Calendar of Events

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

East Tennessee History Center: Brown Bag Lecture

Category: Literature, spoken word, writing

Brown Bag Lecture at ETHS: Flaming Moderate: Bo Roberts's Journey
Wednesday, February 21, 2024 @ 12:00 p.m.

Join Bo Roberts as he shares stories from his new book, Flaming Moderate. This book takes you on an unforgettable journey through Bo's life, from confronting the harrowing experience of a Ku Klux Klan cross burning in his own front yard to navigating the aftermath of Martin Luther King's tragic assassination. It's a story of passion and reason, showcasing the extraordinary efforts of individuals working together to address global, national, state, and local challenges. The book is brimming with highly-praised, published columns that dive deep into issues, both large and small, which are crucial for anyone passionate about improving their community, state, and nation.

Bo Roberts is making a special offer for the pre-sale of his new book, Flaming Moderate. ETHS Members and Friends can use code FLAMINGETHC and receive 20% off. Visit to order now.

East Tennessee Historical Society, 601 S. Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37902. Museum hours: M-F 9-4, Sa 10-4, Su 1-5. Information: 865-215-8824,

Writing Rainbow: Knoxville Youth Writing Workshops

  • February 21, 2024

Category: Classes, workshops, Free event, Literature, spoken word, writing and Meetup

Knoxville Youth Poet Laureate is leading workshops at the Pride Center for LGBTQ+ youth. Spread the word for youth ages 13-19 to come out and write with Virgil and create a safe space for sharing their stories with one another and the community.

Feb 21 and Mar 20, 7PM at The Knox Pride Vocational Center, 4044a Chapman Hwy, Knoxville, TN 37920

Knoxville Botanical Garden: Mysterious Mosses

  • February 21, 2024

Category: Free event and Science, nature

Wednesday February 21 | 6-8pm | Garden Club Room at Visitor Center

Join us to discover the wonders that lie hidden in the miniature world of mosses. Dr. Jessica Budke of the UTK Herbarium will present an exploration of the diversity of mosses that live in our lawns, between the sidewalk cracks, and in our local forests. You will gain identification skills, learn how these tiny plants are important players in our native ecosystems, and enjoy a photographic adventure of mosses from around the world.

Ijams Nature Center: Lovesick

Category: Music

Lovesick, February 21, 6:30-8:00PM at Ijams Nature Center.

Hailing from Italy, Lovesick has been nominated for an Ameripolitan Music Award in Western Swing and you won't want to miss this award winning trio on their tour through the United States.

The Lovesick concert is a total immersion in the atmosphere of 40s-50s America. With their sound, clothing and musical instruments, they take you through the typical Country Music and Rock 'n' Roll themes like love, betrayal and fun.

Lovesick is composed of three musicians from Bologna, Italy. Paolo Roberto Pianezza plays guitar and lap steel, Francesca Alinovi plays the double bass, and Allesandro Cosentino on the fiddle and drums.

So bring your dancing shoes and join in the fun. Doors open at 5:30pm for this show. The Ijams Beer Garden will be open and food will be available for purchase.
Tickets are $10 per person. Kids 13 and under are free.
Tickets at

Ijams Nature Center, 2915 Island Home Ave, Knoxville, TN 37920. Visitor Center open daily 10-6; grounds and trails open daily from 8 AM - dusk. Information: 865-577-4717,

Folk@Fourth: RB Morris and the New Band

  • February 21, 2024

Category: Culinary arts, food, Fundraisers, Kids, family and Music

RB Morris in concert at the first Folk@Fourth concert for this spring series! In the fellowship hall (downstairs) at Fourth United Presbyterian Church. Come check out our newly renovated space, enjoy a simple meal, and GREAT MUSIC! Doors open at 6. Music starts around 7. Tickets $10 at the door (kids under 12 eat free). Park in church parking lot or at Rose's Mortuary across Glenwood.

An evening meal and an evening of song.Raise your cup and your voice with us at Fourth United Presbyterian’s folk music series, now in its eighth season.

