LACIE SILVA – Editor
Story published September 21, 2023
Welcome one, welcome all, South Pittsburg’s Princess Theatre is under new management and the Gilberts are here for you.
As of May 2023, Alexis and Terran (T-RAN) Gilbert took over management of the revered Princess Theatre. With 20 years of experience in the music industry, T-RAN and Alexis bring a deep sense of community and expertise in charity work to the table. The couple have been married for 10 years and have one daughter together, Amoré Gilbert, age four.
T-RAN and Alexis’s parents all laid the foundation for their shared passion for helping people everywhere, setting the stage for their journey. The couple began their community work in early childhood and have continued the traditions and values they were taught with their own child. The Gilberts all pitch in and Amoré loves greeting people and interacting with the community at the Princess Theatre.
Although they grew up in Chattanooga and their charity work followed similar paths, now spanning more than 30 years, it wasn’t until adulthood the couple met. Both have done mission work around the world particularly in Asia, including China and Mongolia. Between their faith and great parental role models, as T-RAN put it the two learned from their parents, “The community is first.”
T-RAN’s father helped build the football stadium and field in Chattanooga. His mother started a nonprofit afterschool program for underperforming and underprivileged children called, ‘Angels in Flight.’ The value and meaning of leadership came to T-RAN from his father, who was also a city councilman in Chattanooga and was the longest serving councilmen. In T-RAN’s expressed opinion this is because he served the people. He said his father’s biggest mission is, “don’t give up on people, just show love and let God fight your battles.” T-RAN stated, “Thank the Lord, I have a wife and a daughter, I have what I need to sustain and to get above all the negativity that goes on.”
Pushing beyond struggle and supporting the community comes from the heart. Alexis and T-RAN both expressed their hopes and gratitude for the opportunity to put their hearts and experience into Marion County’s community.
T-RAN attended Lee University for Telecommunication and has a long history of ballet, plays, musicals, drama, and other performance arts throughout his attendance in the alternative performing arts school Chattanooga High School Center for Creative Arts. Alexis graduated high school early, skipping a grade and went on to the engineering program at the University of Tennessee and studied Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
During college T-RAN continued his advocacy work starting the Live and Not Die (LAND) movement in 2003. LAND is a nonprofit organization that offers free mental health workshops and benefits. They visit colleges across the nation to provide support for students dealing with mental health issues. The first major event took place in 2008, featuring Grits as the main headliner, with T-RAN himself opening the concert alongside his full band, 22Visionz. In 2010, T-RAN reformulated the gospel group 22Visionz into an LLC, expanding its role into a talent management company and the Gilberts maintain ownership to this day. The couple continues their impactful work in communities worldwide, spanning over 15 countries.
LAND offers management services in branding, strategy, commercials, and serves on several other companies’ boards. Several of their clients have been with the company for many years as they continue to develop more than music as a creative management company to support individuals and companies.
Alexis holds a notable position as one of the youngest executives in the Christian music industry, where she assists emerging artists. With her background in computer science, she has personally developed and designed the websites for their companies and trained employees to do the same. Alexis is also a licensed cosmetologist and owned her own salon until just before giving birth to Amoré. She closed the salon to focus on raising their daughter and working for 22Visionz. Alexis expressed her passion and devotion to childhood development and explained they are homeschooling Amoré, teaching her Spanish and music.
Funneling all this experience and passion, T-RAN and Alexis firmly believe as T-RAN stated, “If you give to others, it will come back to you.” T-RAN went on to explain that this does not necessarily mean monetarily, but anything that helps you stay alive and live a good life. They both agreed that this is the backing of their plethora of free and donation events in addition to their faith in charity work. The Gilberts expressed that they are fortunate and thankful for the partnerships and great people that they work with to make everything possible for others. T-RAN expressed their goal is “to help people to know their value” and that “they are important, and someone does care.”
Last year, 22Visionz became a management company for Taylor Sanders, a country artist. The Gilberts helped produce a concert in Georgia Dalton community center with the Gatlin brothers as the headliner. While promoting the concert in the surrounding areas, they crossed paths with Allison Buchanan, which brought them to the attention of South Pittsburg’s city commissioners and mayor.
