Tom Welsh and Rachel Milford join the management team – Arts Knoxville
OWhen Big Ears recently released data on its economic effect on Knoxville, the announcement actually came as little to no surprise to many of us who follow the heartbeat of the arts scene. In many ways, alongside the resurgence of downtown Knoxville during this century, successful festivals were a major driving force in the growth of the professional world of music and the arts in the city. What came as a surprise was that the hard work of the festival stems from a relatively small group of arts-oriented individuals. And now, this group of individuals is growing over time.
Founder and CEO of Big Ears Ashley Caps announces that Tom Welsh, previously at the Cleveland Museum of Art, has been appointed to the position of managing director. In Cleveland, Welsh was responsible for programming and managing an extensive performing arts series that was eclectic in the extreme, featuring classical and new music, from Eastern and Western sources. Prior to his position at CMA, Welsh was based in San Francisco where he was a member of the artist management team at Elision Fields Artistic Management, a firm which represented the legendary Terry Riley. Also in San Francisco, Welsh served as manager of contemporary classical music label New Albion Records.
Big Ears also announces that Rachel Milford will join the organization as Director of Community Arts. A longtime Knoxville resident involved in visual arts and arts education, Milford has worked with organizations such as the Knoxville Art Museum, Knox County Schools, Alternate Roots, and the Highlander. Research and education center. Milford recently coordinated the remarkable and memorable Krewe of the Cattywampus Parade which featured New Orleans’ legendary Preservation Hall Jazz Band at this year’s BE Festival. The Knoxville arts scene will rejoice in Milford’s involvement in Big Ears’ year-round community engagement.
Welsh and Milford will now be part of the Big Ears management team which includes the chief operating officer Bryan Raven and director of development Casey Fox.
With the highly successful (and sold-out) 2022 Big Ears Festival in the history books, the organizing team is working on the 2023 edition, scheduled for March 30-April 2 at the Center’s music and arts venues. -town of Knoxville.