Category: Arts

Music & Worship, Writing, Events that apply, anything creative


Creative Arts Council to present in Festival of Christmas Joy

KNOXVILLE- This year the Creative Arts Council is putting a new spin on the annual Festival of Christmas Joy on December 3rd.

The council has partnered with the School of Communication and Creative Arts to perform theatrical scenes between the normal musical performances.

Tammie Weatherly, sponsor to the Creative Arts Council, spoke about the production and the role the Council will play in it.

“The show itself this year has four short scenes as part of the show where the music is interspersed into these 7-8 minute long scenes,” Weatherly said.”The music department is involved as well as the arts department, particularly the drama part of the arts.”

Weatherly shared that the play was written by the Skit Guys. However, for the sake of time the show will only include four out of six scenes of the play.

The setting of the play is a group of people auditioning for a live nativity at their church. Each person auditioning talks with the director, yet the audience is unable to see the director.

Weatherly did not reveal the outcome but commented that the play is, “very effective [and] very powerful.”

Weatherly and Nicole Brunsman, student director and member of the Creative Arts Council, auditioned twelve students for the four parts and together they decided on who received the roles for the show.

“[Brunsman] will have most of the responsibility for the rehearsals as we go through this process.” Weatherly said.”This is for the most part the first time we have ever done something like this.”

Apart from the Christmas Show this year, the Creative Arts Council has many other artistic outlets for students to be a part of. These include Accent, a student-run literary magazine, the lip sync contest taking place during the Orange and Black Affair, and visual art displayed in Coffee House.

One way for students to get involved with theater this semester is through the drama chapel group led by Weatherly and Meghan Nelson.

Weatherly explained that the chapel encourages students who may not have any prior experience by,  “working on skills and discussing acting rather than just rehearsing and learning as you go.”

Students interested in being a part of the spring production, “Fools” by Neil Simon, are welcome to auditions on December 6-7. The spring production will run from April 6-9.

Students are encouraged to listen for chapel announcements as the dates approach for specific times and locations or email Brunsman at

Students who are interested in writing for the literary magazine can email Brooke Boling at or Regan McSherry at

Students who are interested in submitting artwork for coffee shop can email Emma Downer at

Students interested in joining the theater chapel group can email Meghan Nelson and


Student music, art, and poetry displayed at semester’s first Coffee House

KNOXVILLE – On Monday from 7-9:30 p.m. students performed for their peers during the semester’s first Coffee House.

Coffee was offered to the first seventy-five students for $1 and free cookies were offered to all attendees.

Student artwork, gathered and displayed by the Creative Arts Council was set up in the Underground.

A voting booth offered students the opportunity to choose their favorite piece of artwork. Some of the artwork displayed will be a part of a permanent exhibit in the Underground.

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Students interested in participating in the next coffee house should follow SGA on twitter and listen for the next chapel announcement for audition dates and times.


Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival Tea a great success

KNOXVILLE – Johnson University hosted a Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival Tea Party this past Sunday where guests enjoyed food, music, and fellowship.

Duan Hua, Director of International Relations, reflected on the event.
“The tea party was successful. We had nearly 80 people at the party,” Hua said. “Through this event, we not only achieved the goal of bringing friends from the local communities to Johnson campus to share fellowship and express our thanks to their support to us, but also enhancing the intercultural awareness and communication on campus as well as in the local communities.”

At the event, Hua gave a speech welcoming guests and sharing about the festival’s meaning as one of giving thanks for harvest blessings and friends.

Many attended in traditional Chinese dress, and cultural exchange and fellowship between Asian and Western friends made the evening unique.

To make the evening special, a young lady played piano and sang for guests, while Li Aiye, a skilled tea-maker, demonstrated traditional Chinese tea-making.

Elder guests were served food first, in respect for Chinese tradition.

Guests were served traditional Chinese food and tea. Highlights included mooncakes,  made with eggs and lotus paste, dumplings, fried rice, a selection of teas including rose and chrysanthemum tea, and fresh fruits.

According to Hua, guests included administrators, faculty and staff, and students of Johnson University. Teachers, staff, and students from King’s Academy and Seymour Primary School also attended, along with friends from local communities such as Seymour Heights Church, Maryville Christian University,  Laurel Church of Christ, Woodlawn Christian Church, Knoxville Chinese Christian Church, and Seymour High School.

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Peterson leads Creative Writing Symposium


KNOXVILLE – On Saturday from 9 am to 12 pm JUTN hosted a Creative Writing Symposium featuring author and singer-songwriter Andrew Peterson.

Peterson opened the Symposium by sharing two of his own pieces, “The Integrated Imagination,” based on his own testimony, and “The Consolation of Doubt,” which illustrates his life growing up as a pastor’s son in Lake Butler, Florida.

He explained why he chooses to participate in events like the Symposium.

“It fires me up to talk about what’s under the hood of stories and art. Ever since I was a kid, I haven’t been really content with just listening to music. I always wanted to like climb inside the song and figure out ‘how does this thing work?'” Peterson said.

As one of four children growing up in an environment where anything outside the church, including most secular artistic content, was looked on with suspicion, Peterson shared his, “fear that adventure only existed on the page.”

Peterson illustrated how certain points in his life were altered by literature, especially his re-reading of The Chronicles of Narnia as a young newlywed finishing his degree at Milligan College.

Towards the end of the Symposium the floor was opened up for questions where Peterson addressed the need for balance between scholarship, theology, and creativity.

Other questions ranged from how we learn to write our own story through paying attention to memories to discussing his award-winning Wingfeather Saga.

“Having a chance to sit with a room full of people and talk about what God might be doing through difference kinds of art and how He works is always fun. Where a concert is a one way conversation, in a situation like this I can hear what other people are thinking and respond to them so it’s a little more complete.”

Peterson also spoke of his role in founding The Rabbit Room.

“Rabbit Room is a website community that started almost ten years ago and was named after the room in the back of the pub that C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien met at. There’s a beautiful symbiotic relationship between art and community that we’re always trying to explore at Rabbit Room”he said.


Peterson shares “The Consolation of Doubt”

One example of this community is the annual Hutchmoot conference that takes place in Nashville, TN.

This year the conference will be held from October 6-9.

The conference acts as “a weekend of live music, delicious food and conversation, and a series of discussions centered on art, faith, and the telling of great stories across a range of mediums.”

Learn more about Hutchmoot and register for the event here.

Read “The Consolation of Doubt” here.

To learn more information about getting involved with The Rabbit Room and any upcoming events visit their website.


Philosophy within the Jedi Order: a Star Wars chapel group

KNOXVILLE – In a chapel group not so far away, Dr. Jerome Prinston leads Johnson students in an unusual chapel group that centers its discussion on Star Wars and Philosophy.

This past week Dr. Prinston discussed Stoicism by comparing the Greek Stoic philosopher and slave, Epictetus, and Star Wars’ protagonist turned antagonist, Anakin Skywalker.

Dr. Prinston made the point that Epectetus and Anakin both started out their lives as slaves to a master. They served as they were suppose to and then someone came and freed them from slavery.

However, it seems clear that Skywalker would have benefited from learning the ideas of Stoicism, that self-control, discipline, and avoidance of destructive emotions leads to a healthy reasoning and lifestyle, and, in Skywalker’s case, proper usage of “the Force.”

In short, Dr. Prinston uses the group to illustrate that we can really learn a lot from Star Wars, like not building an obvious weak point to destroy a massive space station. Or perhaps that patience and focus are key in everyone’s life. Choosing the right words to use in a situation greatly determines the outcome and we should always be careful of what we say and do because we may not know a person’s past.

It does not matter if you are part of the New Republic or First Order, any student interested in Star Wars and philosophy is encouraged to join this chapel group on Wednesdays at 9 a.m. in PW 227.


JUTN offers Taiji class

KNOXVILLE – Monday, Sep. 5, the first Taiji class took place on JUTN campus.

Ms. Li Aiye, a Chinese language teacher at Seymour Primary School, and Ms. Duan Hua,  co-teach the class.

Taiji, also Tai Chi, is an ancient Chinese martial art that promotes health-giving and spiritual benefits. Taiji can improve your strength, flexibility, body awareness, and mental concentration. image-9-6-16-at-4-53-pm

Hua and Aiye began the class in hopes of enriching the campus life and fostering healthy lifestyles.

They meet every Monday and Wednesday, 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the Philip-Welshimers building 253. The class runs from Sep. 5 – Dec. 18.

The Taiji class is free, but has a limit of 10 participants. There are 2-3 spots still available.

For more information, you can email Duan Hua at



JUTN hosting Creative Writing Symposium

KNOXVILLE – Saturday, September 17th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Johnson University is hosting a Creative Writing Symposium featuring award winning author and songwriter Andrew Peterson.

The symposium will address a wide range of topics including creative writing, imagination, poetry, story-telling, art, and more.

Peterson, founder of The Rabbit Room, a Christian creative community encouraging artists in Nashville, Tennessee, is currently working with Netflix to develop his Wingfeather Saga as an animated series.


AP final

Andrew Peterson’s recently released album will be featured at the concert

In addition to leading the Symposium, Peterson is performing a concert at The Square Room in downtown Knoxville on September 16th at 8 p.m.

The concert will feature Peterson’s album The Burning Edge of Dawn (2015).

Bill Wolf, Dean of Chapel at Johnson University, spoke of his expectations for the event.

“I think the Symposium on Saturday will take the direction of the people who show up. The intersection of the arts and theology … are applicable no matter what your creative area is.”

Tickets for the Symposium, concert, and lunch on Saturday are being offered for $30 to Johnson students.

However, Wolf is offering a special sponsorship to students who show particular interest in the arts and promise in writing.

The sponsorship covers half the cost of the student’s ticket to the event.

“There’s just a certain type of people who connect with that approach to art and to theology,” Wolf said. “This is more introspective, you’ve got to dig in a little bit and invest a little bit and not everybody is willing to do that. But I think those that are can be fed in amazing ways.”

Wolf spoke of what he hoped students would glean from the experience.

“That they can write about real things. They can write about themselves, they can write about the dark places. They can write something that is not explicitly Christian but that can still be theologically significant because it is art that is true, and beautiful, and good,” he said. “I would love for students … to feel encouraged and supported and go ‘wow, this is possible.'”

Tickets for this event are limited, students interested in attending should contact Bill Wolf at

To learn more information about general admission tickets or to get directions visit the event Facebook page.


Honors Concert set for tonight

Johnson University’s Music and Worship Department will hold its annual Honors Concert in the Alumni Memorial Chapel tonight at 7 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public.

“The Music Department and SCCA invite the entire campus community to the Honors Concert to show support for these students and their good preparation for the evening,” Brent Weaver, associate professor of music, wrote.

The concert will feature the Johnson University Campus Choir, the Johnson University Tour Choir, and vocal soloists Chelsea Roller and Emily Jackson.

Roller and Jackson, vocal students of Robert Chambers, passed an audition and were invited to participate in the concert.

Weaver said that the audition to participate in the concert was new this year.

In addition to the soloists, other groups will perform.

“The Campus Choir, under the direction of Dr. Chambers and accompanied by Mr. Donald Trentham, will present four songs featuring one song with student soloist Jackie Eifert,” Weaver said in a written statement.

The Tour Choir will present five songs, including one in particular with eight vocal parts infused with some jazz harmonies.

Weaver directs the Tour Choir.