March 2018 Around Town

Cirque du Soleil’s “CORTEO” to visit Thompson-Boling Arena

After thrilling more than 8 million people worldwide, “CORTEO” will embark on a new journey as the same enchanting production but now in arenas, giving more people the opportunity to enjoy a Cirque du Soleil show in their own town. The show will visit Knoxville for a limited run of six performances, from April 19-22, at the Thompson-Boling Arena.

This unique production directed by Daniele Finzi Pasca premiered in Montreal in April 2005 and has visited 64 cities in 19 countries.

“CORTEO,” which means “cortege” in Italian, is a joyous procession, a festive parade imagined by a clown. The show brings together the passion of the actor with the grace and power of the acrobat to plunge the audience into a theatrical world of fun, comedy and spontaneity situated in a mysterious space between heaven and earth.

The clown pictures his own funeral taking place in a carnival atmosphere, watched over by quietly caring angels. The show juxtaposes the large with the small, the ridiculous with the tragic and the magic of perfection with the charm of imperfection to highlight the strength and fragility of the clown, as well as his wisdom and kindness, to illustrate the portion of humanity that is within each of us. The music turns lyrical and playful carrying “CORTEO” through a timeless celebration in which illusion teases reality.

The cast includes 51 acrobats, musicians, singers and actors from all around the world.

Tickets start at $39 and are available at

Shults Pediatrics joins Summit Medical Group

Shults Pediatrics has joined Summit Medical Group, East Tennessee’s largest primary care organization, as it begins to provide pediatric care in addition to adult and family medicine.

Pediatrician Stephanie Shults, M.D., cares for children from birth to age 21 in all aspects of health, partnering with parents to promote physical and emotional well-being.

“As Summit Medical Group continues to grow, pediatricians such as Dr. Shults allow us to provide comprehensive, high-quality primary care from birth through adulthood,” Summit Medical Group CEO Ed Curtis said. “We expect that many families will appreciate the continuum of care available to them through our expansion of services, and we look forward to serving them.”

Shults earned both her undergraduate degree in 1987 and doctor of medicine in 1991 from the University of Tennessee. She is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics.

The daughter of Ralph and Johnie Stapleton, Shults now resides in Walland with her husband, Randy. They have lived in the Blount County community for 10 years. They have two adult daughters, Mary Thompson and Amber Costner. In her free time, Shults enjoys hiking and camping.

Shults Pediatrics is located at 9142 S. Northshore Drive in Knoxville. The office is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday. For an appointment, call 865.670.1560.

City of Knoxville launches rebranding of the former convention center at World’s Fair Park

Get ready to welcome the World’s Fair Exhibition Hall! That is the new name chosen for the city of Knoxville-owned venue formerly known as the Knoxville Convention and Exhibition Center. The exhibition hall, which faces the World’s Fair Park Festival Lawn, was originally built for the 1982 World’s Fair, where it housed the Technology and Lifestyle Center. After the fair, the KCEC served conventiongoers and hosted events until the new Knoxville Convention Center was built in 2002.

SMG, the country’s leading entertainment and venue management company, manages both the KCC and KCEC and has worked diligently with Visit Knoxville to grow convention and sports bookings. As bookings have increased at KCC, the need for more event space has become pressing. The KCEC has been used as overflow space but needs improvements. In this year’s city budget, Mayor Madeline Rogero and the city council approved $2.1 million for KCEC updates including the HV/AC unit, roof and remodeled bathrooms. The 66,396-square-foot building is comprised of three halls and will be a great asset for future event business.

Along with these necessary updates, the KCEC is being rebranded as World’s Fair Exhibition Hall. The new logo, designed by Visit Knoxville, features the iconic flame symbol of the 1982 World’s Fair as well as the colors of the international flags in blocks that are reminiscent of another memorable image of the fair: the Rubik’s Cube. Visit Knoxville, SMG and the city of Knoxville thank local businessman and World’s Fair aficionado Chris Ford for permission to incorporate the 1982 World’s Fair logo into the design.

World’s Fair Exhibition Hall will continue to be managed by SMG Knoxville who also manages three other city-owned facilities: the Knoxville Convention Center, Knoxville Civic Auditorium-Coliseum and Chilhowee Park & Exposition Center.

Belleza Salon and Spa Celebrates 25th Anniversary

February 1 marked the 25th anniversary for Belleza Salon and Spa, one of the largest A-class salon and spas in the Knoxville area.

Regina Zaouk founded Belleza Salon and Spa in 1993 with two stylists and the desire to create a team of salon and spa professionals that was dedicated to self-development, career growth and enrichment of the community. Her dream was of a salon that not only had the latest in cutting-edge, high-end services and treatments, but that also had an inviting, friendly atmosphere where anyone could relax.

