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Neighborhood-commissioned mural dedicated at Chilhowee Park

September 12, 2016
Elected officials and representatives of the City of Knoxville Public Arts Committee, Arts and Culture Alliance, East Tennessee Foundation and First Tennessee Foundation joined muralist Brandon Donahue to cut the ribbon on a new mural in Chilhowee Park & Exposition Center on Sept. 9. From left to right are Public Arts Committee member Susana Esrequis; Bob Booker; Judge John Rosson; Public Arts Committee member Tanisha Fitzgerald-Baker; Knox County Commissioner John Schoonmaker; City Councilman Finbarr Saunders; Donahue; Knox County Commissioner Evelyn Gill; Ed Shouse; City Councilman Daniel Brown; First Tennessee Bank Foundation's Joshalyn Hundley; East Tennessee Foundation's Jan Elston; and Arts and Culture Alliance's Liza Zenni.

Elected officials and representatives of the City of Knoxville Public Arts Committee, Arts and Culture Alliance, East Tennessee Foundation and First Tennessee Foundation joined muralist Brandon Donahue to cut the ribbon on a new mural in Chilhowee Park & Exposition Center on Sept. 9. From left to right are Public Arts Committee member Susana Esrequis; Bob Booker; Judge John Rosson; Public Arts Committee member Tanisha Fitzgerald-Baker; Knox County Commissioner John Schoonmaker; City Councilman Finbarr Saunders; Donahue; Knox County Commissioner Evelyn Gill; Ed Shouse; City Councilman Daniel Brown; First Tennessee Bank Foundation’s Joshalyn Hundley; East Tennessee Foundation’s Jan Elston; and Arts and Culture Alliance’s Liza Zenni.

Thanks to the creativity and dedication of several East Knoxville neighborhood associations, a new mural was unveiled at Chilhowee Park & Exposition Center on Friday, Sept. 9.

This community-led project was funded by a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission, the East Tennessee Foundation and the First Tennessee Foundation. Knoxville City Councilman Daniel Brown joined neighborhood association representatives, donors and the artist for a ribbon-cutting at the mural immediately following the Tennessee Valley Fair’s annual luncheon.

“Chilhowee Park & Exposition Center plays a vital role in this community as a gathering place for recreation and fellowship,” said City Councilman Brown. “I have many great memories of this park, which has served as the heart of this neighborhood since the early 1900s. This mural will provide great enjoyment to the local residents and guests that come to this facility.”

The project was put in motion when Julie Graham, executive director of East Tennessee Quality Growth, brought together neighborhood associations from Parkridge, Chilhowee, Williams Creek and Holston Hills, as well as Chilhowee Park & Exposition Center staff and The Muse Knoxville to brainstorm ways to improve the use and awareness of Chilhowee Park.

This neighborhood group developed the idea for a mural representing East Knoxville to be painted on a retaining wall at Chilhowee Park & Exposition Center. A committee of neighborhood association members selected University of Tennessee graduate and Nashville-based artist Brandon Donahue to develop a mural design that incorporated the history of East Knoxville and Chilhowee Park. The mural design was approved by the Arts & Culture Alliance and the City of Knoxville Public Arts Committee.

The mural was completed in late August and sealed for protection.

About Chilhowee Park and Exposition Center

Chilhowee Park and Exposition Center is an 81-acre, multiuse venue owned by the City of Knoxville. It is located blocks away from interstate access and minutes from downtown Knoxville. The facility includes a three-acre lake, bandstand, 4,500-seat amphitheater, 57,100-square-foot exhibition hall, barns, arenas, playground and picnic shelters. Chilhowee also is home to the Tennessee Valley Fair.

About SMG

Founded in 1977, SMG provides management services to more than 230 public assembly facilities including convention and exhibition centers, arenas, stadiums, theatres, performing arts centers, equestrian facilities, science centers, and a variety of other venues. With facilities across the globe, SMG manages more than 15 million square feet of exhibition space and more than 1.5 million sports and entertainment seats. As the recognized global industry leader, SMG provides venue management, sales, marketing, event booking and programming, construction and design consulting, and pre-opening services for such landmark facilities as McCormick Place & Soldier Field in Chicago, Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, Houston’s NRG Park and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. SMG also offers food and beverage operations through its concessions, catering and special events division, SAVOR, currently servicing 130 accounts worldwide. For more information, visit www.smgworld.com.