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TTU News

Springtime means more than just budding trees and blooming flowers at the Appalachian Center for Craft, a satellite campus of Tennessee Tech University.

It also means it’s time for the annual Celebration of Craft, a free event that is open to the public and helps support the Craft Center’s educational outreach programs, serving more than 3,500 regional elementary and high school students each year.

Set for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 1, this year’s Celebration will feature narrated demonstrations in all five craft studios — clay, fibers, glass, metals and wood — a silent auction, a fine craft sale by the TTU Visual Arts Society, hands-on craft activities for children and live music by the Cluster Pluckers, Ethan Ballinger Acoustic Ensemble and ABUSUA, TTU’s own West African drumming and dance ensemble.

Although the event itself is free, proceeds from the sale of various items at the Celebration will benefit the Craft Center’s outreach programs.

“Proceeds from the sale of Celebration T-shirts, marbled silk scarves and winning bids on silent auction items directly benefit the outreach programs,” said Gail Gentry, the Craft Center’s workshop and event coordinator.

“The funds raised help us continue to provide quality, unique arts experiences to thousands of children in the Upper Cumberland each year,” Gentry continued.

The Celebration will also include the presentation of a $500 scholarship sponsored by Friends of the Appalachian Center for Craft of Tennessee, a non-profit advocacy organization promoting the mission of the Craft Center.

According to scholarship criteria, it will be awarded to a student majoring in fine arts with a craft concentration in clay, fibers, glass, metals or wood; has a grade-point average in studio courses of a 3.0 or higher on the university’s 4.0 scale; and has worked or volunteered for FACCT within the last year.

“This is the third year FACCT has offered the scholarship — in fact, the organization has been able to award two scholarships during each of the Celebrations 2004 and 2005, for a total of four $500 scholarships to TTU craft students,” said Noreen Grisolano, FACCT treasurer. “We hope to be in a position to award two scholarships again this year.”

A Gallery discount of 10 percent off all items, and a 20 percent discount for TTU employees who present valid Eagle Card identification, is also offered on the day of the Celebration.

The walkway café will offer a variety of luncheon selections, fresh baked goods and tasty treats.

The Celebration of Craft is supported by the Arts Build Communities program and is funded in part by the Tennessee General Assembly and administered in cooperation with the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

The Craft Center is located off Interstate 40 at exit 273, approximately 25 miles west of Cookeville and 60 east of Nashville. Turn south toward Smithville on Highway 56, go about six miles and turn left immediately after crossing Hurricane Bridge.

For more information about the Celebration, call Gentry at 931/372-3051, e-mail her at or visit the Craft Center’s web site at