RCK member Rachel Ford spoke briefly about the RCK Arts & Education Committee. The Committee was created about thirteen years ago. Its purpose is to take arts performances to underserved children and open cultural doors for them.

The Committee asked four local cultural organizations for proposals for arts and culture performances and education to local children. The programs proposed by the four organizations presenting today will reach about 10,000 Knoxville area children.

RCK is providing funding for Clarence Brown Theatre to bring area children to its production of A Christmas Carol in December. RCK funding will help Knoxville Museum of Art conduct an East Tennessee Regional Student Art Exhibition. Knoxville Opera will provide free admission to students for several of its programs and will perform at area schools. And finally, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra will provide student concerts.
Rachel first introduced RCK Member Jason Hardy, General Director and CEO of the Knoxville Opera. Jason discussed Knoxville Opera’s current season and introduced visiting soloist Kevin Godínez who sang Ford’s Revenge Aria from Verdi’s Falstaff.

Next Rachel introduced Stephen Wicks, curator at KMA. Mr. Wicks presented a slide presentation about KMA’s reinstallation of Higher Ground: A Century of the Visual Arts in East Tennessee coming in November.

Rachel then introduced the KSO Music & Wellness Quartet, comprised of three violinists and a cellist. The Quartet performs in hospitals, nursing homes and similar venues. The Quartet played La Cumparsita, the famous tango that became part of the soundtrack of the Al Pacino movie Scent of a Woman. In addition, the Quartet played a rousing version of Rocky Top.

Finally, Rachel introduced Ken Martin, Artistic Director at Clarence Brown Theatre. He indicated that CBT would have several thousand students visit various CBT performances. Mr. Martin introduced two of his Masters of Fine Arts students, one of whom performed a monologue from Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks, and the other played the fiddle and sang a traditional Irish song, Red is the Rose.

The program reminded us of RCK’s commitment to the arts for young students and was certainly enjoyed by all present.