logo for 42nd year

Applications for 2021 Christmas Connection Due July 1st!

logo for 42nd yearOPEN CALL for Art and Craft Vendors for Christmas Connection 2021!


Kingsport, TN – Calling all artists, artisans, creatives, and craftspeople of all trades! Applications are being taken for those wishing to exhibit in this 2-day event, taking place on November 12th & 13th, 2021 at the Kingsport Civic Auditorium.

“The Christmas Connection – Artistic Creations Fair” is sponsored by the City of Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts and is celebrating its 42nd year of artistic creations in 2021!  A very well established cultural event in Kingsport, the event hosts the region’s best craftspeople, artisans, artists, and creatives.  People from our region and beyond look forward to The Christmas Connection year after year.

Application deadline is July 1, 2021.  There is no cost to apply. Christmas Connection is by invitation only.  All applications are reviewed by a selection committee, taking various factors into consideration in order to create a high quality, attractive show having a good mix of artistic and crafting creations.

This year’s Christmas Connection will take place the second weekend in November, due to covid-related scheduling logistics, at the Kingsport Civic Auditorium.


FREE Admission to the public!

Fri. Nov. 12:  10AM – 7PM

Sat. Nov. 13:  10AM – 7PM

Application deadline is July 1, 2021.  Here is a link to download the 2021 application packet:  CC21Application



“Black in Appalachia,” an initiative of East Tennessee PBS, will exhibit August 28 – November 21, 2020

Black in Appalachia, an initiative of East Tennessee PBS, explores the roots of African-American influence on the history and culture of Appalachia through documentaries, research, local narratives, public engagement and exhibition. This project aims to raise the visibility and contributions of the Black communities of the mountain South.

Exhibit dates:  August 28 – November 21, 2020

Location: Atrium Gallery of the Kingsport Renaissance Center | 1200 E. Center Street | Kingsport, TN


Kingsport Community History Project for Black in Appalachia-

In partnership with the Kingsport City Archives & the Kingsport Friends of the Archives, The Kingsport Community History Project’s goal is to work with the Black communities of Sullivan & Hawkins Counties of Tennessee and Scott County, Virginia to fully document and make accessible the community’s history.

​One major outcome of this project has been the development of a series of mobile Black history displays for use in public spaces. Much of the material collected comes from residents & churches through Community History Days hosted at V.O. Dobbins Community Center. We’re also building a collection of oral histories from participants.

This project began in November 2018 and will continue into the future with ongoing scan & interview days.


For more information, please call the Kingsport City Archives at 423-224-2559

NOW ONLINE – Kingsport Carousel Gift Shop



A portion of our gift shop items are now for sale ONLINE!

Follow this link to shop digitally:  ONLINE ORDERING   Shop with us even if you can’t make it to see us 🙂

Thank you for your purchase!

The Kingsport Carousel is a totally renovated 1956 Allen Herschell Carousel located inside the temperature controlled “Pal’s Roundhouse” at 350 Clinchfield Street Kingsport, TN (at the corner of E. Center Street & Clinchfield Street in Downtown Kingsport). We are currently closed, but hope to reopen soon.  For updates to Carousel Schedule, please call 423-343-9834.



Intro to sewing class! (March 14)




Intro to sewing class! This is a 3 hour course that will get you acquainted with your machine and you’ll leave with a completed pin cushion. Limited space available. Must provide your own machine with all parts. If you do not have a machine there are a limited number of machines available for rent, but must be reserved. Instructor: Arielle Sprinkle, of Storybook Creations



Saturday, March 14th in the 2nd level Studio Space at the Kingsport Carousel
350 Clinchfield St. Kingsport, TN 37660.
10am – 1pm (3-hr course)
$40 per student
www.EngageKingsport.com – “Buy Tickets”
*Online sales end 48 hours prior to class.


Call for Artists / Submit your Kingsport-themed mural design

Call for Artists

Submit your Kingsport-themed mural design


KINGSPORT, TN – Love to paint? The City of Kingsport is creating an outdoor mural gallery as part of a Creative Placemaking alleyway to highlight local artists’ work.

These murals will represent the best of Kingsport. Artists should create a color sketch of their proposed design that shows something great about the Model City. Text is allowed in the design, so long as it’s relevant. Please include proposed proportions.

Your mural design can be between 4’x4’ to 10’x10’ and will be painted on a brick wall. Winning designs will receive $150, and paint will be provided to the artists to complete their murals. Proposed designs will be juried by the Public Art Committee based on their quality and reference to Kingsport. Murals will be completed between April 1 and May 1.

Mail or hand deliver entries by March 9 to:
Office of Cultural Arts
Attn: Creative Alleyway Project
Renaissance Center
1200 E. Center Street, Ste. 224
Kingsport, TN 37660

Be sure to include contact information—your name, phone number and email. Late entries will not be accepted. All submitted materials will become property of the city of Kingsport and will not be returned.

