2019 Progress Businesses
These local businesses support the local arts, theater, and entertainment in our region.
Mary B. Martin School of the Arts
A Decade of Arts – Live
ETSU’s Martin School of the Arts makes arts accessible for all
Since its beginnings in 2009, the Mary B. Martin School of the Arts at East Tennessee State University has offered 10 seasons of music concerts, theater, dance and storytelling performances, film screenings, lectures, exhibitions, visual artists, public art projects, comedy and illusion. The mission of the Martin School of the Arts is to bring to the region a program of high-caliber public performances, exhibitions and other activities for students and the greater community.
“Our seasons are always eclectic,” says Anita DeAngelis, director of Mary B. Martin School of the Arts at ETSU. “We have a lot to offer many different audiences in our community. To me that is part of the reason why I think every season is exciting.
“Together with our guest artists we’ve danced, laughed and sometimes cried. We’ve learned more about history, about cultures and about ourselves.”
The Mary B. Martin School of the Arts’ spring 2019 season includes a quirky Quaker comedian and activist, Peterson Toscano; Sybarite5, five young string musicians who have been called musical rock stars; the piano prowess of prodigy Christopher Taylor; and a mixture of music, theater and movement with Lawler + Fadoul, an innovative flute and marimba duo. Rounding out spring 2019 will be four new and award-winning documentaries.
Previous seasons have brought viol music of the 17th century; Mountain Stage with Larry Groce; music, dance and visual art by Tibetan monks; the vocal tradition of Negro spirituals and Zimbabwean a cappella; stories from Turkey, Israel and Asia; Cherokee, American, regional and international art and artists; classical, Appalachian, jazz, country, old-time and contemporary music; and dance spanning genres and continents.
All of this is made possible because of a generous gift by James C. Martin in 2009 in memory of his late wife. A lifelong resident of Johnson City, Mary B. Martin graduated from Boones Creek High School and while working full time at Eastman Chemical Co. in Kingsport, took classes and graduated from ETSU with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1962. Jim Martin, who also had worked as a chemist at Eastman, passed away in December 2015.
Ticket prices are kept low because of the Martins’ endowment and films and visual arts are always free and open to the public.
“Jim Martin said his goal in financially supporting the School of the Arts, the local symphony orchestras, the International Storytelling Center and other regional arts programs, was to ‘weave a tapestry’ of arts organizations and events to form an influential presence in our area,” DeAngelis says.
The Martins’ influence on the arts has indeed been felt regionwide, and DeAngelis and the Mary B. Martin School of the Arts have worked to strengthen the network of the area’s arts groups and programs, connect students and community with artists and bring a yearly collection of varied arts experience to audiences of all ages and incomes. Because of the Martins’ support, many of the School of the Arts’ events are free and ticket prices are much lower than other venues.
“The funding that this endowment provides is exciting for all of arts areas, on campus and off,” DeAngelis says. “ETSU arts faculty, students and programs have provided the broader community with significant arts events over the years, and we often struggled to fund such activities. Mr. Martin has made it possible for us to bring additional high-caliber artists and performers to our community that we might not have here otherwise.”
For more information about Mary B. Martin School of the Arts or tickets, call 423-439-TKTS (8587) or visit www.etsu.edu/martin. Follow the Martin School @artsatetsu on Twitter and Instagram.