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
“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.