Knoxville’s vibrant fine arts community highlights East Tennessee’s unique character and appeal.  The city is known to attract world-renowned performers and artists in addition to showcasing exhibitions from around the world along with permanent collections of contemporary art at various performing arts venues.  Knoxville’s flourishing arts community keeps the city’s spirit moving.

Arts and Cultural Alliance of Greater Knoxville – The Arts & Cultural Alliance is a group of dedicated people and organizations committed to strengthening arts and culture in East Tennessee.  The Alliance provides leadership and advocacy that establishes and maintains the success of the arts and cultural environment of greater Knoxville, as well as providing for a strong climate for cultural and economic interaction between the arts and the Knoxville community as a whole.  The Alliance’s offices are located in the historic and refurbished Emporium Building on Gay Street in Knoxville, the cultural hub of East Tennessee.

Art Galleries (just to name a few) – The Arts and Cultural Alliance Emporium Center for Arts & Culture and adjacent University of Tennessee Downtown Gallery feature multi-use facilities that include office spaces, auxiliary galleries, rehearsal and meeting spaces, and studios of working artists in a replenished urban area.  The Ewing Gallery is located on the University of Tennessee campus and show works of avant-garde artists and architects of international and local stature.  The Art Market Gallery, a cooperative arts gallery located on Gay Street in downtown Knoxville, represents the works of more than 60 Knoxville area artists and crafters.  The Beck Cultural Center, located on Dandridge Avenue, displays many types of African art featuring local and national art exhibits as well as African-American artifacts.  Finally, the Knoxville Museum of Art, located on World’s Fair Park Drive, is a dynamic center for the exhibition and exploration of the visual arts that features permanent and traveling exhibits, lectures and workshops. 

Dance – The Appalachian Ballet Company, a regional dance company chartered in 1972, performs three times yearly, with a spring concert, fall performance, and The Nutcracker in the winter.  Circle Modern Dance was founded in 1990 and creates an atmosphere in which area choreographers and performance artists can display their artistic endeavors and recent works.  The Tennessee Children’s Dance Ensemble functions as a professional modern dance company using artists eight to 17 years of age.

Music – The Jubilee Community Arts Center, located at the Laurel Theater, is a regional, community cultural center dedicated to preserving and presenting the traditional arts of the Southern Appalachians.  This group offers nightly concerts and events.  The Knoxville Opera Company is a professional opera company that presents four high quality productions annually and features renowned artists, lavish costumes and magnificent sets.  The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra (KSO) is a professional symphony and orchestra that offers something for everyone with their three series that consist of the powerful Masterworks Series, the intimate Chamber Classics, and the electric Pops Series.  Additionally, the KSO performs nearly 300 concerts per year.  The University of Tennessee School of Music offers more than 150 recitals and concerts per year, many of which are free and open to the public.  AC Entertainment is a local entertainment management company that books national acclaimed artists and musicians to perform concerts at various venues around Knoxville. Additionally, the company is responsible for the free seasonal outdoor concert series, Sundown in the City, in the spring and summer months.

Theater – One of the few great movie palaces from the Roaring ‘20s still in operation, the beautifully restored Tennessee Theatre is the official state theater of Tennessee and is known as “Knoxville’s Grand Entertainment Palace,” offering something for everyone: classical music, vintage films, dance, theatre, and stellar performances by today’s hottest musicians.  The Actor’s Co-op produces five main stage productions, two children’s theatre productions and two special works each season, a theatre-training program and several arts outreach programs.  The Carpetbag Theater is a community-based professional theater company dedicated to the production of new works and developing new scripts through collaboration and improvisation.  This corporation of writers, artists, dancers and musicians is one of the few tenured African-American professional theater companies in the South.  The Tennessee Stage Company offers a year-round program of plays, readings, acting classes and community outreach programs, and is perhaps best known for its annual summer Shakespeare on the Square series, which takes place in downtown Knoxville’s Market Square District.  The University of Tennessee’s Department of Theater, which performs at the Clarence Brown/Ula Love Doughty Carousel Theatre, offers a diverse season of plays and musicals and fosters professional standards in the theatre curriculum while serving the greater East Tennessee community.

For additional information on any performing arts venue, attraction or organization mentioned above, contact the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Greater Knoxville by phone at (865) 523-7543, or on the web at