McKinney Center’s StoryTown Program Receives $14,700 from Tennessee Arts Commission

Town of Jonesborough News Release

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, June 30, 2021


Contact Information

Jules Corriere




McKinney Center’s StoryTown Program Receives $14,700 from Tennessee Arts Commission

The StoryTown Program, based out of the McKinney Center, received two grants from the Tennessee Arts Commission amounting to $14,700 in support of their story-based programming in 2022.

A “Creative Placemaking Grant” of $9,600 will support the 2022 annual StoryTown Community Play, based on true stories collected from people in Jonesborough, Washington County and the East Tennessee region. These original plays with music highlight the extraordinary lives of people in our own community, and bring together cast and audience alike, as they celebrate greatness, struggle through adversity and ultimately look for connections in this place called home.

Story collecting, interviews, and story circles for the new play, which will be written by the McKinney Center’s Jules Corriere, will begin immediately. Groups and individuals especially sought for stories this year are: alumni of Booker T. Washington School and Langston High School; alumni of Jonesboro High School and Jonesborough Elementary School; Veterans of Foreign Wars (all); Nurses; Farmers; and Trade Workers. Individuals or groups with stories are encouraged to call the McKinney Center at 423.753.0562 to set up an interview or story circle with the StoryTown Brigade. All interviews are recorded, transcribed, and archived for future generations.

The second of the two grants received is the Art Project Support Grant of $5,100 which will support the StoryTown Radio Show. The Radio Show marks its 10th season in July, with a Gala Celebration and a return to live audiences at the McKinney Center. The StoryTown Radio Show, formerly the Jonesborough Yarn Exchange, began as a spin-off of Jonesborough’s original Community Performance, I Am Home. That play formed a community of actors, storytellers, and neighbors of all ages. Once the play ended, this group decided to remain together, and to continue to bring to life the stories of the people in this region. One-hundred episodes later, the group has won five Pinnacle Awards from Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association, has been featured on NPR and in AAA Magazine and now has a podcast reaching listeners all over the world. The $5,100 grant will help support the live production, the broadcast, and the new podcast channel, which is available as the StoryTown podcast on Apple podcast, iHeart, Spotify, and most podcast platforms. It is also available on desktops at