A few months ago I took Victor’s daughter and a friend to see a local theatre production of To Kill a Mockingbird. I’d read the book freshman year of high school because I was required to do so, but seeing it performed on a stage with actors in their teens was more impactful than reading the novel at the pool ever could be.
The performance left me in tears and covered in goosebumps. I’ve had similar experiences as a vocal soloist for choral groups — performing a death mass with an orchestra of 50 behind you is an overwhelming experience. There’s something unique that happens when we use our minds & hearts in performance, whether it’s making music, theatre, or art. Despite our culture’s accessibility to nearly everything, the arts tap into a place inside each of us that make us uniquely human.
I think this is why I enjoy sewing so much: I am connected to generations of women who took the time to make something with their bare hands and full hearts. The creative process is important and is one of the most healing activities in which to participate in an age riddled with prescriptions for depression and anxiety.
I’ve been working the past few months on a very special project, one that taps into my most personal values and aims to bring the love and appreciation of the arts back to my home town. The project would include a professional theatre space that would provide a stable, consistent home to multiple performing arts groups in Knoxville, in addition to housing a sewing studio for Modern Seamstress and a curated retail component of locally made goods.
This will not be an easy endeavor. It requires much support from friends and colleagues, but I firmly believe we are solving a problem that has too long been overlooked in our community:
Imagine a fine performing arts venue where you can see and hear the musicians without the clamor of a restaurant or bar – a venue that values the talent and time of the artists.
Picture an affordable coworking space quiet, yet comfortable, enough to make phone calls, meet with clients or have team meetings – a space that allows you to get out of your home and run your business.
Envision a facility that supports local artists and other makers such that they can grow their creative small business – a retail concept that sells only goods made in Knoxville and fully supports the creative maker movement.
Visualize a multimedia studio equipped to provide you and your small business with live streaming, webinars, podcasts, and promotional videos – a production company able to tell YOUR story and sell YOUR vision.
Imagine a movement that supports mindful consumption, the creative spirit, and uses a traditional art to empower women to love themselves and their bodies – a sewing business that teaches you how to sew your own clothes, or creates your clothing for you in an ethically conscious manner.
Welcome to Modern Studio.