Mike West with some of the students who were able to attend the showing of “Jersey Boys” do to the generosity of good corporate citizens. Photo by Dan Andrews. Article



Up to 30 students from Knoxville’s Austin East High School are attending the final

performance of the musical “Jersey Boys” tonight…and hearing about the importance of

arts from local firms that fund the Tennessee Theatre program purchasing their tickets.

“The Youth Arts Alliance Fund is an important part of our outreach,” said Becky

Hancock, Executive Director of the Tennessee Theatre. “We don’t just want to bring

great performances to town, we want to make sure that lots of people get exposed to

the arts, not just those who already know the arts and can afford to attend.”

The result of that vision is the Youth Arts Alliance, which funds tickets to select events

at the Tennessee Theatre for students from any Knox County Title 1 school. The

teachers simply need to make the request to the Theatre.

The fund is supported financially by both BPV Capital Management and Variety of

Eastern Tennessee, a children’s charity founded by Regal Entertainment Group.

“Arts are critically important for students to become successful and well-rounded

adults,” said Mike West, CEO of BPV Capital Management. “National studies show

that a student who participates in the arts is four times more likely to be recognized for

academic achievement.”

“A Department of Education study showed that high school students who take music

lessons and join theater groups do better in math, reading, history, geography and

citizenship,” said Carol Fusco, Executive Director of Variety The Children’s Charity of

East Tennessee. “Youth Arts Alliance is a tremendous opportunity to enrich children’s

lives, which may be the strongest motivation for getting involved.”

“The fund can help more students, but many teachers simply don’t know it is available,”

said West. “That’s one of the reasons we want to draw attention to it.”

All told about 750 students saw events through the program this year, including 500

elementary school students who saw a special daytime screening of “Miracle on 34th

Street” in December.

Donations to the Youth Arts Alliance are 100% tax-deductible. Individuals or companies

that want to help fund the Youth Arts Alliance can contact Becky Hancock at 684-1200


Teachers who want to learn more can contact Susan Rodenbeck, Tennessee Theatre

Box Office Manager, at 865-684-1143.