GHC | ARTPLACE PARTNER | FINAL REPORT
July 30, 2013
P R O J E C T NA M E : G L A S S H O U S E C O L L E C T I V E
Organization: Community Foundation for Greater Chattanooga, Glass House Collective Fund
EIN #/Taxpayer ID #: 62-6045999
Primary Contact Name: Katherine Currin
Primary Contact Email: Katherine@glasshousecollective.org
P R OG R A M M AT I C R E P O RT
1. Is your project complete? If not, when do you anticipate completion?
• No. We anticipate the project to be complete by September 31.
2. Describe your progress since the last interim report was filed.
Better Block Glass Street
Bank Art Center (BAC)
• Following a nationally recognized model of
• BAC was a 30-day pop-up art and
public re-visioning, GHC facilitated a Build a
culture space for learning, exhibitions, and
Better Block event on February 23 that attract-
performance located in one of Glass Street’s
ed 1,200+ participants. More than 24 artists
most iconic buildings. Jacob Lawrence, Norman
and architects produced creative installations
Lewis, Elizabeth Catlett, Joseph Delaney, and
that temporarily transformed Glass Street into a
Thornton Dial were among the renowned
‘complete street.’ Highlights include a new com-
African American artists who were represented
munity space designed by Hefferlin+Kronen-
in the Bank Art Center’s gallery. In addition to
berg Architects, artist Olga de Klein’s yarn-
the temporary gallery, BAC featured live jazz
bombed trolley (a 30-foot wide, 15-foot tall
music, curator talks, and children’s art activities.
mixed media mural made using 17,151 yards of
BAC was presented in partnership with James
yarn and received international attention), and
McKissick (collector), Shane Morrow (curator),
an interactive pop-up installation called ‘Ha-
and Carmen Davis (jazz musician) as part of
rambee’ by graphic designers Sheena Benaven-
a series of events celebrating Black History
te, Keren Beddoe, and Katie Holden.
Rise Up Chattanooga
Sculptural Seating Elements
• Rise Up is a public art project by Virginia-
• 122 artists from 35 states responded to GHC’s
based artist Charlie Brouwer. 452 ladders
Request for Proposals for the design and
borrowed from families, schools, businesses,
fabrication of 5 sculptural seating elements.
churches, & organizations from all over the
An ad hoc jury comprised of residents and
Chattanooga community were joined together
representatives from Public Art Chattanooga,
with heavy-duty cable ties to form a temporary
Public Works, and GHC selected 9 finalists
sculpture on the grounds of GHC. The project
who were then put forward for a public vote.
generated new awareness and support for
More that 170 votes determined the 5 winning
efforts to bring life back to Glass Street.
proposals. Artists are currently fabricating the
seating elements and will be installing them on
Glass Street before the end of September.
Bus Shelter Designs
Glass Street Pocket Park
• GHC received 55 responses to a local Call for
• In partnership with Chattanooga
Designs for placement on 3 new bus shelters
Neighborhood Enterprise and the Trust for
for the Glass Street area. A selection committee
Public Land, GHC is transforming the vacant
comprised of community representatives and
lot adjacent to our headquarters on Glass
Public Art Chattanooga committee members
Street into a pocket park for the community.
chose the winning proposals. The Chattanooga
Palmer Built Environments has created a unique
Area Regional Transportation Authority is
design for the space, one that emphasizes the
providing the shelters and has placed the order
neighborhoods history. Construction for the
for them to arrive and be installed before the
park is scheduled to begin on August 15th.
end of September.
Murals, signage, and façade improvements
• GHC provided commissions to individual
artists for four craft signage projects. Another
commission was provided for the design and
installation of storefront banners that promote
and unifies Glass Street. Basic improvements
were made to four storefronts that served as
pop-up shops during the Better Block event.
Commissions were awarded to three artists for
creative storefront installations on vacant and
boarded up buildings. We are currently offering
a 2:1 matching grant opportunity to encourage
additional façade improvement projects along
the Glass Street commercial corridor.