1323 N Broadway, Knoxville, TN 37917.

Sundress Academy for the Arts: Experimental Poetry workshop

Category: Classes, workshops, Free event, Literature, spoken word, writing and Virtual

The Sundress Academy for the Arts is excited to present “Decolonizing the Diagram: An Experimental Poetry Workshop,” a workshop led by Felix Lecocq on February 21st, 2024, from 6-7:30 PM. This event will be held over Zoom. Participants can access the event at (password: safta).

If diagrams are visual representations of knowledge, this class asks: Whose knowledge and for whom? In academia, medicine, and law, the diagram has been used to categorize, racialize, and essentialize bodies of color, as well as queer/trans/disabled bodies. In this class, we will write poems that decolonize the diagram. Inspired by poets such as Kiki Nicole, Jenifer Sang Eun Park, and Anthony Cody, we will explore how diagrams can be used in poetry to draw out tension, relationship, symmetry, and movement between ideas and images. We will use these discoveries to guide our own poem/diagram creations that subvert traditional logics and knowledge. Participants of all levels of experience are welcome. While there is no fee to participate in this workshop, those who are able and appreciative may make donations directly to Felix Lecocq via Venmo @felix-lecocq.

Felix Lecocq is a writer, game designer, former SAFTA resident, and current Tin House Workshop Reading Fellow. He has taught experimental poetry workshops with the Chicago Asian Writers Workshop, and in May 2023, he independently organized a digital poetry workshop entitled “game design for poets” to raise money for the Chicago Abortion Fund. You can find his work in ANMLY, Black Warrior Review, and Joyland, and on his website at

Ijams Nature Center: Upcoming Events

Category: Classes, workshops, Health, wellness, Kids, family and Science, nature

2/16 • Woodcock Walk
2/17 • Woodcock Walk
2/18 • Self Care Sunday Yoga
2/18 • Homemade Beauty: Balms and Salves
2/18 • Bluegrass Monthly Jam
2/21 • Lovesick at Ijams Concert

Ijams Nature Center, 2915 Island Home Ave, Knoxville, TN 37920. Visitor Center open daily 10-6; grounds and trails open daily from 8 AM - dusk. Information: 865-577-4717,

Clarence Brown Theatre: The Giver

Category: Kids, family, Literature, spoken word, writing and Theatre

By Lois Lowry
Adapted by Eric Coble
Clarence Brown Theatre
February 14 – March 3, 2024

From one of the most popular young adult novels of our time. Jonas’ world is perfect. It’s safe. Controlled. Without war or pain. Without color. Where every person is assigned a role in the community. At age 12, he’s chosen to be keeper of the community’s memories from The Giver, the only person with memories of real pain and joy. As Jonas begins to experience these memories, he is faced with a decision: conform to society’s expectations or control his own destiny.

Clarence Brown Theatre, 1714 Andy Holt Ave on the UT campus, Knoxville, TN 37996. For information/tickets: 865-974-5161,

Beck Cultural Exchange Center: Black History Month Events

  • February 14, 2024 — February 26, 2024

Category: Festivals, special events and History, heritage

Feb 14 - Special Dedication
Feb 16 - UT - Green Book, Orange Book Dinner & Discussion
Feb 17 - UUNIK Academy: BLack History 101 Mobile Museum with Prof. Griff of Public Enemy
Feb 21 - AARP Fraud Prevention Townhall
Feb 23 - Racial Justice: The Talk
Feb 24 - Freedom Schools - Jack & Jill: Living Museum
Feb 26 - Black AChievement Celebcration - Brian Clay & The Art Community at the Bijou

Beck Cultural Exchange Center, 1927 Dandridge Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37915. Hours: Tu-F 10-2. Information: 865-524-8461,

Pellissippi State: Engravings and Weavings of Ashton Ludden

  • February 12, 2024 — March 1, 2024

Category: Exhibitions, visual art and Free event

Copper, wood and even salvaged plastic waste come together in a new art exhibition exploring the natural world at Pellissippi State Community College. The Ashton Ludden Exhibit is on display at the Bagwell Center for Media and Arts Gallery until March 1. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and the gallery, located on the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, is free and open to the public.

