21st Chair-ries Jubilee

Coming of Age: Transformations

Posted 4/7/19

Chair-ries Jubilee is approaching, and the April 12 event this year is seeing a significant number of schools and people devoted to raising funds for the local arts.Sponsored by the Allied Arts …

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21st Chair-ries Jubilee

Coming of Age: Transformations


Chair-ries Jubilee is approaching, and the April 12 event this year is seeing a significant number of schools and people devoted to raising funds for the local arts.

Sponsored by the Allied Arts Council, Chair-ries Jubilee serves as a fundraiser for local Arts in Education programs, as the money can be transitioned into grants for school arts.

Chair-ries Jubilee is an artistic fundraiser where pieces — chairs, dressers, tables and more —  are transformed. The objects are entered into a live auction.

Other items, including  canvases and different types of artwork, will be featured as well such as fiber art and glasswork.

The event has raised $475,000 since its inception in 1999. This year, according to board chairman Nancy Casson, they are hoping to raise at least $25,000 to bring their total amount  to $500,000.

For its 21st anniversary, Chair-ries Jubilee’s theme is “Transformation,” which goes along  with the event’s theme of rejuvenating old items and making new ones.

“We keep joking with people that it’s our 21st anniversary, so now we’re legal,” Casson laughed.

The planning committee for Chair-ries consists of approximately 25 members, including Casson, as she says the event’s execution “takes a village.”

At least 12 different area schools are entering items for Chair-ries. Of these dozen, 10 elementary schools are each submitting one chair to be entered into the silent auction’s “Contest Chair” section, with the winner being the chair that raises the most money. The winner of this earns $200 for their art department, plus a pizza party.

The schools participating include Charleston, Blythe-Bower, Hopewell, E.L. Ross, North Lee, Mayfield, Tennessee Christian Preparatory School, Valley View, Black Fox and Taylor.

Cleveland Middle School and Walker Valley High School are submitting several pieces as well.  WVHS has participated in Chair-ries for 10 years.

This year’s chosen color, as identified as the Pantone’s Color of the Year, is “Living Coral.” Since Chair-ries takes place at the start of spring, living coral is a color that will offer a bright, spring-like vibe for submissions, but participants are not required to paint their items this color.

Originally, Chair-ries started off with only red chairs. After around five years of red, participants began asking for more creative freedom, and since Casson was familiar with Pantone colors, she began referring to their Color of the Year for Chair-ries.

After 21 years, the submissions for Chair-ries have expanded in creativity and uniqueness, with each artist’s personal tastes coming out in their work, and being displayed for sale.

When guests first arrive, they’ll get a bidder number. Casson asks all guests to write their numbers legibly on all items on which they bidding.

Many businesses and restaurants donate gift cards for the event, which culminates in a full basket with gift cards totaling approximately $500. Major attractions such as Dollywood also send tickets. These are separated into different baskets based on proximity, such as Chattanooga events in one basket, Gatlinburg in another, etc.

Foods will be provided by seven different restaurants, including Cafe Roma, Cleveland Country Club, Gardner’s Market, Aubrey’s, Impressions Catering, Mill Coffee and Taziki’s.

Cooke’s Food Store is providing sodas, water and paper products.

Tarver Distributing Company is donating the evening’s beer. Wine will also be provided by a local vendor.

Dick’s Graphics is making the tickets. Dockins Graphics Inc. is making the program and Neely Printing is making the invitations.

Casson praised Wes Robbins, who contributed two warehouse units to store the items this year. She explained the importance of the Allied Arts Council overall because of its impact on Cleveland.

“We partner with several other community organizations like the Cleveland Storytelling Guild to send visiting artists to the schools. We help implement art projects in schools that coordinate with their curriculums. We even fund stage productions in our schools,” Casson said.

This year, Allied Arts helped bring international storyteller Kim Weitkamp into schools for a week leading into an evening concert for the public.

“We support visual arts in our classrooms, music, dance, drama, storytelling — we do it all,” Casson added.

Anyone participating in Chair-ries Jubilee can start submitting their items on Wednesday and Thursday at the Museum Center at Five Points. The times are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Submissions will be taken no later than 5 p.m. on April 11.

Chair-ries Jubilee takes place on April 12 at the Museum Center. The event runs from 6 to 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce or the Red Ribbon in advance for $25 or at the door that night for $30. 

Casson encourages everyone in town, young and old, to come check out the sheer creativity and passion of the featured artists at Chair-ries Jubilee. It not only will be fun, she says, but also supports a great but often-underfunded resource in our community: the arts.

For more information, follow Chair-ries on its Facebook page or check out the Chamber’s website at www.clevelandchamber.com. You can also call Casson at 423-413-8103 or the Chamber of Commerce at 423-472-6587.


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