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Keep our Lake Clean!

I was born and raised here in Knoxville  and returned over 4 years ago with my two  sons .  I grew up in Sequoyah Hills with Cherokee Boulevard as my playground and Fort Loudoun Lake (it was a river then) was where I learned to water ski and escape with my friends.  I remember pretending I was at the beach when the “Volunteer Navy” roared by in their gigantic boats splashing what seemed like 4 foot waves up on the muddy shore line.  At the time, that particular area of the lake had a foul smell  , but I guess I was used to it.  In the early 80’s , I completed scuba lessons and had to do my check out dive in that lake.  Thank goodness they required a wetsuit and I didn’t have any open wounds for that water to get into. Basically , that lake was used as an unmonitored dumping  ground for trash and sewer. There was a bumper sticker back then that had a cartoon character with it’s head in a toilet and the caption read ”I survived Fort Loudoun Lake” .  That was then.

This is now.  I was recently retained by a  young organization that cleans up our lake called the “Fort Loudoun Lake Association”  (FLLAKE.ORG).  They are a non-profit organization that serves  Knox, Blount, and Loudon counties, maintaining 52 river miles and 360 miles of shoreline.  These hard working folks remove trash and debris  from the lake and provide water quality testing and perform stream assessment on creeks and storm water monitoring. They are avid educators with out reach programs and community service opportunities for adults and youth.  In 2010, they removed 1,400 bags of trash and 10,000 logs. Without them , not only would our lake be unliveable , we would have many more boating accidents and injuries.  A clean lake attracts more recreational play and  helps our University and businesses grow.

They are truly the guardians of our lake and are supported by municipal contracts, grants and donations. The Fort Loudoun Lake Association’s Annual Raising of the Water Celebration is their largest fund raiser and will gather lake lovers on Saturday April 28th at Concord Marina . It will open with a Native American blessing of the water  at 3:30 PM, followed by luxury boat cruises ,  live music ,dancing, catered dinner and silent and live auctions.  For more information and tickets call 865-523-3800 or email

Welcome back Mamma!

My Mamma came home with a new heart today. Her old heart was big. I mean really, figuratively and literally. It was actually swollen from working inefficiently. But, I think it is from all the love she gives unconditionally – I have tears while writing that. Anyway, we will soon celebrate her 88th year of life on this ever rapidly changing earth. And, that I am the hostess and chef…well, thank God she is home.  I have committed to making banana bread for her birthday cake because it is healthy and, well; we need to use the aging bananas in our window. Her recipe is an old fashioned recipe where you have to “cream shortening”. Does anyone know what that is? Beating a softened, (room temperature), stick of butter on high, with beaters in a bowl. Then I had all these flour choices: regular all purpose, whole wheat graham(yum!), or bread flour. I had to run to the living room where she had dozed off, to ask her opinion. She said the whole wheat graham would be too heavy, so to pour lightly – Do you know what lightly means? When pouring flour from bag to cup, spoon it lightly, fluffing each spoonful on top of the other to get a true cup of flour. Well, we decided to go half all purpose and half whole wheat so it wouldn’t be too heavy. All purpose flour because bread flour was made for bread machines. The end result was scrumptious. I dare say, that without my dozing Mamma(chef emeritus), I would have screwed up! Welcome back Mamma!

New Aerial! Free Nia! Essential Oil Therapy! And, more…

-New Aerial class groups starting soon – -Downtown Knoxville gets Nia –
-And, Essential Oil Therapy at URBhana!!-

Aerial Dance classes build on each other, and run in 6 week intervals. We are getting ready for our new classes to start at the end of the month, and if you don’t sign up now, you will have to wait until the first of the year to take an aerial class.
You can register for our next groupings of weekly Beginner Aerial classes which start
October 25th at 7:30pm or, October 28th at Noon.
You can purchase classes individually for $15/class or buy a 6 class package(and, get one class free!) for $75.
Please register now, space is limited to 6 students per class!

And, we are so excited to have Elizabeth Cole bringing Nia to URBhana!
Join her for Oct. 19th, 26th, and Nov. 2nd, and enjoy Nia for free!
We just know you are going to love it!
Elizabeth will be offering Nia at URBhana, Tuesdays 6-7:15pm.

