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Downtown Bristol Blog

PUSH! Film Festival Late Deadline for Film Competition, Venues Set

PUSH! Film Festival is off to a great start with multiple submissions for its film competition! The inaugural festival will be held on June 12-14, 2015 in Historic Downtown Bristol. The festival plans to host a variety of curated movies, workshops and presentations about film, along with screenings of juried films including shorts, features, and films focused on Tennessee and Virginia.

Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, and more, to appear on "Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited"

The Birthplace of Country Music is pleased to announce that the Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited album will be released on Tuesday, May 12, 2015. Celebrating the impact that the 1927 Bristol Sessions had on the country music industry, Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited features re-creations of the original Bristol Sessions recordings by country music stars including, Ashley & Shannon Campbell, Ashley Monroe, Brad Paisley, Carl Jackson, Corbin Hayslett, Dolly Parton, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Emmylou Harris, Jesse McReynolds, Keb´ Mo´, Larry Cordle & The Virginia Luthiers, Marty Stuart, Sheryl Crow, Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Rangers, The Chuck Wagon Gang, The Church Sisters, The Shotgun Rubies, and Vince Gill. The recording project also includes narration of the 1927 Bristol Sessions history by famed Opry host Eddie Stubbs.

15th Annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Music Festival Lineup & Poster Announced

2015 Rhythm and Roots poster artist announced to be Charles Vess!

16th Anniversary Border Bash Lineup

At Wednesday morning's Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion press conference, Birthplace of Country Music®, alongside community partners, Believe in Bristol, revealed plans for a summer packed with live music and family fun on State Street and beyond.

State Street Farmers Market Opening May 2

First in the new series of farmers market posters available!

Downtown Bristol Events

6th Street Celebrates Free Comic Book Day

May 2

A fun-filled day with FREE comic books, with food, and local Vendors & Artists selling unique Arts & Crafts! 6th Street, Downtown Bristol, TN.

John Dee Holeman in Concert with Amythyst Kiah

May 2

National Heritage Fellow John Dee Holeman joins Amythyst Kiah for a concert of the piedmont blues. Recognized as a National Heritage Fellow by the NEA, the highest honor bestowed on traditional artists, Holeman is a master musician who continues to play Piedmont blues, inspiring generations of musicians along the way. Amythyst Kiah is a Southern Roots/Alt-Country blues musician originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Southern Culture Cuisine featuring Chef Travis Rutter and Benjamin Walls

May 3

The fifth dinner of the Southern Culture Cuisine series will feature Chef Travis Rutter of Basq Restaurant and Catering in Bristol, TN. Basq, which is co-owned by Rutter and Heather Garrison, has become a staple in the Tri-Cities area thanks to the combination of Rutter's culinary talents and Garrison's skills as an event planner and caterer. Together, Rutter and Garrison are working to bring a diverse, upscale dining experience to downtown Bristol.

The featured artist of the night will be photographer Benjamin Walls of the Benjamin Walls Signature Gallery in Bristol, VA. Of Walls' compelling work, Dr. Katie Hoffman writes, "These images take us beyond simple awareness and call us to consider and even to question what we think we know. They make us care, driving home the importance of active participation in preserving the wonders of our natural world."

This dinner will benefit an amazing organization in downtown Bristol called the Crisis Center. The facility offers a variety of services that help individuals cope with personal crises from sexual assault to suicide prevention to elderly advocacy.

For those not familiar with Southern Culture Cuisine, these events are informal gatherings of local foodies in various unique atmospheres that serve to bring the community together in celebration of regional talents. All dinners are strictly BYOB. The exact location of the event will be announced to ticket holders three days prior to the dinner.

The Pickin' Porch Show: McCracken Inc. and Emi Sunshine

May 4

The Pickin' Porch Show will feature McCracken Inc. Monday, May 4th.

About Emi Sunshine
With a family musical lineage that goes back three generations it's no surprise that EmiSunshine is a natural performer. Emi began singing as early as she began talking and it was quite evident that this was her calling. At 4 years of age Emi began creating songs with her mother and performed publicly for the first time at a family Wedding. By 6 Emi had her own little band and took first place in a local talent contest. Continuing with her writing and picking up the ukelele EmiSunshine has continued to evolve into a singer/songwriter with an album full of original music. Emi is at home on any stage whether it be a full amphitheater or in a field with her new baby piglets gathered close to hear her. Emi has an old soul and clings to her favorite music like a worn, tattered blanket for comfort. June Carter, Julie Miller, Emmylou Harris and Dolly tunes spill from her room when she is playing with dolls and trinkets or painting her whimsical characters. Buddy Miller, Mike Farris, Jim Lauderdale and Marty Stuart can be heard at high volumes when she is working. Pen and paper in hand she heads to her mom when she starts writing, together they, along with her band bring Emi's music to fruition. Emi's Band consists of her Dad Randall, Brother John, Tennessee Bob and Mississippi Willie. These guys are her musical family and they have collectively aided Emi in learning the art of commanding an audience and enjoying the moment. Watching her lead her band is just one of the little surprises that an EmiSunshine performance provides. Quick with her borrowed jokes, apt to change her mind midstream and sing a lullaby when the band is headed towards a rockin' rhythm, Emi is never lead but carves a path. She brings just what's needed for any occasion. Raw and unbridled. Honest and empathetic. Emi deems her music "Old Time Music Turned Upside Down" ! A 9 year old with a heart for yesterday, a hope for tomorrow and a song for today!

