October 31, 2006 - For eight Knoxville
teenagers, Market Square used to be just the place where they hung
with their friends at Sundown in the City. Their parents remembered
concrete canopies and bargains at Watsons. Their grandparents remembered
fresh vegetables and a monstrous brick building. Then these kids attended
Media High, Knox County Public Library's documentary videomaking program,
and everything changed.
They created Market Square: Earth, Brick, & Fire, part
1 of a documentary history of Knoxville's most beloved community gathering
place. It premiered to great acclaim last June but the students dreamed
of screening the film on Market Square. Their dream comes true on
Friday, November 3, at 6:30 p.m. when Market Square: Earth,
Brick, & Fire will be shown outdoors on the site of the old
Market House. The short screening is free and open to the public.
Market Square: Earth, Brick, & Fire traces the history
of Market Square from a field to the seat of Knoxville government
to the hub of commercial life in East Tennessee for nearly a century.
Part I ends with the mysterious burning of the Market House in 1959.
Through the leadership of David Drews, the students learned to use the
latest computer software and state of the art cameras, courtesy of Community
Television of Knoxville. They poured over photographs, maps, and newspapers
at the McClung Historical Collection. They interviewed historians and Market
Square merchants. They probed the memories of members of Knoxville High
School's class of 1938. They were even able to obtain home movie footage of
the Market House from the 1940s. The documentary features animation and
original music composed and performed by the students.
One local newspaper said of the premiere, "When the lights came back
onů everyone in the standing room only crowd seemed to agree that
Market Square: Earth, Brick, & Fire was both a credible
and creditable piece of documentary filmmaking."
This project was made possible through a generous grant from the Jane
L. Pettway Foundation. More information on Media High or this event,
please contact Nelda Hill at 865-215-8729.