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If you want a special place to gather around for a good story or to hear good music, or you want a beautiful backdrop for a wonderful painting or photograph, you will discover the arts in many forms in Historic Jonesborough. The downtown is graced with photo studios, art galleries, shops with hand-made jewelry, and museums. Art shows, live performances, music, and other arts programming take place year-round.
As you walk or drive through Jonesborough, you may see art students from the Mary B. Martin Program for the Arts painting beneath the shaded trees of the International Storytelling Center, conducting art demonstrations at the Farmers Market on Saturday mornings, or performing their dance and music skills during town parades or performances at the Jonesborough Repertory Theatre . The Mary B. Martin Program for the Arts is located at the historic McKinney Center at Booker T. Washington School. Evidence of this thriving art facility can be seen throughout the town such as in the downtown murals. The McKinney Center offers a wide range of quality art classes, workshops, and activities including art exhibitions and classes taught by some of the best artists in the region. You are guaranteed a great experience through one of their many offerings. To view the most current Newsletter please click HERE.
Music-On-The-Square is the place to be if you love live music. Running every Friday night from May to September in front of the Courthouse downtown, the region's hottest acts perform for free. All you need to bring is a lounge chair! You may also enjoy great music during the Jonesborough Days Festival, Halloween Haunts & Happenings, and other Jonesborough Special Events.
If theatre is your interest, you are in for a delightful evening at the Jonesborough Repertory Theatre. The JRT has a year-round schedule of quality productions that includes the annual USO Show, a 4th of July tribute to veterans. The JRT also has an outstanding educational program that culminates in youth performances held at the JRT and the McKinney Center. Young people and adults make up the JRT Players, a group of talented actors that perform in schools, assisted living facilities, the Veterans Administration Hospital and other similar venues. You can even have a special birthday party for your child by booking one of the princesses in the JRT's Storybook Birthday Program.
As the Storytelling Capital of the World, you can experience live storytelling performances with the Teller-in-Residence Program at the International Storytelling Center, featuring some of the best storytellers in the nation. You can also find storytelling at the Jonesborough Storytellers Guild, now in its 20th year, as well as the Jonesborough Yarn Exchange Radio Show. The National Storytelling Festival, considered one of the top festivals in the country, is held the first full weekend in October.
Jonesborough is a small town that understands the value of the arts in economic development, in community and relationship building and in academic achievement in young people, all the while enhancing the quality of life for all residents. The thriving arts community in Jonesborough, along with our dedication to architectural and cultural preservation and beautification of our natural environment, has made Jonesborough one of the most wonderful small towns in America.