Pass the Mic:
Creating a Stage for Change

Celebrating diverse, marginalized, and underserved artists and audiences

Upcoming Events 

May 7, 2023 at 7:30pm - Black Opry Revue with Adia Victoria, Buffalo Nichols, Sunny War, and a special set with War and Pierce


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.”

In addition to the “Pass the Mic” events that will take place in person, a virtual product will be distributed via podcast and video to increase the accessibility of the theatre to more people and remove barriers to participation for the audience. As another facet of the initiative, community members will have opportunities to connect and interact through educational programs, such as masterclasses and workshops, and complementary partnerships with nonprofits. Stay tuned for more information about the release of the virtual series!

In addition to presenting regional talent through concerts, each event will incorporate other art forms through visual art galleries, spoken word performances, readings and other experiences featuring local artists. We are now accepting submissions for upcoming events. Please complete the form linked here if you are interested!

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: