Arts Avenue seeks to provide Chattanooga artists with a versatile performance space

Scenic City Dance studio owner Stacey Perkinson has always wanted to be downtown and have a versatile space for all the arts, and after moving from Lee Highway to Rossville Avenue, she’s closer to that goal today. .

The new space has 14,000 square feet and, in addition to the dance studio, there is Arts Avenue, a 4,000 square foot performance venue operated by Bryan Shannon.

“I think my main goal is that space can be a lot of things in the future,” Perkinson said. “I would like to organize an event called ‘Artober’ for example, and create a month of arts, dance and music.”

The first concert at Arts Avenue is scheduled for July 3, when Paul Childers will perform a show in honor of the late guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan. Future shows will include Kevn Kinney on July 8, Roger Alan Wade on July 9, Mitch Rossell on July 16 and Chris Knight on July 17.

Shannon, who was the brand manager at the Songbirds Guitar Museum, said he was working with Mike Dougher, who booked shows at Songbirds, on booking acts for the venue.

“I wouldn’t do this without Mike,” Shannon said. “As well as making sure we have a great sound system, he was the No. 1 priority. I want it to be the best sound room of its size in town, and I want it to be a place where the people want to play.”

Dougher has 30 years of experience booking acts at former Sandbar and Rhythm & Brews venues before taking over those functions at Songbirds North and South, before they closed during the pandemic.

Photo gallery

Soft opening at Arts Avenue in Chattanooga

Shannon said opening the room with Childers was also on her priority list.

“Paul Childers was one of my favorite shows at Songbirds and it means a lot to me to see him again and perform in Chattanooga.

Shannon said the venue can accommodate 320 people and he said the majority of shows will be seated.

“I’d say probably nine out of 10 shows will be seated with the type of acts being a lot of Americana and folk, but we’ll always have the rocker types. That’s never going to go away and I don’t want that.

“It will also be a place for local artists and we want it to be a place that cultivates an audience for local talent, so artists can get their performance reps.”

The space has 20-foot ceilings and can be rented out for special events like weddings and corporate parties and gatherings.

Perkinson said it can also be used for dance performances. Dance classes will take place in the larger 10,000 square space next door.

“The two spaces are separate and in fact Arts Avenue has its own entrance on 17th Street instead of Rossville Avenue.”

She said location is very important to her and her vision.

“I always wanted to be downtown because of the energy and the art scene, and we always wanted to have a real event space.”

Contact Barry Courter at [email protected] or 423-757-6354.