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Bristol's Downtown Showcase — Get your tickets now!

February 18, 2014
Believe in Bristol's annual fundraiser, the Downtown Showcase, is always a night to remember — and this year is set to be bigger and better than ever! Held on Thursday, March 6, from 6:00 to 8:30 pm at the Foundation Event Facility, the Showcase brings together a variety of downtown offerings, including:

* Food and beer / wine tastings from local restaurants and merchants
* Local arts
* Fashion show featuring clothes, accessories, and shoes from downtown retailers
* Silent and live auctions
* Live music with The Harlow Experience
* Emceeing with Chad Keen
* And much more!

This event is a great way to explore all that downtown has to offer under one roof, have a fun night out with friends and colleagues, and support Believe in Bristol's Main Street program and the revitalization of Historic Downtown Bristol.

Tickets cost $55 per person or $100 per couple; table sponsorships (seating 8 people) are $400.

For more information, call 276-644-9700 or email info@believeinbristol.org.

Southeast Festivals and Events Conference — Big Award Winner is....


Four awards!
February 18, 2014
The Birthplace of Country Music® swept the Southeast Festival and Events Association Kaleidoscope Awards, held today in Savannah, Georgia, at the Hilton Savannah DeSoto Hotel. The awards recognize the highest levels of achievement in the Southeast's festival and event industry.

BCM, an SFEA member, has received award recognition at previous SFEA conferences. This year, there were 110 total entries for these awards from festivals and events throughout the Southeast.

BCM has taken home the following awards:
• Best festival, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion
• Best poster, designed by Justin Helton of Status Serigraph (gold)
• Best digital media app, designed by CrowdTorch (silver)
• Best event program, designed by Cindy Collier and Kenny Thacker (silver)
Charlene Tipton Baker, director of marketing and public relations for BCM, and Tahita Haynes, operations manager for BCM, are currently attending the three-day SFEA Conference, which is held annually and provides marketing and networking opportunities for organizations within the festival and event industry.

Leah Ross, BCM's executive director, says BCM's success at the awards show is a reflection of the community's continued support for the organization.

"This is huge for us. We are humbled and deeply grateful to all of our visitors, volunteers, sponsors, artists, board members and the community for playing a major role in this recognition," Ross said. "Thank you to SFEA for recognizing our impact on tourism in our region."

Founded in 2009, SFEA brings together the best in events, event planners, festivals, venues and service providers in the Southeastern United States. According to association's website, SFEA believes "in the power of festivals and events to make our community a better place."

For more information about SFEA, please visit www.southeastfestivals.org. To stay up to date with Charlene and Tahita's SFEA adventures, or to learn more about BCM, be sure to follow BCM on Facebook.

Local Boutique to Open Sister Store; First of its Kind in the Tri-Cities

February 18, 2014
Be. Ella Boutique, a fashion forward and modern boutique dedicated to the curvy woman, will open its doors on Friday, March 21 at 11 a.m. The store is located at 531 State St. in Bristol, VA.

Sarah Jane Hull, owner of Serendipity Boutique, has long seen and heard the frustrations of the curvy woman not being able to find fashionable looks for a fuller figure. Hull seeks to create a store where the curvy fashionista can find the most up-to-date fashion trends.

For Hull, this hits close to home because some of the most influential women in her life have been curvy women.

“I have seen the women I love the most go shopping and walk away with such frustration,” said Hull. “I want to offer a solution to the frustration that those near and dear to me have felt over the years.”

Be. Ella Boutique will offer clothing ranging in sizes 14 to 24, as well as handbags and accessories.

“We want to encourage women, no matter the shape or size, to be comfortable and confident in their own skin,” said Hull. “We hope to create a shift in the fashion industry – a shift to offer the curvy figure more options – so that all women will be able to wear the types of fashion seen in magazines.”

Be. Ella Boutique will be open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information about Be. Ella Boutique, please visit www.be-ellaboutique.com or call toll free 1-855-423-3552.