Today, Belleza employees more than 70 salon and spa professionals, and has two locations in Knoxville area. The main location, Belleza Salon and Spa, is at 6209 Kingston Pike, in the Bearden area, and the newest location, Belleza Salon, Spa & Men, is located at 11467 Parkside Drive at Turkey Creek.

Belleza holds itself to the highest possible standards so that you can achieve your true beauty potential. Elite stylists and expert spa technicians are internationally educated and dedicated to providing you with exclusive, individualized service in a welcoming atmosphere. Take some time to relax in luxury while Belleza’s staff takes care of you.

Belleza kicked off its anniversary celebration the first weekend in February with special incentives including 25 percent off services and products, as well as a special spa gift card offer: buy a $100 spa gift card, get a $25 spa gift card free.

Student sculptors ‘dig in’ to recycling at Gerdau

Gerdau’s Knoxville steel mill in Lonsdale is always busy recycling. On January 27, that recycling took a different twist as eight University of Tennessee Sculpture Program students gathered there for a scrapyard dig.

Collectively, the student artists selected 3,540 pounds of scrap metal and found inspiration for new works of art to be created during the spring semester and revealed in April, which is National Recycling Month.

“Recycling discarded scrap and seeing it come out as brand-new steel is our business, so our employees see a value in scrap that most people don’t think about,” John Miller, Gerdau Knoxville vice president and general manager, said. “Similarly, these artists see a unique type of potential in our scrap piles, and I look forward to seeing what the artists’ inspirations from the same raw materials creates.”

The students’ works will be unveiled on Thursday, April 5, at the launch of the annual “Art of Recycling” sculpture exhibition. A partnership among Gerdau, the UT Sculpture Program and Dogwood Arts, the event is free and open to the public April 5-22 at the Knoxville Convention Center.

Gerdau environmental manager Chris Miles appreciated the opportunity to celebrate both Earth Day and National Recycling Month in such a fun and unique way.

“It’s very fulfilling to be part of this dig and to know that the history in the scrap piles—from old car parts to former building structures—will be recycled into art,” Miles said. “Gerdau’s collaboration with these artists takes recycling of our raw materials to a different level.”

Big Ears Festival Announces Film Programming Screenings, Special Events

For the third year, the Big Ears Festival continues to expand film programming and collaboration with The Public Cinema, a Knoxville-based group dedicated to sharing vital works of contemporary American and international film. Films will be screened at the Knoxville Museum of Art, the downtown Regal Riviera Stadium 8 Theater and the University of Tennessee Downtown Gallery, with several cinema-related live events presented during the festival weekend, March 23-25. All film events will be open to Big Ears pass-holders, and a film program only ticketing option is on sale now at

Big Ears will host artist Lewis Klahr and present a multiprogram selection of his films, including an installation at the UT Downtown Gallery; feature A Sense of Place: American Regional Cinema, 1960-1989, a survey of groundbreaking films by artists living and working outside the commercial film production centers of Los Angeles and New York; present three shorts programs curated by David Dinnell in celebration of 50 years since Canyon Cinema’s incorporation; present a survey of 3-D cinema—experimental and mainstream, short and feature-length, contemporary and historical—in Stereo Visions; and explore harmony between music and film with multiple live score performances set to take place over the festival weekend.

More information, including full lineup, ticketing and other details can be found at, by liking Big Ears Festival on Facebook or by following @BigEarsFestival on Twitter.

U.S. Cellular Announces Winners of Third Annual Black History Month Art Competition

U.S. Cellular announced the winners of its third annual Black History Month Art Competition with the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley at a celebration on March 5. The 10 finalists’ art was displayed in U.S. Cellular stores in February, where the Knoxville-area community voted for their favorites. Club members created original artwork in honor of influential African-Americans, including business people, sports figures, historical figures and celebrities.

“The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley artwork created for this contest is always impressive, and we were thrilled to celebrate with the winners,” Nathan Waddell, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in Tennessee, said. “It’s the perfect opportunity to acknowledge the talent of our youth by commemorating African-American icons that have influenced the course of history while celebrating the diversity our country.”

Audrey Marquez received $250 for first place for her portrait of Thurgood Marshall. Aysha Diarra received $150 for second place for her portrait of Mae Jemison. Victoria Smith received $100 for third place for her portrait of Maya Angelou.

A group of 11 students from the Vestal Boys & Girls Club also received a surprise prize for their collaborative work on a collage honoring civil right pioneer Claudette Colvin, each receiving a $40 gift card. The students were Cyrus Cruze, Olivia Cupp, Diego Gomez, Twilli Holiday, Brodie Kirkland, Honey Kirkland, Jazmyn Kirkland, Jamariasia Looney, Haiden Moore, Adrian Piggush and TJ Tipton.

U.S. Cellular is committed to supporting K-12 science, technology, engineering and mathematics education. The company supports Boys & Girls Clubs of America through a $1 million donation and volunteering efforts.