Three Artists To Receive $30,000 Each for Creative Placemaking Program in the Glass Street Community

Artists to work with Glass Street community members on public projects that occupy vacant buildings and improve the neighborhood.

(Chattanooga, December 10, 2013) —  Glass House Collective announced today that three local recipients have been awarded grants of $30,000 and funded studio space, to complete place-based projects in East Chattanooga’s Glass Street community over the course of 2014.

 The artists, working in three different disciplines, were selected out of 36 applicants. Their proposals were selected by judges as showing the best potential to address priority areas identified by resident stakeholders including community engagement, neighborhood safety, and beautification.  The projects are:

The Creative Resource Studio by Rondell Crier– A studio space for art-making, consultation, craft workshops, skill building programming for youth, and a conceptual art installation that fosters dialogue about the loss of life in the community.

 Urban Artformz Institute by Eric ‘Seven’ Finely– A studio space for urban art instructional workshops such as spoken word poetry, urban street dance, street art and fine art. The studio space will also be used as a free internet cafe.

 Moving Forward in the 21st Century by Rebekah Mawuko– A studio space for instructional classes in cultural dances, yoga, creative movement, tap/jazz/ballet, musical theatre and percussion music. The space will also be used for master classes, community performances, interactive lectures and demonstrations.

 “We believe that artists have an incredible way of creatively facing our community,” said Katherine Currin, Executive Director of Glass House Collective. “We have kept creativity at the center of our work at Glass House Collective, and two years into our work, we’re seeing both beautiful projects take shape, and a documented decrease in the neighborhood crime rate.

Programs like these are putting wind in our sails, giving us the encouragement that we need to go on and showing us that what we’re doing is worthwhile.”

The grant funding comes from The Educational Foundation of America (EFA), a national private foundation that supports arts driven approaches to social and economic revitalization in depreciated communities. By investing in artists, creative initiatives, and cultural institutions, EFA hopes to encourage artistic and community collaboration and deepen local pride.

In alignment with EFA’s objectives, Glass House Collective has kickstarted a creative and citizen-led revival by focusing on the value of the arts and incentivized projects by individual artists. The Collective has already provided support for artists to engage residents in projects such as murals, temporary sculptures, pop-up galleries, live performances, and interactive art exhibitions.

 In addition to their focus on arts and creativity, Glass House Collective has established partnerships to help bring additional resources to East Chattanooga. These include business planning classes for residents, free youth summer camps, after school programming for kids, facade grants, and most recently new sidewalks along Glass Street. Please visit http://www.glasshousecollective.org/projects/ to learn about the various projects Glass House Collective has supported over the past two years.