If artists have any questions, please call 423-392-8414. For more information about the Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts, please visit www.arts.kingsporttn.gov.


About the City of Kingsport

Founded in 1917, the City of Kingsport (pop. 53,000) is located on the Tennessee-Virginia border at the crossroads of I-81 and I-26 near the geographic center of the eastern U.S.  The city is widely known as a planned community, designed by renowned city planner John Nolen and wrapping around the foot of Bays Mountain – a 3,500 acre park, nature preserve, planetarium and observatory.  Kingsport is recognized as an International Safe Community by the National Safety Council, a Healthier Tennessee community, and won the 2009 Harvard Innovations in American Government Award for its higher education initiatives.  While many city names are duplicated throughout the U.S., there’s only one Kingsport – a fact that invokes community pride, known locally as the “Kingsport Spirit.”

Kingsport Neighborhood Map

Jeff Fleming is special speaker during Sip ‘N Stroll, December 5th!

“Take a neighborhood walk with Jeff Fleming, without even leaving Market Street!”
Meet us on Thursday, December 5, 2019 @5:30PM  during Sip ‘N Stroll, on Market Street in Downtown Kingsport.
Jeff Fleming will be our special speaker, giving insight into the temporary mural on the side of the State Theatre.
Jeff Fleming, special speaker
Sponsored by the Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts

Interactive Talk at Silent Skies mural / Where Art Meets Science

Come join us where art meets science at the Silent Skies mural in downtown Kingsport.

World-renowned ornithologist Dr. Fred Alsop will join one of the mural’s artists, Suzanne Justis, to explain the significance of the mural, the birds from our region that are a part of it, and the productive collaboration of species conservation and visual art. The interactive talk will take place during the next Sip and Stroll, September 5th, 6:00 pm, at the Silent Skies mural, intersection of Market and Broad Streets. Make sure to see this beautiful testament to our vanishing bird species one last time before the mural takes flight.
For more information on the Silent Skies mural click this link: https://www.kingsporttn.gov/downtown-kingsport-welcomes-new-mural-silent-skies/

About Fred J. Alsop III, Ph.D.

World-class ornithologist Dr. Fred Alsop says, “I’ve been teaching for 42 years, and I’m still having a good time.”

A professor in the ETSU Department of Biological Sciences, Alsop likes to tell students who take one of his classes on birds, “This class will change your life,” and it does. “From then on,” he points out, “those students won’t notice just ‘birds,’ but individual species. They will hear birdsong and know who is singing. The students may go on to careers that have nothing to do with my class, but they will have knowledge and a possible hobby to carry with them throughout their lives.”

Fred Alsop has been a faculty member at ETSU for 46 years where he has served as the Chairman of the Department of Biological Sciences, a Professor and member of the Graduate Faculty, and President of the Faculty Senate. He as the first elected faculty member of ETSU’s governing Board of Trustees. He is the Director of ETSU’s George L. Carter Railroad Museum.  An ornithologist who has authored 18 books on birds including 8 published by The Smithsonian Institution, he has conducted bird identification workshops in 8 states for industrial, state and federal agencies. An avid birder he has lead international birding trips and has recorded more than 4,700 species on his “life list”.  He has been recognized in Tennessee with several conservation and environmental awards. He holds a B.S. degree from Austin Peay State University in fine arts and biology, and the M.S. and Ph.D. in zoology from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He is married to Dr. Catherine Cummins.


Artist Suzanne Barrett Justis

Upon viewing her work, you will quickly be able to see the enthusiasm she feels for the subjects she paints. Suzanne’s inspiration for her paintings and sculptures come from nature and her surroundings. Living in the mountains of East Tennessee is inspiring and is plainly seen in her work.

When Suzanne is not out in the field or at a zoo taking photo references for her next piece, She can be found in her downtown Kingsport art gallery and studio where she paints and works with her many aspiring art students.

Suzanne says “Breathing life into an idea or image and seeing it develop on canvas brings me so much joy. It is this joy that motivates me and spurs me on to create and learn more. Learning, growing and evolving are all words that best describe me as an artist and as a person. Being an artist is who I am, not just what I do. The sheer joy and abundance the natural world holds has ensured me many more subjects to create with my art and therefore, more joy for me to capture and share.”


About the Silent Skies mural:


Sculpture Walk 12

Seeking Sculpture for 12th Annual Sculpture Walk Exhibition

Seeking Sculpture for the Twelfth Annual Sculpture Walk Exhibition


The City of Kingsport Public Art Committee is seeking sculpture for the Twelfth Annual Sculpture Exhibition in Kingsport, Tennessee.  Dates for the Exhibition are October 2019 through October 2020.  Works can be in any media, must be suitable for outdoors and may be functional or non-functional.  The Sculpture Walk will be curated by Catherine Murray, Sculpture Artist and Professor Emeritus, ETSU.  