And, now URBhana offers Essential Oil Therapy. Learn about this ancient art of healing, and how we can teach you how to use these oils effectively to heal yourself.

URBhana Celebrated Her One Year Anniversary!

July celebrated Urbhana’s one year anniversary with music from Radio Harvest and art by Asheville teen, Thomas Bell.  Urbhana continues to grow with life skills and business coaching delivered to individuals and groups by founder, Angela Howard.

For the past year she has been facilitating her clients dreams into reality.  They speak their dreams and, within months they see them materialize from what was only a thought before. Angela’s clients are raving about their success!

Urbhana’s Aerial Dance classes on Wednesday have produced students who now can choreograph their own performances. Mondays continue with Danskinetics and, are now featuring low impact movement by Barbara Rose from the Rose Wellness Center. Urbhana is very excited to have Barbara Rose fill her studio with loving movement and healing energy.

Yoga with Molly McClellan on Tuesdays has had a steady flow. While Angie Collins grows her MoolMoni Yoga with yoga coaching.

Come by for a visit and have a cup of cold, healing tea from the Amazon.

What I’ve Been Told Lately…

What I’ve been told lately is that people have found themselves attracted to URBhana, like a lighthouse on the stormy construction site of Gay St. Most people have shared that the name URBhana came to them via either email, word of mouth, or ESP. One particular story I’d like to share is this: during one First Friday event, an agoraphobic woman found herself at the end of the sidewalk of Gay St. and really did not know which way to go or what to do. All of a sudden she looked up and saw some people in front of the door of URBhana and said to her boyfriend, “I need to go there.” She entered into URBhana on that First Friday, and on that particular evening we had a theater group and oil paintings and portraits. The air conditioning wasn’t working so well, and it was hot and crowded. Something shifted inside of her (call it URBhana’s energy 🙂 ) and she found herself opening up and talking to Angie Collins, the creater/founder of the Awakened Woman Workshops, and myself, Angela Howard, founder of URBhana. She lit up so much that we asked her to be a presenter at the next Awakened Woman Workshop. On that Saturday, we witnessed a most vibrant, wide-open, confident, creative writing and play-wright master (she just received her Masters degree from UT) sharing poetry from her play “Exposed” and singing at the top of her lungs to the tune of “Fat Bottom Girls.”

If there is anyone else out there with an URBhana story, please share it because it is fascinating what URBhana has already started to create in downtown Knoxville.

February First Friday

Even though the steady rain could have been a potential deterrent, February’s First Friday event that took place last week was an incredible success! The friendly, warm atmosphere was such a contrast to the weather outside, and crowds were mingling all evening. Joining us this month was band Radio Harvest, back by popular demand, and Krysty Jones, who had photography for sale on the walls. Her intriguing photographs will be up for the entire month of February and are worth coming by to see!

The phenomenal live music provided by Radio Harvest kept the crowds coming for the whole evening, and their mix of originals and cover songs was a hit! (Call 865-951-5454 for information about bookings.)

With the help of these talented artists to draw the crowds, we thankfully attracted the attention of many first-time URBhana visitors who are interested in some of the things we have going on here at URBhana. 2010 is turning out to be an exhilarating year for us, and we’re only two months into it! We are so excited to be able to offer a variety of classes and workshops, and it is such a thrill to have Knoxville’s support in this venture. All of the classes we are offering are filling up fast, so hurry and contact us for your slot in DansKinetics, Pilates, or Aerial Dance! The Awakened Woman workshop, scheduled to take place on March 20th, is also filling up quickly. This workshop will incorporate the arts and techniques of four of Knoxville’s leading women in instructional movement, working together to promote confidence and empowerment for women. For more information on this event, call 865-748-6885.

We at URBhana are so glad to have the chance to bring such exciting opportunities to Knoxville. Come check us out at 115 Gay St., and see what we’re all about!

So far in 2010…

So much has happened in the past few months since we last wrote!

December and January’s First Friday events went off without a hitch, despite the construction in front of URBhana making the place look like a war zone! Many dear friends of URBhana also managed to brave the cold weather to come support our events. Angela Hill’s “Little Sis” technology that converted movements into sound was extremely popular with the January First Friday crowd, and her somatic movement therapy workshops drew plenty of interest as well.

