Who We Are

APSignLeading 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. ART Prowl 2010 enjoyed record participation from both local community members and visitors to Cookeville, becoming the most visible arts-centric event in our immediate area. We seek to build on that success in 2011 by increasing awareness of our activities to help make Cookeville a cultural destination and to enhance opportunities for making a career in the arts viable.JoAnna Bleasdale at the Loom; photo by cella neapolitan

What we do... FOR THE ECONOMY

We own and operate retail galleries, and we own and operate our studios — our "manufacturing plants." We participate in art and craft retail shows, and we hold gallery exhibitions. 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.

What we do ... FOR EDUCATION

We give private instruction to community members who want to learn a new skill and give voice to their inherent creativity. We have the privilege of watching our students relax into the process, the stress of their daily lives visibly drifting away — of helping our students express themselves through the symbolism of art, the joy of creating something of lasting value to their souls. 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.

What we do ... FOR THE COMMUNITY

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.

What we do ... WITH YOUR SUPPORT

We believe that your donation to ART Prowl 2011 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.

COMMUNICATIONS

We seek to make the arts more visible in our community, in part to promote Cookeville as a cultural destination, boosting economic development.

Goal

New brochures, posters, postcards and print advertisements promoting ART Prowl will be distributed and published throughout the greater Cookeville area, including the Cookeville Area-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce, to build on efforts to create a strong environment for cultural tourism. Expanding the scope of our web site, which extends far beyond the reach of print publications, is also part of this communications campaign, giving a more comprehensive picture of just what’s available to tourists, as well as young families, retirees and businesses seeking to relocate to the Highlands region of Middle Tennessee.

EDUCATION

We seek to make the arts a more integral part of the lives of all citizens in our community — for the regenerative power the arts offer and for the cognitive development the arts promote.

Jay Frankenfield demonstrating the pottery wheelGoal

ART Prowl artists lead at least two workshops for children or adults in their medium of expertise, sometime prior to or soon after the 2011 ART Prowl.

VISIBILITY

Beyond print publications, online news and resources, and educational opportunities like ArtBikes, we seek to increase the recreational opportunities available to community members and visitors who take part in the ART Prowl weekend.

Goal I

Encourage participation in the retail sector of WestSide during ART Prowl by keeping businesses open later and offering sidewalk and reception activities for the public.

Goal II

Create temporary gallery and demonstration space in the WestSide and Courthouse Square areas for the duration of the Prowl.

Goal III

Last year's ArtVan — a mobile billboard advertising the fun and creativity art can provide to a community — generated a lot of positive awareness.