Calendar of Events

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Big Ears Festival

Category: Dance, movement, Festivals, special events, Film and Music


Our mission: We bring artists & audiences together to create and share transformative experiences.

Founded in 2009, Big Ears is a singular festival experience that explores connections between musicians and artists, effortlessly crossing the boundaries of musical genres as well as artistic disciplines. Big Ears is a weekend of world-class musical performances that celebrates Knoxville’s historic theaters, nightclubs, churches, museums, and outdoor spaces with concerts, discussions, interactive workshops, installations, film screenings, surprise collaborations and unexpected artistic collisions. It celebrates the never-ending adventure of artistic creation and exploration.

Annually, the festival supports 100+ performances of music, film, and art over four days. Community engagement typically includes 50+ panels, workshops, and performances that are free and open to the public.

In 2016, Big Ears was hailed by The New York Times as “the widest-angle music festival in the country, bridging the spaces between the classical tradition, improvised music, electronics and guitars,” and by Alex Ross of The New Yorker as “the most open-minded music gathering in the country.”

With nearly 150 jazz, rock, classical, bluegrass and folk concerts in venues ranging from the Tennessee and Bijou Theaters to St. John’s Cathedral and Church Street United Methodist Church, the Knoxville Museum of Art, the Standard, the Mill & Mine, the Square Room, Boyd’s Jig and Reel, and the Pilot Light. Visit for full lineup, schedule and details!

Big Ears and Public Cinema: Film Festival

Category: Festivals, special events and Film


Big Ears and the curatorial masterminds over at Public Cinema are thrilled to announce the film program for the 2020 festival — nearly 30 screenings and more than 60 films — set to run over the entirety of the festival weekend at Regal Cinema in downtown Knoxville. Like the music programs at Big Ears, the film festival offers a fascinating and discerning breadth and depth that is sure to intrigue and inspire cinephiles from all over.

One of several programming themes for the film festival, Standard Definition, explores the transition from celluloid to digital film and will host work from Agnès Varda, Chantal Akerman, Abbas Kiarostami, and Hal Hartley, along with several U.S. theatrical premieres and rarely shown films from around the globe.

Another festival theme, Stereo Visions, presents boundary-bounding uses of 3D in film, and features Cunningham, Alla Kovgin’s new 3D film on the iconic dancemaker Merce Cunningham, along with a half-dozen other 3D screenings — some cheeky, some austere — each coming with the requisite viewing glasses.

As part of the music program at Big Ears, the legendary and enigmatic British alternative rock band Tindersticks will give their first stateside performance in nearly a decade — and in addition to that live performance, the film lineup will showcase four of the band’s collaborations with extraordinary French auteur Claire Denis: Bastards, Let the Sunshine In, and High Life, plus a rare theatrical screening of The Waiting Room, a “visual album” of videos that accompanied Tindersticks’ 2016 release of the same name.

Argentine-British artist Jessica Sarah Rinland and New Orleans based director Lily Keber will receive spotlights as filmmakers in residence at the festival. The festival will screen nearly all of Rinland’s evocative films, and host an installation of her mixed-media work at the UT Downtown Gallery. Keber will have three films in screening — including Bayou Maharajah, her documentary on NOLA piano king, James Booker — and a work-in-progress documentary on Santeria and Palo religious rituals in Cuba.

In addition to these curated screenings, there will also be a number of live performances that have an indispensable film component. These include Kronos Quartet and filmmaker Sam Green’s A Thousand Thoughts a “live documentary” on the the five decade history of Kronos, a hit at Sundance; Kim Gordon’s Sound for Andy Warhol’s Kiss, a soundtrack to Warhol’s infamous hour-long 1963 film Kiss by Sonic Youth frontwoman Kim Gordon and a quartet of ace rock ‘n’ noise collaborators. Film programming at Big Ears closes out with Electric Appalachia, a collaboration harpist Mary Lattimore, guitarist William Tyler, and film archivist Eric Dawson of the Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound (TAMIS) — a film and music meditation on electricity and modernity in East Tennessee.

The program will be screened at the downtown Regal Riviera Stadium 8 Theater and the University of Tennessee Downtown Gallery, with several cinema-related live events presented during the festival weekend. All film events will be open to Big Ears pass-holders, and a “film program only” ticketing option is on sale now at

View Full Film Program:

Knoxville Civic Auditorium: Casting Crowns

  • March 26, 2020

Category: Music

GRAMMY® winning multi-platinum group Casting Crowns has announced plans to bring its widely popular Only Jesus Tour to Knoxville Civic Auditorium March 26, 2020. The tour takes its name from the band's current top-selling album Only Jesus. The 2020 spring leg will feature award-winning singer-songwriter Matthew West as special guest.

