We were delighted to host a cohort of participants in the Southeastern Region’s Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit on Friday, March 16th. Participants who signed up for the Glass Street site trip were first treated to an overview of Glass House Collective’s organizational history and mission from co-founder and board member Katherine Currin. Seated around the lovely conference table at Archway (GHC’s original HQ site on Glass Street), our guests enjoyed Katherine’s presentation of important milestones, mission formation, and lessons learned, wrapping up with a special screening of our newest overview video.

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To transition, Nicole Lewis, GHC Community Relations Manager, led the group around the corner to our newly completed office space at 2513 N. Chamberlain Ave. to hear about the new renovation work there, at the formerly vacant commercial space. Addressing our collective residential improvement lens, Daniel Gamble introduced their Neighborhood Revitalization partnership with us through Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga, and shared a video clip of a recent dramatic home rehab project over on Stuart Street.

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Finally, the group wandered down the street to meet Rondell Crier at Studio Everything. The group enjoyed a quick stop by Gloria Coleman’s shop, Designs by Gloria, along the way– having just listened to Nicole Lewis share Gloria’s story about finding a connection through Good Neighbor Network and Habitat volunteering to lease a space of her own from Tina Jones, owner of Ashanti’s Hair Designs.

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At Studio Everything, Rondell shared photos and real life examples of the artistic pieces he creates in the studio, along with his model for how to accomplish place-based work that stays relevant and flexible within an under-resourced community. Participants were invited to wander around the studio to see the work samples close up and engage with conversation and questions with Rondell about his open process, and his overarching belief that neighborhood work is always personal.

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We deeply enjoyed our time together, and only wish there could have been a few more faces out in our neighborhood from the conference. For those who did attend, thank you for your thoughtful questions and engagement. Remember to keep in touch via our newsletter! It’s a great way to track the activity we sponsor and advocate. We were delighted to be able to participate in the rest of the Summit thanks to our conference registration costs being provided by our grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission.