Round Two of Thriving Communities Initiative Brings Arts & Economic Prosperity to Four Communities


The Thrive Regional Partnership understands that when a community invests in arts and culture, they also invest in quality of life.

A study conducted by the Americas for the Arts in 2015, called Arts & Economic Prosperity 5, found that the arts industry generated over $160 billion in economic activity and supported more than four million jobs in local, state and federal governments. Thrive has noted this evidence and put into motion their Thriving Communities Initiative, which seeks to get communities engaged with design-oriented thinking and creative place-making principles.

The first round of the Thriving Communities Initiative took place in 2016, and brought more than $1.6 million in direct and in-kind investments to the communities involved.

"Without the Thrive Regional Partnership and the Lyndhurst Foundation, Rossville would not have any of the success that we have had in the past 18 months," says Elizabeth Wells, co-founder of the Rossville Redevelopment Workshop, and participant in the first round of the Thriving Communities Initiative. "The initiative has sparked a surge of community and financial investment that previously felt unachievable."

For the second round of the initiative, launching this month, four communities participate in a 10-month program dedicated to enhancing their design and creative place-making skills. The four communities—Athens, TN, Decatur, TN, Whitwell, TN and Fort Oglethorpe, GA—will receive $20,000 each upon completing the program.

"We are so excited to be able to offer this innovative program to four more of our region's communities," says Bridgett Massengill, President and CEO of the Thrive Regional Partnership. "The successes that our first round of communities achieved in building upon their arts and culture assets are still being felt all across the region. We feel confident that the four new teams will build upon that success in profound ways."