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"Scenic Roots" offers conversations that matter in the heart of Chattanooga and the Tennessee Valley.From the mountains to the river, our conversations are rooted deep within every corner of our community - reflecting who we are, who we were and who we can become.We engage with the news that affects our community, behind and beyond the headlines. We build bridges that span from creators and innovators to storytellers and the outdoors. We focus on our challenges as many communities in one - as we celebrate what inspires us. We resonate with countless voices - in words and spaces, sounds and songs.We are "Scenic Roots."Ray Bassett hosts and produces "Scenic Roots" at WUTC.

“Waters Rising,” A Mini-Opera From Inside Prison Walls

Poster for “Waters Rising.”
Arts Capacity
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From inside prison walls, a story of transformation from darkness to light.

“Waters Rising: A Cardboard Opera” was produced in collaboration with prisoners at Walker State Faith and Character Based Prison in Northwest Georgia and the Hunter Museum of American Art here in Chattanooga.

Prisoners shared their words, musical ideas and feedback - all crafted by composer Tim Hinck and librettist Kendra Preston Leonard - to create “Waters Rising.”

On Tuesday evening, starting at 7:30 PM, Chattanooga Theatre Centre will host the first public performance for the mini-opera, presented by Arts Capacity after its private debut inside Walker State.

Professional musicians and vocalists from Tennessee, Georgia, Illinois, and Colorado will perform the piece.

Prisoners at Walker State also created opera set pieces and artwork, which will be offered at a silent auction during a reception at CTC starting at 7 PM before the performance at 7:30.

I spoke with composer Tim Hinck; Kris Bespalec, a local artist and manager of school and community programs at the Hunter Museum - and Holly Mulcahy, violinist and founder of Arts Capacity.

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  • The area boom in freestanding emergency departments. “Waters Rising,” a mini-opera from inside prison walls. A celebration on the way to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. These voices - and more - on this edition of “Scenic Roots.”
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