Nonprofit Arts and Cultural Event Attendees Spend an Average of $59.59 Per Person (excluding the cost of admission)
Revenue Generated to Local Government = $8,398,000
Event-Related Spending by Arts and Cultural Audiences Totaled $97.8 million (excluding the cost of admission)There are three key reasons that the Arts & Economic Prosperity series focuses solely on the nonprofit arts and culture sector.
(1) The findings dispel the myth that the nonprofit arts and culture sector is an economic “black hole” and provide proof that when people, corporations, foundations, and governments support the nonprofit arts, they are also supporting economic and community development;
(2) Because nonprofit arts associations are often the recipient of public funding, the availability of valid and accurate economic impact data about the sector is critical; and
(3) The information necessary to complete an economic impact study is more easily obtained from the nonprofit sector than from the for-profit sector since nonprofit sector data is treated as public information and available through IRS Form 990 filings.The arts are essential to the health and vitality of neighborhoods, cities, states and our nation. They enhance community development, create jobs, spur urban renewal, attract new businesses, draw tourism dollars, and create an environment that attracts skilled and educated workers.For more information on this important study, visit Americans for the Arts
Blinded by Hindsight: Exploring the Past’s Forgotten Kingdom and Ladino Songs to See More Deeply What We Face Today — Guy Mendilow
I first heard Sephardic songs in my boyhood Jerusalem home. Yet it wasn’t until later, when I started listening through other artists’ interpretations to the traditional songs and tales, that I got hooked by their riveting history of integration, migration and adaptation. These songs tell great stories. Not because they are Jewish or Mediterranean or Balkan, but because they present near-universal themes that continue to captivate today. The story of the stories—a case study in shifting identities due to migration, the evolution and change of tradition, of resilience and struggle—is alive and relevant today, too.
The story of Ladino mirrors experiences that I, and most of the artists in the Ensemble, live personally, as an immigrant to the US. Not only have we changed because we’re in new homes, but our homes have also changed because we’re in them. This is also the story of the United States and it comes at a time when we very much need to remember stories like this, to fight the darkness and small mindedness that grows so rapidly in this country.
What has haunted me as I’ve created The Forgotten Kingdom is how these stories give us a glimpse into the end of an era, and what it’s like to be caught up in the shift from one age to a very different new one. Each story/song in The Forgotten Kingdom can be pegged either to the “old world” (what we’d call a world of romantic naivety, be that right or wrong) or to the “new world” (OUR world today).
Many of these tales are set against the last vestiges of the Ottoman Empire, as a centuries-old order broke down under the weight of the traumatic Great War. The old world remained, but teetered on the brink of a new era. What was it like for those on the cusp? Imagine for a moment the soldiers in the Long “La Vuelta Del Marido.” In this song we have this very romantic notion of horses wearing breastplates of silver, of gallant officers wearing white gloves, leading the charge.
This was the picture for hundreds of years. And it was even the story of some armies in 1914. Imagine: This is actually how some of the first officers rode into the first battles of World War I. Picture this gallant soldier, riding heroically with his white gloves…straight into the meat grinder of mechanized warfare in the Battle of the Frontiers. How brutal, this clash of old and new worlds.
To us, looking back with our historical hindsight, it seems almost inevitable, especially because this was the birth of our world. But to those living through this transition of ages, the course must’ve been anything but a foregone conclusion, a too-terrible future that few would’ve dared dream. I wanted to explore what it was like to see the breakdown of empires, the glimmers of hope that then evaporate. What is it like to be caught on the wrong side, in that kind of nightmare?
In what ways are we also already straddling two worlds without even knowing it? If we, or my son’s generation, are destined to know two very different eras, the wake up call won’t come in the form of a storm of steel like in WWI. It’ll come in a modern guise. What’ll it look like this time? Is it possible that fifty, sixty years from now people will see that we also were being hurtled into very different times (climate change? The realignment caused by Trumpism/Brexit? The tensions revolving around migration and refugees?…)
The circumstances and details have shifted. Yet so much of the story still plays out. Those elements that move us in these old adventures — courage, working together across ethnic lines, strength in the face of despair — speak to ways we too might grapple with our own daunting, unfolding tale. The past lets us feel the potential risks, terrors, and wonders the future might bring, and steel ourselves to meet this future with integrity and tenderness.
For more information or tickets to the Tales From the Forgotten Kingdom concert October 12, click here.
