Calendar of Events

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Pellissippi State: James Agee Online Reading Series

Category: Free event, Lecture, discussion, panel, Literature, reading, writing and Virtual

The annual James Agee Conference for Arts and Literature at Pellissippi State Community College will be held as the James Agee Online Reading Series this fall, after having been canceled due to COVID-19 in 2020.

“By rethinking the conference as an online reading series that will be available on YouTube throughout the academic year, we can reach a wider audience,” said conference founder Charles Dodd White, an author and associate professor of English at Pellissippi State. “We are encouraging instructors to use it in their classrooms, but the entire series is free and open to the public as well.”

White, whose 2020 novel “How Fire Runs” won a 2021 Independent Publishers gold medal for Best Regional Fiction – South, created the James Agee Conference six years ago to give Pellissippi State students an opportunity to attend a scholarly conference while also celebrating the literature, culture and arts of Appalachia.

While the online reading series continues in the spirit of the James Agee Conference, White noted that an online reading series allows Pellissippi State to expand the featured writers beyond Appalachia to the general Southeast. Their readings will be recorded, not live, and will include the authors’ thoughts on writing and publishing in addition to sharing from their books.

The three authors on tap this fall include:

• Crystal Wilkinson, Kentucky’s Poet Laureate and the award-winning author of “Perfect Black,” “The Birds of Opulence,” “Water Street” and “Blackberries, Blackberries.” Her reading will premiere Sept. 30.
• Ravi Howard, author of two books of fiction, “Driving the King” and “Like Trees, Walking,” which won the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. His reading will premiere Oct. 30.
• Jim Minick, author of five books, including “The Blueberry Years: A Memoir of Farm and Family,” winner of the SIBA Best Nonfiction Book of the Year Award. His reading will premiere Nov. 30.

For more about each featured author and the link to their readings, please visit

5th Annual Mountain Fiesta

  • September 30, 2021 — October 3, 2021

Category: Classes, workshops, Culinary arts, food, Dance, movement, Festivals, special events, Kids, family and Music

FOR RELEASE ON: September 10, 2021
Contact: Zachary Greene
Phone: 865-585-1710

The 4.5th annual Mountain Fiesta will run from Thursday, September 30 to Sunday, October 3. The Mountain Fiesta is a local festival that strives to harmonize community and celebrate Latin American and Appalachian culture within the Cumberland Gap region. The logo of The Mountain Fiesta represents the spirit of the event. Corn, being central to both cultures (think tortillas and cornbread), is the centerpiece of the logo. The cornhusks in the logo contain Appalachian quilt patterns and indigenous textile patterns from Latin America.

One of the highlights of this year’s festival is the MacArthur Award Winner Baldemar Velásquez. Baldemar was invited to attend, educate, and perform folk music that animated decades of work protecting farmers and farm workers. He is an organizer who was raised by migrant workers and eventually founded the Farm Labor Organizing Community (FLOC). He has dedicated his heart and soul to helping farmers and migrant farmworkers achieve fairer contracts and increased securities. He formed a band, the Aguila Negra Band (Black Eagle Band), and has used all the earnings produced by the sales to fund FLOC.

Thursday’s musical performances include a female songwriter round-robin led by Carla Gover and Paulina Vazquez followed by the lively sound of the CornMaiz String Band. The main event, which is the Saturday street festival most people are familiar with, will include food, family activities and games, art and cultural exhibits, musical performances, free professional dance classes, and vendors of all kinds. Saturday’s eight-hour lineup includes local artists Michael Jones, Daniel Chumley, Caleb Carney, and the charming Danielle Tennessee. Coming from out of town are Baldemar Velasquez and the Aguila Negra Band, Appalatin, Wayne Graham, Joe Troop (of the Grammy-nominated band Che Apalache), and Dale Ann Bradley (Grammy nominee and 5-time IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year) as the closing headline act. Sunday morning in Berkau Park there will be a bluegrass and gospel “superjam” where many of the festival musicians will come together for a casual, old-fashioned pickin’.

J. Frank White Academy’s Spanish teacher, Zachary Greene, has organized this event for five years now with many generations of students by his side. The current festival organizers express their gratitude for the students who came before them. This year’s student organizers are Caleb Carney, Amanda Kotlar, Lilly Stubblefield, Jaymin Huddleston, Tony Collingsworth, Jacob Yeary, Blake Stoner, Micah Harrington, Cameron Tomfohrde, Charley Leach, Ryan Saylor, and Samuel Tompkins. Special thanks to recent graduates Tanner Brush, Olivia Nichols, and Patrick Moore, who planned the 2020 Mountain Fiesta that was cancelled due to COVID-19.

