Clarksville’s “A Toast to the Arts” Highlights AEP5 Results

From L-R: Dean of the APSU College of Arts and Letters, Dr. Dixie Webb; City of Clarksville Mayor, Kim McMillan; APSU Professor of Creative Writing, Barry Kitterman; Professional harpist, actor and singer, Ted Jones.

By Dr. Janice Crews, Director of the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts at APSU –

About 80 people attended “A Toast to the Arts” on Sunday, October 1st at F&M Bank’s Franklin Room in Clarksville, Tennessee. The afternoon served as the second meeting of the newly formed Clarksville Community Cultural Coalition and also included invited guests.

Results from a year-long research study on the economic impact of the arts, AEP5 in Clarksville-Montgomery County were presented by Dr. Ellen Kanervo, Executive Director of the Clarksville-Montgomery County Arts and Heritage Development Council. This research reveals that Montgomery County’s annual economic impact for arts-related events and programs is just over 5 million dollars in a year.

A new Community Arts Calendar was presented by Dr. Janice Crews, Director of the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts at APSU. The calendar is intended to illustrate the vast number of arts offerings in the Clarksville-Montgomery County area and encourage residents to “go local” when looking for arts events. Montgomery County Commissioner Charles Keene gave a brief message on the arts in Montgomery County, announcing a bonds tax that will generate as much as $286,000 specifically for public art. City of Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan spoke to the audience about her vision for a downtown performing arts center and the importance of the arts to any community. APSU Communications professors Karen Bullis and Kathy Lee Heuston, presented a documentary film based on Mayor Charles Crow’s 1930’s Clarksville, with ample footage of what downtown Clarksville looked like during that time period.

The APSU Flute Choir performed as people were gathering and performed a featured piece to kick off the event.  The reception was sponsored by Clarksville-Montgomery County Arts & Heritage Development Council, Arts for Hearts Clarksville and the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts at APSU.