With more than 11 million records sold, Casting Crowns has held the position of Billboard's top-selling act in Christian music since 2007. The band continues to impact audiences with their powerful live shows, having performed for more than 7 million fans. The Only Jesus Tour marks one of the band's most successful tours to date. Through their concerts, Casting Crowns has been able to unite more than 120,000 children with sponsors and it remains a huge part of their calling to take care of the widows and orphans all over the globe.

Knoxville Civic Auditorium and Coliseum, 500 Howard Baker Jr Blvd, Knoxville, TN 37915. Information:

McClung Museum: The Tellico Archaeological Project

Category: History, heritage and Lecture, panel

As a university museum we follow the protocols and procedures of the University of Tennessee. For that reason the McClung Museum will be closed from March 16 to April 3. This means that all public programs and events (including public tours) will be cancelled or rescheduled.

The Tellico Archaeological Project: A 40th Anniversary Retrospective
Presented by Jeff Chapman, Director Emeritus of the McClung Museum of Natural History & Culture, Thursday, March 26 at 7:30pm at the Mcclung Museum.

Forty years ago this past November, the gates closed on the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Tellico Dam inundating the lower 33 miles of the Little Tennessee River and ending 12 years of archaeological excavations in the valley. Surveys on upland areas owned by TVA continued until 1982 to provide guidance for residential and commercial development. For its time, the Tellico Archaeological Project was among the largest and costliest archaeological programs ever conducted in the Southeast. Chapman’s presentation will provide an overview of archaeological work, the results, and the valley today.

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,

UT Arboretum Society: Black Bear Hibernation**

Category: Free event, Lecture, panel and Science, nature


Well known bear photographer and conservationist, Chris Norcott, returns to the UT Arboretum on Thursday, March 26, 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. to lead us on a photographic adventure into the winter den of the American Black Bear. Chris will discuss a bear’s den of choice and life in the winter den of our Smoky Mountain Black Bears.

As spring approaches, join us for this fascinating program on what our bears have been up to during hibernation. The UT Arboretum Auditorium is located at 901 S. Illinois Avenue in Oak Ridge. Sponsored by the UT Arboretum Society, this program is free and open to the public but donations are gratefully accepted. No registration is necessary.

Norcott has spent more than a decade observing and studying black bears in the wilds of the Great Smoky Mountains. He spends much of each year hiking off trail in the backcountry observing the wild and secretive lives of black bears. He photographs the bears’ rarely seen habitat and documents the behaviors of these beautiful animals. Chris plans to have some of his photographs for sale after the program.

Celebrating 55 years in 2020, this program is one of many lectures and activities that will be offered this year by the UT Arboretum Society. The program is cosponsored by the UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center.

The Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014, is one of ten outdoor laboratories located throughout the state as part of the UT AgResearch system. AgResearch is a division of the UT Institute of Agriculture. The Institute of Agriculture also provides instruction, research and public service through the UT Herbert College of Agriculture, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine, UT AgResearch and UT Extension offices, with locations in every county in the state. To learn more about the Arboretum Society, go to For more information on the program, call 865-483-7277 or

UT School of Art: Small Works online by School of Art Faculty

Category: Exhibitions, visual art and Free event

Small Works by UTK School of Art Faculty

Small Works features a selection of small works by faculty members in the School of Art. Participating faculty members include Joshua Bienko, Emily Bivens, Sally Brogden, Jason Brown, Rubens Ghenov, John C. Kelley, Mary Laube, Paul Lee, Beauvais Lyons, Frank Martin, Althea Murphy-Price, John Powers, Jered Sprecher, and Koichi Yamamoto.

Pellissippi State: Annual Studio Art Juried Exhibition

  • March 23, 2020 — April 10, 2020

Category: Exhibitions, visual art and Free event


Some of the best and brightest Pellissippi State student artists will show how they’re mastering their medium in this juried exhibition.

Hardin Valley Campus of Pellissippi State: 10915 Hardin Valley Road, Knoxville, TN 37932. Bagwell Center Gallery hours: M-F 9 AM - 9 PM. Information: 865-694-6405,

Ewing Gallery: MFA Exhibition**

Category: Exhibitions, visual art and Free event

Featuring the culminating work of our graduating class, on display at the Ewing Gallery of Art + Architecture.