Preventing Ticket Fraud
Have you ever typed something like this into your search bar “Million Dollar Quartet Tickets in Maryville TN?” Chances are the top search results were not authorized ticket sellers for The Clayton Center, which means they are charging much more than the face value of each ticket.
Ticket brokers spend a lot of resources to ensure that they come up at the top of your search results. This season we have been working alongside our ticketing partner Etix to put some measures in place to reduce ticket fraud and help you, our patrons, get the best seats possible. Below are some of the new features we have implemented this season:
- Delayed Print at Home Ticketing
When you choose Print at Home for your delivery option you will receive a confirmation e-mail at the time of purchase. Three (3) days prior to the event you will receive another e-mail with a link to download your tickets. Your tickets may be printed or we can scan them from your mobile device.
- Zip Code Restrictions
If your zip code is outside of a designated radius you will be unable to purchase tickets online and have them delivered via Print at Home. You will be redirected to call the Box Office directly to process your request. This reduces the ability for ticket brokers in other states to purchase online.
- Will Call Only on VIP Packages
This year, for example, the Trace Adkins performance has two VIP package options. These are hot sellers on the secondary market. To keep our inventory under control, these tickets are only available to be picked up at Will Call with a photo ID and the credit card used to purchase the tickets. We will not be mailing any VIP packages or allowing Print at Home for these tickets.
- Online Ticket Limits
For orders over 8 tickets please contact the Box Office directly to make your purchase. Our online system is limited to 8 tickets per order to avoid ticket bots and scalper purchases.
If you have any questions or concerns about these security measures and how they might affect you please feel free to e-mail email@example.com or call 865-981-8578. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have. We look forward to sharing a great season with you! Remember, claytonartscenter.com is the correct website address to purchase tickets.
I have been busy since my last column. We had a last minute season lineup change due to the unfortunate cancellation of the Circus 1903 Tour. I hope that our fill in of The Illusionists has satisfied our subscribers as an alternative.
The other thing that has kept me busy is the final planning for a new program here at the Center this season. The Southern Circuit of Independent Films is coming to the Clayton Center! This opportunity brings 6 different independent film screenings to the Lambert Recital Hall, during the season. It has been interesting and educational working on this new (at least to me) type of programming and I thought I might provide you some insight into what this is all about.
The Circuit is coordinated through a group called South Arts, a non-profit, Regional Arts Organization headquartered in Atlanta. Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, their mission is to strengthen the South through advancing excellence in the arts, connecting the arts to key state and national policies, and nurturing a vibrant quality of life.
Working with 24 – 26 presenters, the staff of South Arts screen over 100 submitted films down to around 40 titles. These films are then provided as choices to 6 – 8 different presenters in 3 different circuits in the southeast region. We are in a circuit that includes many academic institutions in our region such as; Western Carolina, Emory, Auburn and East Tennessee State University, Presbyterian College, and the Winder Arts Center in Georgia
The films for our circuit were chosen in collaboration, discussion, and negotiation with our circuit members in Atlanta in May. It is a little like picking players in a fantasy football league, which I must admit, I know nothing about. (remember, I’m an arts person) The participants roll the dice to determine their selection order and then we go through our lists until 6 final films are selected. Once that is accomplished, South Arts arranges the selected films into a tour with screening dates based on availability in each location and viola, we get a final series of 6. Whew!
While I was living and working in Salt Lake City, I had several opportunities to work for and attend the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, recognized as one of the world’s best independent film festivals. I was not really a film buff, but in that heyday of the developing indie film scene, it was fun and exciting to see alternate points of view and especially the breakthroughs in animated films that seemed so prevalent at that time. I must admit that my cultural perspectives were also challenged by the works of many of the filmmakers.
If you are new to the concept of Independent film and are wondering if this might be a good fit for your entertainment pallet allow me to share some insights that may be helpful.
I must credit Sherry B. Ortner, University of California, Los Angeles for providing the best introduction to independent film that I have run across. In her article Against Hollywood, American Independent Film as a Critical Cultural Movement she states- “Independent filmmakers see themselves as challenging the hegemony of Hollywood, eschewing entertainment—fantasy, pleasure, happy endings—and offering instead harsh and “edgy” stories about life in contemporary society.”