“My work considers our relationship with wildlife as the natural world becomes estranged through human’s perpetual desire for rapid expansion,” said Ludden, the founder, co-owner, director and active artist of Relay Ridge Collaborative Artist Space in north Knoxville. “My work evokes a renewal of attentiveness toward our direct and indirect impacts on the wild and aims to rejuvenate a passion for conserving wild spaces.”

Ludden uses processes such as hand-engraving, printmaking, murals, ceramics and weaving in her works on display. The labor-intensive process forces her to slow down, meditate and focus as she creates, she said. Through her work, she works to find “ways to connect us to distant species and environmental concerns across the world, transforming our hopeful – yet seemingly futile – attempts in saving the natural world into something just as beautiful.” Outside of her studio practice, Ludden, who earned a Master of Fine Arts in printmaking from the University of Tennessee, teaches printmaking at Knoxville’s Community School of the Arts, Governor’s School for the Arts, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts and Relay Ridge, and is currently teaching screenprinting at the University of Tennessee. You can learn more about her at or find her on Instagram @ashton_ludden.

For a list of Pellissippi State’s upcoming exhibitions in the Bagwell Gallery this spring, visit
Pellissippi State | 10915 Hardin Valley Road, Knoxville, TN 37933

Knoxville Watercolor Society: Exhibition at Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church

Category: Exhibitions, visual art and Free event

Knoxville Watercolor Society Exhibition
Art Exhibit at Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church
Free and open to the public
When: Reception Friday, February 16, 2024, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. Artists’ talks at 6:30 p.m.

Gallery hours: 9:30-4:30 Monday through Thursday and 9:00-1:00 Sunday
2931 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37918

Knoxville Watercolor Society: Passionate About Art
For more than 60 years, the Knoxville Watercolor Society (KWS) has provided area watercolor artists, students and supporters with the only local art organization dedicated to the practice, advancement, and promotion of watercolor as a serious art form. KWS enjoys a long-standing reputation for the artistic excellence, expertise, passion, and mutual support of its members. Membership in KWS is open to all Knoxville area residents 18+, including experienced water-media artists, aspiring or developing water-media artists, art teachers, art students, patrons of the arts, representatives of arts organizations, and vendors. For more information, go to or

River & Rail Theatre Company: Fat Ham

Category: Comedy and Theatre

Fat Ham was recently on Broadway, and will be directed by Mychael G. Chinn
Cast: Jaquai Wade Pearson as Tedra, Marshall Weir Mabry, IV as Juicy, Kenneth Herring as Rev/Pap, Neveah Daniel as
Opal, LoRen Seagrave as Tio, Matthew Draughter as Larry, and Brandiss Seward as Rabby.
Design Team: Sophie Smrcka (Scenic/Props), Scott Baron (Lighting), Amoirie Perteet (Sound/Props), and KC Colemon

Preview: Thursday, February 8th at 7:30pm (Students come FREE with code FATHAM24)
Opening: Friday, February 9th at 7:30pm (Ticket includes food and beverages at the afterparty)
Run: February 8-25 at the Old City Performing Arts Center (111 State Street)

Fat Ham Synopsis
In this delectably comic, Pulitzer Prize-winning reinvention of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, an uproarious family
barbecue instigates a compelling examination of love and loss, pain and joy.

About Mychael G. Chinn (Director)
Mychael is so excited to be making his directing debut at River + Rail! He is a television development executive, most recently at MTV Studios, where he was the point executive on deals with A List talent such as Angela Bassett & Courtney B. Vance, John Leguizamo, and Regina Hall, to name a few. Previously, Mychael was an executive at Lifetime Television, where he helped shepherd over 50 movies to air, including the most successful made for television movie of 2020, The Clark Sisters: The First Ladies of Gospel. He also has worked at prestigious arts organizations such as the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, The New Museum and The Movement Theatre Company. Mychael currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.

About Jaquai Wade Pearson (Tedra)
Jaquai Wade Pearson splits her time between Knoxville, LA, and Dallas, and returns to River & Rail Theatre Company after appearing as Camae in The Mountaintop in February 2023. She is the stepdaughter of Thomas “Tank” Edward Strickland, and a graduate of SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts.

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

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