Community Events for Jan. 15, 2009

Monday, Jan. 12 to Friday, Jan. 16

SKIT holds open auditions for ’09 season

SKIT Productions, Inc. is currently scheduling auditions and open enrollment for principal singers, actors, dancers, set designers, production crew, musicians and volunteers for their upcoming 2009 season. Open registration will be held Jan. 16 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the SKIT Studio/Theatre located at 507 Ellis Avenue in Maryville. Anyone age 10 and above, even those with little or no experience, are encouraged to audition.

Male performers of all ages and high-school-age female performers are especially needed. All members enrolled will perform in every local production and will be given the chance to audition for roles in all shows, including all musicals. Those auditioning should bring a resume and a recent headshot (photos will not be returned). Enrollment space is limited and it is highly recommended that you enroll early to reserve a place in the company. Other classes available for open enrollment are Thursday Home-school Theatre class and private voice lessons for individuals seeking training in vocal technique by a qualified instructor.

SKIT Productions is a not-for-profit Performing Arts School. For more information about any SKIT programs or to schedule an audition time, please contact the director, Debra Lonsdale at 865-621-0216, or visit the website at

Thursday, Jan. 15 and Tuesday, Jan. 20

Center for Strong Communities hosts forums for MLK’s birthday

In observation of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, the Center for Strong Communities at Maryville College will host two forums that will focus on how the life and work of the prominent Civil Rights leader can serve as inspiration for meeting regional challenges today.

The forums are free and open to the public and a part of the larger MLK Day schedule of events planned for Jan. 14-20 by the MLK Celebration Committee in Blount County.

The forums will address four areas of social concern - jobs and dignity at work, immigration, war/militarism and religious diversity.

The forum “What Would Dr. King Say?” is scheduled for 7 p.m., Jan. 15 in the Alumni Gymnasium at the college. Moderated by Nina Gregg, the panel will include representatives from MC, the AFL-CIO and the Highlander Center, speaking about historical context, jobs and work, immigration, war and militarism, and religious diversity.

The forum “What Would Dr. King Call Us To Do?” is scheduled for 7 p.m., Jan. 20 also in the Alumni Gymnasium. In this forum, participants will meet in groups with resource people to discuss ways our own communities are currently working on these issues and what remains to be done. Representatives from Jobs With Justice, the Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition, the United Methodist Church and St. Andrews Episcopal Church will all participate in the forum.

For more information, contact the Center for Strong Communities at 865-273-8894 or

Other MLK events on the horizon in Blount County include:

Martin Luther King Jr. Business Luncheon - noon, Friday, Jan. 16, in the Associates Building at Denso, Inc., Robert C. Jackson Drive, Maryville. The event is by reservation only, and they can be made by calling the Blount County Chamber of Commerce. Tickets are $25 a person. The speaker is Christopher Jackson, location manager for Alcoa, Inc., Tennessee Operations.

“The Clinton 12” - 7 p.m., Friday, Jan. 16 at the Palace Theater. Admission is free. Filmmaker Keith McDaniel will be on hand to talk about the film.

Community worship service - 4 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 18, at Rest Haven Baptist Church. The Rev. Dr. Eric Leake is the scheduled speaker.

Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration - 12:45 p.m. Monday, Jan. 19. Meet at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center at 209 E. Franklin St., Alcoa, for a parade to Alcoa High School. The program starts at the gym at 2 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 17

Blount Humane Society hosts movie fundraiser

The Blount County Humane Society will be hosting a fundraising event at the opening of the movie Hotel for Dogs on Saturday, Jan. 17, at the Carmike Foothills 12 movie theatre, located at 507 Foothills Plaza in Maryville. This event will benefit the Blount County Humane Society and begins with the first Saturday showing of the movie.

