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Sue Guinn Legg

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Jonesborough's McKinney Center set for grand opening tonight

May 24th, 2013 2:27 pm by Sue Guinn Legg

Jonesborough's McKinney Center set for grand opening tonight

Jonesborough's long awaited McKinney Cultural Arts Center at Booker T. Washington School opens Friday evening 7 P.M. with tours and a debut of the center's first exhibit, the Jonesborough Juried Art Show that will run through June 14th.

The town of Jonesborough will host an opening gala at the new McKinney Cultural Arts Center at Booker T. Washington School tonight from 7 to 8:30 at the newly renovated center at East Main and Franklin streets.

The gala will include a debut viewing of the Jonesborough Juried Art Show that will remain on exhibit through June 14. Live music by The Matt Sanders Band, tours of the new center and light refreshments, including food, wine, punch and water donated by five Jonesborough restaurants, 11E Wine and Spirits and the McKinney Center staff, will be available. Admission is free.

Art show jurist Steve Wicks, curator of the Knoxville Museum of Arts, will present a brief lecture on how 71 featured works by artists from around the region were selected for the show, beginning at 6 p.m. at the International Storytelling Center on West Main Street. Admission to the lecture is also free, but seating will be limited. Wicks will announce the show’s winning artist at 8 p.m. at the McKinney Center.

Work to prepare the center for the opening continued at a furious pace Thursday. Center director Bridgette Ward said seven exterior doors custom-ordered for the building were delivered just this week, more than three weeks later than expected. At 4:30 p.m., workers were still installing the last of the doors and the center’s staff and volunteers were scheduled to begin setting up the art show’s exhibits at 5. Ward said the exhibit setup would continue through midnight Thursday and finishing touches would be completed this morning.

Ward, outreach director for the center’s Mary B. Martin Program for the Arts, Jules Courrier and Kathleen Buttolph, education director for the arts program, will be on hand to welcome guests at tonight’s gala and to provide information on the center’s summer programming and an interim schedule of operating hours that will begin Saturday.

As renovation of the last of the center’s three large classrooms continues through mid-June, the art show in the building’s auditorium and finished areas of the renovated segregation-era school and its new annex will be open to the public Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., Thursdays from 3:30-7 p.m. and Fridays from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.

The center’s Mary B. Martin Program for Arts is already under way at off-site locations and will continue at the Jonesborough Repertory Theater, the International Storytelling Center and Jonesborough United Methodist Church in downtown Jonesborough until the renovations are complete.

Ward said the schedule includes Willy Wonka Camp, a two-week drama-production camp for children from preschool to high-school age that will be conducted primarily at the repertory theater and conclude with performances tentatively scheduled to be presented at the McKinney Center on June 20-21.

A schedule of the art program’s eight summer camp offerings and camp registration forms are available online at Camp registration will be held at the McKinney Center on Thursday from 4-6 p.m. and June 1 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Ward said a grand opening of the fully completed building is tentatively scheduled for July.

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