Students and faculty throughout Knoxville experience the magic of Hansel and Gretel from January 14 through February 1!
It’s our favorite time of year here at Knoxville Opera! Today marks the beginning of our In-School Performances which are a part of our extensive Education/Outreach Programs. This is our fifth year performing an opera in schools. The beauty of this outreach program is that the students and faculty will enjoy an abbreviated version of a full-length opera performed in English. (The performance is even staged and costumed!) This year, we are performing Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel for 26 schools, libraries, and clubs throughout Knoxville… and beyond. We were so well received last year,that we will once again be performing at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, TN. This Liberal Arts college will enjoy not just one, but TWO performances of Hansel and Gretel on January 22, 2016. (For a complete list of our in-school performances this season, click HERE.) Each performance ends with a “Question and Answers” session where students have an opportunity to interact with the artists. Every student (8,000+ in all) is given a take-home invitation to attend our FREE-ADMISSION Student Dress Rehearsal of Hansel and Gretel on February 24 at 6:30 pm in the Tennessee Theatre.
In addition to the Hansel and Gretel in-school performances, our Education/Outreach Program includes several Opera 101 Performances and our popular African American Voices Series which will also be performed in schools. Our entire calendar of Education/Outreach events can be found HERE.
Tennessee General Assembly Adjourns Until 2016 Omnibus License Plate Bill Passed
The first session of the two year 109th General Assembly closed on Wednesday, April 22nd.
Lawmakers finished their business and headed home after only expending 28 legislative days of the total 90 legislative days allowed in any two-year General Assembly. Remember, a legislative day is counted as a day when the members are working in either the House or Senate Chamber. Days when only Committees are meeting and no Floor Session is held are not counted as an official Legislative Day.
The formula for New Specialty License Plates was again protected by our many champions and the Omnibus bill which contains all newly proposed plates and extensions for reaching the necessary threshold of 1,000 pre-sold plates required to go into production.
Thanks to TFTA’s ongoing advocacy efforts and the continued support of the General Assembly’s Arts Caucus, the Omnibus License Plate bill passed unanimously in the Senate and with only one dissenting vote in the House.
In other Legislative action our friends at the Tennessee State Museum were awarded a nod towards the building of a new State Museum after the Governor included a one-time $120 million in his supplemental budget amendment.
Now is the time to thank our supporters in the General Assembly and continue our efforts to build and strengthen our relationships. Don’t forget to include your elected officials in activities throughout the summer months and into next fall!
The National Endowment For The Arts Awards $1,072,700 For Art Projects In Tennessee
By: Suzanne Lynch, Director of Marketing and Development –
In the second major grant announcement of fiscal year 2015, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) will make awards to 15 nonprofit art and design organizations in Tennessee totaling $1,072,700. This includes $767,700 awarded through a state partnership agreement with the Tennessee Arts Commission for programs that move communities forward through the arts.
NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, “The NEA is committed to advancing learning, fueling creativity, and celebrating the arts in cities and towns across the United States, including in Tennessee. Funding these new projects represents a significant investment in local communities and the creative vitality of Tennessee.”
“These grant dollars will help the arts to invest in communities across the state. Arts and culture in Tennessee contributes to a vibrant place to live, work and raise a family by enhancing community cohesion and pride, increasing public health and safety, and celebrating essential values that make us who we are as Tennesseans,” says Anne B. Pope, Executive Director of the Tennessee Arts Commission.
The following received funding for FY16: Tennessee Arts Commission, Statewide: $767,700
- ArtsBuild, Chattanooga, TN: $10,000
- Gateway Chamber Orchestra, Clarksville, TN: $10,000
- Cumberland County Playhouse, Inc., Crossville, TN: $10,000
- Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, TN: $10,000
- Knox County, Tennessee, Knoxville, TN: $10,000
- Country Music Foundation, Inc., Nashville, TN: $35,000
- Frist Center for the Visual Arts Inc., Nashville, TN: $30,000
- Humanities Tennessee, Nashville, TN: $30,000
- Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, Nashville, TN: $100,000
- Nashville Academy Theatre & Nashville Children’s Theatre Assoc., Nashville, TN: $10,000
- Nashville Ballet, Nashville, TN: $15,000
- Nashville Repertory Theatre, Inc., Nashville, TN: $10,000
- Nashville Shakespeare Festival, Nashville, TN: $15,000
- Salama Urban Ministries, Inc., Nashville, TN: $10,000
Need something for an upcoming birthday or holiday gift?
The Specialty License Plate Gift Voucher always comes in the perfect size. Get yours today!
Join or renew your membership!
Tennesseans for the Arts presents a strong, unified voice in support of artists, arts educators, arts organizations and friends and supporters of the arts throughout Tennessee and helps protect funding for the arts by working with local and state lawmakers – and as our membership grows, so does our influence with policymakers.
Your membership strengthens the voice for the arts in Tennessee and is vital to our continued success.
