Allied Arts of Greater Chattanooga will kick off its 2012 Annual Campaign on Thursday with collaborations between several local artists and arts organizations. Events start at 5 p.m. at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center, 200 E. M.L. King Blvd. Refreshments will be served.
Campaign chairman James Kennedy III said he's "excited and intrigued" by what the performers have in store. "We have paired some of our community's finest artists to collaborate for the first time, and we know that their creations will have surprising results," he said.
Among the performers will be Fletcher Bright (fiddle); Robin Burk (hand-pan); Lisa Dempsey (violin) and JT Kane (viola), of the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera; Matt Dutton (visual artist); Marcus Ellsworth (spoken word); Kirsten Hawkins (dancer) from Chattanooga Ballet; Ken Harrison (saw); Sophie Lyle (fiddle); Mawre and Co. (African drumming); and John Tunstall III (piano). Vocalist Neshawn Calloway will make a special appearance as Bessie Smith.
Also scheduled are hands-on arts activities led by artists with 35.85 Guild, a new organization that offers support services for local artists.
Allied Arts hopes to raise $1.5 million during the four-month campaign. The money raised will fund Allied Arts' initiatives and grants, as well as provide a major contribution toward the operating budgets of its 14 cultural partners and arts programs in schools. Since 1969, the organization has raised more than $50 million to support the arts in the area.
For more, visit www.alliedartschattanooga.org.