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Tennessee Theatre Launches "Pass The Mic"

The Tennessee Theatre is launching a new series of immersive arts events titled, “Pass the Mic: Creating a Stage for Change.” The series will provide a stage for artists from marginalized and underserved communities to share their art with a broader East Tennessee audience. In addition to presenting regional talent through concerts, each event will incorporate other art forms through visual art galleries, spoken word performances, readings and other experiences featuring local artists. Each headlining artist also will be given the opportunity to discuss a social issue of importance to them and how it impacts the community.

“It is our hope to provide opportunities for new communities to experience the Tennessee Theatre, in addition to providing a stage for artists to share their craft,” Tennessee Theatre Executive Director Becky Hancock said. “As a southern venue that was segregated for the first 35 years of its existence, the Tennessee Theatre of today has a strong desire to partner with and feature artists of color and those from other marginalized communities, especially those that may experience systemic obstacles to greater commercial success, to demonstrate that it is truly a venue for all people. Pass the Mic has been a collaborative effort from the start: gathering members of underserved and marginalized communities around the Tennessee Theatre table to ensure they are part of the creation process of this program, rather than being served up a finished product in which they had no agency.”

“While conscious efforts have been made to not exclude certain people, that is not enough; the next step is making a conscious effort to include,” said Brandon Gibson, artist, managing director for Marble City Opera and one of the many community advisors for the project. “This initiative represents a conscious effort by the Tennessee Theatre as a flagship arts organization in our state to take that next step and truly fulfill its mission.”

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