Leading members of Cookeville's arts community have worked for years to boost visibility for the arts as a way to promote economic development and cultural tourism, which benefits not only artists, but also the entire retail and service sector reliant on tourist income. Beginning in 1999, these efforts were organized into a single annual event called "ART Prowl," an open studio tour offering the public a chance to see artists at work — to see what we do, to see the art we make.
Our work attracts customers; our sales generate tax dollars. We are working, professional artists; we are entrepreneurs. Beyond that, we provide a cultural dimension to the community that translates into bragging points for quality-of-life benefits. Along with our peers in the performing arts, we lend the community a special status often sought by young families, retirees and businesses looking for an attractive place to relocate.
We give private instruction to community members who want to learn a new skill and give voice to their inherent creativity. We give demonstrations of our work in ceramics, wood, metals and textiles, and we open our studios to schoolchildren, their teachers and other members of the community. We teach people how to make art — and whether they become professional artists one day is immaterial; the point is to give them a new vehicle for personal and social expression.
We contribute our work to help raise funds for organizations throughout our community: public television station WCTE, Putnam County Habitat for Humanity, Genesis House, Putnam County Humane Society, the Bryan Symphony Orchestra Association, TTU's Department of Music and Art, and more. We also make up a sizeable portion of Fall Fun Fest's "Art Street," giving the public a taste of the local arts scene in a friendly, accessible way. We make art a part of our churches by helping raise funds and enhancing the architectural and decorative surroundings in our places of worship.
We believe that your donation to ART Prowl is an investment in our community. ART Prowl /Art 'Round Tennessee, is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the arts in our community. Your contributions are tax deductible.