Thrive Regional Partnership announces that it is now accepting applications for the third round of the Thriving Communities placemaking program. In funding partnership with the Lyndhurst Foundation, Thriving Communities is a community accelerator program designed to "enhance leadership and community development throughout the greater Chattanooga region through creative placemaking."
"Participating teams learn strategic approaches to leverage their local artistic and cultural assets in order to spark economic vibrancy and growth from within their own towns and communities," officials said. "The 10-month professionally facilitated program guides regional cohorts to identify cultural assets, spark collective feedback, test bold ideas and continuously revise and repeat their strategy based upon the needs and voices of their communities."
At the end of the program, participating teams are eligible to apply for a seed grant from the Lyndhurst Foundation to implement their strategy.
"Since its inception in 2016, the program has graduated 12 communities from the tri-state region generating considerable returns in community engagement and resources for locally driven projects," officials said. "Comprehensively, alumni of the program report a return on investment of nearly $1.8 million in in-kind and monetary contributions to communities across the tri-state region, as well as over 500 volunteers engaged in individual community growth strategies."
“The Thriving Communities process has been about finding an identity,” says Susan Jarrett, a team lead from Whitwell. “It was always there, but we needed to make the intangible tangible. We needed to find our voice, and Thrive has given us the platform to stand up and say, ‘This is who we are. This is where we want to go next.'"
Eligible communities must be located within the 16-county Thrive footprint. Application materials and guidelines including program dates, team requirements and suggestions and deadlines can be found at www.ThriveRegionalPartnership.org/Thriving-Communities. Questions about Thriving Communities may be directed to Kelly Farina, program coordinator, at 423-648-2954 or firstname.lastname@example.org.