by Bailey Basham, Messenger Staff Writer
Arts Amplified is the latest project to come from the University Art Gallery. This week, the exhibit will be presented in conjunction with the theatre department’s performance of “Eurydice,” a play written by Sarah Ruhl focused on retelling the myth of Orpheus from the perspective of Eurydice, his wife. The story follows Eurydice as she chooses between returning to earth with Orpheus or remaining in the underworld with her father.
The performance, which will be directed by senior Nathaniel Klein, will run through April 2 in the Tennessee Williams Center.
“The Arts Amplified series was launched this academic year to activate campus with moments of surprise and fun, to offer students more opportunities to perform and to show their work and to encourage collaboration and conversation between different disciplines in the arts,” said Shelley MacLaren, director of the University Art Gallery. “Among other things, the series has brought us tap dancing in the arcade outside Guerry, Shakespeare in the University Art Gallery and screenings of short student films in dialogue with the Sewanee Symphony Orchestra concert before the holidays.”
MacLaren said this week, she and the others working on Arts Amplified are delighted to present a small exhibition of paintings by three senior art majors in the lobby of the Tennessee Williams Center, all offered in dialogue with “Eurydice.”
“Considering the possible themes of the play – divided loyalties, family relationships, loss, moments of decision – three of our senior art majors, Emilea Thrasher, Ellie Pedersen and Megan Vlahoplus – have offered individual paintings for a pop-up exhibition in the lobby of the Tennessee Williams Center, to be on view while the play is running,” MacLaren said.
MacLaren posed two questions to encourage reflection: How do the students’ works change how you think about the play? How does the play change how you see their works?
“Eurydice” will be performed at 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 1, in the Tennessee Williams Center and again at 2 p.m., Saturday, April 2. Tickets are free and available for reservation at </www.eventbrite.com/e/eurydice-tickets-302910652917>.
In partnership with South Cumberland Community Fund, the University of the South’s Office of Civic Engagement and Sewanee Dining announce sponsorship of the 2022 South Cumberland Summer Meal Program. This program is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). The SFSP program increases children’s access to nutritious meals throughout the summer. It is administered in Tennessee by the Department of Human Services under an agreement with the USDA.
The 2022 South Cumberland Summer Meal program will operate from June 6 to July 31, partnering with youth-serving organizations in Grundy County and the towns of Monteagle and Winchester to provide nutritious meals free of charge to children and youth through age 18. Summer meal sites may request meals for any period of time during the program’s operation, whether for just a few days or for the entire summer. Sites may request up to two meals per day per eligible child or youth. Meal options include breakfast, lunch, supper and snacks.
The South Cumberland Summer Meal Program is currently seeking organizations across the Plateau to act as summer meal sites. Summer meal sites distribute the free meals provided by Sewanee Dining, and offer learning and enrichment activities to area children and youth. Child-serving organizations hosting programs such as summer reading, summer school, vacation Bible school, summer camp, organized sports, art and enrichment opportunities are encouraged to participate as summer meal sites. Organizations that do not normally host programs for children may still enroll as summer meal sites by partnering with the South Cumberland Plateau VISTA Project to provide these activities.
If your organization is interested in becoming a South Cumberland Summer Meal site, please contact <firstname.lastname@example.org> prior to April 25.
The annual membership meeting of the Sewanee Civic Association is scheduled for Tuesday, April 26, in Kennerly Hall. Masking is optional. Social time with wine begins at 5:30 p.m. with dinner served at 6 p.m. A brief business meeting begins at 6:15 p.m. The business portion of the meeting will include the annual report, the association’s 2022-23 budget, an update on the Sewanee Community Chest, and the election of officers. The program will be the presentation of the 39th annual Community Service Award. The dinner and meeting are free and open to the public. Please RSVP by Friday, April 15, to email@example.com. Childcare will be provided.
The Sewanee Civic Association brings together community members for social and service opportunities. Any adult who resides in the area and shares the concerns of the community is invited to attend.
For more information go to www.sewaneecivic.org.
by Bailey Basham, Messenger Staff Writer
At one point in time, the local grocery store parking lot had nothing on the local arcade — kids could spend hours hanging out with friends and playing games like Ms. Pac-Man, Pong and Galaga, all on just a couple of dollars or less.
That nostalgia of simpler times and having a safe place to go have fun is something that was important to Andrea McEwan when she and her family moved from the Jersey Shore two years ago.
Coming from New Jersey, she was used to being able to take her family to walk the beach and boardwalk, to amusement parks, to trampoline parks, arcades — about anywhere her young sons might want to go. When the family got to Franklin County and discovered that there weren’t many options for family fun, she started thinking. That is when she said she first had the idea for High Score Arcade and Gaming Lounge.
“When we moved our family here, we realized that anytime we wanted to take our kids out, we had to drive about an hour away. There was not really a place for them to hang out locally. We saw a need for a safe, fun place for them, and we thought about different options, but we don’t have any investors — it is just us,” McEwan said. “Once we made the decision to open the arcade, it took about three months of planning and about a month of getting the location ready.”
The arcade opened in early February, and since then, McEwan said the gamers have come in droves. Some come to check out the PlayStation 5, which is still tough to find despite having been released in November 2020, and others flock to the retro classics, like Qbert, Mortal Kombat, NBA Jam and Centipede.
“We have the PS5 and the Xbox1 for people to play Fortnite, Apex, Call of Duty Warzone and most of the newest year’s sports games. We also have two virtual reality rooms where you can try out boxing, shooter games, football and fishing,” she said. “The idea was to have games for people of all ages. That’s why we incorporated retro games with the newest consoles and game titles. We want the parents to be able to play and show their family what they used to play when they were younger, while the kids can show the parents the new style of consoles.”
Play at the arcade is $8 for one hour or $15 to play for the entire day. All the games are set to free play. Gamers can also purchase popcorn, chips, hotdogs and sodas to fuel their play. McEwan said she hopes to add other concessions down the line.
“We are so excited to have our business here in Franklin County and are looking forward to what the future holds for our family and the community,” she said.
High Score Arcade is located at 110 1st Ave., Winchester. To keep up with the arcade, follow their Facebook page at <https://www.facebook.com/HighS...;.
by Bailey Basham, Messenger Staff Writer
At the start of the pandemic, when most of us anticipated little more than a couple of weeks of mask-wearing and working from home, the world slowed down, and a lot of people turned to forgotten or long-abandoned hobbies.
For some, there was a certain appeal to bread-baking. For others, the great outdoors called. And for others still, the arts begged for attention.
Kylie Vincent, a New York City-based comedienne, found herself writing of her experience with childhood abuse, sexual violence, and survivorship. When she sent the finished project to Barbara Pitts McAdams, director and producer best known for her work on The Laramie Project, Pitts McAdams said she had no intention of moving forward with the project – that is, until she read it.
“When she sent me the first draft of “BIRD,” I thought, ‘Okay I’ll read it and say a few encouraging things to be supportive,’ but as I read it, I was so moved by the moments with strong imagery, especially as they were juxtaposed by what I call Kylie’s ‘Gen Z dark humor,’” Pitts McAdams said. “I think women are carving out an interesting performance style to tell their personal stories that then expand beyond the individual narrative.”
Written during the pandemic and workshopped in 2021, a first version of “BIRD” ran at the Kraine Theater in New York City in November. Reworked, “BIRD” has now toured venues around the country including a sold out performance in Los Angeles at the Lyric Hyperion. As a part of the current tour, Vincent will bring “BIRD” to the Mountain.
“I think women’s stories, especially in comedy, are not often amplified, and especially childhood sexual abuse – it’s often never talked about in a public setting, but it happens so frequently. I think we need to hear from young artists that are in tune with all the darkness happening in the world about how we cope through a dark sense of humor,” Vincent said. “My hope is that people can laugh and see the beauty in sharing such a hard topic onstage, for the issue to become less taboo and for long-form comedy that also has an artistic and dramatic element to reach a bigger audience. I hope that audiences feel empowered and find a little piece of ‘BIRD’ in them.”
Jim Crawford, associate professor of theatre at the University, said with April being Sexual Assault Awareness month, Vincent’s performance is particularly relevant.
“I’m really proud that we’re bringing “BIRD” to the Tennessee Williams Center. I have enormous admiration for Barbara Pitts McAdams, who was one of the creators of “The Laramie Project,” a landmark play that deals with hate crimes and the LGBTQ+ community, and she now works with college students across the country to create theatre pieces that address a variety of topical subjects,” Crawford said. “The writer and performer of the show, Kylie, is just 21-years-old and describes herself as a ‘stand-up activist’. Her show begins as a comedy routine, but evolves, and takes on serious topics in a challenging way.”
The current leg of Vincent’s tour will culminate in May with a 3-night, fully produced performance with the New Jersey Theater Alliance at Mile Square Theater in Hoboken, N.J. This performance will be done in preparation for a month-long run in Edinburgh, Scotland at the Fringe Festival.
“I make and direct a lot of interview-based plays, and I love theater that exposes social ills through personal narratives. You can quote statistics all day, but people aren’t moved to action by spreadsheets. Hearing Kylie’s authentic, personal journey makes the topics in the play so human. There is a saying: ‘Sunlight is the best disinfectant.’ By bringing the issue of child sexual assault out in the daylight, we destigmatize the trauma…,” said Pitt McAdams.
And in the process, both Pitt McAdams and Vincent both hope to help make space for other survivors to heal through sharing their stories.
“I have built a community of survivors around this show and people who resonate with it and that’s one of the most important parts about it. It’s been emotionally draining as well, it’s the first time in my life I’ve been open about being a survivor, but sharing my art with others who have been through the same thing is what makes it all worth it,” Vincent said.
Vincent will perform two shows in Sewanee, one at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 5, and another at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 6. The show is free and open to the public. For more information about Vincent’s work, visit <https://www.kylierosevincent.c...;.
The University Choir will be singing choral evensong at 4 p.m., Sunday April 3, in All Saints’ Chapel. The choir will be singing music by Kenneth Leighton, Bernard Rose and Philip Stopford. The choir is under the direction of Geoffrey Ward, university organist and choirmaster, and accompanied by Adam Cobb, assistant university organist. There will be a preservice performance of music for harp and violin featuring Molly Morgan, C’22 and Cooper Paddison, C’22. The choir is currently preparing to go on tour to England in May. Cathedrals for the tour itinerary include Chester, Liverpool, Saint Paul’s in London and Hereford.
by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
At the March 28 meeting, the Sewanee Community Council welcomed a new District 4 representative and announced meeting dates for 2022-2023. The council also heard updates on project funding grants and the cell tower.
Acting Provost Scott Wilson introduced Marilyn Phelps, the new District 4 representative. The council held a special election in February to fill the seat vacated by Mary Priestley who moved out of the district. Phelps vied against not just one, but two other candidates, unusual for a council election. Phelps has a professional background in clinical social work, served on the board of directors of Folks at Home and as a cochair for the Sewanee Community Chest.
In the 2022-2023 academic year, the council will meet Sept. 12, Oct. 24, Jan. 23, Feb. 27, March 27, April 24, May 22, and June 26. The dates in February, April and June are reserved dates for a possible meeting in the event the council has business to be addressed before the next meeting.
Committee chair Kate Reed reported the Community Funding initiative was still receiving applications for the spring cycle. The grant program has more than $15,000 available to fund improvements and amenities that enhance the community and improve the quality of life in Sewanee. Visit the Community Council page on the University Lease Office website for the application form at <https://new.sewanee.edu/office...;.
Updating the community on the cell tower, Wilson said the provider “was waiting for the final piece of equipment to arrive. As soon as it’s put up, they’re ready to go.” Asked who the provider would be, acting Vice-Chancellor Nancy Berner said the tower owners contracted first with Verizon. Other providers can also contract to put equipment on the tower.
The council meets next on May 23.
Nature lovers of all ages will find something to enjoy at the 18th annual Trails & Trilliums festival, April 8-10. This weekend-long naturalist rally, put on by the Friends of South Cumberland State Park and sponsored by Lodge Cast Iron, is held at the DuBose Conference Center in Monteagle. Schedules, details and registration are found at <www.TrailsAndTrilliums.org>.
Adults can sign up for more than 100 offerings spread over three days: guided hikes by expert leaders to learn about wildflowers, geology and archeology; a nighttime Star Party; author talks (including David Haskell on his latest book and Patrick Dean on his forthcoming book on Marck Catesby for whom the Catesby trillium is named); workshops from Nature Journaling to Trail Building; and 25 presenters on topics such as Monarch Butterflies, Planting for Pollinators, Shade Gardening, and Hummingbirds. Saturday’s keynote address by State Naturalist Randy Hedgepath is “Favorite Places in South Cumberland.”
Young naturalists are invited on Saturday and Sunday to build forts, make their own fairy house, cook over a campfire, start a nature journal, hold snakes, turtles and other critters, bike to the State Park, and throw hatchets. Programs on stage in the pavilion include Hands-on Wildlife, “Owl-ology” with a rescued owl, and Davy Crockett telling pioneer stories. A “Nature Night” Family Campfire on Saturday will include a night hike, roasting marshmallows and a moth adventure. All Family Fun events are free but some require pre-registration to secure a spot.
All festival-goers will enjoy an expanded number of vendors and four food trucks. Overhill Nursery will return with an excellent selection of native plants. Other offerings include worm castings from the Boy Scouts, hiking sticks, birdhouses, leather works, candles, soaps, rock jewelry and garden sculpture. Vendors are open Saturday and Sunday.
by Bailey Basham, Messenger Staff Writer
Making its Sewanee debut is “Eurydice,” a play written by Sarah Ruhl focused on retelling the myth of Orpheus from the perspective of Eurydice, his wife. The story follows Eurydice as she decides to choose between returning to earth with Orpheus or remaining in the underworld with her father.
The performance, which will be directed by senior Nathaniel Klein, will run from March 31 to April 2 in the Tennessee Williams Center.
“My take on ‘Eurydice’ is that the play is not a modern retelling, as I have often heard it described, but rather it is the true, occult history of Eurydice, Orpheus, and Eurydice’s father, this last figure being one whose story and identity has been totally lost to history. Ruhl’s script is brimming with magic in every page, and I wanted to push that and see what that magic could accomplish for us that nothing else can,” Klein said.
Klein said he has long been drawn to Ruhl’s work and her unique use of language.
“About two years ago, I became particularly attached to her ‘Passion Play,’ which works with history, religion and identity in really beautiful ways. I [eventually] arrived at ‘Eurydice’ as a piece which was very different from other plays I’ve directed but still had several strands that I could personally and artistically connect to,” Klein said.
For the last seven years, Klein has been directing in some capacity, and he said directing has always seemed like the most straightforward method of giving life to his ideas.
“With ‘Eurydice,’ visually, we played off the fantasticism that I think is inherent in Art Nouveau and Art Deco and how those visual forms can evoke the past, which I connected to visions of underwater worlds and different interpretations of Atlantis. Water is a motif that runs strongly through the entire piece, and looking at the underworld as in being in some way under the land of the living opened numerous possibilities for what our world would look like physically,” Klein said.
Jim Crawford, associate professor of theatre at the University, added that the Sewanee community is perfectly suited to host the performance.
“There’s such reverence for classics here, and at the same time, an eagerness to see these ancient stories told from a fresh perspective,” Crawford said. “I’m thrilled we’re producing ‘Eurydice’ – Sarah Ruhl is a truly great writer, probably my very favorite living American playwright. Every play she writes is unlike all of the others, they seem to spring forth from her extraordinary imagination. Her dialogue is sharp and poetic, sometimes enigmatic. Her plays are full of words and images that stay in the mind of an audience for a long time. I’m equally delighted to see what Nathaniel brings to ‘Eurydice.’”
The performances will be at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 31 and Friday, April 1, and at 2 p.m., Saturday, April 2. Tickets may be reserved at <https://www.eventbrite.com/e/e...;.
by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
Following lengthy discussion at a March 22 special called meeting, the Monteagle Planning Commission approved a site plan for a barn to be used in conjunction with agro-tourism on an approximately 175-acre farmland tract. Impacted property owners complained about lack of communication.
At the March 1 meeting, the council initially approved the site plan titled “Barn on a Farm,” then rescinded approval when neighboring Country Mart property owner Tim Trahan raised objections.
“We’re not opposed to what they’re doing,” Trahan insisted at the special called meeting. “The unknowns are what the issue is.” The town planner refused to return Trahan’s phone calls and to provide him with a copy of the site plan. However, when Trahan contacted Mayor Marilyn Campbell Rodman, she honored the site plan request.
“I don’t like the way the way it was done,” said farm owner Matt Sparacio. Sparacio first approached the planning commission about the project in November 2021. He said he never heard from town planner Garret Haynes or building inspector Earl Geary about how to proceed. At the January planning commission meeting, he sought a building permit and was told he needed a site plan. Again, he was informed he would be contacted with advice on how to proceed, but never was. And when approval was rescinded, it was two weeks before he received official notification.
“We want to do it right…that’s the reason for going a bit slower,” said Rodman. “I’ve heard three nights in a row there is an issue with our planning process,” she acknowledged. “I didn’t know Garret wasn’t talking with you.” [See “Monteagle: Critical Fire Department, Water Plant Needs”].
Planning Commission Chair Iva Michelle Russell observed in February the town planners presented a workshop on agricultural uses in municipalities. “I don’t think they [the planners] knew how to deal with it [the Sparacio project],” Russell said.
At the special called meeting, Sparacio provided a more detailed site plan for the commission’s review. “If I’d known this is what you wanted five months ago, I would have given it to you.”
Upon questioning by the commission, Sparacio verified the ag-tourism project would be restricted to the fenced 7.5 acres shown on the plan and not expanded. The farm uses rotational grazing, moving animals to a new site every three days, so animal waste did not present a concern.
Russell said no fencing requirements applied to the project. In response to a question about noise, Monteagle Alderman Nate Wilson said the town ordinance governing noise referenced decibels, not distance from other property owners.
Trahan pointed out the current ordinance allowing agricultural uses on commercial property prohibited “agricultural business.”
Commissioner Ed Provost concurred. Provost made the motion to approve the site plan but stressed the inconsistency in the ordinance needed addressed. “It will have to be presented in April,” Rodman said.
“Agriculture is a business,” commented commissioner Peter Beasley following the meeting.
The ordinance allowing agricultural uses specifically prohibits “agricultural industry or business, such as fruit or vegetable packing plants, animal hospitals, or similar uses.”
by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer
At the March 21 Monteagle Town Council meeting, the council took up critical fire department expenses and water plant grant applications. The council also received an update on the baseball program and considered an objection to the site-plan approval process.
At the request of Fire Chief Travis Lawyer, the council approved spending $1,500 for the required annual certification of the department’s Cascade System for refilling firefighters’ air tanks; $3,000 for software to track fire department business; and $4,300 for 1,000 feet of 2-inch hose to bring the truck up to ISO standards. The expenses fall within the department’s budget allotment. Lawyer said he had tabled the request for turnout gear for himself, due to delivery delays stretching into December.
“We can’t send a man out without gear,” Mayor Marilyn Campbell Rodman responded, noting Lawyer’s gear was “worn out.” Lawyer will pursue acquiring “get by” gear, possibly used. The council approved up to $2,500 for the purchase. which may require a budget amendment.
City engineer Travis Wilson said he had applied for both a State Revolving Fund (SRF) grant and a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for rehabilitating the town’s water tanks, estimated cost $1.5 million. The SRF grant was more flexible, Wilson said, allowing the funds to be used to purchase a new tank or for water line upgrades. From a financial perspective, however, the CDBG would better serve the town, offering more principal forgiveness. But Wilson stressed the CBGD grant was highly competitive. Alderman Nate Wilson said the town needed to budget for big projects to avoid potentially “catastrophic” consequences.
“When should we work on paying for [the water tank rehabilitation] ourselves?” Alderman Wilson asked. “It will only get more costly.”
“Sooner rather than later,” engineer Wilson replied. He proposed considering a low interest SRF loan with a 20-year payback as a solution, with the town possibly qualifying for some principal forgiveness, as well.
Updating the town on the baseball/softball program, coordinator Dominic Gialdini said 34 players signed up and three teams had formed. When finalized, the schedule will be published on the website, with the first game set for April 4. Volunteers are needed to serve as umpires and work in the concession stand. To help, contact Gialdini through Monteagle City Hall.
