ArtsBuild has partnered with the Chattanooga Design Studio to take a retrospective look at the geographic reach and impact of ArtsBuild programs across the community over the past five years. The project resulted in a series of chronological interactive Google Maps showing the geographic location of recipients of the following grant-making programs managed by ArtsBuild:
• Tennessee Arts Commission Grants (2015-2019);
• Community Cultural Connections Grants (2015-2019);
• Mission Support Grants (2015-2019); and
• Artist Emergency Fund Grants (2020).
Additionally, the maps show those individuals who have participated in ArtsBuild’s Holmberg Arts Leadership Institute (2015-2017, 2019).
Although not shown on the maps, ArtsBuild also supports arts education initiatives in Hamilton County Schools. Each year ArtsBuild’s arts education programs serve all Hamilton County Schools’ 42 elementary schools and many secondary schools. ArtsBuild’s arts education programs include Imagine! for students in Grades K-four, covering the cost of tickets and transportation for thousands of students to attend performances and exhibits in partnership with local arts organizations; professional development for K-12 teachers in partnership with the John F. Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts; and visual art residencies in partnership with Usher and the Nancy Lackey Community Education Fund.
The ArtsBuild Artist Emergency Fund was launched on March 18 for Hamilton County artists in response to COVID-19. Artists who experienced loss of income due to closings and cancellations were eligible to apply. Within the first three weeks, 91 artists who applied received a grant of up to $500 each.
ArtsBuild invested more than $1.1 million last year in Chattanooga-Hamilton County to support the arts and arts education.
President of ArtsBuild James McKissic says, “We’re looking at the geographic scope of our outreach and engagement efforts and learning more about where we need to concentrate our
future efforts. We have already used the maps to inform our community engagement planning.”
"The maps were created as a way to visualize ArtsBuild’s footprint on the cultural landscape of Chattanooga and Hamilton County," officials said. "The data shows, for example, that the majority of funding in the past five years has been distributed to organizations and projects within the downtown area, but through newer grant-making initiatives, like Community Cultural Connections, the organization has begun to support more initiatives outside of the downtown area in recent years.
"ArtsBuild plans to use this mapping data to help inform and guide future decisions about mission, outreach and programs by identifying those areas of our county that are well-served, and those where more arts funding may be needed."
“Ultimately,” Mr. McKissic says, “our goal is to serve the needs of our community in a more holistic way.”
"This project was completed in partnership with Chattanooga Design Studio, with special thanks to Eric Myers and Chattanooga Design Studio intern Rachel Paganelli," officials said.