Dolly Parton Kicks Off Tobin Center’s Generation NEXT Initiative
By Jason Grosgrain
Photography By Greg Harrison and Limelight
THE SCENE: In the crowd at the Tobin Center’s annual gala, cowboy hats and denim mixed comfortably with evening gowns and black tie. The main attraction? The iconic singer and musician Dolly Parton, who was headlining the evening with her signature dazzling style, bejeweled guitar, and big hair with high spirits to match. The VIP guests began the evening with a Downhome Dixie Dinner of gourmet cuisine, and then enjoyed a knockout performance by the legendary chanteuse along with over 1,700 guests in attendance.
THE VIBE: In the headlining role in the evening—a role in years past previously filled by Sir Paul McCartney and Lionel Richie—the one-and-only Dolly Parton took guests on a tour de force of personal stories, new songs, and of course the classic hits. She showed off her many talents as she belted out songs ranging the course of her storied career, as well as taking the audience on a tour of her personal history from her modest upbringing in on the Great Smoky Mountains all the way to her superstardom in Nashville and beyond. Afterward, VIPs enjoyed the post-show Moonshine Shindig, complete with desserts and dancing late into the night. It was a truly unique opportunity to experience Parton’s extraordinary talents while helping advance a favorite charitable cause in the region.
THE CAUSE: The Tobin Center’s Generation NEXT Education Initiative provides arts experiences to students across the community, presents sensory-friendly performances tailored for those with special needs, trains hundreds of teachers in arts integration techniques, creating dynamic classroom environments increasing all-around student performance.