AAME Speakers Series: Cornelia Laemmli Orth

May 7

The Arts Alliance Mountain Empire, in cooperation with the Bristol Public Library, is pleased to announce the completion of the 2014-15 AAME Speakers Series. The AAME Speakers Series features local and regional personalities sharing their expertise on topics that enrich and encourage the arts and general communities of our region. This series also provides a forum for member organizations of AAME to tell of their contributions to the Mountain Empire region.

This event, taking place on Thursday, May 7 at 7:00 p.m., will feature Cornelia Laemmli Orth, music director of the Symphony of the Mountains. Orth will talk about the role of the symphony orchestra in the modern community, the responsibilities and opportunities to serve both the traditional musical community and beyond, and how arts groups, both symphonies and in general, build audiences.

Cornelia Laemmli Orth is in her eighth season as music director of Symphony of the Mountains. In addition to her Masterworks Series, she has developed new series of Family, Young People, Movies, Pops, Patriotic and Cross-Over concerts. World renowned soloists are regular guests with Symphony of the Mountains. As an advocate for Contemporary Music, Cornelia brings a variety of new music to the region.

Her concert lectures, involvement with area schools, colleges and universities, speeches for clubs and civic organizations, regular TV and radio appearances and collaborations with regional art organizations have made her a vital part of the community.

During the 2014-2015 Season, Cornelia served as guest conductor for the Asheville Lyric Opera in Asheville, NC. From 2010-2012, she served as interim music director for the Appalachian Philharmonic and the Appalachian State University Opera Program in Boone, NC. Prior to her engagement with Symphony of the Mountains, Cornelia served as music director of the Oak Ridge Symphony and Choir.

She served as Associate Conductor and later Principal Guest Conductor of the Knoxville Symphony from 2002-2008 and is now a regular guest conductor with this orchestra. Outside of these regular appointments, Cornelia is a sought-after guest conductor in the USA and in Europe.

In Europe, she was music director of the Operetta Theatre in Moeriken, Switzerland, guest assistant conductor under Philippe Jordan at La Scala in Milano, Italy, worked with the Bohuslav Czech Republic, and conducted many concerts with choirs and ad hoc orchestras with musicians from the Zurich Opera House and the Tonhalle Orchestra.

Cornelia received her Lehrdiplom in piano from the Conservatory at Winterhur and graduated from the Conservatory and University in Zurich with her Masters in Music Education and Choral Conducting. She obtained her Masters in Orchestra Conducting from Northwestern University, where she studied under Victor Yampolsky. In a variety of workshop settings, she studied under Larry Rachleff, Marin Alsop, Joann Falletta, Robert Spano, Kirk Trevor, Tsung Yeh, Milen Nachev and Johannes Schlaefli.

Cornelia convincingly combines the classical-romantic tradition of her old world origins with the unique American, and particularly Appalachian, flavor that her international background and extensive working experience in her adopted country has provided her.

Each of the AAME Speakers Series events takes place at the Bristol Public Library, located at 701 Goode Street, Bristol, Virginia.

Also Coming Up

More Upcoming Events »

Community Notice Board

First Appalachian Robotics

Fridays from 3-5pm in the Burriss Reading Room

27 & 29 9:00-3:30 RCAM in Kingsport, TN 3D printing demo

? (Dates TBD) FTC outreach in Rogersville and Church Hill, TN


8 BPL 1:00-5:00 program time outreach to tweens and teens, approx 25 students. 3D printer demo, teen experiments

10 BPL outreach to 8-10 year olds. 12:00 set up, 12:30 — 1:30 program. A repeat of last year, our FTC team members (and hopefully our FLL members, too) will give a brief presentation about our teams and what we do, then split up to different activity tables to explore squishy circuits, building LED eggs, simple motors, etc.

18 – 9:00-3:00 Kingsport Mini Maker Faire! Our team will exhibit our robot and engage the public with various robots and STEM related hands-on activities.

1 & 2 — 9:00-5:30 Rob Con, Bristol, TN. FTC team will be situated with our informational/exhibit table next to the R2D2 builders club.

Summer Jeans Sale at LC King

Through May 1

Select jeans are now on sale at L.C. King! Click here for details.

Bristol Office Supply Weekly Specials

Through May 1

Click here to view weekly specials.