If you would like more information about this topic, please call Zach Greene at 865-585-1710 or email

Tennessee Theatre: Black Jacket Symphony

Category: Music

Please hold on to your tickets as they will be honored at the rescheduled show. If you are unable to attend the new date, refunds are available at the point of purchase beginning on Friday, December 18, 2020 at 10am through Monday, January 18, 2021 at 10pm. Refunds will no longer be available after 10 pm on Monday, January 18, 2021. Please contact the point of purchase if you have any questions or to request a refund on your purchase. The Black Jacket Symphony offers a unique concert experience by recreating classic albums in a live performance setting with a first class lighting and video production. A selected album is performed in its entirety by a group of hand-picked musicians specifically selected for each album. With no sonic detail being overlooked, the musicians do whatever it takes to musically reproduce the album.

Tennessee Theatre, 604 S. Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37902. For information/tickets: 865-684-1200,,

Centro Hispano: The Latino Awards

  • September 30, 2021

Category: Festivals, special events, Free event and Fundraisers

You’re invited to celebrate the Latino community with us virtually on Thursday, September 30 from noon- 1 p.m. Save the date and register now for free! We can't wait to share our Latino Award winners with you live during the event. Find out who the Knoxville community has voted for Best Latino Restaurant, Latino Community Leader, and Latino Community Ally.

The work Centro Hispano performs through its Workforce Development, Community Resources, and Youth and Family Engagement departments is critical to the wellbeing and success of Latinos in our region.

Join us to celebrate and honor the Latino community for Hispanic Heritage month, and consider making a contribution today to ensure that our work can continue. Click here to register for the event and make a donation.

Centro Hispano de East Tennessee

Random Acts of Flowers: Garden Party

  • September 30, 2021

Category: Fundraisers and Science, nature

Thursday, September 30th
5:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m.

We would like to invite you to our upcoming outdoor gathering held at the home and beautiful garden of Sharon Miller-Pryse and Joe Pryse. The Garden Party celebrates Random Acts of Flowers' mission with plenty of fantastic company, food and entertainment. Individual ticket prices available for $150 per ticket. For more information, please visit our website at We look forward to seeing you there!

UT Humanities Center Conversations & Cocktails: After Rome

  • September 30, 2021

Category: Free event, History, heritage, Lecture, discussion, panel and Virtual

"After Rome: Writing History at the End of Empire"
Felege-Selam Yirga, Assistant Professor, UT Department of History

Thursday, September 30, 2021 at 7:00 P.M.

Scholars have long claimed that the contraction of the Roman Empire in Europe and the Near East during the early Middle Ages affected historical writing, limiting its scope to local concerns. Professor Yirga’s talk will compare seventh and eighth century historical chronicles from Gaul, Syria, and Egypt, in order to challenge that view. As cultural expressions of their authors—three aristocrats whose wealth and social influence were built for an empire that no longer existed—these works reveal visions of history that accommodated the collapse and reconfiguration of the society in which they lived. Ultimately, in contrast to the assumptions of modern historians, all three chroniclers prove themselves to be deeply interested in the place of themselves and their societies in an international context.

When is “continuing education” fun? The answer: always -- with our UTHC series “Conversations & Cocktails”! “Conversations & Cocktails” is a free public lecture and discussion series that showcases the original research of our distinguished UT arts and humanities faculty. Our monthly get-togethers give you the opportunity to hear about fascinating work in the arts and in such fields as philosophy, history, and literature studies. Presentations are 30-40 minutes long and are designed for the general public. A spirited question-and-answer discussion follows each presentation. Hosted on Zoom. Questions at or 865-974-4222

Knoxville Museum of Art: Memory Care Art Workshop

Category: Classes, workshops, Exhibitions, visual art, Free event and Health, wellness

September 30, 2021 1:00pm - 3:00pm
Clay Relief Mirrors

This workshop is open to individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or memory loss.

Participants will explore beginning clay hand building and create ceramic relief mirrors with Tennessee Arts Commission Teaching Artist Annamaria Gundlach in a safe and relaxing environment. No experience necessary. Workshops are free and all supplies are provided.

Space is limited, please call Rosalind Martin at 865.523.6349 to register.

Due to the rapid spread of COVID-19, masks are required for all museum visitors, and workshop participates regardless of vaccination status.

UT Gardens: Lunch Hour Pop-up Plant Sale

  • September 30, 2021

Category: Festivals, special events, Free event and Science, nature

UT Gardens, Knoxville

Thursday, September 30, 2021
11 am - 1 pm

Did you miss the Fabulous Fall Plant Sale at the UT Gardens, Knoxville or change your mind and need more plants? Stop by the Gardens this Thursday, September 30, 2021 from 11am – 1 pm for our Lunch Hour Pop-Up Sale. All 1 gallon and larger pots are 10% off!! Gardens Members will receive the standard 10% discount on all plants of any size.

