Volshop to host ‘After Hours Party’ for students

On Tuesday, Sept. 12, the VolShop is holding an ‘After Hours Party’ for students to start the semester with some fun.

All students are invited to make their own ice cream sundaes with a variety of toppings to choose from. There will also be plenty of free cookies from Insomnia Cookies.

There will be fun activities, door prizes, games such as “minute to win it” and more. 

All activities during the party will be free.

The event will be located at the VolShop in the Student Union from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

For more information on this event, visit UT’s events page.

Featured Image by Seth Raborn

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo

Volapalooza brings end of year celebration for UT students, celebrates 15th anniversary

Volapalooza ended the semester with a bang for UT students.

Since 2003, Volapalooza has taken place on the last day of classes and has featured musical acts from every genre. This year’s lineup featured X Ambassadors, COIN, Pell, Luke Pell, Mountains Like Wax, Electric Darling and DJ A-Wall.

The event was moved from Worlds Fair Park to Thompson-Boiling Arena due to inclement weather; a move that upset some students.

Allie Barnes, a UT student, remarked on the move.

“I understand that they had to move it here because of the weather, but I still wish we could have been outside,” she said.

Many students, however, were happy with the move saying they enjoyed the “concert environment more than the festival vibe.”

The show featured two stages, one for local bands and the other for bigger acts. Concert goers could go back and forth between the two stages in between acts. The event also featured many different vendors giving away free items like Coca-Cola, water, t-shirts and free henna tattoos.

The free henna was the most popular booth of the night with some students waiting almost three hours. Volapalooza also featured many different food trucks with items like corndogs, ice cream, burgers, fries and many other options.

Hunter Malone, a student who attends Berea College in Berea, Kentucky, drove in for Volapalooza. He said he made the drive because of the personal connection he has with X Ambassadors.

“X Ambassadors have really helped me through many difficult times in my life. Some of their songs got me through some very dark times when I was battling depression,” Malone said. “They’re part of the reason I am alive and seeing them live reminded me of where I am now, loving myself for who I am.”

Volapalooza proves that there is much more to music than meets the eye.

Images by Gabrielle Harman

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo

Market Square gets splash of color from ninth annual Chalk Walk

Thousands gathered in Market Square and Krutch Park on Saturday, April 1 to witness various chalk murals for the ninth annual Dogwood Arts Chalk Walk.

The chalk artists ranged from families and adults to children and high school art classes.

Every mural had an image1inspiration behind it. “It was a combination of mine and my children’s favorite things because they wanted to participate this year, too. Butterflies are my favorite. My daughter wanted a rainbow and my son wanted the Smoky Mountains, so we just combined all those together,” Amber Willis said.

Artist Fawne DeRosia decided to go with somebody who people would instantly recognize in East Tennessee.

“Honestly, I did a little digging on who is famous around Knoxville, because I knew I was coming here and Dolly was the first person who popped up, so I was like she’s awesome, let’s do a portrait of her,” DeRosia said.

Connie Passarella, one of the over 25,000 attendees, was amazed at the level of talent of the artists.image2

“It’s really interesting because I’ve never seen anything like it. I have seen it in books before and I wanted to do it at home, so I always like to take back ideas like this,” Passarella said.

Founder Kathy Slocum discusses the reasoning behind the use of chalk for the festival.

“The chalk is used because it’s water soluble and we don’t have to worry about it lasting forever, good and bad. Monday it’s going to rain and this will all be gone,” Slocum said. “But that’s part of the intrigue of this art, is that it’s not permanent. It’s here today and gone tomorrow.”

Artists began their pieces at 8:30 a.m. and had to be finished by 4:30 p.m. Attendees could vote for their favorite piece and the awards were given later in the afternoon.

For the list of winners for this year’s Chalk Walk, check out their website.

Feature Image by Vanessa Rodriguez

Edited by Katy Hill

Bare.Thread remakes clothing, offers style and community

The Knoxville community gathered together to shop for repurposed clothing on Saturday at the Central Collective.

