The Renaissance Center in Dickson will celebrate its 8th anniversary on Saturday, August 4, with an open house to kick off registration for Fall semester classes.

Instructors from the center's Art, Music, Dance and Theatre Arts departments will be on hand 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. to discuss and answer questions about classes and workshops being offered in the Fall session. Registration begins at 10 a.m. that day and continues through Aug. 17. Fall classes begin the week of Aug. 20.

"This is a great opportunity to check out all the classes we will be offering in the Fall, meet the instructors and decide which class you'd be interested in taking," said Bob Kucher, senior director of Fine Arts. "Full-time and adjunct teachers from all departments will be in the various classrooms to answer any questions."

Additionally, the center's Dance instructors will be in the studio to assess the skill levels of incoming students and determine placement in Fall classes.

"We've created a new class structure for our Dance classes this fall with classes divided into Elementary, Young Adult and Open divisions," said Pacer Harp, dance program coordinator. "Students enrolling in any of the Elementary and Young Adult division classes will have their skill levels evaluated by our instructors so they can be placed in the proper class."

For patrons who have not had the opportunity to experience all The Renaissance Center has to offer, there will be free, guided tours at the top of each hour 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Tours will include information on the center's history, mission and variety of experiences from classes to theatre to concerts to television production and much more.

The Music Department has scheduled free preview classes for its Kindermusik curriculum 10-11:30 a.m. Instructor Kelli Workman will be conducting demonstrations of the special classes for parents and children in all the age groups for which Kindermusik classes are offered for the Fall. The preview class for infants to 18 months will be at 10 a.m.; 18 months to three years old at 10:30 a.m.; and 3-5 years old at 11 a.m.

The Renaissance Center's Music faculty will present a free recital in the Performance Hall beginning at 2 p.m.

"From piano, drums and guitar to harp, voice and more, you can hear for yourself the talents of the instructors and find out more about the programs offered at the center," said Workman, assistant director of the Music Department. "We want to help parents and children decide what music classes they might be interested in taking."

The Renaissance Center's art galleries will be open throughout the day. Featured in the Visual Arts Gallery and Upper East Wing are paintings by Paul Harmon. The East and North Wing Galleries will feature paintings by Rufus Morgan. Pottery and sculptures by Rob McClurg will be shown in the North Wing Display Case. There will be a free special reception for the exhibits 5-6 p.m.

The day's schedule also include a special Senior Days program featuring storyteller Patsy Hatfield Lawson at 2 p.m. Tickets for patrons 55 and over are $8 and there is a limited number of seats available.

Lawson explores the daily school routine at Seals-Mathis Elementary, her four-room school complete with two outhouses, one cookhouse and two dirt ball courts. Patsy's simple, plainspoken style has been compared to Minnie Pearl minus the hat, Dolly Parton from the neck up, Aunt Bea without the good cooking, and Granny Clampett without the wealth. Call (615) 740-5601 to purchase tickets.

Visitors also can stop in to browse and shop inside The Virtually Unlimited Bookstore, featuring the latest best-sellers, art, photography and dance supplies, educational toys and games, greeting cards, unique gifts and Renaissance Center logo merchandise.

The CyberSphere Digital Theater will conduct its regular Saturday schedule of shows, including one-of-a-kind planetarium programs at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and spectacular laser music shows at 3 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Tickets for planetarium shows are $5 for adults and $3 for seniors and children under 13, while laser shows are $6 for all seats.

Also on Aug. 4, The Renaissance Center hosts Arts Fusion III, a statewide celebration of the arts.

For more information on The Renaissance Center's 8th Anniversary Open House, call (615) 740-5600 or visit www.rcenter.org.

Photo courtesy of Red Bull

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