumental in connecting the Ray family to gorillas at Zoo Knoxville. The Ray family named the first gorilla ever born at the zoo, Obi, whose name means “heart”, in June of 2015. The name “Andi” means “brave, strong, valiant and courageous”.

Zoo Knoxville is a nonprofit entity situated on 53 wooded acres just east of downtown Knoxville. Zoo Knoxville features exhibits of wild animals in natural habitats and is world renowned for its efforts in conservation and species survival. Zoo Knoxville is nationally accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is committed to the highest standards in animal care and well-being, ethics, conservation, and education.
Knoxville’s largest attraction, the zoo is open every day except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Currently, the zoo is open daily from 9:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Admission and ticket sales stop one-hour before the zoo closes.

For more information visit

Carpetbag Theatre receives grant

The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc. is proud to announce the receipt of a major multi-year grant awarded from The Roy Cockrum Foundation in support of the organization’s 50th Anniversary Celebration Series.

The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc. will be utilizing the funds received to remount six of the most beloved plays from the theatre’s past, as well as supporting the future creation and development of Carpetbag’s newest original work currently entitled, “Bricks.”

With generous support from The Roy Cockrum Foundation, Carpetbag will be remounting these original works as fully produced performances at fully equipped Knoxville and Maryville, Tennessee venues. The performances will take place over the course of the three years leading up to the Anniversary celebration (2017, 2018, 2019) with two productions per year. CBT will invite former ensemble members who have remained in the professional field to return as guest artists and directors of the project.

The scheduled plays to be presented are as follows: Between A Ballad and A Blues, Nothin’ Nice, Dark Cowgirls and Prairie Queens, Ce Nitram Sacul, SWOPERA (a Spoken Word Opera), and Red Summer. The development of Carpetbag’s newest work, “Bricks” will trace the history of the African American brick making industry and its significance to the region.

The Carpetbag Theatre is a Professional African American Legacy Theater company with a rich history of service to diverse populations. As an intergenerational ensemble company, the company’s efforts are to engage communities of color and other disenfranchised communities. An ensemble company both artistically and administratively, CBT works collaboratively to fulfill this mission, to build communities and to develop social capital, emphasizing inclusion and cross-cultural dialogue.

The mission of The Roy Cockrum Foundation is to award grants to support world-class performing arts projects in not-for-profit professional theaters throughout the United States.

East TN Plant Swap scheduled

The Fall 2016 East Tennessee Plant Swap will be held at New Harvest Park, located at 4775 New Harvest Lane, Knoxville, Tennessee, on Saturday, October 8, 2016. The swap starts at 10:00am. (No exchanges before that, please.) The potluck lunch will be at 11:30am.

Everyone is invited to attend the Fall meeting of the East Tennessee Plant Swap. The ETPS is a group of men and women who love plants and enjoy sharing them with friends.

There is no fee for attendance and no money can exchange hands for the plants. This is a great way to add lovely plants to lawns and gardens at absolutely no cost.

Editor’s Note: If you do not have plants to share, you are encouraged to attend anyway. You can bring gardening magazines, small tools, potholders, wind chimes, or any small items gardeners might enjoy. Over the years those new to the meeting have brought canned foods such as homemade pickles or beets, garden signs, books and homemade bags.

Library sponsors author readings

Novelist Leah Stewart will read from her work at the University of Tennessee on Monday, September 19, 2016. The event is part of the university’s Writers in the Library reading series. The public is invited to this free reading at 7 p.m. in the Lindsay Young Auditorium of UT’s John C. Hodges Library.

Stewart is the author of five novels, most recently The New Neighbor, a darkly sophisticated novel about an old woman’s curiosity turned into a dangerous obsession as she becomes involved in her new neighbor’s complicated and cloaked life. The New York Times Book Review says of The New Neighbor, “Stewart never relaxes her tight focus on these complex characters.” People Magazine calls it “a chilling page-turner.”

Stewart is professor and area director of creative writing in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Cincinnati. She has held visiting writer positions at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee; Vanderbilt University; and Murray State University in Kentucky. In 2010, she was the recipient of an NEA Literature Fellowship and in 2014 the recipient of a Sachs Fund Prize.

Visit for a complete schedule of Writers in the Library readings for the 2016-2017 academic year.

Writers in the Library 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

Parsons is Writers Guild speaker

Noted poet Linda Parsons will speak at the Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016 meeting of the Knoxville Writers’ Guild. She will present her new and fourth poetry collection, “This Shaky Earth” (Texas Review Press, 2016), and discuss the process of preparing a collection.

The meeting is open to the public and will begin at 7 p.m. in Central United Methodist Church’s Fellowship Hall at 201 E. Third Ave. The event is at the same time as the first UT football game of the season, but you can click here to find a route that bypasses the traffic. Attendees should enter off the large parking lot behind the church. A $2 donation is welcome at the door with free and accessible parking available.

“‘This Shaky Earth’ straddles time, family divisions and legacies. It’s leavened with a hunger to understand the growing pains of childhood and to know that all will be well as we navigate this sometimes ‘shaky earth,’” Parsons said. “I’m excited to discuss the process and challenges of compiling and organizing a collection for publication.”

Parsons is a member of the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame. Her poems have appeared in journals such as The Georgia Review, Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, Southern Poetry Review, Asheville Poetry Review, and Shenandoah and in numerous anthologies. Her play adaptation, “Macbeth Is the New Black,” co-written by Jayne Morgan, completed runs at Maryville College and Western Carolina University. In October, she will present the Henrietta Jenkins Memorial Homecoming reading at Carson Newman University.

Marble Springs hosts Living History

KNOXVILLE, TN – Marble Springs State Historic Site will host a weekend of Living History in celebration of the life and times of the first governor of Tennessee, John Sevier, in commemoration of his 271st birthday.

John Sevier Days Living History Weekend will take place Saturday, September 17, 2016 from 10:00 AM– 5:00 PM and Sunday, September 18, from 11:00 – 4:00 PM. You can expect to enjoy 18th century demonstrations such as open-hearth cooking, spinning and weaving, blacksmithing, weapons demonstrations that will showcase period-appropriate firearms, 18th century style militia drills, regional craft demonstrations, historic lecture, hands on archeology activities, and more. Food, drinks, and special treats will be available. Details are subject to change.

Admission for Sevier Days is $5.00 per adult (16+); $3 per child (7-15); 6 and under FREE; Parking is free. All proceeds benefit the mission of preservation and education of the Marble Springs State Historic Site.

Programming assistance for this event is provided by Knox County. Marble Springs is funded under an agreement with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Tennessee Historical Commission, and supplemented by additional funds raised by the Governor John Sevier Memorial Association.

Marble Springs State Historic Site is located at 1220 West Governor John Sevier Highway, Knoxville, TN, 37920.

Marble Springs State Historic Site is the last remaining home of John Sevier. Born in Virginia in 1745, John Sevier made a name for himself as a Revolutionary War Hero during the Battle of Kings Mountain (1780), a key player and Governor of the short-lived State of Franklin (1784-1788), and ultimately was elected to serve as the first Governor of the State of Tennessee (1796).

For more information call (865)573-5508.

Knoxville hosts Shoes for School

KNOXVILLE – More than 1,200 children received new tennis shoes and school supplies over the weekend thanks to the 14th annual “Shoes for School” event presented by the Knoxville Area Urban League, U.S. Cellular and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.

Balloon release

Organizers, sponsors and volunteers prepare to kick off the 14th Annual “Shoes for School” event presented by the Knoxville Area Urban League (KAUL), U.S. Cellular and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital (ETCH) on Aug. 6 in Caswell Park. Pictured from left: City Councilman Dan Brown, KAUL president and CEO Phyllis Y. Nichols, Dana Dorcas of U.S. Cellular, Jody Nix of ETCH, Ola Blackmon-McBride of KAUL and other supporters. Photo submitted.

“A simple pair of shoes can help children start the school year off on the right foot – with confidence,” said Phyllis Y. Nichols, president and CEO of the Knoxville Area Urban League. “For the Knoxville Area Urban League staff and volunteers, this is a special day. ‘Shoes for Schools’ is one of our signature events, and it’s one of our most joyful days of the year to serve our community.”

The Knoxville Area Urban League, U.S. Cellular, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital and other sponsors hosted a festive atmosphere with food, games and inflatables provided by booth sponsors representing area businesses, nonprofit organizations, church groups and others. The event is a community effort that families and volunteers eagerly anticipate each year. Children participating in the event complete a pre-registration process with participating agencies.

“We greatly appreciate our staff and sponsors who give time and donations to make this event successful and meaningful for the children in need in our community,” Nichols said.

Since 1968, the Knoxville Area Urban League has assisted disadvantaged people attain social and economic stability and self-sufficiency through direct services and advocacy. The League works to provide a skilled and diverse workforce; to increase homeownership; to support economic and small business development, and to enhance education efforts for our youth. The Knoxville Area Urban League is a United Way partner agency and affiliate of the National Urban League. The League’s work and results are evident in the lives of the over 8,000 people it impacts each year.

For more information, call 865-524- 5511 or visit

HSTV offers puppy training

The Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley is now offering puppy training classes. Certified trainers help pet owners with housetraining, minding manners and all the other issues that come along with puppy parenthood.

Thousands of animals are surrendered to shelters every year because of behavior problems, says HSTV. Through a grant from the Pedigree Foundation, HSTV will now be able to offer more solutions to the community that supports the mission of Adopt, Spay, Keep.


Classes will meet in our the training center located at 6717 Kingston Pike in Knoxville. All dogs are required to be on flat buckle or martingale collars for training. Classes can be group or private; cost ranges from $20-$100.

Don’t have a puppy? The HSTV adoption center is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 11am-7pm and Friday, Saturday, Sunday from 11am-6pm.

For more information, please email or call 865-573-9675.


South College graduates 77

Knoxville’s South College School of Pharmacy held their graduation on Friday, June 17, 2016. Friday’s class was the third and largest to graduate from the college; 77 student pharmacists received their degrees.

Hallerin Hilton Hill, a radio and television talk show host, delivered the commencement address. A Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter for Whitney Houston, Take 6 and Bishop T.D. Jakes, Hill travels the country speaking to businesses and organizations to spread his message of positivity.

He shared the ABCs of his value system, with examples from all 26 letters of the alphabet, to challenge students to write their future and then share their dreams with younger generations.

“For C, life takes courage,” Hill said. “Courage is not the absence of fear. It is the commitment to not be paralyzed by fear. We must live our dreams so that those that come behind us can live theirs.”

Jonathan Zierden was among those receiving degrees. He trained and worked in musical theater for eight years before deciding on a career in the medical field after getting married and having four children.

“One of the reasons I chose South College was because we have extended family here,” he said. “After spending the last three years as part of the accelerated pharmacy program, we’ve really put down roots in Knoxville, and I can’t imagine living anywhere else.”

South College is a private institution accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to offer programs at the doctorate, masters, baccalaureate, and associate levels.

To learn more about South College, visit

Knox Library Book Sale is June 25-28

Knox County Public Library’s 2016 Annual Used Book Sale will be held June 25–28, 2016 at the Jacob Building at Chilhowee Park in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee.

Thousands of beautiful used books will be on sale to benefit the Knox County Public Library. From Members Only Day on June 25 through Bag Sale Day on June 28, this year’s sale offers great book bargains for everyone.

Knoxville residents can support Friends of the Knox County Public Library in 2016 by registering a Kroger Plus Card and choosing Friends as the recipient.

Participants earn points for the library with every purchase that will be converted into dollars of support for Friends. Participants still receive Kroger Plus Card discounts just like before, and benefit the library at the same time.

Follow these easy steps to link your card to Friends: Register your card online—create an account, then enter your email, favorite store, and Kroger Plus Card number. At the bottom of your Account Summary, click Enroll under Community Rewards, and either enter our Kroger Non Profit number (65466) or just search for Friends of the Knox County Public Library.



