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Weekend edition June 30, 2023 | Shannon Smith

News Roundup | Art, music, and tuition

Here’s your weekly roundup of business news from throughout the Knoxville region.

Knoxville named nation’s 4th Best Arts District

Knoxville is the No. 4 “Best Arts District” nationwide, according to USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice 2023 poll.

The poll included 20 nominees, which were selected by an expert panel based on how they “culturally enrich their cities and those who visit.” Then, the public voted for their favorite, determining the finalists.

“Ongoing events such as First Friday ArtWalk and the many festivals held in the city’s core often are the first experiences with Knoxville’s downtown,” said Michele Hummel, Executive Director of the Downtown Knoxville Alliance. “And our arts community is excellent at sustaining that anticipation every day with events, often in partnership with a local business. That collaboration makes achievements like the 10Best ranking possible and memories unforgettable.”

Zero tuition increase for UTK students

The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees on Friday approved the requested zero tuition increase for UT Knoxville as part of the campus’s $1.92 billion budget. This is the fourth year in a row tuition has not increased.

The board also approved updated budgets for renovation projects at two sports facilities. The board approved a request from Tennessee Athletics to increase the budget for Phase 1 of the Neyland Stadium renovation project by $49 million to $337 million. The board also approved increasing the Lindsey Nelson Stadium renovation budget by $39 million to $95.8 million, pending state government approvals.

The board also approved a new Master of Science in Business Cybersecurity Program. It also awarded honorary doctoral degrees to Knoxville civil rights leader Robert J. Booker and former U.S. ambassador to Australia Arthur B. Culvahouse, a UT alumnus.

UT Medical Center names new CEO

The University of Tennessee Medical Center has promoted its Chief Medical Officer Dr. Keith Gray to the role of President and Chief Executive Officer, effective April 1, 2024. Dr. Gray succeeds Joseph “Joe” Landsman, Jr., who announced his retirement after 25 years with the system.

In connection with the transition, Dr. James Shamiyeh, who currently serves as Executive Vice President of Clinical Operations, will become the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. He will act as second in command to Dr. Gray, retain all existing responsibilities, and add oversight of the physician enterprise to continue enhancing greater continuity of care.

Dr. Gray has been perennially recognized as one of the “Top Docs” by Knoxville’s Cityview Magazine and received awards recognizing his outstanding patient care, compassion, and leadership. In the community, he is the board chair of the Emerald Youth Foundation and a trustee on the United Way of Greater Knoxville Board.

Eight Knoxville leaders chosen for Leadership Tennessee

Knox News reports eight Knox County and Knoxville leaders were chosen to represent the area as part of the tenth class of Leadership Tennessee, which was founded in 2013 as an initiative of the College of Leadership and Public Service at Lipscomb University.

The 40-person cohort will spend 10 months traveling across the state to evaluate challenges and find solutions in education, infrastructure, and health care.

The Knox County representatives are:

  • Gabriel Bolas, Knoxville Utilities Board President and CEO
  • Amy Cathey, University of Tennessee at Knoxville Associate Dean of Graduate and Executive Education at the Haslam College of Business
  • David Colquitt, owner of The Swag
  • Becky Hancock, Tennessee Theatre Executive Director
  • Larsen Jay, Knox County Commissioner, PYA Director of Business Alliances
  • Renee Kelly, Clayton Homes Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Program
  • Parinda Khatri, Cherokee Health Systems CEO
  • David Miller, University of Tennessee System Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Lunsford’s Music closing, holding finale sale

After four decades in business, Lunsford’s Music is closing its doors, and everything must go.

Several music accessories, books, and fixtures are still available, along with some instruments.  Prices have been reduced to 50 to 75 percent off. Lunsford’s has carried a wide range of support materials for music education.

The final sale will conclude on July 12. The store, located at 3606 Western Avenue, will be closed for the July 4 holiday, but otherwise open regular hours through July 12: Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.


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