Kevin Bate Paints

Kevin Bate is Chattanooga’s humble, quirky, and paint-covered yes man.

Bate moved to Chattanooga in 2005 in search of an older home, full of character and potential. This led him to the Highland Park neighborhood on McCallie Avenue, which at the time, was ripe with crime and boarded up storefronts. The neighborhood lacked life, color, and was deemed the “bad part of town.” As depressing as the neighborhood seemed, Bate questioned how such a place made its residents feel. He saw this as an opportunity to breathe life back into a part of Chattanooga that had been forgotten and overlooked. Bate picked up his paintbrush and quite literally began to recolor his town. His initial goal was to give his neighborhood a sense of pride and to draw more public attention to an area that he quickly grew to love.

Bate started painting large murals on old, dilapidated buildings that lined the streets of McCallie Avenue. He was an instant success. Chattanooga natives, who previously sped through the neighborhood, were stopping and taking pictures in front of his murals. An area that was once avoided was now a destination. The City of Chattanooga and various business owners wanted more from Bate. He started doing commission murals, including “The Fallen Five,” that are now iconic Chattanooga staples.

Bate has an original artistic style that is easily recognizable all over the city. He uses implied lines and abstract shapes that force the viewer’s brain to see a face; they make people stop in the midst of their busy days and just look. Beautification was Bate’s goal. Now, after being an established Chattanoogan, Bate has poured his heart and talent back into the art community. He states, “I’d like to be the person to put more local artists to work.” Bate knows how it feels to be an aspiring artist, living off mac n’ cheese and criticism. Therefore, he wants to

inspire local artists to pursue their talents by collaborating with him on large projects to continue to paint this city.

“I don’t think people realize how powerful [public art] can be,” Bate states. However, as Chattanooga is on the brink of prosperity after being nationally named the “Best Town Ever,” that statement is quickly being rethought. His eclectic, artsy, and community-driven personality embodies Chattanooga’s new identity. The city’s newfound sense of pride and art-town label can easily be accredited to the talent and heart of Kevin Bate.

ArtsBuild

Chattanooga is becoming a city known for having a rich art culture. It is a growing city that includes its own Tivoli Theater, the Hunter Art Museum and a symphony and opera hall.

One of Chattanooga’s biggest contributors to the community art scene is the non-profit organization ArtsBuild. For the past 50 years, ArtsBuild has been striving to build a strong connection and bond throughout the city through public art. The organization continuously supports and promotes the local art and artist in the Chattanooga area.

In 2012, ArtsBuild established a grant called the Community Cultural Connections grant programmed designed to bring arts and cultural programming to underserved areas of Hamilton County. More than 70 projects have been funded through this grant and awarded to organizations such as the Orange Grove Center, H*Art Gallery, and Salvation Army.

ArtsBuild continues to promote and build Chattanooga’s art scene by providing free professional arts experiences to more than 11,400 Hamilton County students in K-4 each year. Programs include Chattanooga Theatre Centre’s Youth, the Creative Discovery Museum, and Chattanooga Symphony and Opera’s Young People’s Concert.

To learn more about Chattanooga’s ArtsBuild organization visit their website artsbuild.com or email at artsbuild@artsbuild.com.

Meet the Storytellers

Allie Schrenker

Allie Schrenker is a committed athlete majoring in Communication and Creative Writing at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with plans to graduate in May 2019. She is an international rugby player and an editor for UTC’s literary journal. She is currently pursuing a career in photojournalism and can be reached at kcb325@mocs.utc.edu.

 

Samantha Sargent

Samantha Sargent is a senior at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Originally from Memphis, TN, she came to Chattanooga to study Communication and Sociology. Sargent wishes to use this degree to pursue a career in digital media. Contact her at xcq518@mocs.utc.edu.

Princess Petrus

Princess Petrus is a junior at UT Chattanooga studying Communication and Spanish. She enjoys photojournalism and uses her skill to convey social problems through visual images. Petrus has a passion for learning other people’s stories and aims to connect with those around her. Contact her at rkt446@mocs.utc.

 

Katie Raabe

Katie Raabe is a Communication major and International Studies minor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga planning to graduate in May 2019. With a focus in Creative Writing, Katie is passionate about people and telling their stories in expressive and visual forms. Contact her at hfr546@mocs.utc.edu.

