Pellissippi State hosts Michael Shirtz for musical performance

Michael Shirtz
Michael Shirtz

Pellissippi State Community College will host jazz singer, producer and composer Michael Shirtz for a special concert, “America, Our Way: An American Songbook Story” on Feb. 3.

The free concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Clayton Performing Arts Center, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

“America, Our Way” features highlights and tributes of the great composers and legendary performers in American entertainment — from Irving Berlin to Gershwin, from rock and roll to the singer and songwriter era. The show celebrates 100 years of musical stylings in 90 minutes.

The performance is part of The Arts at Pellissippi State, an annual arts series that includes music and theatre performances, lectures and fine arts exhibits. “America, Our Way” is co-sponsored by Pellissippi State Student Life, the Common Academic Experience and the Theatre program.

In addition to his performance for the community, Shirtz will conduct a workshop for students at Pellissippi State.

For more information about The Arts at Pellissippi State, visit or call 865-694-6400. To request accommodations for this concert, call 865-539-7401 or email

Pellissippi State hosts Bob Booker for African American Read-In Week

Pellissippi State Community College will celebrate African American literature during a read-in week Feb. 12-16 at each of its campuses.

Local historian Robert J. “Bob” Booker will discuss the history of the Civil Rights Movement in Knoxville during a special presentation at 6:30 p.m., Feb. 15, in the Magnolia Avenue Campus community room. The presentation is free to attend and open to the community.

Booker is a prominent Civil Rights activist who organized downtown Knoxville sit-ins as a student. He was the first African American elected to the Tennessee state legislature from Knoxville in the twentieth century and was instrumental in establishing the Beck Cultural Center. He is currently a Knoxville News Sentinel columnist and the author of the recently-published “An Encyclopedia: Experiences of Black People in Knoxville, Tennessee 1844-1974.”

At all five Pellissippi State campuses, students and employees will share their favorite texts by African American authors during read-ins — essentially a collection of marathon reading events:

  • Blount County Campus — 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Feb. 14, lobby
  • Division Street Campus — 9:40 a.m.-5 p.m., Feb. 15, lobby
  • Hardin Valley Campus — 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Feb. 16, Goins Building rotunda
  • Magnolia Avenue Campus — 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m., Feb. 12, lobby
  • Strawberry Plains Campus — 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Feb. 13, lobby

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit or call 865-694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability at one of these events, call 865-539-7401 or email

Artist Tatiana Potts’ work on display at Pellissippi State

Pellissippi State Community College kicks off its spring 2018 season of The Arts at Pellissippi State with an exhibit by artist Tatiana Potts.

Potts is an artist, instructor, printmaker, bookmaker and ceramist who pulls influence from her travels and her Slovakian heritage. The free exhibit is Jan. 16-Feb. 2 in the Bagwell Center for Media and Art Gallery, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Monday-Friday. A reception to meet Potts will be held from 3-5 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 16.

In the exhibit — Magic in Folds of Tajtania — Potts constructs, reinvents and combines environments, revealing shadows of memory, imagination and even architectural structures.

Magic in Folds of Tajtania is part of The Arts at Pellissippi State, an annual arts series that includes music and theatre performances, cultural celebrations, lectures and fine arts exhibits. For more information and a full schedule of upcoming exhibits and performances, visit

To request accommodations for a disability for this event, call 865-539-7401 or email

Over 20 years, Pellissippi State generates $3.6 billion economic impact

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Hardin Valley Campus

Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus


For many years, Pellissippi State Community College has measured its economic impact in East Tennessee. Since 1997, the college has contributed an estimated $3.6 billion in economic impact to Knox and Blount counties. Additionally, there have been approximately 122,245 jobs generated over the past 20 years as a result of the college’s presence.

In its most recent economic impact study, Pellissippi State reports a combined economic impact of $1.3 billion for the years from 2012 to 2017, as measured by the value of business volume, jobs and individual income in Knox and Blount counties that is tied to Pellissippi State.

“Since 1974, this college has had an integral place in East Tennessee that is measured not just by economic impact, but by social impact. We at Pellissippi State are devoted to changing the lives of everyone who steps through our doors,” said Pellissippi State President L. Anthony Wise Jr. “Our greatest impact will always be that made by our students and graduates as they pursue their dreams and give back to our community.”

According to the American Association of Community Colleges, associate degree graduates can expect to earn about $470,800 more over their work lifetime than if they only had a high school diploma. For Pellissippi State’s 1,455 graduates in academic year 2016-2017, this means an additional $685 million in lifetime earnings and $2.8 million in additional annual tax payments that benefit the economy.

The 2012-2017 economic impact report also studied the business volume and individual income impact of Pellissippi State on the local economy:

  • $617 million in business volume impact from 2012-2017, $481 million of which came from non-local revenues such as state appropriations, grants, contracts and federal student financial aid revenues
  • $649 million in personal income impact over the past five years, including $518 million from new or external funds

Pellissippi State expenditures created and sustained an estimated 42,479 jobs, 32,000 of which were created by external or new funds, from 2012-2017. The college itself employed 2,801 full-time employees during the five-year period.

Of the college’s $1.3 billion in total impact over the past five years, the majority — $999 million — can be attributed to the infusion of new, non-local revenues. Every single dollar of local revenue that comes into Pellissippi State generates an estimated annual return on investment of at least $6.20, comprising $3.02 in local business volume plus at least $3.18 in individual income.

“This total economic and social impact would likely not have occurred without the presence of Pellissippi State in the area,” said educational consultant Fred H. Martin, who conducted the study.

For more information about Pellissippi State, visit or call 865-694-6400.


The full 2012-2017 Economic Impact Report as a PDF

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