CEC breaks ground in Knoxville

KNOXVILLE, TN – Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus has announced that Civil Environmental Consultants, Inc. (CEC) will be the first private tenant at the research park, a move that brings the firm closer to its clients throughout the region and provides the needed custom design of office, laboratory and other space designated for maintenance and storage of technical equipment.

Consistently ranked among the Top 500 Design Firms and Top 200 Environmental Firms by Engineering News-Record, CEC is recognized for providing innovative design solutions and integrated expertise in the primary practice areas of civil engineering, ecological sciences, environmental engineering and sciences, survey, waste management, and water resources.

“We hope to provide a technical presentation series with the (University of Tennessee) College of Engineering for students and professionals,” CEC Vice President James Tomiczek said. “We’re particularly happy to be the first tenant of what will be a premier national research and development campus. We’ll be moving 25 local team members to this location, and we hope to see that number grow to 75 in the next five years.”

CEC already has an exceptional relationship with the UT College of Engineering and employs a number of its graduates, along with offering cooperative learning opportunities and internships to students. The increased access to Oak Ridge National Lab also will be beneficial, as CEC considers ways to integrate use of the lab’s supercomputer into some of the firm’s larger, more complex data-intensive projects.

“Increasing the number of Tennesseans with postsecondary degrees or credentials and making Tennessee the number one location in the Southeast for high quality jobs are our two top priorities,” Governor Bill Haslam said. “Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus gives us a tremendous boost in both arenas, and I applaud CEC for having the vision to recognize and embrace the opportunities this campus provides.”

Cherokee Farm Innovation Campus - Aerial Photo

Cherokee Farm is the only research and development park in the Southeast affiliated with both a major research university and a national research laboratory. It includes more than 77 acres along the Tennessee River and is a collaboration of the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Photo submitted.

Author makes historic trek

Author Jerry Ellis will be speaking about his 900 mile walk along the Cherokee Trail of Tears as guest speaker for the Historic Ramsey House Annual Meeting to be held at the East Tennessee Historic Center, 601 S Gay Street on June 21, 2016 at 5:30pm. Ellis, a graduate of the University of Alabama, became, in 1989 the first person in the modern world to walk the Trail of Tears.


Jerry Ellis

“I did the walk to honor the Cherokee and to raise awareness about Cherokee history,” said Ellis. “I sold all I owned to finance the life-altering, two month trek. I slept mostly in woods and fields along the Trail, though sometimes kind strangers gave me shelter and a meal for the night.”

Random House nominated Ellis’ resulting book, Walking the Trail, One Man’s Journey Along the Cherokee Trail of Tears, for a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. It has been read by more than 600,000, quoted in Reader’s Digest, and went on display in 2011 at the National Teachers’ Hall of Fame.

A meet and greet and book signing will begin at 5:30 with supper and program to follow at 6:15.

Tickets are $20 for members of Ramsey House and $25 for non members. Reservations can be made at 865-546- 0745 or by email at


Knoxville receives Invest Health grant

A $60,000 grant administered through the East Tennessee Community Design Center has been awarded to the city of Knoxville by Reinvestment Fund and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The new Invest Health initiative is aimed at transforming how leaders from mid-size American cities work together to help low-income communities thrive, with specific attention to community features that drive health such as access to safe and affordable housing, places to play and exercise, and quality

Knoxville and Jackson are the two Tennessee cities among the 50 mid-size cities in 31 states selected to receive the grant. Cities with populations between 50,000 and 400,000 were asked to form five-member teams including representatives from the public sector, community development, and an anchor institution, preferably academic or health-related. The Knoxville team includes: Becky Wade, Knoxville Community Development; Phyllis Nichols, Knoxville Area Urban League; Martha Buchanan, Knox County Health Department; Gerald Green, Metropolitan Planning Commission; and Susan Martin, University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Michelle Eichinger of Designing4Health, LLC, who assisted in developing the team’s proposal, will help in process facilitation.

According to Wayne Blasius, ETCDC executive director, “The team will explore equitable transportation solutions and mixed-use development, including local transportation and planning policy change, and integrate health impact in the planning process in development projects. Further, the team will develop a coordinated, collaborative approach and explore funding strategies to support health equity in the community planning and the built environment.”

Mid-size American cities face some of the nation’s deepest challenges with entrenched poverty, poor health and a lack of investment, Blasius said.

Administrators of the grant believe the program has the potential to fundamentally transform the way Knoxville improves opportunities for healthy lives by addressing the drivers of health including jobs, housing, education, community safety and environmental conditions.

Research skills workshop offered

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Knoxville Writers’ Guild (KWG) will host a research workshop titled, “Smart Research Tactics for Writers”. It will be held on Saturday, June 4, 2016 from 10 a.m. to noon at Central United Methodist Church. The church is located at 201 E. Third Ave. in Knoxville. Accessible parking is available.

The workshop will be led by historical novelist, Pamela Schoenewaldt, and research librarian, Jamie Osborne, from the Knox County Public Library.

“Whatever your genre – fiction or non, journalism, memoir, poetry, or family history – this workshop will pay for itself many times over”, Osborne said. “We’ll show the wealth of material available through the Knox County Public Library, including the McClung Collection.”

Writers of any genre, any age, and any level of experience are welcome.
To register for the workshop, visit or send a check to KWG Workshops, P.O. Box 10326, Knoxville, TN, 37939-0326. Cost is $35 for KWG members, $40 for nonmembers, and $15 for students.

About the Knoxville Writers’ Guild

The Knoxville Writers’ Guild exists to facilitate a broad and inclusive community for area writers, provide a forum for information, support and sharing among writers, help members improve and market their writing skills and promote writing and creativity.

Additional information about KWG can be found at

Foundation honors fathering skills

The Beta Theta Boulé Foundation of Knoxville will host an inaugural Father’s Day luncheon to celebrate the contributions of eight Knoxville area men and present the first Zaevion Dobson Scholarship to a local high school student.

The event will be held June 19, 2016 from 1:30-4 p.m. at The Foundry On The Fair Site, 747 World’s Fair Park Drive, in downtown Knoxville. Proceeds from the luncheon will help fund future scholarships for meritorious high school students in the Knoxville area.

Each of the eight honorees who will be recognized have demonstrated strong “fathering” skills and modeled leadership, commitment to educational achievement and civic responsibility.

“We believe these fathers and mentors strive to teach youth about equality, mutual respect for others and a devotion to democratic traditions,” Foundation President Harold Hicks said. “That’s why the foundation will recognize them, along with our first Zaevion Dobson Scholarship recipient, at our Father’s Day luncheon and community celebration.”

The honorees include:

Daryl Arnold, pastor of Overcoming Believers Church

Charles Crowe, director of the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Offices Procurement and Contracts Division

Steve Diggs, president and CEO of the Emerald Youth Foundation

Valentino Jefferson, quality engineer in Knoxville

Todd Kelly Sr., businessman and former University of Tennessee Vol football player

David Rausch, chief of the Knoxville Police Department

Rick Staples, vice president of 100 Black Men of Greater Knoxville

The late George Williams, longtime Alcoa public servant and co-founder of the Richard Williams Jr. Leadership Development Academy

Tickets are available by contacting Nathaniel Foster at 865-386- 4867 or by June 1. Admission to the luncheon is $50, and a portion of the donation is tax deductible. Additional scholarship donations to the foundation are welcome and can be mailed to the Beta Theta Boulé Foundation at P.O. Box 23034, Knoxville, TN, 37933.

The Beta Theta Boulé Foundation is a nonprofit organization affiliated with the African-American professional fraternity, Sigma Pi Phi Incorporated. The Knoxville Chapter, called Beta Theta Boulé, was organized 20 years ago and has a notable record of community service.


Book explores nature of the universe

CELEBRATE KNOXVILLE – It’s National Star Wars Day, and Celebrate Knoxville spent a little time on the phone today with UCLA researcher and astrophysicist Dr. Jeff Zweerink to discuss his recent book, “Whose Afraid of the MultiVerse?” Written in easy-to-read style, with illustrations from popular culture including Star Wars movies, the book explores ideas about space, time, matter, and energy.


CK: Thanks for talking with us on National Star Wars Day, Dr. Zweerink!

JZ: Glad to do it. I didn’t realize that was today.

CK: Is most of your work analyzing data or do you actually get to do experiments with gamma rays?

JZ: About 40 percent of my time is spent on experiments. We’re currently building a balloon that (once we get the funding) we will send out to collect data.

CK: When you talk about The Big Bang in ‘Whose Afraid of the MultiVerse?’, why do you use the word ‘inflation’ and not ‘explosion’ to describe what happened?

JZ: It’s a scientific term to describe the expansion of the fabric of space.

CK: As a layperson, it makes me think that the universe took a breath, like lungs filling up. Doesn’t using the word ‘inflation’ imply that something was sucked in from somewhere else, and what would that substance be?

JZ: I can see what you mean by that. Scientists use this word to describe one possible (scenario) that is like a balloon with dots on it. When the fabric expands, the dots move apart.

CK: On page 14 of your book, you said ‘the only real controversial aspect of the level one model (of the universe) is its spacial extent, or size.’ Are there really scientists out there in California that think the universe has a finite size, like a box, or like the earth is sitting on the back of a tortoise (to use Native American mythology)?

JZ: You can think of the universe as flat, in three dimensions like a piece of paper, but there are other ways to think about it. In a closed model, like the one on page 11 of the book, the universe would be ball-shaped with closed geometry.

CK: In your introduction, you inform the reader that you are a scientist with a Christian world view. Do you think that God placed the planets in such a way that it models sub atomic particles and helps us understand the nature of the unseen?

JZ: I think that there are signs both in the way the universe has been presented and in what we know about quantum physics that reveals the designer, creator, God. Whether they are exact mirrors of each other, I can’t say.

CK: I love how you use illustrations from popular movies like Star Wars, The Matrix, and Back to the Future, to help people understand some of these interesting but complex scientific ideas. Have you ever seen the television series, Lost?

JZ: I have.

CK: Do you think (as an astrophysicist who is also a Christian) that the story is a good example of a shared consciousness, and that we, as believers, are co-creating Heaven, a shared consciousness, with God?

JZ: There are some serious (mainstream Christianity) theological issues with that point of view, especially about the soverignty of God. He doesn’t need our help.

CK: But we do co-create with Him when we pray, right? We make things happen that otherwise might not have happened unless we were involved?

JZ: Yes, we do. That’s an interesting point. Not certain that applies to Heaven, though. Would make some interesting further discussion. When I first became a scientist, I thought that science and faith were enemies. Now I have come to understand that revelations from both science and faith (Scriptural revelation) will inform the other and both will agree.

CK: In your book you said that “Scientists are aware that their equipment selects what data they measure.” How does that relate to changes made by the Observer in quantum physics?

JZ: That’s one of the philosophical questions discussed in the book–in having the point of view as the universe being designed by a Creator to support life, we ourselves are Observer and are working within the realm we’re working to describe. We can’t argue for a universe that does not support life, since we are here and we are alive.

CK: That’s the topic of a new book?

JZ: Yes, my new book is about Exoplanets, planets outside our solar system, exploring questions about the possibility of life out there.

CK: And if there is life out there, Jesus died for them too, and would not have to be born on their planet to (provide spiritual revelation) enlightenment?

JZ: If they are human. Jesus being born as human, the incarnation, is crucial.

CK: But what is human? Scripture says God created man from dirt. And any other planet out there would have dirt of some kind, right? Or are you saying in the case of life not being carbon-based…

JZ: Well now we’re talking about the same kinds of issues with the multiverse, where we have infinite possibilities in infinite time…

CK: And I love how in your book, you say that Marty McFly’s time line where he does not go back into the future still exists!

JZ: If the multiverse exists.

CK: And would you say that if the multiverse does exists, the life, death, resurrection of Christ is the only event that does happen without change, and is central to all other events, which could and would be free to happen any number of ways and still be meaningful?

JK: If the multiverse exists, that would have to be true. You know there is a group that meets in Knoxville that discusses these kinds of questions, and is open to all people interested in science, regardless of world view.