9/11 Remembrance Walk

Where We Were

— Written by Riley Gentry

On September 11, 2001 at 8:46 a.m. the United States of America experienced one of the worst terrorist attacks of the modern age. 

A passenger airplane crashed into Tower One of the World Trade Center and sent the country into a state of shock and chaos. When a second plane crashed into Tower Two, everyone knew this was no accident. 

It’s been eighteen years since the greatest tragedy America has seen in modern history but, for a lot of people, it feels like that day happened only yesterday. 

Each year, people all over the country remember the events that unfolded that morning and how it impacted their lives personally. 

At the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, a “Remembrance Walk” is hosted by the ROTC program on campus. The event allows anyone that wants to participate to pick up an American flag and walk around Chamberlain field, as a remembrance of those who lost their lives and loved ones due to this horrific disaster. 

Starting at 6:30 a.m. the flag is constantly carried by a member of ROTC or attending participants until 7 p.m.

Joselyn Quintanilla, a participating member of ROTC, said she 3-years-old when 9/11 happened. She remembers sitting on a couch with her parents as they “sat and waited” for what would happen next.  

Quintanilla says that she feels very proud to be a part of ROTC and the event they facilitate for 9/11. She says that being a part of ROTC allows her to see a lot of diversity on campus and within the community but that it’s amazing to see an event like today bring together different people. 

She said, “I think a lot of people are scared to come out and participate because they aren’t old enough to remember the event, or they feel like 9/11 was not a relevant part of their life, but today’s event helps remind those people that they can still be included in the honoring and remembering of what happened that day.”

Linda Hinkle, a coordinator for Veteran Services and retired Army medic said she was in the grocery store with her 2 young sons and saw the first plane crash on the TV. “There was no sound, and it was oddly quiet,” said Hinkle.

Connor Dufrane, a junior political science major, in the battalion S5 for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga ROTC program, said “This event is a lot more personal… anyone can walk around and pick up a flag. It makes it so anyone can be a part of it and remember those who lost their lives that day.”

Dufrane said that to him 9/11 means the ultimate sacrifice those men and women paid to keep us free and that it’s something we, as a country, are still fighting to this day. 

Sargent Ryan Springer, a cadet in the ROTC program who is still on active duty for the military said the “Remembrance Walk” is important because “instead of just seeing something you are actively talking part and sacrificing time like those men and women sacrificed their lives. You are actually going through something physical to relate to what they did.”

The event brought together students, faculty, staff and anyone who wanted to join in the honoring of those men and women who gave their lives and time to save as many people as possible. The effects of 9/11 still haunt the nation but will be remembered as a monumental part of U.S.A.’s history for many more years to come. 

Major Kevin Beavers

— Written by Jillian Stewart

Today marks the remembrance of an event that would change the national security of the world. September 11, 2001 was a day that gripped citizens across the United States with the reality of unspeakable evil. That day in history would unite Americans in an overwhelming sense of sadness, panic, and disbelief. The true heroes we remember are those that risked their lives to help bring hope to those in great suffering.

Major Kevin Beavers, department head of military science at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, honors along with the ROTC students the lives of the fallen and all the branches of the military, police, and fireman that volunteered that day to help. Major Beavers remembered September 11, 2001 as a day he would never forget. In a small Soddy Daisy High School JROTC program, Major Beavers was told by his captain that the military he was about to enter would not be the same after September 11th.

After September 11, Major Beavers attended the United States Military Academy where he graduated from in 2008 as an air defense artillery officer. He then experienced several deployments one in Irad in 2010 where he was a platoon leader where he then was promoted as a captain, another in Jordan as well as Afghanistan. Major Beavers believes that it is important to remember September 11, 2001 with a remembrance walk every year for several reasons. The reason to remember this day is because it was a moment that affected our military history, to not repeat or enter into any wars unless necessary to do so, and to remember those fighting in active conflicts around the world today.

As his career now transitions as the head of military science as a Major, he looks as his career now with a moral responsibility. “ I’m thankful to come back to my hometown and have an impact on the next generation of soldiers. I want these officers to represent UTC well.”

 

Produced by Rising Rock

 

Meet the Storytellers

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Elian Richter

Elian Richter works as a photojournalist and action photographer. He has experience covering events such as USA Boxing qualifiers and Presidential arrivals on Air Force One. Elian has had works published on Rising Rock Media and the UTC Echo. In his free time, Elian enjoys rock climbing and being outdoors. Contact Elian Richter at wbn751@mocs.utc.edu.