UT Gardens, Chapman Drive, Knoxville, TN 37996. Information: 865-974-7151,

Leesa Osburn Exhibition at Smilin' Jack's Cafe

  • September 29, 2021 — December 31, 2021

Category: Exhibitions, visual art and Free event

I have lived overseas while in the Army and most recently 14 years in Las Vegas, Nevada. The last two years, my family has been getting acquainted with East Tennessee. Knoxville has been so welcoming, it is quickly becoming our home. Mostly, I paint in water based oils in a fairly realistic style. My subject matter is mostly landscapes, seascapes, animals & insects, and pets. I belong to Fountain City Art Guild, Tennessee Artist Association, and Tuesday Painters, a Plein Air Group. To see examples of my work, please see website:

Smilin' Jack's is open Monday through Wednesday 11-4, and Thursday through Saturday 11-7.
4620 Mill Branch Lane, Knoxville, TN 37938 in Halls Crossroads

River & Rail Theatre Company: Pass Over

Category: Theatre

PASS OVER by Antoinette Nwandu

Pass Over made its Broadway premiere this August, and River & Rail is thrilled to bring this powerful, poignant story to Knoxville audiences. Pass Over takes as its inspiration the classic play, Waiting for Godot, and the biblical Exodus story. It follows two young Black men, Moses and Kitch, who talk shop, pass the time, and hope that maybe today will be different. As they dream of their promised land, a stranger wanders into their space and disrupts their plans. Evoking heartbreak, hope, and joy, Pass Over crafts everyday profanities into poetic and humorous riffs, illuminating the unquestionable human spirit of young men looking for a way out.

We are excited to announce our inaugural season of 'Pay-What-You-Wish'!: You pay what you wish for the ticket to the show you're about to see! Whether that's $3 or $40 - your ticket price is truly up to you - our philosophy is: a ticket price shouldn't be a barrier to seeing our shows!
(Suggested Ticket Price: $25 - any amount over $25 is a tax-deductible donation.)

PREVIEWS: SEP. 29-30 @ 8PM

OCT. 1 @ 8PM / OCT. 2 @ 8PM / OCT.3 @ 2PM
OCT 6. @8PM / OCT. 7 @ 8PM / OCT. 8 @ 8PM
OCT. 9 @ 8PM/ OCT. 10 @ 2PM

Content Warning: Please be advised that 'Pass Over' contains frequent and extreme profanity. 'Pass Over' is recommended for ages 15 and up. Children under 4 will not be admitted. If you have specific questions or concerns about the content of the production, please contact our staff, who will be happy to provide more information.

River & Rail Theatre, 111 State Street, Knoxville, TN 37902. Information: 865-407-0727,

UT Arboretum Society: Online Fall Plant Sale

Category: Fundraisers and Science, nature

Pickup date of Friday, October 15
Shop for new plants in the online catalog September 25-October 8

Fall is always a wonderful time for planting as it gives your plants time to establish great root systems for the spring. Due to continued concerns about Covid-19, the University of Tennessee Arboretum Society’s Annual Fall Plant Sale will be online with the catalog open from September 25th to October 8th. The pickup date is Friday, October 15 from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the UT Arboretum in Oak Ridge. Our plant sales are some of our biggest fundraisers of the year and help support the arboretum’s community education, trail improvements such as our Nature Book Trail, and children’s programs.

For two weeks, you can browse the selections of perennials, trees, and shrubs available from our vendors Tennessee Naturescapes, Riverdale Nursery, East Fork Nursery, and Erin’s Meadow Herb Farm. These vendors offer a wonderful selection of plants including unique conifers, both evergreen and native azaleas, hydrangeas, native shrubs, pollinator plants, and a wide variety of herbs to name just a few! Quantities are limited so we suggest early shopping! Beginning September 25th, log on to to shop and make payment. The catalog will open at 10 a.m. Saturday, September 25 and close at 5 p.m., Friday, October 8th. All payments must be made by credit card online in advance. No sales on the pickup day are possible.

On the check-out page you will be given the option to choose a pickup time on Friday, October 15th from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the UT Arboretum, 901 S. Illinois Avenue in Oak Ridge. There are no Saturday pickups at the Fall Plant Sale. UT Arboretum Society members will have your plant orders ready for pick-up. This is a no contact pickup system. When you arrive at your scheduled time, you will come to designated pickup spots and your order will be loaded into your car.

This is an amazing opportunity that allows the public to shop for an extended period of time without gathering in large groups on one day. People will also have access to a wonderful selection of plants from four outstanding nurseries all at one online site.

To learn more about the Arboretum Society, go to For more information on the plant sale, contact

Fountain City Art Center: Open Show - Autumn

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

Theme: Autumn

All media - including oils, acrylics, watercolors, pastels, drawings, sculpture in any medium, jewelry, collage, printmaking, photography and digital media—will be featured!

Show opening, 6:30 – 8:00 PM, Friday, September 24th, with presentation of awards at 7 PM.

Fountain City Art Center, 213 Hotel Ave, Knoxville, TN 37918. Hours: Tuesday 12:30pm – 3:30pm; Wednesday 9:30am – 4:30pm; Thursday 9:30am – 4:30pm, or by appointment. Information: 865-357-2787,

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