Around 200 guests were ushered into UT's Music Hall on Wednesday night for "An Evening of the Arts," an event co-sponsored by Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.
Both groups actively entertained audience members with an eclectic mix of talent delivered by fresh-faced local performers.
"I thought that 'Evening of the Arts,' in conjunction with Alpha Kappa Alpha, was very successful," APA president Karl Jenningssaid. "The benefits were two-fold. We were able to raise some funds and also to kick off Black History Month by showcasing some of UT and Knoxville's local talents. With the help of UT students, both goals were met."
Although a few scheduled acts didn't show, the night still proved to be spirit-filled. Listeners absorbed mighty singing, intense poetry reading and lively step performances.
"It was just as its title said, a true evening of the arts," AKA president Chrisla Tidwell said. "It was for the campus and the community, and we really feel good about how it gave back to the community."
AKA member Kristen Lewis began the evening by lifting her voice to sing the Black National Anthem, opera style. Among others who took the stage, Rhea Scruggs, a 2001 graduate from UT, performed two dramatic poems.
Two high school step teams from Bearden and West High School also performed, and one student from Austin-East High School sang opera.
The step teams delivered rousing five-minute performances that revved up audience members and infused the auditorium with energy.
"The step performers really got everyone in the audience involved," Tiffany Wright, vice president of AKA, said.
The program closed as Lewis took the stage again to offer up a stirring rendition of the Lord's Prayer in her opera style.
The proceeds collected from the $1 admission were donated to the United Negro College Fund.
Tidwell said that the program obtained two key objectives by not only donating money to the UNCF but also supporting the youth of the community and heartily celebrating their budding talents.