YMCA at Rossini Festival Knoxville 2015
YMCA Healthy Kids Day is Saturday, April 25, 2015
Visit with the YMCA at Rossini Festival Knoxville 2015 – a popular event held each spring on Gay Street, in the heart of downtown Knoxville. In conjunction with Knoxville Opera’s Rossini Festival, the YMCA is proud to bring you the Kids’ Fun Zone!
Stop by the Fun Zone near the stage at Market Square and enjoy inflatables and games.
Wrist Bands will be sold for $5, and gets you access to all you can play, games and more!
• Spider Jump
• Moonwalk & Slide
• Obstacle Course
• Jump Rope
• Huge Building Blocks
• Corn Hole
• Hula Hoops
• Hop Scotch
• Face painting provided by American Cancer Support
Summer is almost here; a time when kids are not exposed to as much physical activity as they are during the school year through PE classes. YMCA Healthy Kids Day was created to help you think about staying active during the summer months. The YMCA FunZone will be hoppin’ with activity for kids between 11:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 25, 2015.
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Thanks to You, Arts Advocacy Day 2015 was a Wonderful Success!
TFTA’s annual Arts Advocacy Day was held on March 4, 2015 at the Tennessee State Museum. The day’s events began with the Dobyns-Bennett a Capella group warming up while everyone picked up their registration materials. The full DB Chorus got the programming off to a great start. TFTA President Bonnie Macdonald enthusiastically welcomed attendees and honored Melinda Hearn, Arts Advocacy Day Chair before introducing Tennessee Arts Commission Executive Director, Anne Pope. Pope spoke briefly and introduced Treasurer Lillard and his staff who spoke on the new GIFT-A-TAG voucher program. Suzanne Lynch, Arts Commission Director of Marketing gave the audience how-to tips on the voucher and directed them to the voucher brochure. TFTA Educational Consultant Molly Pratt followed up with tips for legislative visits and information on the press conference that would be held that afternoon. Despite the weather forecast, it was a fantastic turnout with over 250 attendees! TFTA thanks everyone who braved the weather and came out to support the arts in Tennessee and would like to recognize the 70+ first time attendees! TFTA would also like to thank its partners for AA Day 2015: Tennessee Arts Commission, Premier Parking, Tennessee State Museum, Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts, Birthplace of Country Music, and Eastman! We’re already looking forward to next year!
GIFT-A-TAG Program Launched
Following Arts Advocacy Day events at the Tennessee State Museum, the GIFT-A-TAG program was officially announced by Treasurer David Lillard at a press conference held at the Legislative Plaza. As of March 4, 2015, you can now gift Tennessee Specialty License Plates through a new Tennessee Gift Center website hosted by the State Department Treasury office, tngiftcenter.com. The GIFT-A-TAG Gift Voucher Program is the first offering on the website and it can be accessed directly by going totngiftcenter.com/giftatag. Each GIFT-A-TAG is good for the purchase of a Specialty Plate or the personalization of any license plate. GIFT-A-TAG vouchers are $35 and you can buy as many as you want for your family, friends, board members and patrons! Great gifts for upcoming birthdays and holidays!
February presents two potential dilemmas:
1. The winter blues are in full force.
2. What should I/we do for Valentine’s Day?
Knoxville Opera has a great solution for both, with two performances of Bizet’s Carmen on Friday, February 13 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, February 15 at 2:30 p.m. at the city’s hallmark Tennessee Theatre. For the singleton, this is a wonderful alternative to staying in for a date with Ben & Jerry on cupid weekend. For couples, it solves the annual pressure of creating the perfect, romantic date. And for everyone, it offers cozy, passion-fired entertainment that will stave off the wintery blues.
Maestro Brian Salesky hosts a special opera preview session 45 minutes prior to each performance to unpack the plot and set the stage for an enjoyable experience. The preview is open to the public.
Carmen, famous for its Spanish-inspired, fiery plot, features familiar melodies like “La Habanera.” Set in Seville, Spain, Carmen opens in a town square with a peasant girl’s innocent inquiry as to the whereabouts of her beau, Jose. It is not long before Carmen, a captivating gypsy, steals the spotlight. Through a series of events, Carmen employs her flirtatious skills to disrupt the lives of those around her. She is an empowered woman who refuses to be tamed, with an inward fear of settling down. Carmen’s manipulative beauty and misuse of it draw only superficial, temporary attention; yet her inability to open her heart becomes a wakeup call for those she has hurt. The opera’s final scene is one of redemptive irony.
The lovely Audrey Babcock plays the role of Carmen, accompanied by an all-star cast. A synopsis of Carmen, along with the cast bios, can be viewed here. Ticket prices begin at $18 and can be purchased here or by visiting KnoxvilleOpera.com. Call 865-524-0795 x28 for more information.
Your Valentine’s Day weekend will be one to remember, as you chase winter’s blues away and heat things up with Carmen!