SAFTA & Friends Present: A First Friday Variety Show

The Sundress Academy for the Arts is excited to present a First Friday Variety Show on Friday, February 7, 2020 from 7-9PM at The Casual Pint, Downtown. This free event, hosted by JoAnna Brooker, will feature musicians Redd Daugherty and Ryan Dunaway, poets Brynn Martin and Summer Awad, and comedians Ana Tantaris, Clinton Ricks, and Emaleigh Kierstin.

There will be raffle drawings to win a six-pack provided by the Pint, koozies, and Sundress Publications titles, and there will be a donation jar by the bar in support of Sundress. A portion of the sales of Miller Lite drafts during the event will be donated to Sundress Academy for the Arts.

The Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA) is a writer’s residency that hosts workshops, retreats, and residencies for writers in all genres including poetry, fiction, nonfiction, journalism, academic writing, playwriting, and more. All are guided by experienced instructors from a variety of creative disciplines who are dedicated to cultivating the literary arts in East Tennessee.

So come by and check it out on February 7, 2020 from 7-9PM at The Casual Pint, Downtown

Literary Gender-Swap Calendars Are Here!

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Our 2015 Sundress/SAFTA Calendar is now on sale! This year’s edition features 12 gender-swapped literary characters: Theodore of Oz, Herlock Holmes, Alex in Wonderland, Esther Dent, Captain Jane Hook, Henrietta Potter, Little Ted Riding Hood, Kenderella, Tomi Sawyer, Attica Finch, and more!

Models include T.A. Noonan, Katie Manning,Chris Pettrucelli, Shastina Parahoo, Adam Crandall, Emily Cappatini, Chris Johnson, Randy King, Lyric Dunagan, Rhonda Lott, Jennifer McClendon, and more.

Calendars are only $20 and can be purchased in our store.

All proceeds go to support Sundress Publications and the Sundress Academy for the Arts, a 501(c)3 nonprofit in Knoxville, TN!


SAFTA’S #PaintBucketChallenge Has Six Days Left!


Before the Sundress Academy for the Arts can welcome new resident artists in October, we need to spruce up the farmhouse with a fresh coat of paint. In order to raise money for this project, we have initiated our own bucket challenge—a Paint Bucket Challenge!


As comical as it might be, we are not asking you to dump a bucket of (potentially very toxic) paint over your head; we just need your financial support and time to make this happen! It will cost about $1,000 to buy the paint, primer, brushes, sandpaper, and volunteer refreshments, and we still need $500 with five days left to go.

Here are some ways you can help:

Please, if you are able, consider donating to our cause. Even a small amount puts us a little bit closer to a fresh and shiny farmhouse!

After you donate, make a video to challenge your friends to do the same! All donations go directly to SAFTA, a non-profit organization, and help to promote art in East Tennessee.

If you are local and would like to donate your time, sign up to help paint on September 20th from 10 AM to 8 PM. Volunteers can sign up on our website or on our Facebook event!

Thanks for taking the challenge!

Sponsorsheep Drive!




The brainchild of Sundress Publications, a registered non-profit, The Sundress Academy for the Arts (SAFTA) was founded in February 2013 at Firefly Farms in Karns, Tennessee. Nestled in an old-fashioned “holler” just twenty minutes from downtown Knoxville, this picturesque 29-acre farm is the perfect artists’ getaway; visitors can hone their creative crafts as they escape the routine of modern life. Whether you’re hiking, camping, foraging, or hunting, you will reconnect with nature and be inspired by a part of the Appalachia landscape that is often forgotten. SAFTA attendees can also expect to learn a host of new skills from the staff to enrich their work.


In order to help fund this enormous project, we plan to host livestock, including self-pastured horses, a small herd of goats and sheep to “mow” the pastures and control wild growth, and chickens to produce eggs for egg dishes galore! To get started, we must finish mending the fences along the property, buy and install gates, build shelter for the horses, and acquire the animals themselves.

To find out more, please visit our Indiegogo fundraising drive!