It Starts with a Square

2-Minute Tuesday – Collierville Arts Council

BY Master User

Welcome to another installment of Tour Collierville’s 2-Minute Tuesday! This week, Anna sits down with Terry Dean of the Collierville Arts Council to talk about art, theater, good food, and the Square.

Watch the video here, or read the transcript below.

Collierville Arts Council Video Transcript

Anna: Hello and welcome to another 2-Minute Tuesday with Tour Collierville. I’m Anna Bell and today we have miss Terry Dean with the Collierville Arts Council to share a little bit about their next upcoming event. Terry, thank you for joining.

Terry: Absolutely. Happy to be here.

AB: So let’s kind of get started by talking about the Collierville Arts Council—and for those who don’t know, it’s actually a nonprofit organization that helps support the arts hear in Collierville.  Maybe you can tell us a little bit more about the Arts Council and why it’s so important that we all support this initiative.

TD: Right.  We’ve been around for a little over thirty years now, amazingly, but we are actually a service provider for the Town of Collierville.  We do… We produce four shows a year at the theater, but along with that, we also have a couple of fundraisers—because it’s a lot of times, ticket sales don’t always cover all your costs for a show when you’re doing some of the bigger musicals.  When you’re hiring staff for choreographers and your directors and stage managers and everything, it definitely adds up.

AB: Absolutely.

TD: But it’s a lot of fun.  We enjoy bringing four shows a year to our local community.

AB: That’s wonderful.  Maybe we can talk about the next big upcoming event, the Arts in the Alley.

TD: Right.

AB: It’s the third annual event, correct?

TD: Right. Yes.

AB: And have you been with the other two?

TD: I have, yes.  And it’s a lot of fun.  We do it right behind your building, here on this alley, and we string up a whole bunch of lights.  We’ve got Raven and Lily and also Simply Done doing food for us.  We’ve got beer from Wiseacre, and we’re going to have some wine there, too.  It’s going to be great food and drink.  We’re bringing in plein air artists; they’re going to be actually painting in the alley, which is really neat, and they’ll be selling some of their art.  And they’re also bringing other art with them that they can sell.   We get a little bit of the profits from that, too.  Just help support our programs.

AB: Absolutely.  Maybe you can tell us a little history about the Arts in the Alley.  It kind of got started as a, I guess, fundraising initiative?

TD: Right.  Well, Melanie Duncan is our current board President, and it was a her and a couple other people that had this idea to do something with this alley.  It’s got like old paintings that used to be back on the brick walls and stuff, and we just decided it would be something a little bit different than, you know, Main Street does, with their big event each year, The Taste of the Town.  And we just thought this was a little bit different location, and people liked it, and we’ve been very lucky with weather the last couple years.  It’s been a nice evening, not too cold, didn’t have rain, but it’s just something different that we thought that the community might enjoy.

AB: Absolutely.

TD: That’s why we decided to try it, and it’s gone well so far.

AB: Those cooler temps are coming.

TD: Yes. Yeah they are!

AB: There might be another good night this year!

TD: Exactly.

AB: Well tell us, for those who might not have been able to attend the last couple of years, what can they expect to experience as they walk up to the Arts in the Alley.

TD: Well I also forgot to mention, too, we do have live music that’s going to be Kevin and Bethany Paige are going to be playing, and that’s what’s kind of… It’s got a neat atmosphere.  We’ve got some tables set up with the food.  It’s just got a… Once we turn the lights on and it starts to get a little dark, it just has an ambience that is just really neat, kind of like a fun backyard party.  So that’s what’s kind of nice about it.  It’s just nice food good atmosphere something a little bit different, and people seem to enjoy it.

AB: Yeah. Fun night out right?

TD: Absolutely.

AB: Well it sounds like something to get all the senses excited

TD: Right.

AB: So tell me, I guess, a little bit about previous years. have you learned something in particular or is this are you doing something new this year that maybe those who have already experienced it are excited about?

TD: Well we have we’ve had different artists playing each year, so that’s kind of fun musically.  It’s a little bit different.  And it’s just we try and incorporate using other restaurants on the square for our food, which is great.  I think it’s just different people on our Arts Council that bring in different guests, and we’re just trying to promote it as well we can so people know what we’re all about and what we’re doing in it.  So it self-supports what we do.

AB: Absolutely. Maybe we can talk again, a little more specific, about this year.  Kind of give us a rundown of what all we’re expecting to see as far as the artists we’re talking about and those vendors again, because we’d like to know.

TD: Right.  So I don’t know if you know anything about the Plein Air Artists, but it’s an organization out of Memphis, and they go around to… They meet on a pretty regular basis, but they go to different areas of Shelby County and the surrounding area and get together and just paint.

AB: How fun!

TD: They love coming to an alley like this, because it’s got, you know, the water tower and just neat images and people.  You pretty much buy what they’re painting each time they come out here, so that is very unique.

AB: So live painting.

TD: Yes, yes.  Live painting, and they’re also bringing some things that they’ve done in other parts of the Memphis area, too.  So, yeah.  It’s really unique.

AB: About how many artists can we expect to see coming to the Square?

TD: I think we have like maybe 10 to 15.  These get a pretty good group.  But yeah, they enjoy it.  They come out here and set up early, and they just start painting, and people walk around and just, you know, watch what they’re doing.

AB: Sure, yeah.  Real good sight to see, yeah.

TD: Yeah, that’s fun.

AB: Well last—but not least—maybe you can tell us again what time, what day, tickets… And most importantly: Are we all invited?

TD: Yes, absolutely.  Everybody’s invited.  Come on down!  It is next Thursday evening, the 18th, and at 6:30 to 9:00.  You enter down here by the little First Tennessee bank, and tickets are available at our box office and from anybody and any of us on the Arts Council.

AB: Okay, and then parking, I guess, the Square’s going to be crazy, I guess.

TD: Yeah.  And actually, all around, and even the parking lot by Simply Done.  You know, you just walk a block; it’s not too far.

AB: So just walk on, then, right?

TD: Yes!  It’s a lot of fun!

AB: Alright, well you heard it here first: make sure to grab your family, grab your friends, buy tickets, support the Arts, and we’ll meet you on the Square!

TD: Sounds good. Thank you.

AB: Good deal.  Well that’s all the time we have for this 2-Minute Tuesday with Tour Collierville.  Make sure to check out for more details, and you might even see a familiar face in one of our photo galleries. Thank you, Terry, again, for sharing your information with us, and thank you for joining us.  I’m Anna Bell.  Have a wonderful day!

September/October 2021 Tour Collierville Magazine