CK: I saw that. We actually have several science-related Meet Up groups in Knoxville. And of course Knoxville is a college town with the University of Tennessee, so there are plenty of opportunities to get involved with scientific studies there too. So fun! For my last question, how can people get a copy of “Whose Afraid of the MultiVerse?” or find out more about your work?

JZ: Send them to the web site,

Stargazing event offered May 9

Marble Springs State Historic Site will host a stargazing workshop conducted by Gary Noland, adjunct instructor of Astronomy at the University of Tennessee on Monday, May 9, 2016, from 7 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. This workshop will feature the relatively rare astronomical event of Mercury’s transit across the sun. During the transit, Mercury will appear in silhouette as a small, dark dot moving in front of the sun. The last transit of Mercury occurred in 2006 and will not be seen again until 2019.

Guests are welcome to view this rare event through a special telescope provided by Mr. Noland. Proper eye protection is absolutely essential for watching the transit of Mercury, else you risk blindness or eye damage. For all guests planning to stay the duration of the workshop, packing a lunch is recommended.

Programming assistance for this event is provided by Knox County. Marble Springs is funded under an agreement with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Tennessee Historical Commission, and supplemented by additional funds raised by the Governor John Sevier Memorial Association.

All activities take place at Marble Springs State Historic Site: 1220 W. Governor John Sevier Highway, in Knoxville.

Marble Springs State Historic Site is the last remaining home of John Sevier. Born in Virginia in 1745, John Sevier made a name for himself as a Revolutionary War Hero during the Battle of Kings Mountain (1780), a key player and Governor of the short-lived State of Franklin (1784-1788), and ultimately was elected to serve as the first Governor of the State of Tennessee (1796).

This event is free, but donations are appreciated. Details are subject to change. For more information please call (865)573-5508, email, or visit the Marble Springs website at

TSB launches money ed center

Tennessee State Bank has announced a new initiative to bring financial education to adults. The TSB Financial Wellness Center uses cutting-edge technology that incorporates video, animations, gaming and social networking to effectively teach complex financial concepts for adults. Developed by EverFi, an independent and industry-leading education technology company, the TSB Financial Wellness Center will be made available to customers and employees and no cost.

This innovative online financial education tool helps individuals develop the skill-set to successfully manage their finances and make sound financial decisions.

“Tennessee State Bank is committed to empowering families with the skills they need to thrive financially and plan for their future,” said Todd Proffitt. “It is more important than ever for people to have the skills to navigate an increasingly complex financial system and Tennessee State Bank is proud to offer this innovative educational experience to benefit our customers and employees.”

EverFi pic

The TSB Financial Wellness Center learning experience is specifically designed for today’s busy adult. The mobile and tablet friendly platform is available in English and Spanish and features a series of 10-minute learning modules that cover topics such as mortgages, overdrafts and learning how to improve your credit score. The program is self-paced and contains knowledge checks that allow users to measure their knowledge gains.

Tennessee State Bank is a locally-owned and operated community bank headquartered at 2210 Parkway in Pigeon Forge. The bank consists of 15 branch locations throughout Knox, Sevier, Jefferson and Cocke counties. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender.

South College hosts job fair

KNOXVILLE, TN – South College will host their annual job fair on Thursday, May 19, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., for its students and the community on campus at 3904 Lonas Drive in Knoxville.

“Seeking employment can be confusing, time-consuming and tiring,” said Gary Taylor, South College career services coordinator. “Having so many employers in one location should make the process much easier, and we hope that job seekers will take advantage of this opportunity to meet and speak with area recruiters.”

Human resource officers and recruiters will be on-site to review resumes and discuss employment opportunities with attendees. The representatives are seeking qualified individuals in health care, business, legal studies and other industries.

“Treat this career fair and any other opportunity like you would a job interview,” Taylor said. “In addition to an updated resume, it’s helpful to have a brief description of your work experience and the type of opportunity you’re currently seeking.”

Companies scheduled to participate in the job fair include: AFLAC, American Red Cross, Blount County Sheriff’s Office, Cellular Sales of Knoxville, City of Knoxville Civil Service Department, Clayton Homes, Covenant Health, Dollywood, EmployBridge, Homewatch CareGivers, Knoxville Police Department, Medical Solutions, Morristown Police Department, PhysAssist, Resource Accounting, Renaissance Terrace Assisted Living, RetireNDignity, Senior Citizens Home Assistance Service (SCHAS), Summit View of Farragut, Talbots, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee National Guard, University of Tennessee, University Physicians’ Association, US Foods, U.S. Navy, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance, Wellmont Health System and Westmoreland Health and Rehab Center.

About South College

South College is a private institution accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to offer programs at the doctorate, master’s, baccalaureate, and associate levels.

UT sponsors medieval event

KNOXVILLE—The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies has teamed up with Bearden High School and the Tennessee Medieval Faire to host the Marco Madness Medieval Faire from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 2, 2016.

It will be held at Bearden High School, 8352 Kingston Pike, Knoxville. Admission is free and complimentary pizza will be served. Medieval food, drink and crafts will be available for purchase. There also will be door prizes. Parking is free but limited. The fair aims to demonstrate how medieval culture and the humanities shed light on today’s world.

“With the popularity of ‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Lord of the Rings’, ‘The Hobbit,’ Vikings, pirates, Disney princesses and more, there is so much excitement about everything medieval,” said Thomas E. Burman, director of the UT Marco Institute. “We wanted to provide a gathering where this interest could thrive.”

Visitors are encouraged to come in family-friendly costumes, without masks or real weapons, and compete in costume and trivia contests for prizes.

UT professors and graduate students will lead discussions on “Game of Thrones” and Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit.”

From 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., visitors can learn how to be a street character and audition for the Tennessee Medieval Faire, which will be held in May in Harriman, Tennessee.

Dinosaurs return to Knoxville

Travel back in time 65 million years at “Discover the Dinosaurs” at the Knoxville Convention Center on Saturday and Sunday, April 2-3, 2016.


Now in its fifth year at the Knoxville Convention Center, the interactive exhibition, “Discover the Dinosaurs,” is an educational family outing featuring 40 museum-quality and animatronic dinosaur replicas. Photo submitted.

“Every year at the Convention Center, thousands of kids attend ‘Discover the Dinosaurs’ with their families to learn and have fun,” General Manager Mary Bogert said. “The exhibition features hands-on attractions and lifelike animatronic replicas that move and roar. Kids feel like they are getting up close to living dinosaurs, and parents like that their children are learning about fossils and the prehistoric era.”

The event also features activities , such as Dino Dig, where children pretend to be archeologists hunting for fossils in sand; Dino Den, where young guests climb and interact with dinosaurs their size; Dino Theater, where educational and entertaining videos are shown; coloring station; mini-golf; inflatables; scavenger hunt with clues hidden throughout the exhibit; and Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops rides. Additional activities such as gem and fossil mining and face painting are available for an additional charge.

The exhibit is open Saturday, April 2, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, April 3, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“Discover the Dinosaurs” tickets are $22 for children, age 2-12; $18 for 13 and up and adults; and $15 for seniors. Children under the age 2 may enjoy the exhibit for free. (Tickets available Convention Center box office the day of the event.)

History awards nominations sought

The East Tennessee Historical Society (ETHS) invites the public for nominations for this year’s Awards of Excellence in the field of history.  These awards recognize individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the preservation, promotion, programming, and interpretation of the region’s history.

The deadline for nominations is April 8, 2016.  Winners will be recognized at the Society’s Annual Meeting held on May 3, in Knoxville.

Awards are in four categories:

The Award of Distinction recognizes a special project, such as publications, building preservation, or special program, such as a conference, heritage event, publication, lecture series, or other.

History in the Media Award is presented to someone in the field of television, radio, newspaper, magazine, or Internet, for outstanding contributions to the promotion of our region’s history.

Teaching Excellence Award is for outstanding or innovative teaching of history at any level, grades one through adult education.

The Society’s most prestigious recognition is the Ramsey Award for Lifetime Achievement. This award is reserved for one who, over the course of a lifetime, has made outstanding contributions to the understanding and preservation of East Tennessee history.

To request a nomination form, call 865-215-8824.

Be debt-free in 2016

If taking control of your money is one of your goals this year, you need to come up with a plan that’ll outlast your Valentine’s Day roses, says financial expert Dave Ramsey.  To make that happen, he says, you must begin with a plan to pay off your debts, beginning with the smallest one. This frees up more of your money to pay off even more debts, and you create a snowball effect. This changes you from being a person who buys what they can’t afford into a person who can afford to buy what they really want, in cash.

  1. Where do I want to be financially at this time next year?

Take a look into the future. Imagine yourself better off, money-wise, by 2017. What does that look like for you? Depending on where you are now and just how gazelle intense you want to get, you might have made a dent in your consumer debt, or you might be coasting through a fully funded retirement plan and gearing up to finally pay off your house. You’ll set yourself up for success by having a solid, definable goal in mind with a timeline in place to reach it.

Use an outline to help you break down your goals into tiny, bite-size pieces. Now pull out your calendar and start writing down your goals!

  1. How can I kick-start dumping debt for good?

The key to freeing yourself from debt is making a budget and sticking to it so you can see where your money is going. Try it out for about three months to get the hang of it and to see some patterns in your spending. Once you do, it’s pretty simple, and it can actually be fun! This is a habit worth starting.

Once you have a budget, you have to change your perspective. You have to hate being in debt. That’ll make you pay your bills off fast. That also means you might have to delay some things you really, really want. But if you slog through the painful stuff now, you’ll reap the rewards later.

  1. What are my biggest financial obstacles?

Change isn’t easy. If it were, everyone would be debt-free. That’s why you need to identify what’s held you back in the past and attack those obstacles head on. Do you spend money you don’t have? Is your accountability partner MIA? Does an endless stream of emergencies drag you back into debt as soon as you’ve gotten out?

Identify your weaknesses or stumbling blocks so you can protect yourself from them when you’re feeling tempted or backed into a corner. Where are you spending your time? Are your priorities lining up with your goals?

So, now that you’ve faced the hard questions, are you ready to make 2016 your best year yet? With the right level of determination and a little bit of planning, you can be debt-free.

For more ideas on how to get control of your finances, visit


TVA sponsors Knoxville robotics

KNOXVILLE, TN     The Tennessee Valley Authority has expanded its community investment in S.T.E.M. education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) by announcing a $10,000 presenting sponsorship  for the 2016 Annual Robotics Revolution to be held in Chilhowee Park this summer.


This STEM awareness event is both entertaining and academic and is geared to inspire young minds toward a college and career interest in a variety of STEM fields. The event will showcase connections that exist between K-12 STEM educational opportunities, university and training institutions, applied research and product development and the companies that benefit from these educational investments.

“Robotics Revolution has hosted almost 3,000 attendees in the previous two years.  State-of-the-art corporations always benefit from a well-educated workforce and TVA’s investment in Robotics Revolution demonstrates how events like this are meeting this need in our community,” says Ellie Kittrell, Executive Director for The Muse Knoxville, who is hosting the robotics event.

The Muse Knoxville is a non-profit children’s science museum located in Historical Chilhowee Park.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states.



Free tax workshops offered

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Revenue will be holding a free tax workshop for new businesses in Knoxville in January 2016.

The Knoxville workshop will take place January 13, 2016 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Department’s Knoxville regional office, located on the third floor of 7175 Strawberry Plains Pike.

Similar workshops are taking place in Chattanooga, Johnson City, Memphis and Nashville. These free workshops are designed to assist those encountering business-related taxes for the first time. Tax specialists from various local and state agencies will provide the basic information needed to comply with registration and tax requirements.

During the session, attendees will have the opportunity to listen to these tax specialists, ask questions and receive materials explaining tax responsibilities. Areas of discussion will include business tax, sales and use tax, and tax enforcement procedures.

Space is limited and registration is required. For more information, please call (800) 342-1003 (toll-free inside Tennessee) or (615) 253-0600 (local Nashville-area and outside Tennessee).

The Department of Revenue is responsible for the administration of state tax laws and motor vehicle title and registration laws and the collection of taxes and fees associated with those laws. The Department collects about 87 percent of total state revenue. During the 2015 fiscal year, it collected $12.6 billion in state taxes and fees and more than $2.4 billion in taxes and fees for local governments.