Art in Public Places Announces 2014 — 15 Juror Steven Matijcio

February 18, 2014
Now in its eighth year of placing public sculpture in downtown Bristol, Art in Public Places is proud to announce that our juror for the 2014 — 15 exhibit is Steven Matijcio. Matijcio is the curator of the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Prior to this position he served as Curator of Contemporary Art at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina from 2008 — 2013. Matijcio is a graduate of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, New York and has held positions in a number of important galleries and museums including the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art (Winnipeg, Canada), the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery (Toronto, Canada), the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the National Gallery of Canada.

Matijcio was honored in 2010 with a prestigious Emily Hall Tremaine Exhibition Award for his expansive project paperless. In the summer of 2011 he was chosen from an international pool of candidates to participate in curatorial residencies in Gwangju, South Korea (as part of the Gwangju Design Biennale) and Berlin, Germany (as part of the Haus der Kulturen der Welt’s “Synapse” project exploring the relationship between art & science). In the fall of 2012 he curated the 4th edition of the Narracje Festival in Gdansk, Poland, which involved a city-wide program of installations, interventions and video projections upon the surfaces of historic buildings. Matijcio’s 2013 essay “Nothing to See Here: The Denial of Vision in Media Art” was recently accepted into the RENEW: Media Art Histories Conference in Riga, Latvia.

Matijcio has also lectured on theory and criticism at the University of Manitoba, written for numerous catalogues and journals (including the Guide to the 27th Sao Paulo Bienal), and was commissioned in 2003 by the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation to curate one of their first online exhibitions. He remains active as a curator, writer, professor, and researcher.

Thanks to an $80,000 contribution from Eastman Credit Union, Art in Public Places will bring its first commissioned permanent sculpture to Bristol in 2014. It will be a 16-foot tall by 16-foot wide arch representing the railroad, agricultural, coal mining and music industries as well as the natural beauty of the region.

Named Bristol’s Cultural Heritage, it will be located at the Bristol Public Library and will be unveiled in October, 2014. Mary Jane Miller, a local interior designer and active AiPP board member, conceptualized the sculpture. She then worked with world renowned, Abingdon, VA illustrator, Charles Vess, to put her concept to paper and create preliminary sketches. In an effort to keep the project local, Vess recommended local sculptor, Val Lyle, who is coordinating the project with sculptor and fabricator Jim Gallucci of Greensboro, NC.

Longtime Art in Public Places supporters Marcia and Marvin W. Gilliam, Jr., have also donated $85,000 to bring another permanent sculpture to downtown Bristol. The music-themed piece, Take the Stage, will be installed in Cumberland Square Park, across from the Birthplace of Country Music Museum.

Take the Stage was designed by Val Lyle, and is scheduled to be unveiled in early August.

Across America and the world, art is a proven catalyst for growth and economic prosperity. The arts deepen our understanding of the human spirit, extend our capacity to comprehend the lives of others, and allow us to imagine a more just and humane world.

Every donation makes an important impact on our efforts to bring you sculpture that will unleash your imagination and urge you to explore new worlds of art. Together we can make Bristol an even better place to live. Thank you for your past and present support. Please know that you are our brightest stars!

Hundreds of Runners To Descend on Bristol for Cancer Fundraiser Electro-Mechanical Corporation Sponsors Half & Half Marathon

February 18, 2014
In just its second year, the Bristol Half & Half Marathon is on track to become a major fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. “We had 350 runners last year, and we’re hoping for 1,000 this year,” said Elise Allen, senior manager for the American Cancer Society in East Tennessee. “It was a good start, and this is going to be a premier running event. It’s amazing what Electro-Mechanical has done and the sponsors that are coming on board. After this, Bristol is going to be known as ‘A Good Place to Run.’”

The Bristol Half & Half Marathon is unique in that it takes runners on a 13.1-mile tour of both Bristol, VA, and Bristol, TN. The certified course begins on the track of Virginia High School, has its midpoint near the Bristol Sign on State Street, and ends at Tennessee High School’s Stone Castle. Participants can race individually or as a two-person relay. This year’s race is scheduled for April 12.

The Bristol Half & Half Marathon was run for the first time last year. The event grew out of Electro-Mechanical Corporation’s community involvement and long-term affiliation with the American Cancer Society, and the company remains its signature sponsor.The race is being managed by We Run Events, a Kingsport-based sports event management company whose owners – both cancer survivors – were also instrumental in getting it started.