Reception: 6-8 p.m. Friday, March 27

The first set of shows features Kristina Key, April Marten, William Rerick and Emmett Merrill.

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

Fountain City Art Center: FCAC Student Show**

Category: Exhibitions, visual art, Free event and Kids, family

Reception: March 13, 6:30 – 8:00 PM

Fountain City Art Center, 213 Hotel Ave, Knoxville, TN 37918. Hours: Tu-Th 9-5, or by appointment. Information: 865-357-2787,

Appalachian Arts Craft Center: Spring Porch Sale**

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

The Appalachian Arts Craft Center located in Norris, TN will hold its Spring Porch Sale March 13 - March 27. The Porch Sale held each Spring features work from juried and nonjuried members of the Craft Center. It’s an excellent time to shop for discounted artwork! The Porch Sale provides local artisans the opportunity to replenish their artwork for the remainder of the year.

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. For more information, stop by the center, call 865-494-9854, or visit or Facebook.

The Emporium Center: Victoria Phillips: A Place Within

Category: Exhibitions, visual art and Free event

A reception will take place on Friday, March 6, from 5:00-9:00 PM as part of First Friday activities

A Place Within was created from a state of contemplation and exploration. It is an extension of the processes and ideas of previous works. In these paintings, I examine how each layer interacts with the next. There is a sense of sublime expression as I investigate the human condition. The frailties and hardships of humanity are reflected in the disruptive processes, as I reference the sublime spiritual aspects through the washes of pigments and the synergy found within the hues. Many of the paintings from this collection were created in Skopelos, Greece. The mountainous landscapes paired with the endless ocean views created an atmosphere of divine inspiration. The beauty and simplicity of the island are reflected in the mystical landscapes in this collection as the disruptive qualities allude to the universal human condition. Through exploring the transcendental qualities found in my processes and metaphorical connections, I aim to delineate a sense of hope while providing an environment that is conducive for a visceral experience.

Victoria Phillips graduated with a BA in Visual Arts in 2013 from Lee University in Cleveland, TN. She earned her MFA in Painting at Savannah College of Art and Design in 2019. She has been involved in numerous exhibitions throughout the U.S. as her private collectors continue to grow domestically and abroad. Phillips completed an artist in residency in Skopelos, Greece in 2019, giving her the opportunity to exhibit internationally. She resides in Atlanta, GA where she has a studio at Mutiny Artwrx. She is a part time Assistant Professor at Kennesaw State University and a full time Visual Arts Educator. For more information, visit, follow her on Instagram @victoria_rose_phillips, or find her on Facebook at

On display at the Emporium Center, 100 S. Gay Street, in downtown Knoxville. Exhibition hours are Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Information: (865) 523-7543 or

The Emporium Center: Gary Monroe and Denise Stewart-Sanabria: Tableau Vivant

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

A reception will take place on Friday, March 6, from 5:00-9:00 PM as part of First Friday activities

In this new exhibition entitled Tableau Vivant, Gary Monroe provides work from three of his series: The Serpent Handler Group, The Velvis Group and Comedy County Cocke, and Denise Stewart-Sanabria exhibits her plywood drawings and Contemporary Altars of Misappropriated Mythology.

Gary Monroe resides in Knoxville and has exhibited extensively throughout the US since the early 1980s. Predominately a representational artist, he often includes non-representational elements in the work. The work tends to include subjects from his native state of Tennessee such as Appalachian serpent handlers, Moon-shiners, and Elvis Presley. Monroe’s work is held in numerous private and museum collections. He recently exhibited in Appalachia Now! An Interdisciplinary Survey of Contemporary Art in Southern Appalachia at the Asheville Art Museum. For more information, visit

Denise Stewart-Sanabria was born in Massachusetts and received her BFA in Painting from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst. She has lived in Knoxville since 1986. Sanabria paints both hyper-realist “portraits” of everything from produce to subversive jelly donuts. The anthropomorphic narratives often are reflections on human behavior. She is also known for her life size charcoal portrait drawings on plywood, which are cut out, mounted on wood bases, and staged in conceptual installations. She is a recipient of the 2019 Tennessee Arts Commission Individual Artist Grant for her work on wood. Her work is included in various museums, private, and corporate collections. She is represented by The Arts Company in Nashville, TN, Mitchell Hill in Charleston, SC, and District Arts in Fredrick, MD. For more information, visit or follow her on Instagram @denisestewartsanabria_.

On display at the Emporium Center, 100 S. Gay Street, in downtown Knoxville. Exhibition hours are Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Information: (865) 523-7543 or

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