To learn more about the Department, visit

Young-Williams offers holiday special

Young-Williams Animal Center and the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley are partnering for a “Home for the Holidays” adoption special, sponsored by Grayson Subaru. From Dec. 21-23, 2015 all pets at Young-Williams Animal Center and the Humane Society locations will be $25.

youngwilliamsanimalcenter (2)

The agencies will kick off the adoption event with a tree lighting ceremony at Young-Williams Animal Village of Knoxville on Monday, Dec. 21. The adoption prices will be available at Young-Williams Animal Center, 3201 Division St., off Sutherland Ave; Young-Williams Animal Village, 6400 Kingston Pike on Bearden Hill; and the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley, 6717 Kingston Pike.

Every adopted animal will receive the services covered by the regular adoption fee, which includes a veterinary physical exam, spay/neuter surgery, some standard vaccinations, microchip with registration and more.

The Young-Williams Animal Center is the official animal shelter for Knox County and the City of Knoxville. The center is a nonprofit organization, community-supported through public and private donations, that turns no animal away and is dedicated to the sheltering and placement of animals, general animal welfare, and public education of companion animal issues.

Young-Williams Animal Center is located off Sutherland Avenue at the entrance to John Tarleton Park at 3201 Division St. Young-Williams Animal Village is located at 6400 Kingston Pike adjacent to Deane Hill Drive. Both locations are open seven days a week from noon-6 p.m.

To learn more about Young-Williams Animal Center, visit

UT Gardens hosts conifer sale

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Ready to create a low maintenance garden? Join University of Tennessee Gardens experts to learn about some of the most beautiful evergreen trees and shrubs available and how best to use them in your landscape.

The event is indoors, Sunday, November 15, 2015, at the University of Tennessee Brehm Animal Science Arena at 2506 River Drive on the UT agricultural campus. This is near the UT Gardens, Knoxville.

Visitors are invited to attend a free lecture by UT plant science faculty members Sue Hamilton and Andy Pulte from 1:30 – 3 p.m., to be followed by a conifer sale from 3 – 5 p.m.

Adaptable to a wide range of soil and site conditions, conifers are the perfect anchor and companion plant in any landscape and ideal for providing four-season interest. After the lecture, shop the UT Gardens conifer sale for exclusive and hard-to-find selections and add to your low-maintenance landscape.


More than 140 different conifer selections are being offered at the plant sale including pine (Pinus), Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria), arborvitae (Thuja), hemlock (Tsuga), yew (Taxus), Japanese plum yew (Cephalotaxus), juniper (Juniperus), cypress (Cupressus), cedar (Cedrus), false cypress (Chamaecyparis), and Dawn redwood (Metasequoia), bald cypress (Taxodium), spruce (Picea), Japanese elkhorn cypress (Thujopsis). Photo submitted.

The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture’s mission: research, teaching and extension.

Ramsey House plans holiday events

Historic Ramsey House will hold its Annual Candlelight Tour on Sunday, December 13, 2015 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Enjoy holiday treats, Christmas carols, and tours of the beautifully decorated, historic home. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.

The annual Ramsey House wreath workshop will be held on Saturday, December 12, 2015 starting at 12:30 p.m. with refreshments; instruction begins at 1 p.m. Attendees need to bring a pair of small garden shears and garden gloves. Every year Julia Shiflett and her “wreath elves” pick the finest fresh greens and holly berries, tie beautiful bows, and find the most fragrant cloves and oranges for participants to make a beautiful holiday wreath and pomander.The cost of the workshop is $35 per person. For more information or reservations, call Historic Ramsey House at 865-546-0745.

Christmas Dinner with the Ramsey’s will be held December 4-8 starting at 6:30 p.m. each night. Each evening will feature a candlelight tour of the beautifully decorated home and lovely holiday dinner prepared by Rosa’s Catering. The dinner will be held in the 1797 home of Francis Alexander Ramsey, his wife Peggy, and their children. This is a great opportunity to entertain the special people in your life, employees, or clients. Seating for a total of twenty guests in the dining room and the parlor is available each evening, and individual ticket purchases are also welcome. All proceeds go directly to Historic Ramsey House. Reservations are a must and will be taken on a first-come, first-serve basis. Tickets are $125 per person ($100 of the cost is a tax-deductible donation). For more information or reservations, call Historic Ramsey House at 865-546-0745.

McClung Museum hosts holiday sale

Knoxville’s McClung Museum will hold its annual sale Nov. 3–10, 2015. Shoppers will find savings on fall and holiday items, books, and toys. New items from local artists including handmade wooden pens, unique jewelry, prints and pottery also will be available.

Proceeds from the sale support the McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture’s educational programs, which reach thousands of university and K-12 students in the East Tennessee region each year.

Sale items will be available while supplies last. Some exclusions will apply.

The McClung Museum and the Museum Store are open 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1–5 p.m. Sundays.

Complimentary parking is available in front of the museum on Circle Park Drive on a first come, first served basis.

Free public transportation to the museum is available via the Knoxville Trolley Vol Line.

Knoxville hosts Science Week events

An event celebrating the growing interest in nuclear science will be centered in Knoxville next week for the Nuclear Science Week at the Knoxville Convention Center on Oct. 22-24, 2015.

“Because of our area’s strength in scientific businesses and organizations, Knoxville is perfectly positioned to host scientific meetings and conferences,” said Mary Bogert, general manager for the Knoxville Convention Center. “We are excited to host this event, which covers all aspects of nuclear science, and promotes East Tennessee as an area of innovation through such organizations as Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Y-12 National Security Complex, Provision Center for Proton Therapy and the University of Tennessee.”

The three-day event showcases some of East Tennessee’s leaders in nuclear science. The primary focus of Nuclear Science Week 2015 is uniting the community and world through nuclear science.

Panel discussions and presentations will take place Friday, Oct. 23, at the Knoxville Convention Center. Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero will welcome conference-goers at 8:20 a.m. and introduce the day of panels. A public screening of a new film about nuclear energy, titled “Pandora’s Promise,” will be shown concurrently at 6:30 p.m. at the Convention Center and Oak Ridge Associated Universities Pollard Technology Conference Center.

The week also will include sessions for students and teachers to learn about concepts and current issues of nuclear science in the region and internationally. On Thursday, Oct. 22, local kindergarten through sixth-grade students will participate in interactive nuclear science and engineering activities, including nuclear detection demonstrations, cloud chambers, electromagnets and atom assembly at two sessions from 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m.

All Nuclear Science Week activities and panels are free and open to the public. Prior registration is encouraged at A schedule also is available on the website.

A Cappella choir to perform

The Carson-Newman University A Cappella Choir will perform at First Baptist Church of Knoxville on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015 in the 11 a.m. worship service and a 7 p.m. concert. The church is located at 510 West Main Street.

The choir is a group of 28 singers selected by competitive auditions from the student body and represent a variety of academic disciplines.

“The Carson-Newman A Cappella Choir is in constant demand for appearances at conventions, civic clubs, schools and churches,” said Tom Ogburn, senior pastor of First Baptist of Knoxville. “We are honored to have them join us for worship on the last Saturday in October.”

The conductor of the A Cappella Choir, Eric Thorson, is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies at Carson-Newman University. He is also the conductor of the Men’s Chorus, Oratorio Chorus, and teaches classes in conducting and music education.

In the services, the choir’s performance will feature classical Christian hymns, such as “Be Thou My Rock” by Mary McDonald and “Prayer of Thankful Praise” by Hal Hopson.

For more information, call (865) 546-9661.

US Cellular hosts mobile tech workshops

Knoxville area U.S. Cellular business experts are hosting free workshops in October 2015 demonstrating how businesses can take advantage of cutting-edge mobile technology.

“Running a business is a challenging endeavor by any measure; however, today’s businesses can take advantage of a number of mobile technology tools to help them succeed,” said Nathan Waddell, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in Tennessee.

Local U.S. Cellular business experts will be on hand to demonstrate the latest businesses learn about the latest mobile technologies and connected devices. You can explore the store and learn more about mobile security, the mobile workplace, mobile registers and overall business productivity. U.S. Cellular associates also can discuss technology to help businesses with fleet tracking, remote monitoring and e-forms, as well as the latest devices, including the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, Apple iPhone 6S and Apple iPad Air 2.

Dates and times for the free workshops are:

Oct. 20, 8:30-9:30 a.m. – 11001 Parkside Drive

Oct. 21, 8:30-9:30 a.m. – 2736 Schaad Road

Oct. 27, 8:30-9:30 a.m. – 8401 Kingston Pike

Oct. 22, 8:30-9:30 a.m. – 4873 N. Broadway

Fossil Day at McClung Museum

KNOXVILLE—In celebration of International Archaeology Day and National Fossil Day, the McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture hosts a free and family friendly event with activities about archaeology and fossils. The event will be held on Sunday, October 11, 2015 from 1:30 to 5:00 p.m. at the museum.

University of Tennessee archaeologists, paleontologists, and geologists and their graduate students will host displays about their projects locally and around the world. They will be on hand to talk with visitors about their work and offer hands-on activities demonstrating their research. Visitors can also bring artifacts, rocks, and fossils to the museum for identification by experts.

The event will also have a number of activities for children, including make-and-take Roman-style shield decorating, writing names in Egyptian hieroglyphs, identifying plant remains in sandboxes, matching animal bones, and making Roman “coins”. Additionally there will be short, interactive presentations for adults and children about caves, fossil crocodiles, a day in the life of a Roman soldier, and exploring Mars.

All activities are free and open to the public, and reservations are not required.

The museum is located at 1327 Circle Park Drive on the University of Tennessee campus. The museum is open Monday through Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Parking passes are not needed on the weekends.


South College tourney supports parenting

Students from the South College School of Physician Assistant Studies Class of 2016 presented a recent donation of $2,200 to Susannah’s House from money raised through their annual golf tournament.

The check presentation to representatives of Susannah’s House was made at the charity’s location at 923 Dameron Ave., in Knoxville. The Edmund J. Wise Physician Assistant Society Golf Classic was held earlier this summer at Centennial Golf Course in Oak Ridge with 55 players, 21 volunteers and 20 sponsors. Wise is a South College faculty member and serves as the society’s adviser.

“I speak for all of the South College School of Physician Assistant Studies students when I say we are truly grateful for everyone who supported our golf tournament this summer and made this donation possible,” said Ryan Roe, vice president of the class of 2016 for the School of Physician Assistant Studies. “Susannah’s House provides invaluable services to mothers and children across East Tennessee, and we are proud to partner with the organization.”

Susannah’s House serves mothers who are recovering from substance abuse and their prenatally exposed infants. The staff helps the mothers achieve sobriety, enhances relationships between mothers and children and builds better life skills for the future.

“We believe destructive cycles can be broken,” said Rebekah Fetzer, executive director for Susannah’s House. “Our goal is to serve women who have the desire and commitment to change. This donation will help us care for mothers and children. We are truly appreciative of South College and the students’ efforts to help our organization.”

2015-09 South College Susannah's House donation

2015-09 South College Susannah’s House Donation: Class of 2016 students from the South College School of Physician Assistant Studies presented $2,200 to Susannah’s House. Pictured from left: students Jessica Hannigan, Ryan Roe, Adaku Taylor, Meredith Cummings and Kate Pryor and Susannah’s House Executive Director Rebekah Fetzer. Photo submitted.

East TN PBS hosts open house

East Tennessee Public Broadcasting Station studios will host their annual Open House on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015, from 6:30pm to 8 pm. Public television members, supporters and the general public are invited to tour the station, meet their favorite local show hosts and learn about educational initiatives occurring across the state.

There will also be light hors d’oeuvres and a garage sale where guests can pick up station-related items; DVD’s, CD’s, books and other items while supporting educational, not-for-profit programming.