The temporary exhibit will be located in downtown Kingsport.


Application Info

Works:  Functional and non-functional, temporary and permanent work in any media suitable for outdoor public space.  Works may be available for purchase.  Up to 8 works will be selected for this exhibition.

Eligibility:  Open to all professional artists over the age of 18.

Exhibition:  12 months.  October 2019-October 2020

Stipend:   Each artist who is selected for the exhibition will receive a $1000 stipend per artist/piece.  Selected artists are responsible for transportation to and from the site, and are encouraged to be on site to oversee installation.  Most installation costs regarding site prep will not be the responsibility of the artist.

Purchases:  Art may be open to public purchase.

Deadline:  Applications must be received by 5:00 PM (EST) on September 1, 2019 (no late applications will be accepted).  Application directions are provided below.   Applications can be sent to Kingsport.publicart@gmail.com


Hannah Powell-Cultural Arts Program Coordinator
Renaissance Center
1200 East Center St.
Kingsport, TN  37660

Phone: 423-392-8414

E-mail: hannahpowell@kingsporttn.gov


Timeline/ Deadlines

September 1, 2019 Deadline for receipt of application materials
September 15, 2019 Selection
September 27, 2019 Artist Notification
September 30-October 10, 2019 Installation Dates
October 10, 2019 Sculpture Walk Reception

Selection Criteria

The curator will use the following criteria in the selection process:
Suitable for an outdoor setting and safe to the public.

Pieces should represent diverse materials and perspectives.

Pieces should have been created within the last five years.


The City of Kingsport and the Public Art Committee accept no responsibility for the costs incurred by the artist in responding to this Call to Artists.

The artist is responsible for transportation to and from Kingsport.

Application Guidelines

Proposals must include the following:

  1. Completed application
  2. Current resume
  3. Artist statement
  4. At least three photos of the submitted piece.
  5. Compile these requirements into an Adobe PDF or a Microsoft Word document and e-mail to mailto:Kingsport.PublicArt@gmail.com.



APPLICATION  – Kingsport Sculpture Walk 12

Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts
Kingsport Renaissance Center
1200 East Center Street
Kingsport, TN  37660



Phone #:


Title of sculpture:

Sculpture material:

Date of sculpture:

Dimensions of sculpture:

Weight of sculpture:

**Please include your artist statement, your resume, and at least 3 photos of the sculpture being submitted. Send completed application with any additional documents to    Kingsport.PublicArt@gmail.com.

A Civil War Evening with Bobby Horton – Songs & Stories from the Civil War!

A Special FunFest Event:

A Civil War Evening with Bobby Horton – Songs & Stories from the Civil War!

Monday, July 15th, 2019.  7pm Showtime! at the Kingsport Renaissance Center Theatre. 1200 E. Center St. Kingsport, TN

We welcome BOBBY HORTON!  Music historian, Multi-instrument performer, composer and storyteller, especially the music of the Civil War era. Purchase your FunFest admission ticket for only $5 at the FunFest Headquarters inside the Kingsport Chamber.  For more information contact Wayne Strong:   423-323-2306.

Bobby Horton’s  “Songs and Stories from the Civil War” will transport the audience into the most turbulent time in America’s history. Dressed as a 19th century performer, Horton uses period instruments to explore the stories of both North and South through the music they loved. Bobby has composed and sung for two films for The A&E network, and sixteen films for The National Park Service. His series of recordings of authentic period music has been acclaimed by historical organization and publications through America and Europe.

“I don’t believe I’ve met anyone quite like Bobby in the ability to understand the very soul of American music.” –Ken Burns, filmmaker

In 1984, Horton was asked to produce the score for a feature film set in 1863 in Southern Indiana.   While researching music from the mid 19th century, he uncovered literally thousands of tunes from that period. Combining his passion for music and Civil War history, he began recording what has now become fourteen volumes of authentic Civil War tunes in his home studio, playing all of the period era instruments and singing all the parts himself. This series is sold around the world and has led to a career in film scoring and live presents of these songs with the stories that accompany them. Bobby Horton is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading authorities of music from the Civil War period.



The Arts and Economic Prosperity® 5 was conducted by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America. Established in 1960, they are dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts.  To complete this customized analysis for the Greater Kingsport Area, the Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts joined the study as one of the 250 partners.  Each of the 250 partner organizations identified the universe of nonprofit arts and cultural organizations that are located in its region.  The Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 provides evidence that the nonprofit arts and culture sector is a significant industry in the Greater Kingsport Area—one that generates $29.5 million in total economic activity.

To read the full AEP5 results click here. You may read a short summary of results here.