Amanda Morgan Fann

Amanda Morgan Fann is a photographer, graphic designer and writer, pursuing a degree in both Communication and English at The University of Tennessee Chattanooga. She is the Assistant photo editor and a staff writer for the University Echo. Her passion lies in storytelling and her community as she constantly works at being the voice for people who may not feel they have one. Amanda has a love for performing and currently dances on UTC’s hip hop majorette team, The Ladies of G.O.L.D. If you have a story you wish to share or any questions, email her at srn924@mocs.utc.edu.

Riley Gentry

Riley Gentry is a Senior communication major minoring in women’s studies at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She has a passion for journalism and works as a staff writer and photographer for the University Echo. She enjoys experiencing new cities, photography, and going to music festivals. Her dream job is to be a writer for Rolling Stone magazine. Help me share more amazing stories at mjx124@mocs.utc.edu.

Marielle Echavez

Marielle Echavez is a senior studying Communication and Psychology. She is both a staff writer and photographer for the University Echo but is most passionate about videography. She plans to pursue video production post-graduation. Some of her work is displayed on @mariellejaimedia
on Instagram and can be
contacted at wcb788@mocs.utc.edu.

Jillian Stewart

Jillian Stewart is a Junior at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga studying
Communications with a minor in Religion. She is passionate about telling others stories using visual media. She enjoys a good cup of coffee on a rainy day and true crime podcasts. Contact her at bcv184@mocs.utc.edu.

Savannah Champion

Savannah Champion is a senior at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, majoring in Communication.  She is a writer, planner and is proficient in the Adobe Creative Suite. She loves performing Shakespeare and wants to help organizations form an intentional connection with their target audience. Contact her at lxj575@mocs.utc.edu.

Shearing Day

On the morning on March 19, 14 alpacas and one llama prepared for their yearly shearing at Bradley County’s certified organic farm, Red Clay Farms.

Owned and operated by the Shaffer family, Ron, Cynthia, and Seth, Red Clay Farms in Cleveland, TN provides homes for rescue animals, but also provides fiber for yarn and organic food for the community.

Starting with a son’s desire for horses, this farm houses three horses, four great pyrenees guard dogs, cashmere goats, jacob sheep, chickens, 14 alpacas, and two cats.

“We decided we wanted to expand to a fiber farm sometime before 2008 and that’s where we got llamas because they can be guard animals for jacob sheep,” said Cynthia Shaffer, mother of the family. “We went through the rescue because at that time alpacas and llamas were very expensive.”

The family quickly found out that the going rate for llamas and alpacas range from five thousand to ten thousand dollars. However, after discovering Southeast Llama Rescue Association, they were able to find rescue alpacas at a more reasonable price ranging from one hundred to two hundred dollars.

“One day a big trailer pulls up and all these really wild critters come out,” said Seth Shaffer, son of the family. “So that’s how we really started getting rolling with the alpacas.”

The family not only saves money by purchasing rescue alpacas and llamas, but also provides a safe place for the animals to live and be protected.

“We do not sell our alpacas or llamas, we keep them here” said Cynthia. “This is their forever home.”

The majority of the alpacas on Red Clay Farms are Fiber Males with Suri or Huacaya fiber. The fiber from Suri alpacas provide more of a drape texture fitted for knitting and crocheting while the Huacaya alpacas have fiber with more fluff for thicker material.

Without shearing of their fiber, alpacas and llamas will overheat above eighty degrees and die. In prevention of overheating, every year around March, Jamie Jones Shearing comes prepared to rid the animals of their fiber.

Jones typically starts his shearing route at Red Clay Farms and works his way to Texas and further up north and the east coast for three months, travelling around fifteen hundred miles.

With an early and cold morning, Jones starts his season of shearing with the well equipped Shaffer family and the fifteen animals.

“I have been coming here for several years and Ron and Cynthia and Seth have done great since the beginning. They have a lot of experience and they already know what to do,” said Jones. “It’s a great stop. I’ve always enjoyed coming here, they work hard at it, and they make it easy for me.”

In preparation, the animals receive their dewormer shot, given every three months, as well as their CDNT shot, a tetanus vaccine given once a year, all administered by Cynthia.

Despite the distress and confusion of the alpacas and llamas coming out in spitting or loud screeches, the animals were shaved safely and quickly.