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Mayor Rogero checking out the organic lip balms // Photo by: Allison Ward

Bare.Thread hosted a pop-up shop that offered gently used apparel under $15 and shoes ranging between $15 and $30. The event provided free, homemade refreshments and sold handmade, organic lip balms.

“I am very impressed by the large selection of high quality clothing here. There is actually a lot more items than I expected to see,” UT junior Julia Nabin said.

The large variety of clothing translated to the large variety of shoppers, but college students seemed the most grateful for the opportunity.

“It’s really cool that college students and young adults came together to make a difference in the community by repurposing and selling college budget-friendly clothing,” Jessy Kunkle, a UT senior, said.

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Just a portion of the shop’s variety // Photo by: Allison Ward

The pop-up shop boasted popular brands like Tory Burch, Free People and Frye.

The local non-profit is providing opportunities for the community to become more involved in creative fashion.

“We started as a group of people who were beginning to realize the social injustices behind the clothing industry and fast fashion,” Carolyn Wettstone, Bare.Thread event coordinator, said. “There is so much clothing waste, so we wanted to learn how to remake clothing and make it available to our community.”

“Wettstone said she encourages those who are interested to watch the documentary “True Cost” to really understand their motivation behind their passion in providing local jobs and repurposed clothing.

To get involved, Bare.Thread suggests calling, texting or Instagram-messaging to show interest in donating clothing. Coordination for pick-up or drop-off will be made based off of convenience for those who donate.

Bare.Thread is hoping for a permanent donation and event space in the near future.

More information can be found on the Bare.Thread Instagram account and future website.

Edited by Nathan Odom

Featured image by Allison Ward

Eva Schloss emphasizes today’s need for acceptance in Knoxville visit

Eva Schloss, author, Holocaust survivor and Anne Frank’s stepsister, visited Knoxville on Feb. 21 with much to say to her audience at the Civic Auditorium.

In an interview led by local radio and television host Hallerin Hilton Hill, Schloss recalled her experiences from before, during and after her family went into hiding in 1944. She alluded to similarities between then and now in reference to today’s political climate.

Many expressed gratitude for Schloss’s visit, and said that they were left with plenty to think about. In closing, Schloss offered advice for the young people who made up a sizeable part of the audience.

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero gave opening remarks.

“These stories remind us that we are responsible to each other, and for each other,” she said. “These stories matter. They connect us to each other.”

Schloss was born in Vienna, Austria in 1929. She remembered an idyllic childhood, swimming in creeks, riding her bicycle and playing with Frank and her brother Heinz. Schloss and Frank knew each other for two years before their families went on the run from Nazi forces. It was not until some time after surviving, Jews were liberated from German death camps and that Schloss’s mother and Frank’s father were married.

When Schloss and her brother received the news from her father that they were to go into hiding, she was confused at first. She remembered asking her father, “What do you mean? Hiding, like the game? Like hide and seek?”

Unfortunately, it was far from a game, as history shows. Despite this, Schloss said, she hung on as long as she could, and recalling her childhood helped her make it through the horrors of the Holocaust. However, it could only take her so far.

“In the camp, I had hope. But afterwards, I had no hope, because this was just how life was going to be,”Schloss said. She recalled that she had thoughts of suicide at times because she had such trouble getting past the loss of her brother and father.

“I was so upset that the world would not let in Jewish people – like we see now, with refugees.”

Raeus Cannon, a Knoxville business owner who is Jewish herself, attended the event and shared her thoughts on the comparisons drawn between the past and the present.

“I’ve been horrified to see the country send people away that need help,” she said. “I had family that barely escaped the Holocaust, and I had family that I lost. So for me, this particular time and place in America is a very scary, scary place. I see a lot of similarities. And I’m glad she didn’t go into a lot of it, because I think it would have been difficult for her as a speaker in this community, but I think she did a very good job of being able to say, ‘This is the similarity that I see’, and leave it at that.”

Renee Pettigo, another audience member, has five grandchildren and expressed concern about the turn politics have taken recently. One grandchild is biracial, a second is autistic and a third has Down syndrome.