Show Host Meet and Greet with:

Dr. Overholt, The Dr. Bob Show
Ernie Roberts, TN Learn: Mathline
Marshal Andy, Riders of the Silver Screen
Missy Kane, Fit & Fun
Sanda Allyson, Scholars’ Bowl
Vicki Lawson, Tennessee Life

In partnership with American Graduate’s Stories of Champions, East Tennessee PBS will be recognizing Tennessee organizations and programs that are successfully helping communities address the high school dropout crisis.

Educational programs to be recognized:
XCELL Mentor Program
Tennessee Scholars
PBS Digital Innovator

East Tennessee PBS exists to serve the needs of East Tennessee as a community partner affecting positive change by educating, entertaining and challenging minds.

The station is located at 1611 East Magnolia Ave, in Knoxville.


Jubilee Arts offers sound mixing workshop

As part of its community service and education programs, Jubilee Community Arts is offering a two-session workshop which will provide an introduction to audio setup, equipment, and mixing for concerts.

Designed for musicians and volunteers interested in a basic introduction to live sound mixing, this workshop will present the basics of microphone usage, gain settings, monitor and house mixing, house and channel EQ, and use of mixing boards.

There is no charge for the workshop, but participants are encouraged to volunteer 6 hours of time over the next year to aid production of Jubilee Community Arts activities.

The workshop will be presented by Dr. Lou Gross, Volunteer Sound Engineer for the Laurel Theater. The workshop dates are Tuesday and Wednesday September 1 and 2 from 6:30-8:30 pm at the Laurel Theater, 16th and Laurel Ave.

To register call Jubilee Community Arts at 865-522-5851 or email

Event raises funds for historic Knoxville

The Historic Homes of Knoxville are pleased to invite the public to a luncheon on Thursday, October 1, 2015, at 11:30 AM at The Foundry to celebrate the founding of the City of Knoxville 224 years ago. Knoxville’s key leaders will come together to celebrate and promote the city and its most precious properties, including Blount Mansion, Crescent Bend, Ramsey House, James White’s Fort, Mabry-Hazen, Marble Springs State Historic Site, and Historic Westwood.

Tennessee Department of Tourist Development commissioner Kevin Triplett will be the featured speaker. Triplett, was appointed to Gov. Bill Haslam’s cabinet as commissioner of the Department of Tourist Development in March of 2015. Triplett, 49, was most recently vice president of public affairs for Bristol Motor Speedway. Prior to joining BMS in 2005, he worked in various roles for NASCAR, ultimately serving as managing director of business operations, guiding the operation and administration of NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series, and Camping World Truck Series. He has twice been named one of NASCAR’s “25 Most Influential” by The Charlotte Observer.

Proceeds from the luncheon will benefit the Historic Homes. Purchase tickets by calling 865-523-7543 by September 24.

Knoxville among health award winners

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell has announced $169 million in Affordable Care Act funding to 266 new health center sites in 46 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico for the delivery of comprehensive primary health care services in communities that need them most. This month Tennessee received 3 awards totaling $2,175,838 to serve a proposed 19,378 new patients.

The August 2015 winners are the Tennessee Department of Health, the Memphis Health Center, and the Tri-State Community Health Center in Memphis.

In May of 2015, three awards totaling $1,578,524 also went to Tennessee, including Cherokee Health Systems in Knoxville, Christ Community Health Services in memphis, and United Neighborhood Health Services in Nashville. The awards are expected to serve a proposed 19,172 new patients.

“Across the country, health centers have provided a source of high-quality primary care for people in rural and urban communities for 50 years,” said Acting Deputy Secretary Mary Wakefield. “These Affordable Care Act funds build on the strong legacy of the health center program and provide even more individuals and families with access to the care they need the most.”

This investment will add to the more than 700 new health center sites that have opened as a result of the Affordable Care Act, including those awarded earlier this year. What started with one clinic in rural Mississippi and another in South Boston is today a national program that supports 1,300 community-based and patient-directed health centers with 9,000 sites serving nearly 23 million people.

“Health centers now provide primary care to one in fourteen people living in the United States,” said HRSA Acting Administrator Jim Macrae. “These awards mean that more communities than ever can count on a health center to help meet the increasing demand for primary care.”


Melnik joins Keep Knoxville Beautiful

Knoxville, TN – The Board of Directors of Keep Knoxville Beautiful is pleased to announce that Patience Melnik has joined the organization as executive director. Patience brings a background in nonprofit project development and management to the position.

“The wealth of experience Patience has in grant writing and relationship building made her an ideal candidate for this position,” said Bob Graves, president of the board of directors.  “We are energized by her presence and look forward to her leadership as we continue the important work of keeping Knoxville beautiful.”

Patience fills the vacancy created by former Executive Director Allison Teeter’s departure in May to join the Knox County Health Department.

Before joining Keep Knoxville Beautiful, Patience served as Director of Environmental Health Programs at the Tennessee Clean Water Network (TCWN), a nonprofit statewide environmental organization located in Knoxville, Tennessee. At TCWN, she was instrumental in creating, funding, and implementing the Bringing Tap Back project, which increased access to drinking water in Tennessee’s public places by providing water bottle refill stations to schools, universities, municipalities, and other organizations.

“I am thrilled to join Keep Knoxville Beautiful,” Melnik said. “At nearly 40 years old, the organization has such a long history of partnerships with other organizations and with countless volunteers to make Knoxville a cleaner, greener, and more beautiful place to live. It is an honor to have the opportunity to build upon the foundation laid by so many people over so many years.”

To welcome Patience, please join Keep Knoxville Beautiful for a Meet and Greet at the Fieldhouse Social located at 2525 UT Commons Way on Thursday, August 27, 2015 from 5:30 until 7pm.

Knoxville hosts preservation conference

The annual East Tennessee Preservation Conference will be held in Knoxville on October 22-24, 2015. This popular event emphasizes finding solutions for securing the future of historic places while capitalizing on cultural heritage.

Primary sessions will be held at the East Tennessee History Center and the conference will include an opening reception and hands-on workshops at Historic Westwood. This year’s keynote speaker and special guest will be Donovan Rypkema from Washington, DC, recognized as an industry leader in the economics of preserving historic structures.

The Tennessee Historical Commission will be providing specialized training for Certified Local Government and Historic Zoning Commission members and AIA continuing education credits will once again be offered.

A variety of walking tours to sites in downtown Knoxville will be available.

Register for the conference by calling 865-523-8008.


The city of Knoxville and East Tennessee offer a wealth of historic buildings and cultural opportunities for residents and visitors alike. Photo of downtown Knoxville in the early 1900s courtesy the East Tennessee Historical Society.


Knoxville Urban League donates shoes

Thanks to the efforts of the Knoxville Area Urban League and Enterprise Rent-A-Car, more than 1,200 children received new tennis shoes and school supplies at the 13th annual Shoes for School held this past weekend.

The event at Caswell Park was timed for the start of the new academic year, giving the children a boost of confidence and sending them into the classroom on the right foot. Each child received shoes and an assortment of school supplies.

“Shoes for Schools is one of the Knoxville Area Urban League’s signature community events, and it’s one of my favorite days at work,” said Phyllis Y. Nichols, president and CEO of the Knoxville Area Urban League. “The joy we share with the children as we give them new shoes and school supplies is irreplaceable for us and for them.”

2015-08 Knoxville Area Urban League Shoes for Schools

The Urban League, Enterprise and other sponsors hosted a festive atmosphere with food, games and inflatables provided by booth sponsors representing area businesses, nonprofit organizations, church groups and others. The Shoes For School event is a community effort and something that families and volunteers eagerly anticipate each year. Photo submitted.

“We are so grateful for our staff and sponsors who work so hard to make this event successful each year,” Nichols said.

Since 1968, the Knoxville Area Urban League has assisted disadvantaged people attain social and economic stability and self-sufficiency through direct services and advocacy. The League works to provide a skilled and diverse workforce; to increase homeownership; to support economic and small business development, and to enhance education efforts for youth. The Knoxville Area Urban League is a United Way partner agency and affiliate of the National Urban League. The League’s work and results are evident in the lives of the over 8,000 people it impacts each year.

For more information, call 865-524-5511 or visit

Feast with the Beasts at Knoxville Zoo

Knoxville – Feast with the Beasts, presented by ORNL Federal Credit Union, takes place on Saturday, August 15, 2015, from 7 to 11 p.m. at Knoxville Zoo.

Feast with the Beasts is an evening event that features everything from appetizers to desserts and a variety of wine, beer and spirits to sample. More than 50 restaurants, wineries, breweries and beverage distributors will be serving their specialties throughout the zoo. A complete list of participating vendors can be found on Knoxville Zoo’s web site at

Music on three stages will keep the evening lively. The Vibraslaps will entertain on the main Plaza stage with alternative favorites, while Shiffty and the Headmasters will perform ‘80’s and ‘90’s hits on the Kids Cove stage and Jim Asbell and The Tropiholics will be performing songs for those who are on “island time” on the zoo’s west end.

All food, beverages and entertainment are included with event tickets. Tickets for Feast with the Beasts are $65 per person in advance and $70 the day of the event. Zoo members and ORNL Federal Credit Union members receive a $5 discount. Purchase nine tickets and get the tenth ticket free. Tickets are on sale at Knoxville Zoo’s ticket window during zoo hours. Tickets can also be purchased online at or by calling (865) 637-5331 and at all Knoxville area ORNL Federal Credit Union locations.

Feast with the Beasts is for guests 21 years of age and over and guests must show a valid photo I.D. to enter the event. All proceeds directly benefit Knoxville Zoo.

For more information, please call 865.637.5331 ext. 300 or visit

Democrat Women support education

KNOXVILLE, TN – When school starts back for the 2015-2016 term, students at Maynard Elementary School can expect a real treat. Free books are on the way.

Due to a program launched by Martha Rose Woodward, a retired school teacher, Betty Reddick, Democratic Women of Knoxville’s leader and Sid Gwyn, local businessman, students in grades 2nd through 5th will be given free books each to take home and keep.

More books will be given to the students during this school year in hopes of increasing reading practice. Democratic Women of Knoxville, a club that recently celebrated its 25th year, sponsors programs and events that support education.

As a long-time member of Friends of the Library, Woodward said that she negotiated with the group in order to purchase books left over from their big sale held in May at a discounted rate.

“After Betty’s group paid for the books, I selected the ones I knew would coordinate with the skills being taught in each grade. After I boxed up the books, we needed a place to store them. Betty was going to rent a storage unit, but my good friend, Sid Gwyn, had an empty house he offered as space for storage until time for school to begin,” said Woodward.

The books were sorted according to grade levels and placed in bags made by the members of the club from tee-shirts.

Contact was made with the principal of Maynard Elementary School, Kim Wilburn-Collum, who was thrilled for her students to have the opportunity to be given free books. A date was set and free books will be going home with the lucky students soon.

“We wanted a program like this one,” said Wilburn-Collum. “We just didn’t know how it might happen. This fits the needs of our students.”

Anyone in the community who would like to make a donation for the program may contact Betty Reddick via e mail at

Democratic Women of Knoxville meets on the first Monday of the month at 12:00 noon at the Knoxville-Oak Ridge Area Central Labor Council, located at 1522 Bill Williams Drive. Membership is open.


Democratic Women of Knoxville’s Club made no-sew bags using old tee-shirts to hold the free books being distributed at Maynard Elementary School in Knoxville. Photo by M. Woodward.

Clarence Brown tickets on sale Aug 9

Individual Tickets for 2015/2016 Clarence Brown Theatre Season go on sale Sunday, August 9, 2015.

“Created right here in Knoxville for our community, the CBT’s 2015/2016 Season promises the absolute best in live theatre,” said David B. Byrd, CBT Managing Director. “From a hilarious send-up of one of motion picture’s greats, to dueling holiday offerings, to a stalwart of the musical theatre canon, there’s something for everyone this season. Don’t wait to purchase tickets and be in control by purchasing online, anytime.”