• GHC has provided physical space and funding
of up to $2,500 for a series of art camps over
the course of the summer months. The camps
have focused on building art bikes, painting and
drawing, and a site-specific design/build public
Sidewalks, Lights, and Trees
• The City of Chattanooga began replacing
the sidewalks, installing streetlights, and
• Following a municipal election this spring,
building tree wells on the north side of Glass
GHC worked to rearticulate a favorable
Street on July 22nd! The City has committed
partnership with the City of Chattanooga’s new
to completing streetscape construction on the
south side of the street in August.
3. What are the biggest challenges you have encountered?
• Collaborative projects take longer than expected – especially when the public sector is involved.
• This creates confusion in our messaging – to the public and to our funders.
• The perception that this neighborhood is abandoned and dangerous deters private investment in
• Balancing artistic excellence and integrity with community focus and meaningful engagement.
4. What have you learned that you can apply to your work and that other
ArtPlace partners can learn from?
• People are Chattanooga’s greatest resource, and our best investment.
• Building capacity is better than maintaining control.
• Creativity incites change, in the neighborhood, in the storefront, and in the imagination.
• Build meaningful relationships with individuals in your community on the front end - they will
contribute positively and directly to the sustainability of your work and organization.
• Invite those benefiting from the work to co-create, i.e. design with not for
• Effective public-private collaboration is everyone’s responsibility.
• Don’t underestimate the power of buzz.
5. Have you had any unexpected surprises — good or bad? If so, tell us about them.
• Business, civic, and foundation leaders recently presented Mayor Berke with five specific ideas to
continue the revitalization of Chattanooga, growth in tourism, and enhancement of quality of life for
local residents which includes ‘capitalize on Chattanooga’s rich locomotive history by connecting
the world-famous Chattanooga Choo-Choo and the Tennessee Valley Railroad with a train attraction
and ride. These dedicated tracks could also connect a developing neighborhood with Downtown
and act as Chattanooga’s first commuter train between East Chattanooga and Downtown. Phase
two could connect the Airport and Downtown by extending the tracks.’
6. Did you achieve what you set out to achieve through this project? Please describe expectations
and achievements of the organization/project and of the change in the community.
• Through this project, GHC set out to create a sense of place and foster a more sustainable form of
economic development to catalyze future revitalization efforts in East Chattanooga.
• GHC expected the divergent thinking of creative individuals to enable others to see new
opportunities for engagement in the community. By inviting individual artists and architects to
help re-imagine and redesign the commercial corridor, we engaged more than 3,500 individuals
in placemaking activities and leveraged $140,000 to attract more than $550,000 in funding from
partners for site-specific projects and community programs.
• We expected the improvements to the buildings and streetscapes as well as the presence of
aforementioned partners would lead to positive behavioral changes in residents and visitors. Data
provided by the Chattanooga Police Department shows an increase in criminal activity between
2010 and 2012. A comparison of January through June of 2012 and January through June of 2013
shows a 42% decrease in violent crimes and a 62% decrease in property crimes in the Echo 2
Division (Glass Street impact area).
• GHC expected creative events and installations that animate public spaces would encourage
pedestrian activity on the historic commercial corridor. By finding opportunities to literally showcase
creative talents right on Glass Street, we have helped East Chattanooga lay down a new kind of
welcome mat for residents from adjacent neighborhoods, 10-11,000 daily pass-through commuters,
and Chattanoogans from across the city. More than 5,500 pedestrians were attracted to Glass
Street over the course of the year. Unfortunately, this pedestrian activity is not yet sustained beyond
• These highly visible projects and the related media coverage have collectively started to reshape
the public’s perception of Glass Street – from an abandoned and dangerous place to one that is
capable of new life and vibrancy.