“Today was really smooth,” said Cynthia. “We sheared fifteen minutes per animal so we started out at about 6:30 this morning shearing and we were done by ten. So that was pretty good for fifteen animals.”

During the shearing, some people from the community gather to watch the event.

Collegedale local Sandra Twombly has been coming to watch the shearing for the past three years with her family.

“First time was curiosity to see how they do it and then the other two years I brought my grandson the second year, my daughter this year,” said Twombly. “It’s just interesting to watch them, watch them escape, some of them escape.”

At its core, the shearing of the animals is a necessity for the survival of the alpacas and llamas, but has turned into an exciting event for the community and the Shaffer family as well.

“It’s fun. It’s one of those experiences that it happens once a year and I enjoy more the physical aspect of it,” said Seth. “Getting to basically wrestle with the alpacas and having to grab them, put the halters on them, get them out into the shearing area and what not, it’s a very active morning so to speak.”

Each animal’s fiber is gathered and separated into two bags. Labeled by the animal’s name, bag one includes the longest and best fiber coming off of the body and neck while bag two holds the shorter, dirtier fiber used for smaller projects like wool dryer balls or added to the garden for organic matter.

With the fiber separated into sections, this helps the family clean the fiber and send the best to the mill to be spun into yarn and sold at local markets.

After all of the shearing, cleaning, and selling of fiber is completed, the family is able to continue their work on the farm tending to the animals and the community.

From creating organic produce like kale, lettuce, eggs, and more to creating yarn out of their animal’s fiber, Red Clay Farms provides rich resources for animals and people in east Tennessee.

Meet the Storytellers

Blake Davis 

Blake Davis is a Senior Communication Major at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He is passionate about creating and telling stories through a video camera. For over 6 years, he has been improving his craft in videography. He also loves playing Spikeball and is a collegiate National Champion. He can be reached at rlp233@mocs.utc.edu

 

Abigail Frazier

Abigail Frazier is a senior majoring in Communication and Sociology at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She is passionate about journalism and works as the news editor for The University Echo. Frazier can be contacted at twg146@mocs.utc.edu.

 

Bailey Frizzell

Bailey Frizzell is a student at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and plans to graduate in May 2019 with a degree in Communication and a minor in Spanish. She is passionate about telling stories through photography, and hopes to pursue a career in photojournalism after graduation. She can be contacted at kdv822@mocs.utc.edu.

 

Cassie Whittaker 

Cassie Whittaker is a graduating senior at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in Communication and a minor in Spanish. She plans on pursuing a social marketing career in the private sector and is experienced in writing and presenting marketing plans. Her interests include volunteering and hiking around the city of Chattanooga which drives her toward a career that helps other people. Contact me for opportunity in these fields at qss692@mocs.utc.edu.

Jay’s Story

Jay Shin, 20, is from Cleveland, Tennessee. Even with Cerebral Palsy, he lives a normal
life with an amazing support system. He was raised by his mom, Soonja Shin, and two sisters, Yoori Shin and Meeri Shin. He attends Cleveland State Community College where he studies Mechatronics. He also attends Korean Seventh-day Adventist Church in Collegedale where he has a great community around him. Cerebral Palsy affects Jay physically and some mentally, but he doesn’t let his disability define him.

 

Meet the Storytellers

Marielle Echavez

Marielle Echavez is a junior pursuing a degree in Communication and a minor in Psychology. She manages her own branch of custom apparel on campus. She has a passion for videography and being creative. She plans to pursue video production post-graduation. Contact her at wcb788@mocs.utc.edu.

Collecting Stories of Chattanooga

Story Corps preserves human history through the oral storytelling of its participants. With a travel trailer converted into a recording studio, Story Corps road trips to 10 cities around the country to record and broadcast the stories of local residents. This year, Story Corps has partnered with WUTC to showcase the untold histories of Chattanooga. Participants can tell anystory they want, and it can be told alone or with a partner.

Jacqueline Van Meter, Story Corps mobile tour manager, is the only staff member who travelswith the trailer full time. Van Meter facilitates the interview process with participants, and she also supervises the other staff members who come on and off the road to work with participants, she said.

“We’re kind of creating this democratized oral history collection,” Van Meter said. “We’re putting the documentation of the people’s history into the hands of the people themselves talking about it in the way that means the most to them.”

