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.”

Other Topics

Nominations are now open for Leadership Chattanooga's Class of 2023-2024. “Leadership Chattanooga graduates tell us this program propelled them to a deeper level of understanding for how our community works and, equally as important, how they can give back with intention…

The Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC) annually recognizes one local small business as its Rising Star client.  The TSBDC defines a "Rising Star" as a business that: Has a clear and structured growth strategy for the next 12 months;…

Local real-estate development firm Rise Partners recently purchased one of downtown Chattanooga's last undeveloped blocks for $2.18 million, a surface parking lot formerly operated by Republic Systems. Over the last two decades, multiple discussions have been held about the development…

Imagine you're an entrepreneur whose startup is beginning to establish roots. You're growing your marketing efforts organically, building a name for yourself through social media, networking events, trade shows, and support for community organizations like your local chamber of commerce.…

Black History Month annually serves as a season to honor the historical triumphs and struggles of notable Black Americans. This year TREND and the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce are highlighting just a handful of the diverse variety of African-American entrepreneurs…

Sign up for weekly updates.