• Today, we are seeing a renewed a sense of pride in the community. The Glass Farm Neighborhood
Association has attracted at least 11 new members, neighbors are using and promoting online
communication platforms such as Next Door, and teams of residents have volunteered time and
resources towards a series of beautification projects in the neighborhoods adjacent to Glass Street.
7. Are there any project milestones that will occur over the next six months that ArtPlace should
know about? If so, please tell us about them.
• We plan to have a ribbon cutting for the new pocket park on Glass Street in the spring of 2014.
• Today, we have two out of five sculpture seating elements installed and others will be installed
Winter of 2013/2014.
• We anticipate the three bus shelters wrapped with local artists’ work to be installed on Glass Street
at the end of February 2014.
8. Has your community applied to or received funding from a federal program within the past year
that relates to your project? If so, please explain this federal alignment.
9. Have you contacted your mayor or county executive to discuss your project with him/her?
If so, please describe what has resulted from this conversation.
• Yes. As a result of our discussions about our efforts and goals, the previous city mayor designated
Glass Street to be among the first in the City to have new next generation high tech and high
capability street lights installed, channeled Community Development Block Grant dollars to support
streetscape upgrades, and asked that the appropriate city departments help facilitate neighborhood
planning and participate in community building events.
10. Have you contacted your congressional delegation to discuss your project with them?
If so, please describe what has resulted from this conversation.
• We met with our state House Representative JoAnne Favors. She made a commitment of discretionary funds towards City of Chattanooga’s Parks Department for the beautification of a cityowned parcel on Glass Street. Unfortunately, these funds have yet to be put to use.
11. Since applying for ArtPlace funding, have you secured additional funding for this project?
If so, please provide a list of the sources and amounts below or as a separate document.
• The Benwood Foundation, $67,500
• Hamico Foundation, $5,000
• Public Art Chattanooga, City of Chattanooga Parks & Recreation Department, $4,000
• TN Valley Railroad Museum, $12,000
• CreateHere, $6,500
• ArtsBuild, $3,000
• The Trust for Public Land and Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprises (with support from the
Benwood Foundation and The Community Foundation for Greater Chattanooga), $50,000
• The Educational Foundation for America, $87,500
• Individual Donors, Corporate Supporters, and Event Sponsorships, $40,000
12. Since applying for ArtPlace funding, has the community in which your project is located
attracted investment from other public, private or philanthropic sources? If so, please describe this
• Over the course of 2013, there have been five acquisitions on the street.
• Currently, five properties are under construction.
• The Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) is using a grant from the U.S.
Department of Transportation to fund three new bus shelters that will feature digital message
boards with real-time transit information, lighting, seating, and security cameras.
• Mark Making, a local non-profit arts organization, is initiating a year-long community art project
called ‘Portraits of East Chattanooga’ with funding from the Community Foundation for Greater
• There have been three offers on buildings located along the Glass Street commercial corridor
in the past month. Unfortunately, a lack of transparency as to who is backing these offers and
uncertainty of their intentions does create some concern on our end.
13. Has your project received local or national media coverage? If so, please provide a list of the
press received including links to electronic articles below or as a separate document.
• See separate document titled ‘Glass House Collective Media Links’
14. What key insights did you take away from the 2013 Creative Placemaking Summit and how did
they impact your work? (If your initiative was not represented at the Summit, please disregard this
• Key insight: To connect the arts with other fields, we have to create a narrative that’s going to
have traction beyond talking to ourselves. Impact on our work: We avoid using too many creative
placemaking ‘buzzwords’ in our messaging and talk about our work in the context of our audiences’
values and priorities.
• Key insight: Assembling a team of residents and business owners to act as advisors will foster
ownership of a community renewal and/or cultural development process. Team members should be
compensated for their time and service. Impact on our work: GHC recently engaged nine residents
and business owners to act as a community board for Glass House Collective. They will provide
strategic input and serve as advocates for GHC in the community, participate in a series of block
leader trainings, and have access to seed funding for community-based projects that engage their
• Key insight: To gain traction, it’s important that your message also come from people with a voice
in the community. Impact on our work: See previous response.
