After 43 years, Allied Arts celebrates a new name and re-focused commitment to the Chattanooga area arts.
Jim Kennedy is the Board Chair of the new ArtsBuild. He said, "Arts in Chattanooga today is quite a bit different than what it was in 1969. Arts ecompasses most everything creative you can think about. And we want to make sure we encourage all different types of art. So that's why we've gone to 'ArtsBuild.'"
President Dan Bowers said the new name will shine a light on how important the arts are to the newly renovated Scenic City. Bowers adds, "If you add on words to the end of ArtsBuild, of course automatically you say ArtsBuild Chattanooga, but also ArtsBuild community, ArtsBuild understanding, ArtsBuild commerce, ArtsBuild you, ArtsBuild me, ArtsBuild us."
14 cultural partners get ongoing support from ArtsBuild. Bowers said, "Those range from the Chattanooga Theatre Center to the Boys Choir to the Girls Choir to the Hunter Museum to the Symphony to the Creative Discovery Museum. And that will continue but now we are broadening our reach."
The new ArtsBuild also announced 23 new grants, totaling $60,000, to area neighborhood associations, non-profit social service organizations and faith-based institutions.
Charlie Newton with the In His Hand Church said, "The grant is to bring an artist into the westside community and to do a huge mural in the Shelia M. Jennings Community Center. We have about 38 kids, well we have 90 kids on the roster, but we have 38 kids that we regularly work with, so as far as children we have 30-50 children that will be working on the mural as well as some residents."
Newton said the mural idea will be a total community effort by the Westside residents. Bowers agrees, "To guarantee that the arts are for all, and these grants will help make that happen."
Bowers adds the new focus of ArtsBuild is how the arts can help the community.
He said in the past, it was more about how the community can help the arts.