“We’re looking for additional sponsors, volunteers, and community support,” said Jody Dutcher, director of marketing for Electro-Mechanical. “We’re looking for support so that we can all make a difference together in the fight against cancer.”

With the increase in participation this year, Dutcher said more volunteers are being sought to help with set-up and tear-down, traffic, monitoring the course, manning food and water stations, and cheering the runners on.

“We appreciate Electro-Mechanical stepping up and taking the lead in this,” said Bristol, Tenn., City Councilman Chad Keen. “Electro-Mechanical is a shining example of a company that takes the lead.”

Bristol, Tenn., City Manager Bill Sorah said the race is a great way to show off the city while raising money to fight cancer and celebrating cancer survivors .“We’re very excited to partner with Electro-Mechanical in providing a location for the half-marathon,” Sorah said. “It’s an event that we feel like will grow in this community. It certainly showcases both sides of our city. The route is arranged in a fashion that gives the runners an opportunity to run in two states, to get a flavor for our downtown, mixed-use neighborhoods, some of our old historic areas, and the start and finish lines at the respective high schools. It’s a unique event, and we feel like the participants will enjoy their weekend in Bristol.”

Allen said the proceeds from the event will go to cancer education, needed services for cancer patients, and research – which brings long-term gains in patient survival. With so many people in the community touched by cancer, she said, all of these areas have an important local impact.

Andrew Trivette, assistant city manager for Bristol, Va., said the event itself also has an important local impact. “Any time that we have an event, we enjoy the benefit of having the hotels and restaurants full with the participants and their family and friends, and we also enjoy the benefit of getting to show off our city,” Trivette said. “This is our kind of event: This is an event that’s sponsored by a local company that really works hard to be a part of the community and is working hard to provide benefits beyond just employment. Anything the city can do to encourage that, we do.”

Electro-Mechanical President and CEO Russell Leonard expressed hope that the half-marathon – which involves two cities and two states for one great cause – will continue to grow in future years. “Electro-Mechanical Corporation and our co-workers are excited to be the Presenting Sponsor of the 2014 ACS Bristol Half & Half Marathon,” Leonard said. “We view this as an extension of our comprehensive wellness program within EMC and another example of our ongoing commitment to our community. We hope that this event grows each year, and our participation as well.”

For more information, contact Jody Dutcher at (276) 645-8238 or Jody.dutcher@electro-mechanical.com, or go the website: http://www.bristolhalfnhalf.com/.

Miami Herald Newspaper features Bristol in their travel section!


Photo by Briana Morris, brianamorris.com
February 18, 2014
A great travel article about the fantastic music culture in Johnson City and Bristol appeared in the February 16 print edition of the Miami Herald Newspaper — more wonderful advertising for our town and a testament to our music heritage! Check out the online version of the article, which can be found at: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/02/15/3929915/tracing-real-country-musics-roots.html.

Downtown Bristol Blog

Bristol's Downtown Showcase — The Big Reveal!

February 25, 2014
Bristol's Downtown Showcase is going to have a lot of FANTASTIC silent and live auction items on the night. From fun "experiences" and downtown gift certificates to local art and beautiful fashions, there's going to be something for everyone! Here are just a few of the great items you can bid on: * Dinner and wine pairing for four by Chef Catherine Elliott in your own home * A $500 gift certificate from the Benjamin Walls Gallery * Full set of signed mystery books by local author Chuck Thompson. The event is on Thursday, March 6, 6 — 8:30pm — the silent auction will last until 8pm, and the live auction will begin at 8:00pm. Tune in next week for the next Big Reveal!

Performance Appraisals Training Session at the Bristol Chamber of Commerce

February 25, 2014
There are always a host of training sessions taking place at the Bristol Chamber of Commerce. All classes are free to Chamber members, while the cost for non-members is $35. The next class is on Tuesday, February 25 and is focused on Performance Appraisals. The class covers the purpose of reviews and the frequency they should be given, and an overview of formats, standards and compensation will be given. This workshop is designed for HR managers, business owners and department supervisors. Please call 423-989-4850 to RSVP by February 21. The one-hour session starts at 8:30 a.m.

blowfish emporium painting party — Abstract Landscape

February 25, 2014
Come on out to blowfish emporium's regular Tuesday & Thursday night painting parties! The Tuesday painting party is Tuesday, February 25 from 6 to 8pm. Be assured, this is NOT a painting class! It is very relaxed & informal. The point is to have fun & allow yourself the option to get as creative as you want. NO SKILL IS REQUIRED, really! The cost is $32 per person (includes EVERYTHING — canvas, paint, tools & instruction — you just show up!). For more information contact blowfish emporium on 276-644-1428 or info@blowfishemporium.com.
Click here to read more.