Participants can come up with their own questions to ask their partner or they can utilize the question cards provided by Story Corps. The recording sessions last for 40 uninterrupted minutes. Once the session ends, participants can choose to keep their recordings private or they can allow them to be aired on WUTC. The public recordings are archived at the Library of Congress.

“We think that listening is an act of love,” Van Meter said. “The experience of being asked
questions about your own life can be a really empowering experience especially for people who have walked through life feeling like their stories didn’t matter or they didn’t have a story to tell.”

Will Davis, outreach manager and producer at WUTC, prompted Story Corps to partner with the station knowing the impact it could have on the community. Story Corps was immediately interested in coming to Chattanooga when Davis contacted them, he said.

“I was really prepared to be like okay, these are the hundred reasons why you should come
here, but it never came to that,” Davis said.

Around 100 to 150 interviews will be recorded and shared with the station for broadcast, Davis said.

“That’s a ton of content,” Davis said. “Professionally recorded, professionally facilitated. That’s huge for the station, so it’s great PR, but it’s also a lot of content. That’s the reason I wanted to do it.”

The travel trailer is parked beside Miller Park on E MLK Blvd. The recording process will take place from March 19 to April 17. Those who wish to sign-up can do so through the Story Corps website. There is currently a waitlist, but participants can still secure a spot by signing up for it.

WUTC Brings StoryCorps to Chattanooga

As the outreach manager for WUTC, Will Davis, has worked the past eighteen months
since moving here to bring StoryCorps to Chattanooga. He was surprised to find out that they had never been to his new home and immediately knew he wanted to make it happen.

StoryCorps will do over 150 stories while in town which are available to WUTC to use
for future projects. Many of the stories the people of Chattanooga have told share common themes of the city changing and the celebration of it.

All of the slots to sit down and talk have been filled and there is a waiting list that Davis
encourages others to sign up for, but he says that he hasn’t decided if he will sit down himself. He has put months of work into this project and has numerous ideas of what he will use the stories for in the future. Even if he decides not to sit down in the airstream for a recorded talk his impression on Chattanooga through WUTC and StoryCorps coming together will last forever.

Meet the Storytellers

Elian Richter

Elian Richter works as a photojournalist and action photographer. He has experience covering events such as USA Boxing qualifiers and Presidential arrivals on Air Force One. Elian has had works published on Rising Rock Media and the UTC Echo. In his free time, Elian enjoys rock climbing and being outdoors. Contact Elian Richter at wbn751@mocs.utc.edu.

Justin Metcalf

Justin Metcalf is a junior at UTC who studies communication and psychology. Justin enjoys writing for the university newspaper, and their favorite pastime involves curling up with a warm tea and watching horror movies. They hope to continue their education in psychology and become a counselor for LGBTQ youth.

Max Hanson

Max Hanson is a videographer and video editor pursuing a degree in communication at UTC. He has experience in live broadcast, news media, and has extensive work in short films. His passions are in vintage camera equipment, science, and the more bizarre stories in the world.

McKenzie Scott

McKenzie Scott is a junior at UTC studying communication with a minor in women’s studies. She is a writer for rising rock and has experience with telling stories through photos. She is passionate about volunteering in her community and recently rescued a dog named Hank. Contact her at sjd955@mocs.utc.edu.

 

Skater Dad

Since his freshman year at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Trent Comeaux, a junior Exercise Science major from Red Bank, has been pouring into young boys’ lives at the Chattanooga Skate Park.

The Chattanooga skate community “has got a bad rep,” according to Comeaux. “It’s looked at as this vandalizing, rebellious, careless community of people who just don’t care about anything else but themselves, and it’s really the exact opposite.”

From his involvement with the university as a member of the BYX fraternity to time spent with a community of Young Life leaders, Comeaux’s days are always busy. However, he always takes time out of his day to skate with his “lil homies” or the younger kids that hang at the skatepark.

One fourteen year old boy in particular, Camden Parcell, has become an extremely close friend of Comeaux’s. “When I first met Camden, my only goal was to just love him,” he said.

From the skate competition that started the relationship to a daily outing to the nearby Wendy’s, their friendship grew into a much closer bond.

“I see Trent as almost like a father figure to me. He does so much for me and will probably always be there for me,” shared Camden.

Even though, according to Comeaux, the skate park in Chattanooga portrays a negative idea of what this community is like, the relationships between Comeaux and his “lil homies” shows the complete opposite. Instead, this community allows life giving and meaningful relationships to grow through something as simple as a skateboard.

