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Editor's Letter

Megan Venable and Liz Lyons, two members of the VIP Knoxville event coverage team, recently texted me a selfie proclaiming “Wearing our uniform!” I fired right back with a photo: “Wearing mine, too!”

We own a lot of black dresses and small spiral bound notebooks. We use the notebooks to make sure we spell your names correctly, and in a little black dress you always look appropriately dressed but don’t stand out in the crowd. Golf tournaments excepted.

I generally walk into a party with elan, waving at friends and looking forward to catching up. A few weeks ago, feeling chic in my new handkerchief hemline black dress accessorized with layered necklaces, I descended the stairs at Knoxville Museum of Art, camera and notebook in hand.

Looking down, I saw a room full of attractive, stylishly dressed young people. I suddenly felt way less chic. I hardly knew anyone. But that was actually a good thing. I was looking at our next generation of philanthropists. What can local non-profit organizations do to connect with this generation? Some groups appear to have taken the lead in planning events designed to appeal to a younger generation.

I’m not interested in attending a field day. I wasn’t any good at those games when I was eight, and I doubt I’ve improved with age, but Girls, Inc. didn’t have me in mind when they hosted “Adult Field Day,” which, judging from the photos, was a lot of fun for those who attended. The Muse offered up similar fun with its “Way Late Play Date.”

Knoxville Symphony Orchestra aims to reach new people in different settings with its “Unstaged” series which offers concerts with accessible ticket prices in settings such as an airplane hanger and music paired with activities such as yoga.

Knoxville Museum of Art’s “Art House” series is attracting folks under 40 to fun events: an evening with an art dealer in a private home, a party at the museum with an artist whose purpose is saving the species he paints and a “graffiti crawl” around downtown to see non traditional urban art.

It’s exciting to see new faces at these creatively-themed events. It’s good to shake things up and find new ways to connect. VIP Knoxville looks forward to showcasing what these and other organizations come up with in the future.

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