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West Tennessee Treasures - Huntingdon - The Dixie

By Brittany Patterson
By bpatterson@wbbjtv.com

"Break a leg" has been a common expression for seven seasons at The Dixie Carter Performing Arts and Academic Enrichment Center.

"We are just a gem on the court square of Huntingdon, Tennessee, and a real catalyst for the energy that's been brought back to the town of Huntingdon," said The Dixie's executive director Lori Neal Nolen.

That energy brings in main stage productions and show-seekers alike - all from across the country.

"You usually have to drive to Memphis or Nashville or somewhere a little bit larger just to get that experience," said Nolen. "But it's magical"

Nolen said there's nothing quite like when the the curtains open, the lights come up and the show begins.

"It's magic that's being produced here, and a lot of people say, 'I felt like I was in New York City tonight,'" said Nolen. "And I really do think that's what we hope to bring you - a small town feel, but a big city atmosphere."

The magic of The Dixie is also felt at its academic enrichment programs. From chorus, to dance, theatre, and even pottery, Nolen said promoting the arts in a small town can add a whole new dimension.

"We're talking about good grades for younger students, we're talking about better behavior, so all of those things introduced into a small town just really help the students out, help our young people," said Nolen.

Eventually, it may help out adults and the entire community.

"It might take a while to say, 'Oh this is really happening here in Huntingdon, there really is a spot on the court square that you can come see this type of entertainment,'" said Nolen. "But once they get here - the energy, they just start to realize, 'Wow, that's a great place to go!'"