Dean Lay, who for the past three months had pursued “minor subdivision” of a tract of land, said the process “needs to be more user friendly.” Town planner Garrett Haynes repeatedly raised issues with the site plan and the related attorney fees had cost the town over $800. “It doesn’t need to be this complicated,” Lay said.
Concurring, Alderman Wilson said on a Mountain Goat Trail site plan, Haynes had asked for things not required by ordinance. “Maybe a solution is to define exactly what goes in a site plan,” Alderman Wilson suggested.
Lay provided the council with a copy of the site plan “checklist” used by Franklin County. Rodman proposed the town consider a checklist as a possible solution to Monteagle site plan issues.
In other business, the council approved the name Monteagle Square for the street officially authorized in February. The name Monteagle Square appeared in 2008 documents when the street used to access the Sonic was first proposed. The street was never officially approved.
Rodman asked the council to consider participating in a state sponsored program to appoint a county-wide parks director. The county and participating towns would share the cost of funding the director position. Rodman also brought to the council’s attention a proposed contract to relocate the electric-vehicle charging stations at city hall to other city-owned sites. The town would receive a share of the proceeds from use of the stations.
The Monteagle Easter Egg Hunt will be at 10 a.m., Saturday, April 9, at Hannah Pickett Park. A special surprise is planned for the event.
In response to a suggestion at a town hall meeting, the council meeting agenda will be published on the website. The next town hall meeting is scheduled from 5–7 p.m., Tuesday, April 19.
The community is invited for an evening of organ music at 7 p.m., Friday, March 25, as Adam Cobb performs on the Casavant-Freres organ in All Saints’ Chapel. The eclectic program will feature Joseph Jongen’s Sonata Eroïca Op. 94, with additional works by Dmitri Shostakovich, Calvin Hampton, Cecilia McDowall, Florence Price, and César Franck.
Cobb serves as the Assistant University Organist at The University of the South, assuming the position in January of 2022. In 2021, he completed his Doctorate in Organ Performance at Florida State University, where he studied with Dr. Iain Quinn. He holds a master’s degree in Organ Performance from FSU and a bachelor’s degree in Composition from Samford University. His teachers have included Dr. Michael Corzine, Dr. James Dorroh, Dannie Walther and Dame Gillian Weir. Adam is an active recitalist, having performed in venues across the U.S. and abroad, including St. Philip’s Cathedral in Atlanta, St. George, Hanover Square and the Cathedral of St. Bavo in Haarlem, The Netherlands.
Ralph Alan Cohen, assisted by two actors from the American Shakespeare Center (ASC), will address the topic of “Performing Shakespeare” at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 23, in Gailor Auditorium, on the University of the South campus.
Cohen, a Founding Director of the American Shakespeare Center, is the Gonder Professor of Shakespeare at Mary Baldwin University, where he established the graduate program in Shakespeare and Performance. He served as project director for the building of the Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Va., (the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre) and has directed 30 productions of plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries. He has directed four summer institutes on Shakespeare and staging sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is the author of “ShakesFear and How to Cure It: The Complete Handbook for Teaching Shakespeare.”
Cohen has received numerous awards and fellowships, including the (Virginia) Governor’s Arts Award with ASC Co-founder Jim Warren (2008), the Theo Crosby Fellowship at Shakespeare’s Globe in London (2009), the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Shakespeare Steward Award (2013), and the Globe’s Sam Wanamaker award (2014); he was the first American to receive this last honor. He earned his undergraduate degree at Dartmouth College and his doctorate at Duke University, where he received the outstanding alumni award in 2016. In 2022, the Shakespeare Theatre Association recognized him with its Douglas N. Cook Lifetime Achievement Award.
This presentation is sponsored by Sewanee’s Department of English and the Shakespeare Studies Minor, as well as Sewanee’s participation in a Leadership Consortium relationship with the ASC. Free and open to the public, the event promises to invite at least a few actors “in the rough” onto the stage.
This June, St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School’s radio station, WMTN-LP 103.1 will get a new sound. Under the leadership of SAS music teacher J.R. Ankney, the station is being re-energized with plans for original programming including curated music shows, news stories, call-in shows, and sports broadcasting. The relaunch is planned to coincide with the school’s Alumni Weekend, June 3-5, 2022, when alumni will be welcomed into the studio to record reminiscences of their time on the Mountain.
