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Starry Night, Arrowmont’s annual spring fundraiser and art auction, raises record amount

arrowmont margit worsham; starry night originator
Margit Worsham; Starry Night originator and chair; image courtesy of Arrowmont

Margit and Earl Worsham set their table for a party of sixteen with custom-made ceramic serving dishes, hand-dyed napkins in copper napkin rings, and printed fabric centerpieces. An elegant picnic dinner of chilled soups, meats and cheeses, salads and steak was served to their family and friends. It was the culmination of Starry Night – Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts’ annual spring fundraiser on May 22nd. This year, the event raised a record $188,295.

The moving spirit behind Starry Night since its inception eleven years ago is Margit Worsham, originator of the event and its chair. Over the past ten years, Margit has raised nearly $2,000,000 to support Arrowmont’s educational programs.

arrowmont starry night art box items
Art box items; image courtesy of Arrowmont

“Starry Night is an extremely important event for Arrowmont,” Margit said. “We would really like to thank all of the sponsors for their huge support this year, and to all the people who bought tickets and have supported [the event] with artwork and in many other ways. My husband, Earl and I thank everyone who supports Arrowmont and helped it grow into a national arts and crafts center known throughout the US and abroad.”

Due to lingering concerns about the pandemic and large crowds, Arrowmont did not host Starry Night on campus. Instead, Chef’s Catering prepared meals that were delivered, ready to serve, to sponsors and participants throughout Sevier, Knox and Blount Counties on May 21, 2021. The picnic dinners were accompanied by an art box with items made by Arrowmont’s staff of professional artists. The Auction was held online to allow participation of the Arrowmont community nationwide. More than 80 unique items were donated by over 100 artists, breaking another record for this event.

Starry Night supports many of Arrowmont’s educational programs in the region including children’s programs, scholarships for teachers and veterans, and outreach to the arts and crafts community. Arrowmont wishes to thank Presenting Sponsors Margit and Earl Worsham, and all of the Starry Night Sponsors: Anakeesta, The Blalock Companies, The Boyd Foundation, The Champagne Family and Beer, Wine & Liquor Super Store, C. Randall De Ford Architecture, FirstBank, Food City, Elizabeth Gant, Susan and Tom Glenn, Ted Green and Morrey Atkinson, Dr. Steven and Carolyn Gottlieb, Janet and Tom Harper, Lane Hays, Hedstrom Design and Hickory Construction, Inc., Shirley and David Hogan, Trudy Hughes and Kay and Doug Overbey, IHOP of Pigeon Forge and Sevierville, Caroline and Clay Johnson, George W. Jones III, Maribel Koella and Chuck Jones, Isaac Ogle and VTR Connect, Ole Smoky Candy Kitchen, Brandy and Bruce Pearl, Sharon Pryse and The Trust Company, Robin Easter Design, Christy and Phillip Robinson, Barbara and Bud Sherrod, SmartBank, The Swag, Zan and Steve Thompson, Monica and Marc Wagenbach, and Pat and Geoffrey Wolpert and The Peddler Steakhouse/The Park Grill.

Founded as a settlement school in 1912 by the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women, Arrowmont has grown into a national center for contemporary arts and crafts education, supporting learning opportunities for individuals of all skills levels and ages.

Arrowmont is located on 13-acres in the heart of Gatlinburg, TN only minutes away from Great Smoky Mountains National Park. With access to tourist attractions, the convenience of a large city nearby, and a thriving arts and crafts community, Arrowmont offers a unique and immersive learning environment—an unexpected creative oasis amidst the bustle of a popular tourist destination. The heritage of the School is rooted in an approach to the arts that builds upon traditional arts and crafts, and the joy of making. People travel from across the nation and the globe to take classes at Arrowmont.

More than 150 national workshops are offered annually, in addition to a full complement of community classes, children’s classes and ArtReach classes, which provide a day of art to over 1,200 local school children annually. In addition, Arrowmont is host to numerous gallery exhibitions, symposia and conferences.

Published May 30, 2021

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