“What then is an independent film? The simplest place to start is to say that an independent film is defined—to varying degrees and in varying ways—as the antithesis of a Hollywood studio film. The contrast can be seen in a variety of relatively objective indicators. Where studio films are very expensive, independent films are made on relatively low budgets; where studio films are in the business of “entertainment,” independent films often set out to challenge their viewers with relatively difficult subject matter or techniques or both; where Hollywood films generally eschew taking sides on political issues, independent films are often explicitly political and critical; where Hollywood films are in the business of fantasy and illusion, independent films include virtually all documentary films, and even features are usually highly realist; and finally, where Hollywood films classically have happy endings, independent films rarely do.”
For those of you looking for more insights on this, check out the entire article, which can be found online at https://www.haujournal.org/index.php/hau/article/view/hau2.2.002/1004.
The other thing to emphasize about our film screenings is that the filmmakers will be joining us each night for post screening talk backs. Patrons will have an opportunity to direct questions to the filmmaker. Don’t worry, if you’re shy about asking questions, we hope to have some locally known folks on hand to moderate and lead us in thought provoking discussions.
If you are the “try it before you buy it” type, then I would suggest you tune in to our local PBS station and check out some of their series that feature independent type films. Programs like PBS Indies, POV and Independent Lens offer a glimpse into this genre.
Although I am not going to share our exact titles with you at this time (I like to build suspense), I will say the six films chosen are very much in line with the description of Indie films above. I am also pleased that two of our films were also chosen to be shown at the Sundance Festival in January. That tells me we are in good company with our choices. Each film will be thought provoking and should evoke a desire for some great conversations following.
We will be officially announcing our circuit line up some time in the next month or so, so please keep an eye on your email box or the Clayton Center’s website for more details on the titles, schedule, and information on each film.
If you are an Indie film junkie or just someone looking for new ways to experience the arts, I hope you will find an opportunity to join us in this exciting new endeavor.
Sunset Café, operated by Rocky’s Jamaica Sunrise
Summer Hours: 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM Monday to Thursday
Sunset Café may also be open during Swing Dance and other special events. For more information call 865-981-8351
Seasoning the Season
I find these days that I am reflecting on the words ‘season’ and the many forms it can take.
The first definition that comes to my mind is “four divisions of the year”. I love the changing of the seasons and this is the time we begin to look for spring to show itself. I love the signs of rebirth in the world around us and the anticipation of things to come. I am fortunate to travel to and from Townsend several days a week on my commute and spring beginning to show itself along the way is certainly one of the highlights.
And speaking of anticipation, this is also the time we finalize the line-up for next year’s Clayton Center Season. I am not ready to reveal all the great shows we have lined up because there might still be some last minute changes, but I am excited about how it is coming together.
I don’t know if it’s just because I skipped lunch today, but I find my mind drifting towards the concept of ‘seasoning’ the Season. This is a play on the culinary definition of this word. “A mixture of several ingredients which render a dish exquisite”. Chefs will season food to achieve a flavor they consider people will like. Even a tiny pinch of salt will actually improve and intensify food flavors. This is what seasoning is about – tasting and tweaking – or fine tuning to bring out the best in the food. I would say it also applies to choosing performers for the upcoming year.
Just what shows do we combine to make next year exquisite and appealing? A dash of music or even two, a pinch of theatre, maybe something funny and of course a little dance just ‘cause Mamma did. All these ‘flavorings’ are at our disposal to be added in just the right amounts. What about those exotic flavors of other lands, international programs? Yes, of course we will have them. Will our artistic palette embrace their unique flavors? I know mine will.
I think the definition that really suits me the best at this moment is “To add quality or features to something (our CCA Season, in this case) to make it more lively or exciting”.
On a more practical note, planning a cohesive season takes a fair portion of my time and focus, especially during this time of year. I believe the Clayton Center Season should represent a variety of performing genres. Ideally, we would also try to find at least one performer to join us each month from September through May just to make sure you don’t forget how to find us. This currently adds up to a total season of 10 events.
I typically start by dividing all the possibilities into the 4 basic areas. Music, Theatre, Dance and other. These are then sub-divided down even further. Different types of music, (contemporary, country, bluegrass, Americana, classical, jazz, international) musical theatre, straight plays, comedy, variety, family shows, contemporary or ethnic dance are some of these divisions. Much like our seasons and our tastes, we look for offerings that pique our artistic palette and offer new and exciting interests to explore.
