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Message from Outgoing Board President, Parke Kennedy

Please join us in welcoming our new Board President and Board Members.

Parke Kennedy

For the past five years, I have been pleased and proud to serve as Tn4Arts’ Board President. It has been my honor and pleasure to work alongside the exceptional group of people from across the state of Tennessee who make up the rest of the Tn4Arts board. Folks, if you haven’t met them in person, you should. This all volunteer board is active, passionate, dedicated and fiercely loyal to Tn4Arts’ mission. They personify arts advocacy and work tirelessly on behalf of you, on behalf of artists and on behalf of nonprofit arts and culture organizations, large and small, in rural communities and in cities, all across the state. They strengthen the arts in Tennessee by ensuring you have the tools to be more effective arts advocates and by promoting the very important Specialty License Plate Program which funds a large portion of the grants provided by the Tennessee Arts Commission.

During the past five years and in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic, I have watched this small band work hard to increase Tn4Arts’ membership base and to advance the sale of specialty license plates. Tn4Arts re-branded with a vibrant logo and created an exciting and informative website. Our team significantly raised awareness of Tn4Arts and its work as well as membership in Tn4Arts, providing numerous advocacy tools and helpful information so our members can become more strategic arts advocates themselves. Our pandemic induced virtual Arts Advocacy Day conferences reached more people than ever before and we had strong participation from several very important legislators whose message in support of the arts and Specialty License Plate Program is loud and clear. Tn4Arts is very pleased that at this time the Tennessee Arts Commission is again expecting a record number of specialty license plate sales, and that we play an important part in making that happen.

I want to thank you for your membership in Tn4Arts and encourage you to welcome and support our new Tn4Arts Board President Bryce McDonald as he takes the helm and leads us in embracing the challenges and opportunities ahead. As Immediate Past President, I am certainly looking forward to working with him as he assumes this very important leadership role. Bryce has served on the Tn4Arts board for several years now and quickly impressed us all with his grasp of our mission, strong communication skills and thoughtful contributions to board meetings. As Producing Director and CEO of the Cumberland County Playhouse in Crossville, Tennessee he is taking on this role in spite of his very busy day job and we are most grateful for his willingness to serve. I am also very pleased to announce that we have several new board members who have agreed to join us in our important mission. They have all come to us via personal recommendations and are highly regarded in their communities. These board members have been strategically selected with consideration of a number of factors the Tn4Arts board has identified as important to our work - they are passionate about the arts, skilled professionals and willing to roll up their sleeves with us to continue our very important work. With their addition, Tn4Arts will be strengthened in its ability to advocate for the arts across the state, to support the Specialty License Plate program and to help advance the sale of specialty license plates.

Please welcome:

Marcus Cox - Memphis

Marcus is currently Assistant Director to Welcome to Memphis, which is a subsidiary of Memphis Tourism. He is Former Director of Community relations at Playhouse on the Square, as well as a professional actor. Marcus was named a Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce 2020 Young Memphis Honoree and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater Performance from the University of Memphis.

Cristy Dunn - Mountain City

Christy is the Executive Director of the Johnson County Center for the Arts and has held that role since 2017. She is a professional artist and a former schoolteacher. In 2020 she was named Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association Volunteer of the Year.

Lisa Allen Fletcher - Jackson

Lisa is retired, having served for many years as Director of Operations at Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Memphis. She is a former Managing Director at Hattiloo Theater in Memphis and former Senior Accounting Coordinator at Soulsville Foundation, Memphis.

Rachel Ford - Knoxville

Rachel is currently CEO of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and a member of the board of directors of the Knoxville Arts and Cultural Alliance, the Knoxville Rotary Club and the Joy of Music School. She is a member of the Executive Women’s Association and a graduate of Leadership Knoxville and the League of American Orchestras’ Management Fellowship Program. Rachel holds a piano performance degree from the University of Michigan.

James McKissic - Chattanooga

James is currently serving as President of Arts Build Chattanooga. He is former COO of the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga and former Senior Advisor to the mayor and director of the city of Chattanooga’s Office of Multicultural Affairs. He graduated with a BS in secondary education from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and holds a Master’s degree in nonprofit and public administration from the Robert F. Wagner School at New York University. James earned an executive certificate from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He has also Completed the Harvard Business School’s Young American Leaders Program, the National Arts and Cultural Strategies Executive Program at the University of Pennsylvania and the Business for Impact/New Strategies in Fundraising Program at the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business.

Pat Mitchell Worley - Memphis

Pat is the President and CEO of Soulsville Foundation and Executive Director of the Stax Music Academy in Memphis. She is also host of Beale Street Caravan, a globally syndicated music program. Pat holds a degree in journalism from Oral Roberts University and earned a Certificate of Fund Development from the Christian Brothers University Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence. She serves on the board of WYXR Crosstown Radio, the National Ornamental Metal Museum, the Memphis Slim House Collaboratory, Memphis Tourism and Beale Street Brass Note.

I sincerely hope you get a chance to meet each and everyone of your hardworking Tn4Arts board members and that you will continue to support us through your membership and by remaining strong advocates for the arts in Tennessee.


Parke Kennedy

TFTA Immediate Past President

GPAC Director of Development, Memphis TN

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