Celebrating diverse, underserved, and under-supported artists and audiences

Pass the Mic: Creating a Stage for Change provides an opportunity for artists from marginalized and underserved communities to share their art with others. Through concerts/performances, visual art displays, discussions and panels focusing on important issues, and educational opportunities, artists have the chance to engage with the community. The Tennessee Theatre is proud to provide a space for audiences and artists to better understand one another. 



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Virtual Events

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About the Series

In 2022, the Tennessee Theatre launched a new series of immersive arts events titled, “Pass the Mic: Creating a Stage for Change.” The series provides a stage for artists from marginalized and underserved communities to share their art with a broader East Tennessee audience.

Tennessee Theatre leadership and a community advisory group presented three concerts in 2022, featuring artists such as Black Opry Revue, Bettye LaVette, Danielle Ponder, Las Cafeteras, and Making Movies. Each performance also incorporated education and outreach opportunities in the communities that the series strives to reach.

“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,” 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.”


This project is being supported, in part, by federal award number SLFRP5534 awarded to the State of Tennessee by the U.S. Department of the Treasury as well as generous support from the following organizations:

East Tennessee PBS

Tennessee Arts Commission

South Arts

National Endowment for the Arts

Arts & Culture Alliance

City of Knoxville

Department of the Treasury