Calendar of Events

Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Big Ears Festival

Category: Festivals & special events, Film and Music

An International Cultural Gathering - The Big Ears Festival is a dynamic, interactive experience that explores connections between musicians and artists, crossing all musical genres while interfacing with film, performance, and the visual arts.

For their seventh year, the festival includes performances by Medeski Martin & Wood, piano luminaries Jason Moran and Craig Taborn, drummer Milford Graves, free improv pioneer Evan Parker, a performance of Alice Coltrane's "ecstatic music," Nels Cline with the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra, downtown icon Arto Lindsay, Scandinavian avant-jazz trio the Thing, sax quartet Rova, trumpet radical Peter Evans, violinist Jenny Scheinman and recent McArthur Genius Grant recipient Tyshawn Sorey. Legendary saxophonist-composer Roscoe Mitchell, co-founder of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, will be performing in the trio configurations heard on his recent double-disc ECM release, Bells for the South Side.

See the complete line-up and buy tickets:

Big Ears Film Program

Category: Festivals & special events and Film

19 features, 66 shorts, and 1 installation at 3 venues over 4 days, all of it accessible with a festival pass or a $50 film pass. Explore the entire Big Ears film program.

Lewis Klahr: Visiting Artist
Big Ears will host Lewis Klahr and present a multi-program selection of his films, including an installation at the UT Downtown Gallery, a program of his short films, and a screening of his most recent feature, Sixty Six (2015). Named one of the greatest avant-garde filmmakers working today by Film Comment, Lewis Klahr has been making films since 1977. He is known for his uniquely idiosyncratic films, which use found images and sound to explore the intersection of memory and history.

Stereo Visions: A Survey of 3D Cinema
Stereo Visions encompasses and demonstrates the full visual and affective capacities of our favorite on-again/off-again format. From Norman McLaren to Johnny Knoxville, Werner Herzog to Jean-Luc Godard, Ken Jacobs to Alfred Hitchcock, Lillian M. Schwartz to Jodie Mack, the filmmakers showcased here have been unpacking the creative potential of 3D image-making for decades, with each representing unique incarnations, moments, and impulses. Stereo Visions was curated in collaboration with Blake Williams, whose acclaimed new 3D feature, PROTOTYPE, is the opening film of Big Ears.

A Sense of Place: A Retrospective of American Regional Cinema, 1960-1989
Collecting ten films made over a thirty-year span, this retrospective will survey groundbreaking films by artists living and working outside the commercial film production centers of Los Angeles and New York. Featured filmmakers includes major auteurs like Pittsburgh's George A. Romero, Baltimore's John Waters, Austin's Richard Linklater, and Portland's Gus Van Sant. Also included are genre films with a deep sense of place like Victor Nunez's A Flash of Green, formally adventurous works like Trent Harris's The Beaver Trilogy, and seminal films like Eagle Pennell's The Whole Shootin' Match, which inspired Robert Redford to launch the Sundance Institute. John Waters's Polyester will be screened with scratch-n-sniff Odorama! cards.

Explore the A Sense of Place program
Canyon Cinema at 50
In celebration of 50 years since Canyon Cinema's incorporation we will present three shorts programs -- 36 films running 270 minutes -- selected by noted avant-garde film programmer David Dinnell. Canyon Cinema's unique collection of artist-made films -- comprised of digital media, 8mm, Super 8, 16mm, and 35mm prints -- traces the vital history of the experimental and avant-garde filmmaking movements from 1921 to the present. Together, these three programs offer a masterclass in American experimental filmmaking, including work by Janie Geiser, Lawrence Jordan, Charlotte Pryce, David Gatten, Peter Hutton, Barbara Hammer, Phil Solomon, and Robert Breer. The individual films are nearly impossible to see outside of limited gallery and academic screenings. The Canyon Cinema programs will be presented in 16mm and will be free and open to the public at the Knoxville Museum of Art.