The Blount County Humane Society will have T-shirts for sale, as well as a “non-raffle” for movie tickets, restaurant gift certificates and other items. Also, donations of cash, gift cards, dog treats, dog toys, collars, leashes and related items will be welcomed. For more information, call 865-742-3070 or visit

Saturday, Jan. 17

Fine Arts Blount holds open house

Fine Arts Blount will be hosting an open house in our new ArtSpace Gallery at 106 E. Broadway on Saturday, January 17 from 1-4 PM. On hand will be instructors who plan to teach various types of art classes in the coming months for adults and children as well.

The open house will be an opportunity for community members to visit with the artists and see some of their work along with examples the types of techniques they will be teaching in their classes. FAB is committed to bringing the art experience to the Blount County community, and to finding out what types of art education and workshops would be meaningful to you. For more information, contact Fine Arts Blount at 865-982-0898 or

Thursday, Jan. 22

Regional Senior Summit focuses on fraud

The third annual Regional Senior Summit will begin at 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 22, at the Knoxville Convention Center. The Summit is the kick-off for the Blue Cross Healthy Living Expo, which continues through Saturday at the convention center. The regional seminar will focus on “Fraud and Abuse.” Area mayors, district attorneys and sheriffs have worked on the summit and this year’s event features free health screenings, a family area, cooking and activities stages and an appearance by Dr. Bob of the Dr. Bob Live show.

The Summit is free for Seniors. For more information, visit the website at seniorsummit.

Thursday, Jan. 22 to Sunday, Jan. 25

Foothills Community Players present The Cemetery Club

From Jan. 22-25, the Foothills Community Players will take the stage at the Capitol Theatre for their second production, The Cemetery Ivan Menchell.

The play centers on three Jewish widows who meet each month to visit the graves of their late husbands. Lucille, Doris and Ida are dear friends whose lives are ultimately changed upon meeting Sam the Butcher, played by Richard Garfield. He meets the widows at the cemetery while visiting his wife’s grave and strikes up a relationship with one widow until the other two and a neighborhood lady intervene, threatening to break up the club. The play’s humor is clever and traditional while focusing on the connections between characters.

The performances on Jan. 22 and 23, will begin at 8 p.m. On Saturday, Jan. 24, there will be performances at both 2 and 8 p.m., and on Sunday, Jan. 25, a matinee performance will begin at 2 p.m. Tickets will cost $16, or $14 for seniors and students. Ticket information is available at or by calling 865-712-6428. Groups interested in attending a performance may contact Lisa Blair at 865-712-6428.

The Cemetery Club is directed by Lisa Blair and is produced in special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc. The FCP is a new all-volunteer community theatre in Blount County. Information about this production and the FCP may be found at

Friday, Jan. 30 to Saturday, Jan. 31

Kiwanis Antiques Appraisal Fair will be Friday, Jan. 30, and Saturday, Jan. 31, at the Blount County Library. Blount Countians can have their antiques and attic treasures appraised at the second annual Kiwanis Antiques Appraisal Fair events Jan. 30-31. The events, featuring acclaimed antiques expert Joe Rosson, will be held at the Blount County Public Library, in the Sharon Lawson Room. Rosson, who will lead a team of appraisers, is the co-host of East Tennessee Public Television’s “Treasures in Your Attic” show, an antiques columnist for the News-Sentinel, and the author of several books about antiques and their appraisal.

These events are sponsored by the Alcoa and Foothills Kiwanis Clubs, and the Alcoa High and Heritage High Key Clubs.

The Friday, Jan. 30, event will be from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Library, and will be a reception where items can be appraised, persons will have more extensive time with the appraisers, hors d’oeuvres will be served, and Rosson will address the guests on the items brought that night. The cost is $20 per person, which will allow one appraisal, and additional appraisals may be purchased for $5 each.

The Saturday, Jan 31, appraisal event will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The cost for appraisal of the first item will be $10, and additional appraisals may be purchased for $5 each. Also on Saturday, guests may purchase lunch prepared on Library grounds by the Foothills Kiwanis Club. The menu will feature chili, hot dogs, coffee and soft drinks. Rosson and the other appraisers will talk with the owners of the items brought and offer expert opinions on the values of the items.