After submitting their proposal, being accepted to manage the Princess Theatre, and signing their contracts, the Gilberts became the managers in May. Their first instinct was to immediately begin supporting the community and conducted several free events for people to attend and some ‘donation only’ events.
Utilizing his experience and vast network that includes being a Grammy voter, T-RAN sought sponsors and headliners for their major events. The first of which was a free for all ages meet and greet featuring live music acts of Michael Rix and Colin Matchack and offered free subway. El Toril and Cracker Barrel were other sponsors, and the Gilberts contributed their own funds to support the event, which attracted more than 100 attendees.
Other events featured another Michael Rix concert, which also included a presentation by the K-9 organization to raise awareness about their mission. Local artist Kelby Ferrell opened the show. T-RAN and Alexis aim to diversify the events beyond theater performances, offering opportunities for various individuals and organizations to shine in the spotlight. As T-RAN explained, “We always try to have locals open up because our whole mission is local driven and to bring the value back to the local community.”
Through T-RAN’s connections with 22Visionz, country music artist King Calaway even filmed parts of their music video “Tennessee is Waiting” at the Princess Theatre, highlighting the theatre and Marion County at a national level.
Another nearly free event they conducted was an end of summer movie night in which they showed the Mario movie which the couple personally paid to license to be shown in the theatre. It was a donation only entree with free pastries and donuts.
Despite all the free events the city continues to generate income from the theatre, the Gilberts expressed their dedication to the theatre as a center for the community so that it can continue to grow and give back. “We make sure that from every event, even if we personally don’t see profit from that event, we still give money to the city out of our own funds because we are committed to the city seeing funds being generated from the Princess Theatre,” Alexis stated.
Alexis and T-RAN explain that all money for all events is given directly to the city of South Pittsburg and 100% of all donations goes to the Princess directly. Throughout their advocacy and charity work they continue their faith and are highly driven to incorporate more than just South Pittsburg. The couple explained they went around Marion County to garner interest in the revitalization of the Princess Theatre. Visiting gas stations, restaurants, local stores, and city halls and meeting with city officials from all the towns in Marion, their first question to all was, “How can we serve you?”
They want to develop strong bonds and strengthen disconnections in the community to bring the whole of Marion together. Alexis conveyed, “The Princess Theatre is open to the community.” Everyone is welcome and as she continued to explain “We are big on unity and coming together.” And together, “We want this theatre to be that place that everyone can be able to come together as one with love and have a good time,” Alexis stated.
“We are so thankful for the leadership of South Pittsburg,” T-RAN shared and emphasized their pride in serving as the first African American managers of the Princess Theatre. “We want to continue the legacy,” T-RAN concluded in reference to the future of the theatre.
They both also expressed their gratitude to their interns that worked over the summer. The couple conducted a high school internship program that resulted in three students being offered paid positions after the summer internship concluded. The students gained valuable experience in lighting, stage production, sound, music production, and hands on experience in the field from seasoned professionals of their company 22Visionz as well as a local hire to train them. This is creating jobs in the community to provide more opportunities where there hadn’t been any previously. Their goal is to ensure not only their legacy but the continued success of the Princess Theatre during and well after their management of the theatre “so the Princess Theatre can continue to flourish and grow well beyond our existence there,” Alexis finalized.
Wholeheartedly ensure that everything going through the theatre is maximum PG-13 and family friendly. Through surveys filled out by people of the community and T-RAN’s creative influences the Gilberts are able to fulfill the wants and needs of the community through the Princess Theatre. Everyone is encouraged to follow on social medias and subscribe to newsletter on their websites. Their Facebook is https://www.facebook.com/PrincessTheatre423 and Instagram @PrincessTheatre423. The Princess Theatre’s website is https://www.princesstheatre423.com. Further information regarding 22Visionz can be found at https://www.22visionz.com and the non-profit LAND https://www.liveandnotdie.org.
People are also encouraged to look forward to upcoming events such as the Princess Theatre’s Got Talent Show and DJ Pryor’s live comedy show. More information about both events can be found on their social medias and website.
Looking ahead to the future, Alexis and T-RAN have demonstrated their dedication to community work and continue to convey a profound sense of community optimism and anticipation for brighter days filled with meaningful events and shared experiences.
The Marion Tribune – September 21, 2023