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Free cultural events for students in Knox, surrounding counties

The Arts & Culture Alliance of Greater Knoxville, in cooperation with the local arts and culture community, is in its eighth year of Penny4Arts. This is a program developed to meet the local arts community’s long-term goal of serving and educating East Tennessee's children. Penny4Arts provides every child in Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Knox, Loudon, Monroe, Morgan, Pickett, Roane, Scott, Sevier, and Union counties, including home-schooled and private-schooled students, an opportunity to attend local arts and culture events/activities by 25 organizations at the maximum cost of ONE PENNY (or FREE) when accompanied by one paying adult during the 2017/2018 academic school year. Most organizations allow up to three children to attend for free when accompanied by a paying adult.

knoxville guitar society
Knoxville Guitar Society

Concerts, fairs, plays, dance performances, historic home tours, fairs, museums, festivals, arts workshops, radio broadcasts, movies, the Zoo, and more are part of Penny4Arts. Organizations whose admission is regularly free are offering special programs. Like us on Facebook for all the latest updates:

More than 70 events are included in Penny4Arts, and in addition, seven organizations offer year-round opportunities for Knox County School children: Blount Mansion, Crescent Bend House & Gardens, East Tennessee Historical Society, James White’s Fort, Knoxville Museum of Art, Mabry-Hazen House, and WDVX-FM Radio.

The schedule of performances is listed chronologically at, where families may also sign up for weekly event notices. Highlights include:

• Five productions by the Clarence Brown Theatre
• Eight Masterworks and five Chamber concerts by the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra
• Five free admission days to Zoo Knoxville
• A free admission day at Tennessee Valley Fair
• And more!

The following organizations are participating in Penny4Arts for the 2017/2018 school year:
• Asian Culture Center of Tennessee
• Bijou Theatre
• Blount Mansion Association
• Circle Modern Dance
• Clarence Brown Theatre
• Crescent Bend House & Gardens
• East Tennessee Historical Society
• Flying Anvil Theatre, Go!
• Contemporary Dance Works
• Historic Ramsey House
• James White's Fort
• Knoxville Guitar Society
• Knoxville Museum of Art
• Knoxville Opera
• Knoxville Symphony Orchestra
• Mabry-Hazen House
• Marble City Opera
• McClung Museum of Natural History & Culture
• Oak Ridge Civic Music Association
• Pasión Flamenca
• Tennessee Children’s Dance Ensemble
• Tennessee Valley Fair
• Women's Basketball Hall of Fame
• Zoo Knoxville

Most participating events will allow one paying adult to bring up to three students for one penny each. Proof of residency (driver license) may be required. Students ages 16-18, not accompanied by an adult, may be asked to show proof of residency and if in a group, at least one in the group of up to four students ages 16-18 must purchase a regular adult admission/ticket (if applicable) for the group to be able to participate in Penny4Arts. Each participating organization’s specific guidelines are also listed on the Penny4Arts web site. For more information, please visit, or contact the Arts & Culture Alliance at (865) 523-7543 or

The Arts & Culture Alliance serves and supports a diverse community of artists, arts organizations, and cultural institutions. The Alliance receives financial support from the City of Knoxville and the Tennessee Arts Commission.

Published September 12, 2017

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