ArtsBuild Campaign Kickoff Builds Art Through Interaction, Collaboration

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

ArtsBuild will host a campaign kickoff event on Thursday, from 4:30-6 p.m. 

Organizers said, "The arts build something different for everyone. Literally, the arts can build a sculpture, a painting, a dance or a song. The arts also serve to build community, education, interaction, conversation, compassion and collaboration. ArtsBuild Kickoff attendees will have the opportunity to experience both."

At ArtsBuild’s kickoff event, Robert Lynch, president of Americans for the Arts, will speak about the vital role the arts play in building Chattanooga and Hamilton County’s economic development. According to the Arts & Economic Prosperity IV study, the economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations in greater Chattanooga topped $106 million in 2010.

Founded in 1960, Americans for the Arts is the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education. Under Mr. Lynch’s 25 years of leadership, the membership of Americans for the Arts has grown more than fiftyfold. He has personally reached audiences in 49 states and 12 countries, ranging from Native American tribal gatherings to the U.S. Armed Forces in Europe to the President of the United States.

“The arts are an economic engine in our community,” said Dan Bowers, president of ArtsBuild. “They provide employment, play a huge role in attracting new businesses to our area, make our downtown vibrant and prepare our youth for the 21st century workforce. Simply put, Chattanooga and Hamilton County are stronger because of the arts.” 

Currently in its 44th year, ArtsBuild’s (formerly Allied Arts) mission is to galvanize broad participation in and widespread support for the arts. Funds raised through the $1.1 million annual community campaign are used to help fund 13 major art institutions in Chattanooga, including the Creative Discovery Museum, the Chattanooga Theatre Centre, the Hunter Museum of American Art, and the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera. The campaign also supports arts education in Hamilton County Schools as well as projects like the new Community Cultural Connections grants, a program that funds small grants for arts experiences in social service agencies, neighborhoods, and municipalities throughout the community.

“The arts build community through creativity,” said Pete Cooper, president of the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga. “Many of our young people have little opportunity to exercise their creativity, and creativity is essential to a good, high-paid work force. The arts build our economic future.”

The ArtsBuild kickoff celebration will take place at The Church on Main and will allow attendees to participate in mini art experiences, including Indian dancing, finger painting for adults, ballet and more. Ed Huey and Lon Eldridge will provide live musical entertainment, while hors d’oeuvres and drinks are served at this free, public event.

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