We have some fun shows lined up. A few you won’t see anywhere else close. I know we have done our Chef’s best to put together a well-seasoned package of performing arts. I believe it is not only the individual shows that make it exciting, but also the blend of offerings that make the sum greater than its individual pieces. Exquisite? I’d like to think so and hope our patrons do as well.
I am counting the days until we gather our sponsors, patrons, and existing subscribers together on May 11 to reveal the bounty of programming we have chosen. Don’t worry, if you’re not one of those groups, the entire line-up will be announced to everyone in the days following that event.
If you are interested in learning how we bring all these tastes and seasons together for you, stay tuned for next month’s post. I will give insight on how we actually book our season and what goes into dealing with agents and artists. It takes a pinch of interest, a dash of patience, a smidge of negotiation and a piece of the budget to make it all come together.
No matter what your tastes, we know there is a show for you and hope you will explore the ways in which the arts can “season” your life.
Where have the last 4 years gone? I have been honored to provide welcoming remarks and thanks from the stage prior to the many of our season shows for the past 4 years. I still remember my nervousness of that first time. There were butterflies, big ones, let me tell you. Now it seems to be a natural part of my connection to the community through the programming we provide. One thing that never changes however, is the feeling of having more to say in the limited time I have with each of you on such evenings.
So that leads me to the reason I am sitting writing this in a hotel room in Kansas City, MO. What’s in Kansas City, you ask? Well on this particular weekend, aside from friendly people who love arts programming, unseasonably warm weather and many great KC barbeque joints, it is the 29th annual Folk Alliance International conference and Kansas City Folk Festival. More on this a little later.
This is my initial attempt to provide you, the reader, with inside and hopefully informative thoughts as the Clayton Center team and I work to build a world class arts center right here in Blount County. Our social medial and web marketing staff were kind enough to let me take a stab at this concept. I thank them for their confidence that this will be a positive communication.
So back to Kansas City and my reasons for being here. One of my regular and pleasant duties is to preview shows by performers we would like to bring to the Clayton Center. Listening to the suggestions of our patrons and researching artists they suggest, talking to other arts presenters around Tennessee and the broader region, watching a lot of on-line videos, and attending booking conferences and other live performances are the main ways I accomplish this. I was referred to this conference by one of our former performers, Ken Waldman, who we featured a couple years ago in a performance series in the more intimate setting of our Lambert Recital Hall. Ken, dubbed as Alaska’s fiddling poet, spends time with lots of “roots” music performers across the country. Our common appreciation for this broad music style and Ken’s positive experience playing on the Lambert Stage has kept us talking about ways to build a strong “brand” and provide this type of programming to our patrons annually. My dilemma has been, what type of “roots” music should we have? There are so many choices out there. Should we limit it to just one? With such a broad base of talent available, it just didn’t seem right to limit it in such a way. I think I may have found the answer this weekend in the broader context of Folk Music and festivals.
During the weekend, I saw a broad range of performers who fit the bill of building a successful folk festival. I saw everything from singer/songwriters playing their own compositions, seasoned bluegrass and string bands as well as up and comers melding old and new into their own individual sounds. Other American stylings such as ballads, blues and Cajun roots were available. There were international performers providing music based on the folk traditions of their respective countries. Most performances lasted from 30 to 45 minutes with quick change-overs between groups so patrons at the Kansas City Folk Festival really got a lot of bang for their entertainment buck.
So how does this help with our programming at the Center? It is my goal to add this or a similar type of festival weekend to our future programming. The variety of performance spaces we have in our wonderful center give us the ability to host many performers simultaneously. This type of festival seems to be a natural fit for a festival, in addition to our national and international single performance offerings.
There are still a lot details that must be considered before fully embarking on this idea. We must consider schedules, financial considerations, potential sponsors and partners, as well as ways to engage local patrons and visiting tourists. Parking and shuttle needs, hotel and restaurant availability are just a few of many items to be worked out in this area.
I am confident that the community will support our endeavor and we will find a way to move from this glimmer of an idea to a well-planned, successful and sustainable event we can all be proud of and that is worthy of our world class arts center.
Thanks for taking a minute to read this and stay tuned for more on this and other topics in posts to come.
Clayton Center for the Arts
When WDVX first started in early 1997, they were broadcasting from the enclosed back porch of an A-Frame house near Peach Orchard, TN. WDVX was a fully-functioning radio station, bringing a new sound to East Tennessee and the world. In November 1997, WDVX’s started broadcasting from its first permanent home – a 14-foot camping trailer, parked at a campground off I-75. This location helped to establish WDVX’s unique culture and personality in the early days.The Blue Plate Special, once a short set of either recorded music or live performance in the camper, has grown into a live, daily lunchtime concert, complete with studio audience. Six days a week you’ll hear performances from local or touring musicians who bring incredible entertainment to music fans around the world.
