Smoky Mountain Pottery Festival wins grant from Arts Build Communities Program

After a successful first year, the Smoky Mountain Pottery Festival will return to the Townsend Visitors Center for year two with help of a state-funded grant for $2,100. The Arts Build Communities, a program funded by the Tennessee General Assembly and administered by the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Arts & Culture Alliance of Greater Knoxville, awarded the funds to the Blount County Chamber of Commerce Foundation and Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau (SMCVB) in order to continue the arts-based project.

“In our quest to continually evolve and create new and exciting events that not only attract visitors, but help to educate them about our heritage, we launched the pottery festival last year. The visitors bureau and the community put a lot of work into the pottery festival, and we are honored to have received this grant from the Arts Build Communities for the second year in a row,” said Herb Handly, executive vice president of tourism for SMCVB. “Last year’s festival was a huge success, and with the help of this grant and our many volunteers and businesses that are involved, we hope this year is even better.”

The annual pottery event, hosted by the Blount County Chamber of Commerce and the SMCVB, will be held on Saturday, June 6, 2009, at the Townsend Visitors Center. The festival will highlight the finest pottery available in Tennessee and the Great Smoky Mountains, providing an opportunity to educate others about the long-time tradition of pottery and the various styles and methods used by potters in the past and the present. It is a juried show, meaning that a jury of skilled and experienced potters will handpick the artisans chosen to represent the craft at this year’s festival.

For more information on the Smoky Mountain Pottery Festival, please call the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitor’s Bureau at 1-800-525-6834 or 865-448-6134, or visit

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