Founders: Anna Baker-VanCura & Barry VanCura

(423) 821-2055 ~ 3202 Kelly's Ferry Rd. Chattanooga, TN, 37419 

Gold Sponsors: 

Melissa Meade, H & K Architects, Suntrust Bank, The Links, Inc. 


2018-2019 Legacy Honorees 

thank you to all of our event sponsors! 

Signature Sponsors: 

Dr. Sue Ann Wells - Hazel M. Hutchenson Foundation - Regina Bethune - Unum 

Barry vancura LEgacy award Recipient: george r. johnson family foundation 


BW James Jewelers, Dance Tonight, Coca-Cola, Keith & Julia Sanford, Copper Quail, Ann & Ed Avery 

            The George R. Johnson Family Foundation has supported Ballet Tennessee for almost two decades. The mission of the George R. Johnson Family Foundation is to improve the quality of life in the communities it serves by supporting programs which improve the education, health or general welfare of the citizens in those communities.  The Foundation was established in 2000 by George Johnson, an entrepreneur whose company Franco, Inc. owned and operated Hardee’s restaurants in East Tennessee and Northwest Georgia.  Today the Foundation serves 14 counties in Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia where the Hardee’s restaurants are located.       
           Mr. Johnson grew up in Calhoun, Tennessee. After an honorable discharge from the Navy as radarman second-class during the Korean War, he attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville under the G.I Bill. He graduated in 1957 with a BS degree in Industrial Management and later worked as a district manager for Magic Chef in Rocky Mount, North Carolina where he discovered a new fast food company, Hardee’s.  Mr. Johnson purchased a franchise agreement for East TN and established the first fast food restaurant in Athens, TN in 1966, and one in Cleveland a short time later. Throughout his lifetime, he opened over 40 restaurants throughout East TN and Northwest, GA.
Janice Wilson,  Mr. Johnson’s daughter, will be accepting the Barry VanCura award on behalf of George R. Johnson.“My Dad was involved in many aspects of the community and when he passed away in    1996 through his will, he established the Foundation which would support the communities where he had Hardee’s restaurants.  He was grateful to all the people who had supported the restaurants over the years. This was his way of giving back to these communities.”
             Mr. Johnson’s children, Mark Johnson and Julia Johnson Scoggins of J & S Restaurants continue to operate the original Hardee’s restaurants and have added more in new locations.  His daughter Janice Johnson Wilson is the Executive Director of the Foundation.  

Laurel Shastri (M.S. in Geology) brings a unique perspective to dance. An experienced teaching artist, she specializes in integrating dance with diverse subjects such as science and language arts. In 1996, she joined the faculty of VanCura Ballet Conservatory and Ballet Tennessee. Ms. Shastri performed contemporary, classical, solo, principal roles with the company. She served seventeen years at Ballet Tennessee, as Associate Director, company dancer, faculty, and grant writer. She was on the faculty of the model outreach programs Dance Alive and Talent Identification Program. Today, Laurel is part of Arts Council Santa Cruz County’s Artist Teacher Partnership, co-facilitates teaching artist workshops, and serves in Montalvo Arts Center’s Teaching Artist Program. She has presented workshops for educators at San Jose State University’s Marion Cilker Conference for the Arts in Education, Montalvo’s Arts in Your Classroom Conference, Tennessee Art Commission’s Creativity in Education, Arts 360 (Knox County, TN), National Association for State Arts Agencies, Value Plus, Southeast Center for Education in the Arts, and Arts Build. Her integrated lesson, ‘Greetings Through Movement’ is featured in the college text 'Creating Meaning Through Literature and the Arts,’ by Claudia Cornett. She is a SPECTRA artist and performs with MoveSpeakSpin, a contemporary dance company directed by Karl Schaffer. In 2015, she was resident dancer at the Djerassi Artist Residency Program’s Scientific Delirium Madness II.

Dance Alive Legacy Award Recipient: Laurel Shastri 

Platinum Sponsors: 

Tito's Handmade Vodka, Cempa