The 2015/2016 Clarence Brown Theatre Season includes: “The 39 Steps” by Patrick Barlow; “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck; “Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play” by Anne Washburn; “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens; “The Santaland Diaries” by David Sedaris; “Titus Andronicus” by William Shakespeare; “A Lesson Before Dying” by Earnest J. Gaines (The CBT is pleased to be partnering with the Knox County Public Library on “The Big Read,” a series of ancillary events associated with this production and the novel by Ernest J. Gaines); “The Open Hand” – A CBT-Commissioned World Premiere by Rob Caisley; “South Pacific” with music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II.

For more information, tickets or accessibility accommodation requests including Open Captioning, ASL, and assistive technologies, please call the CBT Box Office at 865-974-5161 or visit online at

Further East exhibits new works

The Arts & Culture Alliance and the ETSU Slocumb Galleries are pleased to present a new exhibition entitled Further East by the faculty and staff of the Department of Art & Design at East Tennessee State University.

Further East features contemporary work in various media by Johnson City-area artists David Dixon, M. Wayne Dyer, Mira Gerard, Travis Graves, Mindy Herrin, Amanda Hood, Vanessa Mayoraz, Patricia Mink, Catherine Murray, Peter Pawlowicz, Kelly Celeste Porter, Kevin Reaves, Andrew Scott Ross, Katie Sheffield, Ralph Slatton, Mike Smith, and Dawn Marie Tipton and will be displayed at the Emporium Center in downtown Knoxville from August 7-28, 2015.

An opening reception will take place on Friday, August 7, from 5:00-9:00 PM and features a Jazz Jam Session hosted by Vance Thompson and Friends from 7:00-8:45 PM in the Black Box Theatre. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres will be available and chocolate fondue will be provided by the Melting Pot of Knoxville.

The Art Galleries under the Department of Art & Design at the ETSU College of Arts and Sciences promote the understanding and appreciation of visual arts in support of the academic experience and the cultural development surrounding communities. Their mission is to provide venues for and access to contemporary art by organizing innovative exhibitions that promote artistic excellence, diversity, collaborations and creative thinking.

“Further East” will be on display at the Emporium Center, 100 S. Gay Street. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM and select Sundays 3:30-6:30 PM.


Works by Mira Gerard are part of the new exhibit titled Further East at the Department of Art and Design at East TN State University. Photo submitted.

Knoxville hosts history fair

The 8th Annual East Tennessee History Fair takes place at the East Tennessee History Center and several downtown Knoxville locations from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., August 15, 2015.


Historical re-enactors are a familiar site at the East Tennessee History Fair in downtown Knoxville. Here, a Civil War doctor explains surgical procedures at a booth display of authentic historical instruments.  File photo by Celebrate Knoxville.

Activities include a living history timeline, live music, historic crafts demonstrations, historical and genealogical groups from across the region, children’s crafts and activities, Davy Crockett’s birthday party, walking tours of downtown, Civil War bus tours and tours of Knoxville’s historic homes, tours of underground Gay Street, “History Hound” dog costume contest, free museum admission, Smoky Mountain film festival at the Tennessee Theatre, vintage baseball games at World’s Fair Park, art exhibits, miniature battles, traditional foods, book sales, and farmers market.

This event is free and open to the public.

The East Tennessee History Center is located at 601 S. Gay Street.

Knoxville great place to bike

Want to learn how to ride your bike safely in Knoxville? Need tips on which routes are best for getting to and from work on your bike?

Take the Ride Smart – Urban Biking 101 class – with I BIKE KNX.

I BIKE KNX promotes bicycling as part of the overall transportation system and is housed within the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization.

This 1-hour casual ride will teach you where to ride on the road, how to negotiate intersections, and other tips to make you more confident biking in traffic.

Email if you’re interested and want to find out when the next class is available. There is a $15 fee.

In the meantime, enjoy this One Minute Bike Ride in Knoxville’s Old City video by Courtney Connors, June 2015.

Dinosaurs return to Knoxville

The Knoxville Convention Center once again is inviting families, young people and adults to travel back in time 65 million years at “Discover the Dinosaurs” on Saturday and Sunday, July 18-19, 2015.


Now in its fourth year at the Convention Center, the interactive exhibition, “Discover the Dinosaurs,” is an educational family outing featuring 40 museum-quality and animatronic dinosaur replicas. In the exhibit’s first three years, more than 43,000 children and adults have attended the attraction. Photo submitted.

“Discover the Dinosaurs,” produced by Blue Star Media, is designed to provide children and adults with a unique and educational way to explore prehistoric life. The exhibit allows visitors to get close and even touch the replicas. The backdrops are custom-designed to reflect the landscapes of the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.

Several of the dinosaurs are controlled with interactive animatronic buttons that allow children to control the dinosaur’s movements and sounds. The non-moving dinosaurs are able to be touched. The dinosaur replicas are proportionally sized to scale.

The event also features activities, such as Dino Dig, where children pretend to be archeologists hunting for fossils in sand; Dino Den, where young guests climb and interact with dinosaurs their size; Dino Theater, where educational and entertaining videos are shown; coloring station; and scavenger hunt with clues hidden throughout the exhibit.

Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops rides, mini-golf and inflatables are available for an additional charge.

The exhibit is open Saturday, July 18, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, July 19, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For tickets, visit

PBS film highlights state history

The “Tennesseans: A Volunteer Legacy” will premier July 4, 2015 on East Tennessee PBS. The hour-long film is the first documentary to highlight the events, men and women that earned the state its nickname from the Revolutionary War Battle of Kings Mountain to the modern battlefields of today.

It was shot on location across the country featuring nationally recognized military historians, rare films and photographs that tell a story few know about the state’s military legacy.

“We’re so excited to air this incredible film,” said East Tennessee PBS CEO Vickie Lawson. “It truly provides a never-before-seen glimpse into the lives of the individuals who helped shape our state’s history.”

Funded through a partnership between First Tennessee Bank, Ed Hooper, and Rowland Pictures of Knoxville, this bicentennial story is one of a kind. Hooper had recently premiered his previous film, “Medal of Honor: The History,” when he began searching for an underwriter to fund The Tennesseans.

“Tennessee more or less defined the citizen-soldier in U.S. history and the stories of these men and women need to be preserved,” said Hooper.

Hooper said he went to the sources to make this film possible, including The Department of Defense who “graciously gave access and permission to their people and resources.” He also “ran down private collectors, descendants, national historians, etc.” through a statewide effort from Elizabethton to Memphis.

As any good filmmaker would, Hooper found himself sad to leave even a single story on the cutting room floor.

“I hated what was left on the cutting room floor because you can’t tell all the stories in the time we had,” he said. “The story behind the “Volunteer” nickname is one of the most remarkable legacies in the nation.”


Admiral Farragut appears in the upcoming PBS hour-long documentary to highlight the events, men and women that earned the state its nickname from the Revolutionary War Battle of Kings Mountain to the modern battlefields of today. Photo submitted.

Celebrate July 4th at Marble Springs

The public is invited as Marble Springs State Historic Site celebrates the Fourth of July 2015. Activities include a “Let Freedom Ring” bell ringing ceremony at 2 p.m., Revolutionary War Stories, and a Raising of a Liberty Pole. This event is in collaboration with the General Henry Knox Chapter Sons of the Revolution and local reenacting community.

This event will take place from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on July 4 and is free to the public, though donations are appreciated.


All Fourth of July 2015 activities take place at the Marble Springs State Historic Site: 1220 West Governor John Sevier Highway, in Knoxville. Photo courtesy Marble Springs Historic Site.

Programming assistance for this event is provided by Knox County. Marble Springs is funded under an agreement with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Tennessee Historical Commission, and supplemented by additional funds raised by the Governor John Sevier Memorial Association.

Information found at 865-573-5508.


IJAMS hosts osprey observation

KNOXVILLE – On Saturday, June 13, 2015, from 10am-12pm, join Ijams naturalist Stephen Lyn Bales for a road trip to Sequoyah Hills to observe osprey nesting. Last year, attendees of this event were fortunate to watch parent birds begin the intricate training of their young fledglings.


With a wingspan of over 5 feet, the osprey is one of the largest birds of prey in North America. It eats live fish almost exclusively and is therefore usually found near large bodies of water.

According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, over 150 osprey nests were counted during waterbird surveys across Tennessee in 2012, however only maybe 10 percent of the river miles in the state were surveyed. This expansion was also facilitated by the erection of numerous nesting platforms across the state, which continues to the present.

The osprey is one of the most widespread birds in the world, found on all continents except Antarctica. During the winter, North American breeding osprey mainly winter south of the United States, in Central and South America.

The fee for this program is $12 for Ijams Nature Center members and $15 for non-members. Brunch will be served during the event and will consist of a hearty continental breakfast provided by IJAMS newest gourmand, Kodie Underwood.

IJAMS is a 300-acre urban greenspace and environmental learning center located at 2915 Island Home Avenue in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Please call (865) 577-4717, ext. 110 to register.

KCDC elects board officers

Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation (KCDC) has announced the appointment of new board officers following its annual board meeting.

Dan Murphy, a University of Tennessee professor of accounting specializing in federal taxation, will serve as chairman. Murphy was appointed by Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero to the Board of Commissioners in 2013.

Jacqueline Arthur, general manager of the community-owned food cooperative Three Rivers Market, was appointed vice chairman. Arthur also was appointed to the KCDC board by Rogero in 2013.

Resident commissioner Phyllis Patrick, administrative assistant at Evergreen Presbyterian Ministries, Inc., will serve as treasurer. Art Cate, KCDC executive director and CEO, was elected secretary.

KCDC’s Board of Commissioners is a seven-member body appointed by the Knoxville mayor to oversee programs provided by the agency, including affordable public housing administration, redevelopment and rental assistance. The board members began their one-year term as officers at the board’s annual meeting on May 28.

Other board members are: John Winemiller, partner at the law firm Merchant & Gould; David Hutchins, architect and president of Hutchins Associates P.C.; Lisa Wagoner, supervisor of health services for Knox County Schools; and Dr. John Turner, retired senior vice president of education, training and diversity at the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Since 1936, KCDC has been dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for the citizens of Knoxville. KCDC’s mission is to improve and transform neighborhoods and communities by providing high-quality affordable housing, advancing development initiatives and fostering self-sufficiency.

For more information, call 865-403-1100 or visit

See Park fireflies this weekend

GSMNP – Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s firefly viewing event in Elkmont takes place through Tuesday, June 9, 2015.


Every year in late May or early June, thousands of visitors gather near the popular Elkmont Campground to observe the naturally occurring phenomenon of Photinus carolinus, a firefly species that flashes synchronously.

Access to the viewing area during the 8-days of predicted peak activity is provided through a shuttle service beginning at Sugarlands Visitor Center. All visitors wishing to view the synchronous fireflies at Elkmont must have a parking pass ($1.50 for regular sized vehicles) and an additional $1 (cash) for the shuttle round-trip. Parking passes are non-refundable, non-transferable, and good only for the date issued. Visitors are not allowed to walk the Elkmont entrance road due to safety concerns.

Passes can be purchased at Parking passes may also be obtained by calling 1-877-444-6777, but park officials strongly encourage the use of the online process because it provides more information to visitors about what to expect when they arrive at the park.

For more information about the synchronous fireflies, please visit the park website at

First gorilla born in Knoxville

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.— Knoxville Zoo is excited to announce the birth of an endangered Western lowland gorilla, the first gorilla ever born in Knoxville.

The baby was born at approximately 2:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 28, 2015, to 31-year-old mother Hope, who came to Knoxville in 2012 from Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, on the recommendation of the Western Lowland Gorilla Species Survival Plan.

Both mother and baby appear to be doing very well, and Knoxville Zoo staff are continuously monitoring them and the zoo’s gorilla group, which includes females Kowali and Machi and first-time father Bantu.

As long as the baby and Hope continue to do well and there are no concerns about their interaction with the other members of the family group, zoo staff will not intervene and let Hope do what comes naturally to a gorilla mother.

Hope's baby

Book sale benefits library programs

Knox County Public Library will once again host their summer book sale to benefit library programs this weekend.

The sale is from Friday, May 29, 2015 through Monday, June 1, at Bearden High School, 8352 Kingston Pike.