In preparation for the relaunch, the station’s broadcasting booth is being moved from the basement of Owen Student Union to the second floor of McCrory Hall for the Performing Arts. The move will provide opportunities for more tie-ins to the school’s recording studio and music programs. In the coming year, the school will also be offering several curricular opportunities linked to the station, including Radio Broadcasting and Production to introduce students to the skills and tools needed including news writing, interviewing skills, podcast production, and more. Students will also learn to operate radio equipment, mixers, boards, and microphones. The courses will be team taught by Ankney and SAS theatre teacher Chelsea Padro.
In addition to broadcasting to a 10-mile radius, FM 103.1, WMTN-LP, “The Mountain” is accessible via streaming. The station’s current programming provides solid gold hits programming in a non-commercial, public radio format. In preparation for the relaunch, Ankney put out a call for donations that resulted in more than 500 CDs being provided to the station.
“Our radio station is an enormously huge asset here on the mountain,” says Ankney. “And, with internet streaming, we can reach parents, alumni, prospective families, and friends all over the globe.”
WMTN-LP is the gift of Bud Walters, a 1959 graduate of the Sewanee Military Academy and a former SAS Trustee. Bud and his suppliers donate most of the station’s equipment and technical assistance. The station had its first broadcast on April 24, 2004. By helping to provide this opportunity to St. Andrew’s-Sewanee students, it is Bud’s hope to spark student interest in the broadcast field.
For more information, contact Station Manager J.R. Ankney at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Streaming can be accessed at <https://www.sasweb.org/about/n...;.
“An 80 percent-20 percent grant is about the best you can get,” said SUD Manager Ben Beavers at the March 15 Sewanee Utility District Board of Commissioners meeting, commenting on the opportunity to pursue American Rescue Plan (ARP) matching-grant funds for water projects. SUD would pay only 20 percent of the cost. Beavers outlined five potential projects, with a total price tag of more than $500,000, with SUD’s cost just slightly over $100,000. Beavers expressed confidence SUD’s finances would enable SUD “to make the match.”
In a letter explaining the program, Franklin County Mayor David Alexander said, “Franklin County has $3,738,000 available from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) for Water Projects. Match-wise, Franklin County is in the 60/40 category—60 percent State/40 percent County…The County is looking for partners to split that 40 percent match with, our requirement being that the Utility providers part would be 20 percent.”
Beavers proposed the following projects. One, reimbursement to SUD for a $25,000 upgrade to the SCADA system at the water plant to heighten cyber security. Beavers noted ARP funding allowed reimbursement for recent projects. Two, $150,000 to upgrade the 12-year-old membrane filtration module at the water plant. Beavers said the membrane filters were two years past recommended replacement date, although the “performance” was still good. Three, $130,000 to replace the 35-year-old bar screen at the main sewer pumping station. Not only was the screen “worn out,” Beavers said, but the mesh size allowed passage of disposable wipes and face masks, which clogged and damaged pumps and caused a health hazard for employees tasked with repair. Four, $200,000 for the location and replacement of lead service lines. In the next six years, the EPA would require SUD to identify all lead service lines, Beavers said. He projected replacing the entire 28,500 feet of service lines suspected to have lead connections would cost $2.5 million. “The whole town would be dug up,” Beavers said. Five, $25,000 to upgrade the water plant high-service pump electrical controls in order to synchronize the pump speed with the output of the filters. The energy savings would more than pay for the upgrade in the long run, Beavers said.
“I think we can get [the Franklin County Commission] to approve this,” said SUD Commissioner Johnny Hughes, who also serves as a County Commissioner. Huntland had already been allocated more than $1 million, Hughes noted.
Beavers suggested considering increasing the amount for identifying and replacing lead service lines to include purchase of a hydro excavator to allow for less destructive and more accurate excavation of soil to locate lines. SUD President Charlie Smith suggested increasing the amount for the bar screen to include installation.
Beavers will revise his cost estimates and plans to present the proposal at the April Franklin County Finance Committee meeting.