And more! Film pass on sale now for $50!
The Public Cinema is sponsored by Big Ears Festival

UT School of Music: VOLsing


Category: Free event and Music

Ensemble concert; featuring UT a cappella groups

Sandra G. Powell Recital Hall, Natalie L. Haslam Music Center

Unless otherwise noted, concerts are FREE and open to the public. The Natalie Haslam Music Center is located at 1741 Volunteer Blvd on the UT campus, and the Alumni Memorial Building is located at 1408 Middle Drive on the UT campus. *For individual or small group performances, please check the web site or call the day of the event for updates or cancellations: 865-974-5678,

BreastStrokes Knoxville Event

Category: Free event and Fundraisers

Hosted by Pour Taproom (Knoxville, TN) and Breaststrokes
at Pour Taproom, 207 West Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, Tennessee 37902

Getting excited about Big Ears??? Come kick off the weekend at Pour Taproom and show your support for Breaststrokes Knoxville. Check out their page to learn more and find out how you can help. We'll be showcasing Breaststrokes art and selling their 2018 calendar and a portion of all sales will go directly to Breaststrokes Knoxville. There will be a couple of Pour swag giveaways throughout the night PLUS Breaststrokes will also giving away a $50 gift card to The Oliver Royale at 7 pm to one lucky supporter!

Square on the Square

  • March 22, 2018
  • 7 PM

Category: Dance, Free event and Music

In Historic Market Square, Knoxville

Live Music and Square Dancing on Market Square. As a part of Big Ears’ “Appalachian Happening”, we are getting the party started with a rollicking dance. Free event. No experience necessary and all dances taught. Everyone welcome!

Live Music by The A Four Fourties. Calling by Stan Sharp, Anna Roberts-Gevalt, and Becky Hill. “Appalachian Happening” will continue throughout the weekend in many of Knoxville’s public spaces. Don’t miss it!

Knoxville Symphony Orchestra: Concertmaster & Friends


Category: Music

Knoxville Symphony Orchestra’s Merchant & Gould Concertmaster Series features new Concertmaster William Shaub on the violin joined by several of his KSO colleagues for an up close and personal musical experience. Held in the Bailey Great Hall of the Knoxville Museum of Art, patrons can hear live music surrounded by visual art, specifically glass artist Richard Jolley’s permanent installation, Cycle of Life. These performances take place on Wednesday and Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.) and seating is general admission. The March and final installment of William Shaub & Friends features Concertmaster William Shaub and his KSO colleagues Gordon Tsai and Edward Pulgar, violins; Kathryn Gawne and Eunsoon Corliss, violas; Andy Bryenton, cello; and Kevin Class, piano.

Musical selections include a traditional tune arranged by Heifetz, “Deep River,” Charles Ives’ Violin Sonata No. 4, known as "Children's Day at the Camp Meeting," Aaron Copland’s Allegretto giusto from the Sonata for Violin and Piano, and the program concludes with Antonin Dvorak’s String Quintet in E flat Major, Op. 97 (Viola Quintet).

Tickets and information: 865-291-3310,

Ewing Gallery: MFA Thesis Exhibitions

Category: Exhibitions & visual art and Free event

JOIN US FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 5-8PM for a Closing Reception at the Ewing Gallery

Cassidy Frye: Pushing and Pulling Overworked Surfaces
Alex McKenzie: Again Again
Erica Mendoza: Privacy Settings

Ewing Gallery, 1715 Volunteer Blvd on the UT campus, Knoxville, TN 37996. Information: 865-974-3200,

Dragon Lights Festival

  • March 16, 2018 — April 22, 2018

Category: Festivals & special events, History & heritage and Kids & family

Dragon Lights, Knoxville’s first-ever Chinese lantern festival, will take place at Chilhowee Park and Exposition Center and will be open every night from 5:30pm until 10:00pm.