December also saw the Circle Modern’s phenomenal Primitive Light show, including many original and inspiring dance pieces. Each showing of the three-night production was a huge success.

This past weekend, URBhana took part in Knoxville’s Healthy Living Expo! The two-day event was a success, despite the snowy weather keeping many people off of the roads. At the expo, we introduced what a few of our new classes will look like, including Pilates and DansKinetics. Both demonstrations drew much interest, prompting quite a few people to sign up for the classes. The DansKinetics classes will be held on Monday evenings from 6 – 7:15. Rates are $15 for a drop-in, or $60 for a package of ten. Call 865.951.5454 for information about Pilates classes.

February’s First Friday will feature photography from Krysty Jones and music from returning band Radio Harvest. The evening is sure to be an enjoyable one, come by and check us out!

November First Friday

This month’s First Friday Event was a phenomenal success for URBhana! The evening began with performances from some of the members of the Circle Modern Dance Co. Around 7, dancers from Salome Cabaret’s Burlesque Academy entertained the crowds with examples of traditional burlesque. Onlookers were treated to a routine of slapstick comedy, singing, and classic vaudeville. It was fascinating to have the opportunity to see traditional burlesque, an art form that orginated to make a mockery out of the upper class.

Shelby Gordon, an art student at UT, provided the visual art. Her photography and multimedia collages were admired all evening long, and five pieces were sold. Her work will be on display at URBhana for the month of November.

All in all, this month’s First Friday Event was a fantastic evening of entertainment at URBhana. If you missed us this month, be sure to come by on December 4 for next month’s event. It too promises to be an wonderful evening.

First Friday Events

We have had wonderful First Friday events every month since our Grand Opening in July! We are so excited to have had the opportunity to be the venue for such fantastic evenings of socializing and facilitating the discovery of local artists. Here is a brief overview of what each month’s event looked like:

August: This was our second First Friday event, and it was just as exciting as the first! We hosted two local up-and-coming bands, Radio Harvest and Space for Lease, and both were a hit. People were stopping by to listen in at every point in the evening.

September: This month’s First Friday event featured local tribal belly dancers along with the photographic art of Molly Harrell. The belly dancers gave 6 performances at different times during the evening, providing exotic and intriguing entertainment for onlookers. They drew a crowd for each performance, and the crisp evening air that signified the beginnings of fall added to the atmosphere. All in all, this was a wonderful evening.

October: Back by popular demand, the band Radio Harvest and Molly Harrell were the featured artists of the evening. Radio Harvest provided four straight hours of phenomenal musical entertainment. This talented band is made up of 16 and 17 year old Webb High School students, and their sound and style caught the eye of one of the crowdmembers, getting them another booking! Be on the lookout in the near future for their next gig around town!

Our next First Friday event will be Friday, November 6. Be sure to stop by for what promises to be another fantastic night!

Grand Opening a Success!

On July 3, 2009 URBhana opened it’s doors to the public for the first time.  It was a gorgeous temperate evening with a typical middle-of-the-summer, laid-back feeling in the air.  Around 5 pm, our first guests strolled in to our open creative space with eclectic art on the walls and an aerial silk hanging from the ceiling.  Scott, the bartender, tended to the guest’s refreshment desires and was heard cracking a few jokes along the evening.

At 6, Circle Modern Dance Company performed an 8 minute dance piece with live electric guitar and a dancer in the aerial silk, dancing several feet off the ground.

As the evening progressed, larger crowds of people would squeeze into the studio and even spill out onto the sidewalk to peer in the store front windows at 6 more unique performances every 15 minutes.

Even though it was the Friday of July 4th weekend, URBhana had a large and consistent crowd and received positive comments on the space and it’s mission.  I, Angela Howard, was able to mingle with guests and talk about life coaching (my core activity) and it’s benefits.

Come visit us again on August 7th for another Frist Friday Event, featuring a new upcoming band and sculpture by Scott Palmer, former art professor at Carson Newman College.  Scott, the bartender, will also be our consistent refreshment “guru.”