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Tennessee Theatre launches ‘Pass the Mic’ podcast

May 18, 2023

Series celebrates diverse, marginalized and underserved artists and audiences

The Tennessee Theatre has released its debut podcast episode as part of its “Pass the Mic: Creating a Stage for Change” series. The new episode, which aired May 18, features Grammy-nominated Allison Russell.

In the episode, Russell discusses her work on Love Rising (a benefit concert for LGBTQ causes), recent gun violence that has impacted Nashville and the country and the role arts can play in making positive change.

“While we have been working on producing a new Pass the Mic podcast series for some time now and look forward to sharing more episodes with you very soon, our host, Cecilia Wright, recently had the opportunity to sit down with Allison Russell,” said Becky Hancock, executive director of the Tennessee Theatre. “In light of recent events in Tennessee, this conversation felt important to share as soon as possible.”

A Canadian singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, poet and activist, Russell released her first solo album, Outside Child, in 2021. Included in the podcast are excerpts from “Nightflyer,” “4th Day Prayer” and “Persephone.” The episode concludes with the track “You’re Not Alone” featuring Brandi Carlile.

“Pass the Mic: Creating a Stage for Change,” which launched in 2022, provides an opportunity for artists from marginalized and underserved communities to share their art with others. Through performances, visual art displays, discussions and panels focusing on important issues and educational opportunities, artists have the chance to engage with the community and share insight.

A “Pass the Mic” video series of performances also will be distributed to increase the accessibility of the theatre to more people and remove barriers to participation for the audience. The first two episodes of the series will air on PBS early this summer and will feature performances and interviews from The Black Opry and Las Cafeteras.

Listeners can access the newly released podcast through Apple Music, Spotify and by visiting The project is supported in part by the Tennessee Arts Commission and produced by the Historic Tennessee Theatre Foundation.

For more information, visit and follow Tennessee Theatre on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify.

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About the Tennessee Theatre

Located in the heart of downtown Knoxville, the Tennessee Theatre opened in 1928 as a movie palace. The Tennessee Theatre is the Official State Theatre of Tennessee and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Tennessee Theatre is the region’s leading performing arts facility with advanced technology, staging and lighting that draws top entertainment to the Knoxville area. The Historic Tennessee Theatre Foundation is a nonprofit organization tasked with maintaining and preserving the historic theatre and ensuring diverse arts and cultural entertainment remains in downtown Knoxville. For more information, visit