Education as entertainment?

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You bet!

Liza Zenni, Executive Director of the Arts and Culture Alliance of Greater Knoxville


Talk about educating the whole child!  Turn your kids over to Knoxville’s arts and culture organizations this October and watch them grow in ways not possible either at home or in the classroom.  Start the month with the HoLa Festival. Can’t choose between two dance performances?  Go to both!  All of these activities participate in the Penny4Arts program through which children get in free when accompanied by an adult, so why not?  Head to the McClung Museum for an archaeological adventure or to the Clarence Brown to see the stage version of The Little Prince. Later in the month, go downtown to the Bijou for some live jazz or visit WDVX’s live radio show especially for kids. As the month starts to wind down, take in our wonderful Opera or enjoy the Knoxville Symphony’s interpretation of Leonard Bernstein, both at the fabulous Tennessee Theatre.  You and the kids will find your imaginations blown wide open by the time Halloween comes along!

Here are details on how you and your children may experience this stunning list of activities (and more) this month. Visit for more information.

Saturday, October 6, 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM come out to HoLa Hora Latina: HoLa Festival 2012 celebrating Hispanic diversity, music, food, dance, and culture!  Contact: 865-335-3358, e-mail.  Gay Street and West Depot Avenue, downtown Knoxville.

Sunday, October 7, 2:30 PM the Tennessee Children’s Dance Ensemble presents Children in the Arts, a one-hour performance of dances from the exciting and colorful repertoire of the Tennessee Children’s Dance Ensemble. Tickets are $6 per adult.  Contact: Irena Linn, 865-584-9636.  At the Knoxville Amphitheater at the World’s Fair Site  No advance reservations required.

Tuesday, October 9, 8:00 PM head to the Bijou for Knoxville Jazz Orchestra’s performance of Benny Goodman and Beyond with clarinetist Ken Peplowski. The Swing Era of the 1930s was the height of jazz music’s popularity. And of the hundreds of band leaders across the country, Benny Goodman was the one billed as “The King of Swing.” Bijou Theatre, 803 S. Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37902. Advance reservations required.  The public may obtain one free student ticket per paying adult by visiting the Tennessee Theatre box office in person prior to the day of the show to get the free ticket.

Wednesday-Friday, October 10-12 and October 17-19, 7:30 PM the Clarence Brown Theatre presents The Little Prince! The play is based on one of the most beloved children’s stories of all time. Contact: CBT Box Office, 865-974-5161. Carousel Theatre, 1710 Andy Holt Avenue on the campus of the University of Tennessee (next to the Clarence Brown Theatre). Advance reservations required. Please make reservations 24 hours prior to performance time.

Thursday-Friday, October 18-19, 7:30 PM Knoxville Symphony Orchestra: Bernstein’s Candide. October’s Masterworks concert will open with Maestro Richman’s Kol Nidre followed by Symphony in C by Bizet. The concert will conclude with Bernstein’s beloved Suite from Candide. Joining this program will be the Knoxville Chamber Chorale. Contact: KSO Box Office, 865-291-3310, Option 4. Historic Tennessee Theatre, 604 S. Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37902. Advance reservations are required.

Sunday, October 21, 1:00-5:00 PM at the Frank H. McClung Museum: Archaeology and Fossil Day! Experts will identify fossils, Indian artifacts, bones, and rocks. Also featuring displays on archaeology.  Contact: Jeff Chapman, 865-974-2144. At the Frank H. McClung Museum, 1327 Circle Park Drive on the on the campus of the University of Tennessee. No reservations required.

Come downtown Saturday, October 27, 10:00-11:00 AM to enjoy WDVX-FM Radio: Kidstuff, a free live music show! Join WDVX & your host Sean McCollough for Kidstuff Live at the Knoxville Visitors Center. So grab your adult and come to Kidstuff Live!  Contact: 865-544-1029 x231. Knoxville Visitor Center, 301 S. Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37902 (other locations as announced). No reservations required.

Sunday, October 28, 2:30 PM brings Knoxville Opera production of Strauss’s Die Fledermaus, a fully-staged opera production in English. Strauss’s masterpiece features intoxicating waltzes, mistaken identities, and flirtations at a masked ball. Opera preview begins 45 minutes prior to each performance. Up to two students may attend for $0.01 per paying adult. Contact: Michael Torano, 865-524-0795 x28. Tennessee Theatre, 604 S. Gay Street, Knoxville, TN 37902. Advance reservations are required; please call 865-524-0795, x1 for tickets.  Cut off for advance reservations is 12:00 PM on Friday, October 26.


Liza Zenni's PhotoLiza Zenni has been with the Arts & Culture Alliance since 2002. She holds a BA in Theater and a MFA in Arts Administration from the Yale School of Drama. From 1990 to 1995 she was Executive Director of Theatre Bay Area, the largest regional theater service organization in North America.  She and her two daughters live in Oak Ridge, not far from where she grew up.

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