When Pettigo was young, the Jewish community center she attended regularly with her family was bombed. She told stories of facing many obstacles in her path, including being unable to join a sorority or date certain men when she was in college.

“[Anti-Semitism] was very prevalent, and nobody hid it. It just was. You worked around it,” Pettigo said. Perhaps due to these experiences, issues of acceptance have particular importance to her now.

“I am absolutely more likely now to hold my hand up and go, ‘That’s not okay. You don’t say that, that’s not acceptable’… And this woman coming and telling her story over and over again almost is a case of her holding her hand up, and going, ‘Excuse me… Pay attention…’,” she said. “For those of us that have walked down that path, we’re all going, ‘Hey, we know what this looks like.’ For people who have never experienced this, they’re going ‘This doesn’t affect me’, but they don’t understand that it does. Because it affects your children, and the community that you live in.”

Hill asked Schloss what she would tell young people of today if she were to offer a piece of advice. She answered his question without hesitation. “We are all one race: the human race.”

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo

Featured Image by Faith Held

Experience Diversity Banquet promotes community acceptance, opens UT diversity dialogue

Preceding the presentation of the 2017 CCI Diversity Award to the Rev. Dr. Harold Middlebrook, the ninth annual Experience Diversity Banquet offered a parade of performances ranging from salsa and Laotian dancing to a capella singing on Friday, Feb. 17.

Hosted by the Diversity Student Leaders Society (DSLS) at Bearden Banquet Hall as a fundraiser for their organization, the night featured a top-notch dinner menu and wine selection to complement the evening’s entertainment. Chairs adorned with satin ribbons surrounded candlelit tables with fresh flower centerpieces.

DSLS Director, Alice Bowling Wirth, called it an “exclusive” affair, and at 35 dollars a seat, it was. But when Middlebrook took the stage, he knew exactly how to bring everyone in the room back down to earth.

Middlebrook attended Morehouse College in Atlanta the 1960s, where he met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He eventually found himself in Memphis, where he was active in several political action commissions. He helped coordinate King’s appearance in Memphis in support of a sanitation worker strike, and witnessed King’s assassination in person.

In 1986 Middlebrook founded the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Commission of Greater Knoxville.

Middlebrook shared a powerful message, particularly notable after UT’s diversity office was stripped of funding last year.

“We are living in a time when state legislators want to return to what used to be. We’re living in a time when they don’t want campuses to talk about diversity. But I’ll tell you something,” he said. “ When they stand up and holler, and say ‘We’re gonna cut off the funds for the diversity program at the university… here [are individuals] that are number one, ignorant. But also, those people get a clannish mentality… They don’t want to be disturbed because anything that is different from what they are is challenging to them, and they don’t want to have to change. “

Nicholas Stokes, a sophomore in journalism at UT, acknowledged that diversity is essential.

“If everyone is the same, there is no reason to evolve,” he said. “If everyone… wants to be the same, walk the same walk of life and do the exact same things, then no one is experiencing new things. There is no substance being added to the world.”

Faith Howard, UT senior and DSLS president, felt that the banquet furthered the goal of promoting community acceptance of diversity.

“This event helps people see other cultures, and the guest speakers help us look at things from a different perspective. I think that’s just kind of powerful, and it speaks for itself,” she said. “We experienced so many different cultures tonight… And if you know about it, you can respect it. So I think that helps a lot.”

Middlebrook encouraged attendees to keep moving forward while assuring them that the battle is far from over.

“If you are not at the table, you suffer because your views are not heard or respected. And so as the fight for diversity moves on, it is so important that we must never forget that we need to be in the room, at the table… I came to tell you tonight, ain’t nobody gonna turn me around. I’m gonna keep on walking forward, I’m gonna keep on marching… and the struggle belongs to all of us,” he said. “Don’t worry – there’s another day coming… when all of us are going to join hands and say to this nation, ‘Nobody can divide us. Nobody can separate us. We are one!”

Edited by Kaitlin Flippo

Featured image by Bradley Blackwelder