In July 2004, Knoxville's first true arts center opened in downtown at 100 South Gay Street. Built in 1895 as the original home of a prestigious furniture company, the Emporium Building housed a wholesale goods distributor and later became a textile manufacturing facility that fulfilled military contracts. The two adjacent buildings and the vacant lot were the location of the "Parthenon of Country Music," which served as the home of the WNOX Mid-day Merry-Go-Round. The 28,000 square feet of flexible use space houses two galleries with monthly changing exhibitions and the following administrative offices: African-American Appalachian Arts, Arts & Culture Alliance, Carpetbag Theatre, Circle Modern Dance, Foothills Craft Guild, HoLa Hora Latina, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, and Tennessee Stage Company. The Emporium also houses seven artist studios. The Alliance's Emporium Center was designed to attract more visitors to downtown to enjoy arts and cultural programming and conduct arts-related business. At the same time, the project provides affordable space for a critical mass of arts and culture organizations and artists, generates coordination and joint promotion of arts and culture activities, and provides another valuable attraction in a revitalized downtown. Be sure to visit our website calendar which includes hundreds of events and performances in the Greater Knoxville area: www.moretoknoxville.com.
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