Tickets may be purchased at the door at both events, or in advance from any member of the Alcoa Kiwanis, Foothills Kiwanis, and the Alcoa and Heritage High Key Clubs. All proceeds will be used to support these clubs’ charitable activities.

including East Tennessee Children’s Hospital, Special Olympics, and other youth activities in Blount County. The Alcoa High Key Club will dedicate its proceeds to support of the Alcoa Schools Family Resource Center.

Additional information may be obtained by calling David or Kari Duggan at 865-984-6551.

Friday, Feb. 6 and Friday, Feb. 13

The Barn Event Center of the Smokies host two winter events

n On Feb. 6, The Barn will be hosting a celebration of our mountain culture at the Townsend Winter Heritage Festival BBQ Dinner and Barn Dance featuring The Mumbillies at The Barn Event Center of the Smokies. Tickets will be $25 and will include a barbecue dinner of pulled pork, chicken, potatoes, beans and dessert to be served at 6:30 p.m. Vegetarian meals are available if ordered in advance. Western and Appalachian Square Dancing, with caller, will be held from 7:30-9:30 pm. For more information, call 865-448-3812.

n On Feb. 13, come to The Barn to celebrate Townsend Love Affair Weekend with swing dancing and dinner featuring The Leanliners at The Barn Event Center of the Smokies. Enjoy a fine dinner of rosemary chicken, pork loin roast, potatoes, veggies and cobbler at 6:30 p.m., then dance the night away with the Leanliners from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Tickets cost $30. For more information, call 865-448-3812.

Thursday, Feb. 5 to Sunday, Feb. 8

Winter Heritage Festival to focus on culture

For those who want to delve deeper into the East Tennessee’s history and culture, the Winter Heritage Festival offers a special opportunity. During the event, held from February 5-8, native Appalachian families; experts on the history and heritage of the area; local artisans, authors and musicians; historians; and other community leaders come together in Townsend to share their personal insight, history, heritage and culture of Cades Cove and the Smoky Mountains.

The foundation of the festival is the human history, natural beauty and cultural traditions of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, with specific emphasis on Townsend and Cades Cove. The festival is held at various locations throughout Townsend and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and visitors and locals alike will participate in classes, tours, exhibits, music, hikes and demonstrations.

At the festival, locals share stories of mountain life and families of the Smokies; historians discuss logging and the railroad days; there are illustrated talks and displays about people and the land, with over 35 presenters; musicians share their mountain music and artisans share their craft skills, including a Barn Dance with a favorite local string band, The Mumbillies; there are guided tours through Cades Cove; photography excursions; guided hikes to various locations in the Smokies; guest speakers including Sam Venable, Boyce Driskell, Dale Ditmanson, and Charles Maynard; and special exhibits and displays from family archives and old fashioned portraits. Most programs are free (except for those with meals), but pre-registration is required to attend as space is limited. Registration deadline is Friday, January 30.

For more information or to register, please call the Smoky Mountain Convention and Visitors Bureau at 865-448-6134 or visit or

Monday, Feb. 2 to Tuesday, Apr. 14

AARP offers free tax help

This tax season, AARP Tax-Aide will again offer free help to low- and middle-income taxpayers who are filing personal income tax returns. Tax assistants will be available at the Blount County Library and the Everett Senior Center from Feb. 2 through Apr. 14. The trained volunteers will be available by appointment only to assist in filing the 1040 tax form and basic schedules. Taxpayers with complex tax returns are advised to seed paid tax assistance.

The tax assistants will be at Everett Senior Center on Mondays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. To make a reservation, call 983-9422.

The service is available at the Blount County Library on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Thursday afternoons from 2-6 p.m. Call 865-982-0981 ext. 4 or 865-273-1436 or visit the library’s reference desk to make an appointment.

Tax volunteers can also provide information about this year’s new recovery rebate tax credit for those thos didn’t receive the full economic stimulus payment last year.

The AARP Tax-Aide program began in 1968 and has operated in Blount County for 25 years.

© 2009 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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