 

Meet the Storytellers

Cassie Whittaker

Cassie Whittaker is a graduating senior at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in Communication and a minor in Spanish. She plans on pursuing a social marketing career in the private sector and is experienced in writing and presenting marketing plans. Her interests include volunteering and hiking around the city of Chattanooga which drives her toward a career that helps other people. Contact me for opportunity in these fields at qss692@mocs.utc.edu.

 

Abigail Frazier

Abigail Frazier is a senior majoring in Communication and Sociology at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She is passionate about journalism and works as the news editor for The University Echo. Frazier can be contacted at twg146@mocs.utc.edu.

 

Blake Davis

Blake Davis is a Senior Communication Major at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He is passionate about creating and telling stories through a video camera. For over 6 years, he has been improving his craft in videography. He also loves playing Spikeball and is a collegiate National Champion. He can be reached at rlp233@mocs.utc.edu.

 

Bailey Frizzell

Bailey Frizzell is a student at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and plans to graduate in May 2019 with a degree in Communication and a minor in Spanish. She is passionate about telling stories through photography, and hopes to pursue a career in photojournalism after graduation. She can be contacted at kdv822@mocs.utc.edu.

 

 

The Read House: Preserving Chattanooga History

The Read House Hotel has been a place for not only travelers to stay but for the Chattanooga community to come together since the 1920s. A $25 million-dollar renovation has taken place over the past year and will finally come to an end over the next few months. This remodel is restoring the building to its historic form. Gatsby inspired décor and the feel of the roaring 20s bounds the hotel from the gold leaf ceilings to the antique mirrors hung across the walls.

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Sunrise over the Read House Hotel on Monday, February 18, 2019. (Photo by Elian Richter)

The hotel has endured floods, war, epidemics, the great depression, and an ever-changing city surrounding it.

Hotel Historian Tyler Hogue shares the story of the hotel’s past and his passion to preserve the history of each and every room. It is home to Bridgeman’s Chophouse, a Starbucks, bar & billiards room, and over a dozen meeting rooms for private dining, parties and business meetings.

“The owner was reading some newspapers,” Hogue said, “and one of the newspapers for the hotel was from around the 1920s and 30s. There were pictures of people sitting on the terraces, dressed in hats, dressed to the nines like it was shot straight out of the Great Gatsby. He thought wow, the Great Gatsby, that’s a great theme for this hotel.”

The feel of elegance and class radiates throughout the building as jazz is played over the loudspeakers through the lobby.

The Read House is not only home to people passing through for a night’s rest, but it is open to the community as well. Hogue wants to stay true to the way the original owners Samuel and Thomas Read ran the hotel by welcoming Chattanooga natives to engage with each other and embrace the rich history found in the middle of their very own city. Thomas’s wife Cynthia would even take girls at risk of being in prostitution or orphaned in and find a home for them.

“We wanted to bring that community feel back,” Hogue said, “so people can come in here, come to our library, get a book and sit down with a cocktail or a drink from Starbucks and enjoy the hotel.”

They left a legacy of compassion and hospitality that The Read House stays true to today and shares with every person that enters its doors.

 

Read House Poster Final

Meet the Storytellers

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Justin Metcalf 

Justin Metcalf is a junior at UTC who studies communication and psychology. Justin enjoys writing for the university newspaper, and their favorite pastime involves curling up with a warm tea and watching horror movies. They hope to continue their education in psychology and become a counselor for LGBTQ youth.

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Elian Richter

Elian Richter works as a photojournalist and action photographer. He has experience covering events such as USA Boxing qualifiers and Presidential arrivals on Air Force One. Elian has had works published on Rising Rock Media and the UTC Echo. In his free time, Elian enjoys rock climbing and being outdoors. Contact Elian Richter at wbn751@mocs.utc.edu.

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McKenzie Scott

McKenzie Scott is a junior at UTC studying communication with a minor in women’s studies. She is a writer for rising rock and has experience with telling stories through photos.  She is passionate about volunteering in her community and recently rescued a dog named Hank. Contact her at sjd955@mocs.utc.edu.

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Max Hanson

Max Hanson is a videographer and video editor pursuing a degree in communication at UTC. He has experience in live broadcast, news media, and has extensive work in short films. His passions are in vintage camera equipment, science, and the more bizarre stories in the world.