WDVX moved to its current home, the studios inside the Knoxville Visitor Center in downtown Knoxville, in 2004. Now, their studio is being renovated and the Blue Plate Special is on the road. We are excited that one of their stops will be in the Clayton Center on February 17. We hope you will join us in the Foyer from 12 to 1 PM for some live music. If you can’t join us, be sure to tune it at 89.9 fm.
Playing at the Clayton Center will be Pistol Creek Catch of the Day and Jay Clark & the Tennessee Tree Beavers.
The Producers of CHEERS LIVE ON STAGE announced that the critically acclaimed show concluded its run, early, in Chicago on Sunday, October 9. Patrons who have tickets for performances after October 9 will receive a refund. Individual tickets for the Clayton Center for the Arts performance scheduled for January 11, 2017 had not gone on sale, however, season subscribers with tickets may choose a refund or exchange for another CCA season performance. For questions, refunds or exchanges contact the Box Office at the Clayton Center for the Arts at 865-981-8590.Clayton Center.
General Manager Blake Smith is working on adding a performance to fill the slot left by the closing of CHEERS LIVE ON STAGE.
Under license by CBS Consumer Products and produced by Stageworks Media and TROIKA Entertainment, CHEERS LIVE ON STAGE is a two-act comedy based on the best and most memorable moments from the Emmy® Award-winning classic hit TV series.
™ & © 2016 A CBS Company. CHEERS and related marks and logos are trademarks of A CBS Company. All Rights Reserved.
50 Years of Dirt is how NGDB describes their 50th Anniversary Tour. Here are a few things you may not know about this iconic band. We are excited to have them at the Clayton Center this season.
Now in their 5th Decade together, the iconic and profoundly influential Nitty Gritty Dirt Band continues to add to their legendary status. From 1966 L.A. based jug-band beginnings to now they have become one of the ‘longest living’ bands in American music, enjoying major successes in every decade of their career. They were recently (2015) inducted in to the Colorado Music Hall of Fame, and in March 2016 their PBS special 50 Year Celebration show aired.
Drawing from their multi-platinum and gold records, they perform a string of top ten hits that includes “Mr. Bojangles”, “Fishin’ In The Dark”, “An American Dream”, “Dance Little Jean”, “Workin’ Man”(penned by band member Jimmie Fadden, harmonica and drums), “God Bless the Broken Road” (penned by band member Jeff Hanna (lead vocals and guitars) iconic bluegrass and acoustic music in overdrive ”Return to Dismal Swamp”(by multi-instrumentalist John McEuen) along with “Ripplin Waters”, “Some of Shelley’s Blues”, “Face on the Cutting Room Floor” and other classics.
Cited as a catalyst for an entire movement in Country Rock and American Roots Music, and always lauded as a great ‘performing band’, their concert audience is drawn in to the world of this unusual group of guys who have pursued their dream for 50 years and been influential to so many.
The NGDB’s rousing hit-lined show features music from their eclectic groundbreaking multi-platinum “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” album (inducted into the U.S. Library of Congress and the Grammy Hall of Fame as a “most important American recording”). Their “Mr. Bojangles” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2010, and in 2014 “Fishin’ In the Dark” was certified platinum for digital downloads by the RIAA.
The NGDB’s audience comes from the many time periods of their long career’s achievements, all coming together to celebrate their music that has reached the lives of many generations (often several generations in the same family). Some fans were even drawn to the group from their appearance in Paramount Picture’s musical Paint Your Wagon (1968), putting them on the big screen with Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood, back in their jug-band days.
Now, again on the big screen in the documentary – Free to Rock – (about how American Music brought down the Iron Curtain) NGDB tells their story as the first American band to tour Russia. Their 28 sold out shows in May of 1977 went over so well American bands were not allowed in again for 7 years! Their tour is often recognized as a reasonfor musical change in the USSR.
With multiple Grammy, IBMA, CMA Awards and nominations, theband’s accolades continue to accumulate. Today, NGDB – Jeff Hanna, Jimmie Fadden, John McEuen (all since 1966) and Bob Carpenter (since 1978), – continue their non-stop touring.