Thousands of beautiful used books will be available for sale, and proceeds from the sale benefit Summer Library Clubs and other programs at Knox County Public Library.

Revenues from volunteer-operated book sales combine with membership dues and donations to fund library enhancements that would not be available otherwise.

In 2015 Friends will contribute over $50,000 to the Knox County Public Library System, providing support for projects including Summer Library Club incentives, Zoomobile visits to branches, and sponsorship and volunteers for the Children’s Festival of Reading.

Knoxville Zoo hosts sports event

Knoxville Zoo’s Wild World of Sports event will take place Saturday, May 16, 2015 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Knoxville Zoo.

Bamboo Playing Soccer

Athletic-themed activities include the chance for kids to interact with local collegiate athletes playing games that challenge them to move like animals.

Professional players and mascots from the Tennessee Smokies baseball team will be posing for photos and signing autographs, and guests can interact with other organizations representing the sports scene in Knoxville, including the Knoxville Force soccer team, the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and Knoxville Bubbleball, a member of the National Association of Bubble Soccer.

All Wild World of Sports event activities are included as part of general admission to Knoxville Zoo. Knoxville Zoo is Knoxville’s most-visited destination. Knoxville Zoo is nationally accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is committed to the highest standards in animal care and well-being, ethics, conservation, and education.

Currently, the zoo is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Admission and ticket sales stop one-hour before the zoo closes. Next-day admission is free after 3 p.m. For more information, please call 865.637.5331.

Knoxville Croquet tourney is May 17

KNOXVILLE – Knoxville Opera Guild will host the 11th annual Knoxville Croquet Tournament on Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. on the grounds of the UT RecSports Field Complex across from Dead End BBQ on Sutherland Ave.

Participation is open to the public, and no experience is necessary. Participants can register to play solo or with a partner, or may choose to simply attend and mingle in support of the arts organization.

“The Croquet Tournament allows us to gather and enjoy fellowship as a community while enjoying some friendly competition for a worthy cause,” said Knoxville Opera Marketing and Public Relations Director Michael Torano. “It’s a great opportunity to strengthen our support base and end the 2014-2015 Season with a bang.”

Along with playing croquet on the green, attendees will enjoy a gourmet brunch and high tea, raffle prizes, a bocce game, vintage automobiles, and vintage costume contest.

The Knoxville Arts Challenge competition will be presented by Mayor Tim Burchett. Registration will begin at 10:30 a.m. followed by the gourmet brunch and tournament. The event is proudly sponsored and catered by All Occasion Catering.

Ticket prices begin at $100. For more information, please call Audrey Duncan at 865.588.8371.

Statehood Day at Blount Mansion

KNOX COUNTY – Celebrating the pioneers who settled and transformed the southwest territory into the vibrant state of Tennessee, the Blount Mansion Association will be hosting its annual Statehood Day on Friday, May 29, 2015 from 6:30-9 p.m. in the Blount Mansion garden, which has been maintained by the Knoxville Garden Club for 81 years.

Additionally, there will be a chance to see the newest exhibit in the Visitors Center. The exhibit is an in depth look at the evolution of the houses and neighborhood from the time Governor Blount first built here in 1792 until today.

A cocktail dinner will be served by Holly’s Eventful Catering, and there will be an open bar available.

Knox County’s only National Historic Landmark and oldest house museum, the Blount Mansion is considered the birthplace of Tennessee, and it was built by William Blount who came to Knoxville to be Governor of the Territory South of the River Ohio. Under Blount’s leadership efforts were made to organize the Territory into the 16 Constitution may have been drafted in the Governor’s office here on the historic Blount Mansion property. It is owned and operated by the Blount Mansion Association, Inc., a nonprofit, educational organization.

Reservations can be made by phone at (865) 525-2375.

Knoxville historic homes receive award

The Historic Homes of Knoxville were honored by the Tennessee Association of Museums at the recent 2015 TAM Annual Conference held in Jackson, Tennessee.

The homes received an Award of Excellence for their collaborative brochure which provides information on each of the seven historic sites. The brochures are available at each of the seven sites and at the Knoxville Visitors Center. The Historic Homes were selected for this honor by a committee of museum professionals and TAM board members who evaluated nominees against museums of comparable budgets.

The Historic Homes of Knoxville is a successful partnership between seven historic homes that offer guided tours throughout the year.

The seven historic homes are Blount Mansion, Crescent Bend House & Gardens, Historic Ramsey House, James White’s Fort, Mabry-Hazen House, Marble Springs State Historic Site, and Historic Westwood.

IJAMS hosts eCycle event

KNOXVILLE – On Saturday, March 28, 2015, Ijams Nature Center will host a community e-waste recycling event. Organized and conducted by eCycle of Knoxville, the collection will provide an opportunity for local residents to safely and responsibly dispose of old and unwanted appliances and electronics.

The collection will be open from 10 am to 2 pm in the overflow parking lot across the street from the main Ijams entrance at 2915 Island Home Avenue. There will be signs directing people to the drop-off location, and there will be staff on hand to assist with unloading.

eCycle will accept all types of electronics and appliances with the exception of CRT televisions. Accepted electronics include but are not limited to televisions, desktop and laptop computers, speakers, stereos, and kitchen appliances. They will also accept accessories, cables, and cell phones as well as scrap metal.

According to the EPA, e-waste recyclers recover more than 100 million pounds of materials annually. Responsible companies like eCycle of Knoxville ensure that these materials are reused or disposed of in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.

Ijams Nature Center is a 300-acre urban greenspace encouraging stewardship of the natural world by providing engaging outdoor experiences.

About eCycle of Knoxville: eCycle was formed to address the tremendous need our local businesses had to correctly dispose of their electronic and computer e-waste. What started as a venture has grown into a venue collecting as much as 40,000 lbs of recyclable material per month. eCycle accepts all electronic, computer and metal waste including printers and appliances. They are a licensed electronics recycle business and use R2 certified recycle companies for downstream channels.


Spring arrives at IJAMS

Spring arrives officially today and Knoxville’s urban wilderness, IJAMS, invites residents to enjoy the warmer weather by exploring the nature center on Saturday, March 21, 2015. Just some of the weekend scheduled events are:

9 am – 10 am
(All Ages) Grab your favorite four-legged friend and join Ijams’ own veterinarian, Dr. Louise Conrad, as she walks her own canine companions. She’ll review good doggy etiquette at the park and help owners understand the special safety concerns for dogs in nature. The fee for this program is $5 for non-members and FREE for members. Please call (865) 577-4717, ext. 110 to register.

9 am – 12 pm
IJAMS BIRDING SERIES: Backyard Birding Basics
(Recommended for Adults) Studying birds can open up a new world of outdoor exploration. This hands-on workshop will take you into the field to learn more about the practice of birding as well as how to identify common bird species. Instructor: Stephen Lyn Bales. Fee: $29. This is an UT Non-credit course.

9:30 am – 11 am
PEG’S KITCHEN: Breakfast is Served
If you are heading to Ijams this Saturday morning for a program, hike or simple walkabout, bring your appetite. Each week, Peg’s Kitchen features one of Ijams’ very own chefs, including the original… Peg! The menu varies from biscuits and gravy with sausage to pancakes and maple syrup, plus fresh fruit, coffee or tea. Come hungry! The fee for breakfast is $7 for adults and $5 for children (12 and under). For $10, you can get all you can eat! No pre-registration is required.

10 am, 2 pm, 3 pm
ANIMAL PROGRAM: Ijams Creature Feature
(All Ages) Have you met all the animals that call the Ijams Visitor Center home? If not, be sure to stop by every Saturday for a chance to get nose-to-beak with some of our resident furred and feathered ambassadors. This program is FREE, but donations to support animal care are welcome. Pre-registration is not required for this event.

1 pm – 4 pm
(Ages 16 and up) The Tennessee Naturalist Program (TNP) is an education training course designed to introduce the natural history of Tennessee to interested adults. This immersive nature study allows participants the chance to wade in creeks, stargaze in an open field, and even catch bugs and tadpoles. How often do you get the chance to act like a kid again? This week is the introductory session for the 2015 class. Open to registered participants only. For more information, call Peg at (865) 577-4717, ext. 114.

6 pm
IJAMS BIRDING SERIES: Woodcock Supper Walk
(All Ages) Join senior naturalist Stephen Lyn Bales as he reveals his secret location for observing the whimsical mating display of male woodcocks. Filled with struts, peents, flutters, and tweets, it is one of the most unique performances in the birding world. Peg’s kitchen will also be serving a traditional soupy supper to warm our bellies before we go adventuring. The fee for this program is $10 for Ijams members and $15 for non-members. Please call (865) 577-4717, ext. 110 to register.

Park Day at Mabry-Hazen

Knoxville – On Saturday, March 28, 2015, history buffs, community leaders and preservationists will team up with the Civil War Trust, History and Take Pride in America at more than 98 historic sites across the country to participate in the 18th annual Park Day.

Since its inception in 1996, Park Day has attracted volunteers of all ages and abilities bound by their dedication to serving their communities. In 2014, nearly 9,000 volunteers at 104 sites across the country donated more than 35,000 service hours. This year, organizers hope to build on these impressive figures.

Mabry-Hazen House will participate in Park Day on Saturday, March 28, 2015, from 9am to 2pm. Activities will include leaf and brush removal, mulching, and general spring-cleaning. Some tools will be provided, but volunteers are encouraged to bring rakes, pitchforks, tarps, and similar yard tools.


Mabry-Hazen House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Photo courtesy Calvin Chappelle.

Additional information about the event can be obtained by calling 865-522-8661.


Knoxville recycling turns to art

KNOXVILLE – Sculptures created by 12 University of Tennessee art students that incorporate materials provided by steel recycler Gerdau will be on public display April 3-19, 2015 at the Knoxville Convention Center.

“The Art of Recycling” sculpture exhibition celebrates April’s National Recycling Month and a partnership among Gerdau, Dogwood Arts and the University of Tennessee Sculpture Program. The sculptures will be unveiled in a public ceremony Friday, April 3, at 10 a.m. Though the partnership always has resulted in new works of art, 2015 is the first time it has culminated in a public art exhibition.

Participating UT students include Rachel Byrd, Veronica Castle, Keelin Cavanaugh, Kylee Haynes, Daniel Hood, Cameron Kite, Marisa Mitchell, Lauren Sanders, Paige Smith, Patricia Tinsley, Nicholas Tamas and Kenzie Wells.

2014-01 Gerdau - Scrapyard Dig
John Powers, University of Tennessee assistant professor of sculpture, and student Paige Smith survey the massive piles of discarded metal and steel at Gerdau’s scrapyard. A dozen students will create works of art from materials selected from the scrapyard, and the art will be on display during April 2015, National Recycling Month. Photo submitted.

IJAMS hosts Bird Nesting program

KNOXVILLE – Ready to get out and do something fun this weekend? Join IJAMS Nature Center senior naturalist Stephen Lyn Bales Saturday, March 7, 2015, from 9-11 a.m. for an indoor program on “Bird Nesting.”

Bluebirds need pine needles, titmice need hair, wrens need a hidey-hole and robins just need a flat surface and mud. Learn quick tips on how you can help your backyard birds nest successfully. After the program, enjoy hiking around the IJAMS Nature Center.

The fee for the Bird Nesting program is $7 for Ijams members and $12 for non-members.

IJAMS’ chef Peg will also be serving a traditional breakfast.

Please call (865) 577-4717, ext. 110 to register.

IJAMS Nature Center is a 300-acre urban greenspace and environmental learning center in downtown Knoxville.

U.S. Cellular invests in TN

U.S. Cellular continued to invest in the wireless experience for its customers in 2014 with upgrades to its network and store environment throughout Tennessee, according to a recent press release from the company.

U.S. Cellular invested $66.7 million in network enhancements across the state. This was a combination of 4G LTE enhancements and upgrades to the company’s existing high-speed network. Of the $66.7 million total investment, $47.3 million was spent in Knoxville.

