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thumb CelebrationofCraft2014The Appalachian Center for Craft at Tennessee Tech University will hold one of its most popular events, the 16th annual Celebration of Craft, April 5 in a new way at its Smithville campus.

The event will be more of a celebration than ever before, not just for some of the finest art and artists in the region, but also of art education and the community of the Upper Cumberland.

This year’s Celebration begins at 9 a.m. April 5 and has an action-packed schedule of yoga, dance, children’s activities, and the traditional mini-workshops, live music by a variety of performers, a live auction and studio tours.

“We are focusing more on hands-on activities so when you come out, there is more to do than just look around,” said Lindsey Maestri, manager of the Center for Craft’s workshops.

Changes are underway in the sales gallery space, including renovations to include a space called the Craft Academy, where there will be free hands-on activities that fit with the art in the exhibition spaces for children.

“It has a lot of potential to extend outreach and expand the education of children in our area,” Maestri said.

Though the Craft Academy schedule is not final, it will host “Build the Hill,” a series of activities for children to explore clay during Celebration.

Synergy Mind and Body will offer a free yoga class from 10 to 11 a.m., when Stage One Dancers take over with a dance class. Terri Lynn Weaver will sing from 11:30 a.m. to noon and Spoonful will perform its mix of jazz, blues and lite rock until the live auction and again from 2 to 3 p.m. TTU Just Friends, a jazz group, will perform until the event ends at 5 p.m.

thumb Celebration-PrettyWoodHabitat for Humanity will be on the lawn and visitors can build a bowl for the organization’s annual Cooking on the Square event.

During Celebration, all items in the sales gallery will be 25 percent off. The live auction will start at 1 p.m. on the main stage and the student members of the Visual Art Society will have items for sale inside the Redbud Cafe all day.

Local businesses, including Southern Soft Ice, Blue Coast Burrito, County Boys Gourmet Kettle Corn and Mary Sunshine Frozen Treats, will serve food at Celebration.

As always, all of the Center for Craft’s studios will be open and feature live, narrated demonstrations in glass blowing, wood turning, clay, metals and fibers.

Visitors older than 16 will be able to try their hands at marbling a scarf or glass etching for $25 each. Registration occurs during the event.

In addition to the Craft Academy, children will be able to explore art at the free Kid’s Craft area. They can create Chihuly-inspired sculpture, clay hand-built bunnies, marbled paper, embossed foil pieces and Louise Nevelson-inspired wood plaques.

TTU’s Center Stage, Synergy Mind and Body, Frontier Communications and the Friends of the Appalachian Center for Craft have come together to sponsor Celebration. Center Stage is made possible by the university’s general fund.

The Appalachian Center for Craft is approximately six miles from Interstate 40 at exit 273, Smithville/McMinnville. Go south on state Route 56 and turn left immediately after crossing Hurricane Bridge. This drive leads to the Center for Craft.

For more information, visit or call (931) 372-3051.