Support Dogwood Arts

Springtime in Knoxville comes alive with Dogwood Arts!  Your involvement, enthusiasm, and financial support are important!  Together, we can produce a “blue jeans to black tie” event that will feature not only the artists and performers of our region, but will also showcase the world class performances of our excellent art institutions – no doubt having a positive economic impact on Knoxville and the surrounding communities.  Cities that support their cultural development do not just survive, they flourish!

Most of Dogwood Arts’ wide range of arts events, performances, and exhibitions are offered to the public free of charge.  Without the support of our visitors, volunteers, patrons, community, corporate and media partners, a festival of this magnitude would simply not be possible.

Support Our Mission - Donate Now

Dogwood Arts: A Smart Investment in Our Community

When New York author John Gunther visited Knoxville in 1947 and concluded, “Knoxville, Tennessee, is the ugliest city in America!” not surprisingly Knoxville’s community leaders—especially its civic-minded women—vigorously disagreed with his assessment and set out to do everything they could to prove him wrong.

From this small germ of a catalyst, Knoxville’s women led by Martha Ashe, Betsey Beeler Creekmore, and other community activists started by planning a beautification project to put their city’s best foot forward.  First they planned to establish driving trails through many of the area’s most picturesque neighborhoods to herald the arrival of the small, but beautiful, pinks and whites of the dogwood tree and all the rest of the springtime splendor that is Knoxville.

In the 1960’s and 1970’s, the Dogwood Arts Festival brought to Knoxville such international performers as Elvis Presley, Bob Hope, Jimmy Buffett, Whitney Houston, Liberace, and the Platters.  Academy-Award-winning actress Ingrid Bergman came to Knoxville for the premier of her film A Walk in the Spring Rain, which was shot in the nearby Great Mountains National Park.

Growing through the decades, the Festival puts the spotlight on the region’s performing arts, as well as visual arts, with signature events in Knoxville that showcase art in public places, as well as in art galleries, artists’ studios, and regional fine arts exhibits and fairs.

The Dogwood Arts Festival continues to propel this city to the heights envisioned by the singular women who brought their neighbors and friends together in a community-wide effort to make Knoxville a better place to not only live, but to thrive.

The Dogwood Arts Festival positively impacts our economy as it attracts cultural tourism to our area generating revenue throughout the city and the region.  Downtown restaurants and retailers report record sales during Dogwood Arts event weekends and have joined our volunteer force of over 600 to plan and implement a successful Festival.

Working together, we can provide our residents and visitors to Knoxville and the surrounding area the ultimate festival combining the natural and cultural beauty of our region attracting national audiences, creating an economic impact for our community through cultural tourism, building community and civic pride, and further enhancing the image of our great city.

We hope you will support our goal of becoming the best arts Festival in the Southeast!  To find out how you can help, email us at, call [865] 637.4561, or donate online below.

Gratefully yours,
Lisa Duncan
Executive Director


We can’t do it without you!  Please visit our Volunteer Knoxville sign-up page to upload your volunteer application for this year’s festivities.  Thank you in advance.

Endowment Fund:

Celebrating the past, building the future – that’s what Dogwood Arts is all about!  We hope you will help us in achieving our goal of making our Festival the best in the Southeast.  With the creation of an Endowment Fund with the East Tennessee Foundation, we’re hoping to ensure Dogwood Arts will be enjoyed by generations to come.

To discuss planned giving opportunities, including bequests, charitable lead trusts, life income gifts, and gifts of cash, stock, real estate, and life insurance, please call [865] 637.4561.



Dogwood Arts

Arts License Plate ad