TOP PHOTO: Manuel Mesa applauds Rusty Orick and Scott Kitts as they unveil the Campbell Culture Coalition (C3) student project art display at the Campbell County Justice Center.

JACKSBORO, TN (WLAF) – The Campbell Culture Coalition (C3) unveiled a student project art display at the Campbell County Justice Center Tuesday evening. The art display marks the 40th school outreach project completed by C3 over the last 12 years. 

The art display consists of a wooden display case containing three hand-built string instruments completed by students from Elk Valley and Wynn Elementary Schools. As part of the “Strung Together ” project, 34 students participated in the instrument building classes, building a total of 40 single string cigar box instruments during February and March. 

The Campbell County Culture Coalition unveiled a student art display at the Justice Center Tuesday evening. The display case contains three hand-built string instruments.

Local instrument builder Charlotte Underwood was the lead instructor on the project. This is the second year of the program, which was funded through a Tennessee Arts Commission grant.

“I just want to share the love of music and mountain ingenuity with the kids. This is our  Appalachian heritage. Instruments can be built from just about anything and music is all around,” Underwood said.

Three kids were chosen randomly to have their instrument displayed. A plaque with all participants names is also on display. Wynn Fourth grader Lilly Adkins, Elk Valley fourth grader Kylie Chadwell and Elk Valley fifth grader Lyric Mcnealy were each chosen to build a second instrument to have on display.

Several county officials attended the event, as did several kids who participated in the project, along with their parents and several school officials. Coalition board members were also present for the event.

Culture Coalition Executive Director Manuel Mesa spoke briefly about the project and others provided to area schools by C3.

Instrument instructors Joanna Underwood and Charlotte Underwood along with Sheriff Robbie Goins at the C3 student art project unveiling on Tuesday.

“These projects are a labor of love. We’re really proud of all the projects and the kids and hope to do 40 more projects or more,” Mesa said. 

County Mayor E.L. Morton thanked the Coalition for all they do in the schools and for “being here for our kids.”

“I am so proud of our students. They are very talented and creative and that’s the very best of Campbell County,” Morton said. 

County commissioners Rusty Orick and Scotty Kitts also commended the C3 and area students on courthouse art displays and school outreach projects. 

“The artworks are beautiful and we appreciate what you guys are doing and what the kids are doing and all the hard work that goes into it,” Orick said. 

Kitts said projects like this feed the self esteem and morale of students.

“We appreciate the Culture Coalition putting these programs in our schools. It boosts morale, builds momentum and gives the kids something creative and active to do,” Kitts said. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/15/2022-6AM)