ACMA Presents the 18th Annual Leon Kiser Concert at the Foundation Event Facility

February 22, 2014
The Appalachian Cultural Music Association will present the 18th Annual Leon Kiser Memorial-Tribute Concert on Saturday, February 22nd at 7pm at the Foundation Event Facility in Bristol, Tennessee. Proceeds from the concert go to two scholarships at East Tennessee State University for their Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music program. The scholarships are the Benny Sims Scholarship and the ACMA Leon Kiser Memorial Scholarship. Scheduled to perform at the concert is the Kiser Family, ETSU Bluegrass Band, the ETSU Old Time Band, Raymond McLain and the Morehead State University Mountain Music Ambassadors, Breaking Tradition, Trey Hensley, Appalachian Trail, G.C. Matlock and Tennessee Skyline, Lightnin’ Charlie, and the Gospel Grass. Tim White, president of the ACMA and host of Song of the Mountains on public television across America and the syndicated Tim White Bluegrass Radio Show, will emcee the concert.The Foundation Event Facility is located at 620 State Street in downtown Bristol, TN-VA. For more information, visit www.pickinporch.org. Ticket outlets are Morrell Music Stores in the Tri-Cities, Capos Music Store in Abingdon, and at the ACMA Pickin' Porch on Monday evenings at the Foundation Event Facility in Bristol. Tickets are $15 advance and $20 at the door.
Click here to read more.

Area native Dr. David Bridges to have book signing at the Bristol Public Library

February 21, 2014
Dr. David Bridges, a native of Johnson City, Tennessee, will have a book signing at the Bristol Public Library on Friday, February 21st at 10:00 AM. Dr. Bridges will be talking about and signing his new novel The Broken Circle. The Broken Circle is set against the backdrop of the Civil War. The hero, Bridges’ great-great-uncle Dr./Major James Breathed, chooses the Cause of the Confederacy over medicine. Will that decision cost him the love of his life? James is swept into the tragic American war created by divisions between the northern and southern states, and between families. For more information about this book signing, please contact the BPL on 276-821-6148.
Click here to read more.

"American Civil Liberties and National Security" talk by Professor Stewart Harris at the Bristol Public Library

February 20, 2014
Where is the right balance between safeguarding civil liberties and protecting the national security of the United States? Is America’s conception of freedom compatible with the reality of our unstable and insecure world? Join us this Thursday, February 20, for an enlightening talk on “American Civil Liberties and National Security”, by Stewart Harris, Associate Professor of Law at the Appalachian School of Law. Professor Harris will speak at 6:30 p.m. in the J. Henry Kegley Meeting Room at the Bristol Public Library.This event is free and open to the public and is hosted by the King Institute for Security and Intelligence Studies, and King Security and Intelligence, the student wing of the Security and Intelligence Studies program. For more information, please contact Doris Stickley on 276-821-6148.
Click here to read more.

blowfish emporium painting party — Bristol Sign

February 20, 2014
Come on out to blowfish emporium's regular Tuesday & Thursday night painting parties! The next painting party is Thursday, February 20 from 6 to 8pm. Be assured, this is NOT a painting class! It is very relaxed & informal. The point is to have fun & allow yourself the option to get as creative as you want. NO SKILL IS REQUIRED, really! The cost is $32 per person (includes EVERYTHING — canvas, paint, tools & instruction — you just show up!). For more information contact blowfish emporium on 276-644-1428 or info@blowfishemporium.com.
Click here to read more.

It's Framuary at the Benjamin Walls Gallery!