Featuring over 40 larger-than-life lantern displays, Dragon Lights is the largest Chinese lantern festival in the Eastern Unites States. Thousands of sculptural and light components make this event a true visual treat. Dozens of Chinese artisans travel the world to keep this century-old tradition alive, and they will be constructing the displays on site at Chilhowee as the festival draws near. Dragon Lights also will feature performances by Chinese acrobats and Chinese folk art demonstrations, as well as children's activities.

Don't miss this unique experience. Tickets ($16 per adult, or $10 for children) are on sale now. Call Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000 or stop by the Civic Coliseum Box Office. (Group tickets for 15 or more are only available at the Coliseum Box Office, 865-215-8999.)

The University of Tennessee Knoxville's Downtown Gallery: Lewis Klahr

Category: Exhibitions & visual art and Film

For his film installation at The University of Tennessee Knoxville's Downtown Gallery, 106 S. Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37902, in conjunction with the 2018 Big Ears Festival, Los Angeles based collage film artist Lewis Klahr will present a looped, rotating selection of his films that explore the vicissitudes of time and memory. Many of the films included will be from his ongoing, open-ended series of digital films Prolix Satori. Also included will be a special sequence assembled to be screened only under the following weather conditions — severe overcast or rain lasting at least 60 minutes.

About the Artist
Lewis Klahr uses found images and sound to explore the intersection of memory and history. He is primarily known for his uniquely idiosyncratic films, which he began creating in 1977 and has screened extensively in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Lewis Klahr teaches in the Theater School of the California Institute of the Arts and is represented by The Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London.

Lewis Klahr is currently at work on a new feature length series of collage films titled Circumstantial Pleasures and Porcelain Gods, a retelling of Jean Luc Godard's 1963 film Contempt as a collage novel.

Thursday, March 22: 2:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.
Friday, March 23: 11:00 A.M. – 8:00 P.M.
Saturday, March 24: 10:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.
Sunday, March 25: 1:00 P.M. – 5:00 P.M.

UT Downtown Gallery, 106 S. Gay St, Knoxville, TN 37902. Hours: W-F 11-6, Sa 10-3. Information: 865-673-0802,

McClung Museum: Museum Store Spring Sale

Category: Festivals & special events

McClung Museum of Natural History & Culture announces the Museum Store Spring Sale March 15 through March 31.

Shake off winter and enjoy blooming flowers with handmade garden art by local artisans, seeds, and beautiful botanical items in the Museum Store’s Spring Sale.

UT Students and Museum Members always enjoy 10% off all purchases, and all Store proceeds benefit the museum’s free educational programming.

McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture, 1327 Circle Park Dr on the UT campus, Knoxville, TN 37996. Hours: M-Sa 9-5, Su 1-5. Information: 865-974-2144,

Appalachian Arts Craft Center: Spring Porch Sale

Category: Exhibitions & visual art and Fine Crafts

The Appalachian Arts Craft Center in Norris will hold its Spring Porch Sale starting on Thursday, March 15, and continuing for about two weeks. The Porch Sale, held each spring features outdated stock, seconds, student crafts and nonjuried work by members. It’s an excellent time to get great deals.

The Appalachian Arts Craft Center is a nonprofit center with a mission to support arts and crafts in Appalachia through education, sales, and community involvement. The center is located at 2716 Andersonville Highway 61, Clinton, TN, one mile east of I-75 north at Exit 122.

Appalachian Arts Craft Center hours: M-Sa 10-6, Su 1-5. Information: 865-494-9854,

Fountain City Art Center: Southern Appalachian Nature Photography and the Knoxville Book Arts Guild


Category: Exhibitions & visual art, Fine Crafts and Free event

"The Knoxville Book Arts Guild: and The Southern Appalachian Nature Photography"
Also showing: Watercolors by the students of Mary Baumgartner

Reception for both: March 16, 2018, 6:30 – 8:00 PM. Free and open to the public.

Exhibit viewing hours: Hours: Tu & Th 9-6, F 10-1, 3rd-4th Sa 9-1. Fountain City Art Center, 213 Hotel Ave, Knoxville, TN 37918. Information: 865-357-2787,

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