• Key insight: Projects may take 4 to 6 years, and over time core truths change (budgets and
partners). That creates a guarded culture internally which means trust in the leader and excitement
about the effort will be challenged. Impact on our work: We actively engage the entire GHC team
in problem-solving issues facing the organization – this creates common understanding and shared
ownership for the organization. We also engage the entire team in celebrating our ‘wins’ – even the
1 0 S I G NA L S O F M O M E N T U M
ArtPlace has developed the Vibrancy Indicators, a set of indicators that reflect the vibrancy of
a place, with the goal of tracking the change in these measures over time to assess the impact
of creative placemaking. To accompany the Vibrancy Indicators, we ask that you observe your
community now and compare it to the start of the grant period and answer the following ten
questions. Please respond with a simple “Yes” or “No.” In instances where you respond “Yes”
please include a short statement of evidence or images of the stated change.
1. Is the community cleaner?
• Yes. New sidewalks, improved storefronts, and reclaimed public spaces have enhanced the
appearance of the street. In turn, our neighbors are taking better care of their community. We have
seen a decline in litter and increase in the number of individuals taking the time to care for their
properties through landscaping and maintenance projects.
2. Does the community feel safer?
• Yes. When comparing the first six months of 2012 to the first six months of 2013, property crime is
down 62% and violent crime is down 42%. The following images show reported crimes in 2012 and in
2013. This is a comparison of a 12-month period and a 6-month period, but we believe it is still very
3. Is the community more attractive?
• Yes. A new mural offers a more attractive entrance into the corridor. Six buildings were cleaned
out and spruced up in preparation for the Better Block event. Façades were painted, signage was
installed, windows were replaced, and more. Banners celebrating the district and promoting the
community’s identity hang on the storefronts along the commercial corridor. Streetscape upgrades
currently underway will include new sidewalks, crosswalks, pedestrian lights, and trees. All of these
things are adding to the attractiveness of the community.
4. Are there fewer vacancies?
• Yes. Since our interim report to ArtPlace, two new businesses have opened up on the street. These
businesses include a specialty retail and restaurant. There is still a great deal of uncertainty about
the longevity of these businesses.
5. Are there more people on the sidewalks?
• Yes. The increase is slight and not yet sustained beyond special events. We believe the installation
of five sculptural seating elements and the new pocket park will help attract more pedestrians to the
6. Is there a popular new outdoor gathering place?
• No. BUT we believe the pocket park (see images in previous response) will be very popular among
residents as well as visitors to the area. An old train rail is being repurposed as a sculptural element
that provides separation from the street as well as a swing set for the park.
7. Is there a popular new indoor gathering place?
• Yes. Glass House Collective continues to be a place where residents connect – through special
events as well as casual drop-ins.
8. Is there new evidence of arts activity?
• Girls’ Inc. engaged their students in a series of classes that included screen printing t-shirts, building planters, and painting self-portraits. Art120, a local arts organization, hosted two Art Bike Camps
on Glass Street this summer – one for adults and one for youth. Brush Paint & Sip hosted a free art
camp for kids in the community to learn basic drawing and painting skills. GHC awarded commissions for locally established artists Shaun LaRose and Rondell Crier to design and paint a mural on
one of Glass Street’s most iconic buildings. With additional funding from the Royal Society for the
Arts, two emerging artists will train and implement their own murals on Glass Street this fall. The
Community of Christ, located across the street from GHC, provided funding for a design/build project that engaged their youth in the animation of vacant lot on the street. Local architect Kelly Fitzgerald and artists Rondell Crier were hired to lead the project.
9. Has the local press reported on it positively?
• Yes. Please see ‘Glass House Collective Media Links.’
10. Do people in the community generally agree that the community is getting better?