February 19, 2014
And what exactly is Framuary, do you ask? It's a chance to enjoy 20% off any custom frame purchase through February 28th! The Benjamin Walls Gallery custom frames paintings, prints, canvases, documents, shadowboxes, and, of course, photographs. We have an excellent selection, our quality is guaranteed, and delivery is available. For more information, contact the Benjamin Walls Gallery at 877-989-2557 or go to the website at www.BenjaminWalls.com/framing.

Bristol Office Supply can help YOU get on top of tax preparation!

February 19, 2014
Don't run out of time during tax preparation season — let Bristol Office Supply help you get on top of your tax documents with a host of organizational solutions. Check out their website for more information: http://view.sprtmail.com/?j=febe117872650774&m=fe9715707060007a76&ls=fe161275726c037c7d1378&l=ff65127475&s=fe5d1d707562057b7013&jb=ffce15&ju=fe59167173620075761c.

Upcoming Events

It's Framuary at the Benjamin Walls Gallery!

February 14 - 28, 2014

Humpday Party with Last Call at O'Mainnin's Pub

February 19, 2014

"American Civil Liberties and National Security" talk by Professor Stewart Harris at the Bristol Public Library

February 20, 2014

blowfish emporium painting party — Bristol Sign

February 20, 2014

Chris Padgett at O'Mainnin's Pub — also Blind Draw Darts!

February 20, 2014

Motel Rodeo at Stateline Bar & Grille

February 21, 2014

Roots of a Rebellion at 620 State

February 21, 2014

Beer tasting at Inari Wines

February 21, 2014

Plan Z Rock N Party Band at O'Mainnin's Pub

February 21, 2014

Area native Dr. David Bridges to have book signing at the Bristol Public Library

February 21, 2014

Wine tasting at Inari Wines

February 22, 2014

ACMA Presents the 18th Annual Leon Kiser Concert at the Foundation Event Facility

February 22, 2014

Flipside Runner at O'Mainnin's Pub

February 22, 2014

Sunday Funday with DJ B-Digital at O'Mainnin's Pub

February 23, 2014

Pike City and Bad Ridge at the Pickin' Porch at the Foundation Event Facility

February 24, 2014

606 State Street Jammers at 606 State Street Gallery

February 24, 2014

Open Band Jam with master blues guitarist Adam Graybeal at O'Mainnin's Pub

February 24, 2014

Guido Au'Some & the Open Mic Players at O'Mainnin's Pub

February 25, 2014

Performance Appraisals Training Session at the Bristol Chamber of Commerce

February 25, 2014

blowfish emporium painting party — Abstract Landscape

February 25, 2014

blowfish emporium painting party — Owl

February 27, 2014

Beer tasting at Inari Wines

February 28, 2014

Wine tasting at Inari Wines

March 01, 2014

Kristi Goldade and Jeff Ingersaw at the Pickin' Porch at the Foundation Event Facility

March 03, 2014

The Beaver Creek Storytellers at Shanghai Chinese Restaurant!

March 04, 2014

Fat Tuesday Buffet at Southeast Culinary & Hospitality College

March 04, 2014

Customer Service Leadership Training at the Bristol Chamber of Commerce

March 04, 2014

Believe in Bristol's Annual Downtown Showcase Fundraiser at the Foundation Event Facility

March 06, 2014

Beer tasting at Inari Wines

March 07, 2014

RESCHEDULED: Local Talent Showcase @ 606 State Street Gallery

March 07, 2014

Matt Jones and The Bobs at Stateline Bar & Grille

March 07, 2014

Wine tasting at Inari Wines

March 08, 2014

The Carolina Chocolate Drops at the Paramount

March 08, 2014

March Pinterest Party at 606 State Street Gallery: DIY Dahlia Mirror

March 11, 2014

"Women of Ireland" at the Paramount Center for the Arts

March 12, 2014

Art D'Vine in Historic Downtown Bristol

March 14, 2014

Rex Montgomery at Stateline Bar & Grille

March 14, 2014

Wine tasting at Inari Wines

March 15, 2014

The Art of Criticism...Giving & Taking Training at the Bristol Chamber of Commerce

March 18, 2014

Beer tasting at Inari Wines

March 21, 2014

"Tribute to Barbra Streisand" at the Paramount Center for the Arts

March 21, 2014

Wine tasting at Inari Wines

March 22, 2014

More Upcoming Events »