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UT’s Clarence Brown Theatre and literary magazine Grist recently received grants to further their contributions to the arts in the state.

The Arts and Culture Alliance of Greater Knoxville selected the theater and the magazine as two of the twenty-seven recipients of the annual Arts Build Communities grants.

The Clarence Brown Theatre received $2,475 to support local and guest artist fees for this fall’s production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. In direct support of the theater’s unique dual mission, this production will feature professional guest artists and top-level local artists who will work alongside the future generation of artists studying at UT.

“With several Season for Youth student matinee performances for area schoolchildren, a Pay What You Wish Wednesday preview performance, and an actor talkback, among other engagement initiatives, the Clarence Brown Theatre hopes to spark meaningful dialogue within our community, highlighting the modern-day relevance of this cautionary tale, especially in the midst of an election year,” said Hana Sherman, the theater’s grants and research assistant.

Grist, a literary journal run by graduate students in the Department of English, won a $2,075 award for its project “The Painted Page: A Tennessee Ekphrasis Project.” The initiative will connect Tennessee writers with artists from across the state and showcase their work in Grist‘s special tenth anniversary issue, as well as on its website and at public events sponsored by the journal. Through the grant, the journal will commission local authors to create new literary pieces in response to visual pieces by contemporary Tennessee artists. It also will enable the journal to include high-quality images of these visual works for the first time.¬†The East Tennessee Foundation is the¬†fiscal partner for the grant.

“We see a tremendous opportunity for the journal to continue to grow and help attract high-caliber students to our department,” said Richard Hermes, a doctoral candidate in the creative writing program and the magazine’s editor-in-chief.

The Arts Build Communities grant program is funded through specialty license plate sales and administered in cooperation with the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Arts and Culture Alliance of Greater Knoxville. It provides support or financial stability for arts projects in nine East Tennessee counties, benefiting about 130,000 people each year.


Lola Alapo (865-974-3993,