U.S. Cellular also invested $822,936 in its stores across Tennessee to highlight the latest devices, accessories and technology. In 2014 the company built or renovated six of these store locations in Tennessee, including those in Knoxville, Oak Ridge, Clinton, Pigeon Forge, Seymour and Maynardville. Knoxville locations include the stores at 8401 Kingston Pike and 11001 Parkside Drive.

In addition to infrastructure enhancements, U.S. Cellular donated $1 million to schools across the country through its Calling All Teachers program. This program provides funding for impactful classroom projects submitted by public school teachers on

In Tennessee, 87 teachers received a total of $49,262 in funding from U.S. Cellular for their classroom projects, and this local donation benefits more than 12,300 students.

EDITOR’S NOTE: U.S. Cellular 4G LTE not available in all areas. 4G LTE service is provided in partnership with King Street Wireless. LTE is a trademark of ETSI.

McClung Museum receives rare maps

KNOXVILLE—Almost 200 rare maps of Europe and other parts of the world created between the 1500s and 1800s now belong to the UT McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture.

Twenty of the maps are currently on display in the Burchfiel Geography Building. These, and the other maps housed in the museum’s collections, will be used for exhibition and teaching at the museum. They also will be used for undergraduate and graduate coursework on the history of maps and mapmaking from the sixteenth century onward and the importance of such maps to navigation, world politics, business and trade, agriculture, exploration, colonialism, and warfare.

“This collection of maps is a meaningful addition to our resources available for teaching, and several UT faculty have already taken advantage of the availability of the maps as a tool for inspiring meaningful discussions in their classrooms about cultural identity, political boundaries, and change, as well as socioeconomic conditions,” said Lindsey Waugh, the McClung Museum’s coordinator of academic programs.

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Students in Jovana Babovic’s Central European Cities class discuss political power, cultural perception, and urban development as they view seventeenth and eighteenth-century maps in the McClung Museum’s object study room. Photo submitted.

Most of the 191 maps are copperplate engravings with painstakingly applied hand color. They were created by mapmaking giants of the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, including Gerard Mercator, the famous cartographer who was the first to plot the straight-line courses (Mercator projection) typical on today’s maps; Abraham Ortelius, the creator of the first modern atlas; Nicholas Visscher, whose family made some of the most famous maps during the golden age of Dutch mapmaking; and Guillaume DeLisle, popular for his maps of newly explored Africa and the Americas.

The gift came to the museum from Jeffery M. Leving, attorney and founder of Fathers’ Rights in Chicago. Two additional maps were gifted by Orrin Lippoff of Brooklyn, New York, and Robert J. Isakson of Mobile, Alabama. The museum worked closely with W. Graham Arader III, owner of Arader Galleries and a longtime UT donor, who facilitated these gifts.

Sustainable Coffee Bread recipe

Sustainable Cooking by Mary June Thompson, Food Writer, Celebrate Knoxville, February 20, 2015. – There are a lot of ways to utilize a sustainable cooking philosophy in the kitchen, and not just with food. At my house, we drink a lot of coffee, and we prefer a specific brand that is sold in tin cans. Not only do those cans keep the coffee very fresh, but they have a myriad of other handy uses once the coffee is consumed, including bacon grease cans, paint cans, storage cans, and even baking vessels.

Bread that has finished baking in the can

So today I would like to share a recipe I developed that not only reuses the coffee grounds, but also repurposes the coffee tin as well. It would also make a great homemade gift idea, as the bread is actually very simple to make, especially for a yeast bread, and a load of bread baked in a coffee can makes a whimsical and fun presentation.

My bread is purposely quite a bit less sweet than one would expect a chocolate bread to be. I made it this way for a couple of reasons: First, the coffee notes in the bread are more noticeable with less sugar, and second, I wanted a bread that I could enhance with sugary things and not be overwhelmed by an excess of sweetness. This bread is absolutely perfect with a smear of Nutella, and it is also complemented by maple syrup when used as the basis for chocolate French toast. Add some fresh sliced strawberries on top, and you’ve got a perfect breakfast, brunch, or snack time treat that is fresh, healthy, and sustainable.

A Few Simple Ingredients Make a Lovely Home Baked Bread

Chocolate Coffee Can Bread

Special Equipment:

Candy thermometer


½ pound metal coffee can (Note: Don’t use one with a coated lining for health

Kitchen string


Non-stick cooking spray

½ cup milk

2 Tablespoons used coffee grounds

1 teaspoon fast-acting yeast

1 Tablespoon sugar

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¾ cup bread flour, plus an extra cup or so for kneading

¼ cup cocoa powder

2 Tablespoons neutral-tasting oil, such as canola, vegetable, or safflower

1 large egg, at room temperature

Coffee Grounds Bundle


Spray interior of coffee can thoroughly with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

Using at least four layers of cheesecloth, cut out a section large enough to hold the
coffee grounds with enough additional space to tie the bundle at the top. Place coffee grounds in center of cheesecloth and tie together securely with kitchen string. (See photo.)

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt. In another
small bowl, whisk together the egg and oil. Set both bowls aside.

In a small saucepan, add the milk and bundle of coffee grounds. Warm the milk over
medium heat to reach 110°F on a candy thermometer, pressing occasionally on bundle to release the liquid and infuse the milk with coffee flavor.

Once the milk has reached 110°F, remove from heat, press all liquid from the coffee
bundle, discard coffee bundle, and stir in yeast. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture, then add the egg mixture and stir until incorporated. You should have a moist, sticky dough at this point. (See photo.)

Flour a large, flat work surface and the exterior of the dough ball generously. Place
dough on floured surface and begin to knead the dough with floured hands, adding a small amount of flour as needed, just enough to keep the dough from being sticky. Knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 5-6 minutes. Place dough into prepared coffee tin. Cover coffee tin with a clean kitchen towel and set in a warm place for an hour to an hour and a half, or until dough has risen above rim of can. Pre-heat oven to 375°F.

Once dough has risen, place can into the center of the pre-heated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into center of dough comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the can until the can is cool enough to touch. Remove bread and cool thoroughly on a wire rack before slicing, or return to can if giving as a gift.


Mary June Thompson has been cooking and entertaining for nearly two decades. During this time, her cooking style has expanded and evolved from typical American fare to encompass many different types of cuisines, including Italian, French, Greek, Asian, Mediterranean/North African, and Latin American. Focusing on obtaining the best available ingredients and preparing fresh, healthy dishes with bold flavor defines her cooking style, regardless of cuisine.

Screenwriter speaks to Knoxville writers

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Novelist and screenwriter Shannon Burke will read from his newest book, “Into the Savage Country,” at the March 2015 program of the Knoxville Writers’ Guild.

Shannon Burke

Shannon Burke will speak to the Knoxville Writers Guild beginning at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 5, 2015 at the Laurel Theater, at the corner of Laurel Avenue and 16th Streets (in Fort Sanders). A $2 donation is requested at the door. The building is handicapped accessible. Additional parking is available at Redeemer Church of Knoxville, 1642 Highland Ave. The event is open to the public.

“Into the Savage Country” is a historical adventure novel that mostly takes place on a trapping brigade in the 1820s. The novel begins as the protagonist – a young man named William Wyeth – starts west on a trapping brigade. The character makes friends, falls in love, chases buffalos and becomes involved in a struggle where the future of the country hangs in the balance.

“I grew up reading books like ‘Kidnapped,’ ‘Treasure Island,’ ‘White Fang’ and ‘The Count of Monte Cristo,’ and my intent was to write a book in that vein,” Burke said.

Burke’s previous novels were well-received and have been translated into several languages. “Safelight” (Random House 2005) was on the Kirkus and Publishers Weekly end of the year lists. “Black Flies” (Soft Skull Press 2008) was on numerous end of the year lists, was a New York Times Notable Book, a finalist for the Believer Book Award, on the Impac Dublin Literary Award Long List and runner up for the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. He has worked on various films, including work on the script for the film “Syriana.”

About the Knoxville Writers’ Guild

The Knoxville Writers’ Guild exists to facilitate a broad and inclusive community for area writers, provide a forum for information, support and sharing among writers, help members improve and market their writing skills and promote writing and creativity. Additional information about KWG can be found at

A1LabArts promotes book sharing

KNOXVILLE – A1LabArts is hosting a Little Free Library Workshop on Saturday, February 21, 2015 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Center for Creative Minds, 23 Emory Place, in Knoxville.

For $50 per box, participants can create a Little Free Library to place in their neighborhood. What is a Little Free Library? It’s a “take a book, return a book” gathering place where neighbors share their favorite literature and stories.

Participants will be provided with all of the supplies necessary to assemble a box and instructions on how to install the box in their neighborhood. Groups are encouraged to participate. Email Donna at to register.

A1LabArts is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1995 by a group of local artists. It is dedicated to multi-disciplinary and experimental exploration of contemporary art issues in all media.

Great Cake Bake is Feb 28

This year’s Great Cake Bake to benefit the Dolly Parton Imagination Library of Knox County will take place on February 28, 2015, from noon to 5 p.m. at the Tennessee Terrace Level of Neyland Stadium.

Cake decorators, sugar enthusiasts, and artists pull out all the stops to create a sugary vision so that cake lovers come out to see and buy these sweet confections.


Each competition entry is $15, which sponsors one child to receive books for a year;
Tickets are $10 (children 12 and under are free)

Entry Deadline is February 22, 2015.

For more information, visit

Knoxville Mitten Tree provides warmth

More than 400 Lonsdale Elementary School students in Knoxville are a little warmer this winter, thanks to the annual Mitten Tree event sponsored by steel recycler Gerdau and held at the school during the holiday season.

When Gerdau took over operations of its Knoxville mill in 2000, the company began hosting this event to provide hats, mittens, holiday treats and a visit from Santa for the schoolchildren.

“Each year, our employees look forward to interacting with our neighborhood kids through this event,” Gerdau Vice President and General Manager Johnny Miller said. “Some of the children here today could be our future employees, and we’re happy to help keep them warm this winter.”

The Mitten Tree event has become a fun tradition for the students at Lonsdale Elementary School. For Gerdau, it helps fulfill the company’s goal of being a great neighbor.

“This holiday event is a happy and helpful celebration at Lonsdale Elementary,” Principal Amy Brace said. “The children love all the attention, games and treats. They also benefit from having hats and mittens to keep them warm during the cold winter months, which is particularly important because so many of our students walk to school. We appreciate Gerdau’s generosity in hosting the Mitten Tree year after year.”

2014-12 Gerdau - Mitten Tree

From left, Lonsdale Elementary School students Luis, Leila and Prosperity show off their new gear with Gerdau Vice President and General Manager Johnny Miller (center) after selecting their winter hats and mittens at the annual Mitten Tree event hosted at the school by Gerdau on Dec. 12. Photo submitted.

South College graduates sixth class

Sixty-five physician assistant students – the sixth class to graduate from South College – received their master’s degrees over the weekend at the Tennessee Theatre in Knoxville.

A traditional white coat ceremony also honored 72 students in the Physician Assistant Studies class of 2015 who have completed instructional coursework and will move into the clinical study phase of the program.

“As educators, this is the day that matters the most when we celebrate the success of these 137 physician assistant students – 65 graduates and 72 rising members of the next class,” Steve South, president of South College, said. “The South College administration, faculty and staff are very proud of the accomplishments of each student.”

The curriculum for the Physician Assistant Studies program is modeled on a medical school curriculum, with a combination of classroom learning and more than 2,000 hours of clinical rotations. This profession has gained traction as health care leaders seek ways to make high-quality medical care more affordable, accessible and efficient.

At the commencement ceremony, graduates receive their Master of Health Science degree, qualifying them to take the national licensure exam through The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).

South College is a private institution accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to offer programs at the doctorate, masters, baccalaureate, and associate levels.

2014-12 South College PA white coat ceremony

Matthew Sorsby, Whitney Terry Teresa Starke, Sarah Stasiewicz and Tim Vance are five of the 72 students who were honored in the South College School of Physician Assistant Studies program’s white coat ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014 at the Tennessee Theatre. The ceremony was part of the program’s sixth commencement exercise. Photo submitted.