The 2015 holiday season kicked off with the fourth annual Glass Street Holiday Party. Originally started by Glass House Collective in 2012, the Glass Street Holiday Party has become a collective endeavor, and we couldn’t be more excited to see the event continue through creative partnerships. Our mission is to spark change in the East Chattanooga community with the hope of our spark catching fire, and the Glass Street Holiday Party has done just that.

This year’s party was collaboratively sponsored by Glass House Collective, the Good Neighbor Network, and Mark Making, with Mark Making serving as gracious hosts. The festivities kicked off with an onsite mural and sculpture unveiling.  Marcellus Barnes of Unity Performing Arts Foundation of Chattanooga welcomed the crowd of over 150 East Chattanooga residents and visitors with live holiday music.  Mark Making’s Chris Anderson emceed the event and began by unveiling “Painted Gardens,” a vibrant set of surrealistic garden murallettes adorning Mark Making’s new East Chattanooga headquarters.  The piece, collaboratively created by East Chattanooga students from Orchard Knob Middle School and Girls Inc. of Chattanooga, brings a pop of color to the area and invites viewers to experience Glass Street out of their cars and on their feet.  Mark Making also unveiled their new cutting-edge 3D printed sculptural masks created by East Chattanooga youth titled “The Kings and Queens of East Chattanooga,” which also adorn their headquarters.  Students were honored for their accomplishments, receiving accolades from Mark Making board members and the audience at large.

After the unveiling ceremony, guests were invited inside Mark Making’s beautifully lit studio.  Mark Making had prepared their space to wow guests into holiday wonder.  Lit completely by Christmas tree lights, quite a feat in such a large space, the studio featured a 14 foot tall hand painted Christmas tree, a slideshow showcasing Mark Making’s East Chattanooga work, and chairs and tables for guests to rest and enjoy the evening.  As the crowd enjoyed hot apple cider served by the Good Neighbor Network, Marcellus Barnes led them in Christmas carols. City Councilman Moses Freeman then blessed the food and all guests were treated to a delicious holiday meal from The Glass Street Breakfast and Lunch House.  The party was truly a celebration of the Glass Street community!

After dinner is when the real holiday magic began.  As the crowd sang “Santa Claus is Coming To Town” the sound of bells and Ho Ho Ho filled the studio.  From around the corner came Santa and a few holiday helpers bearing an abundance of gifts for all children in attendance.  One-by-one Santa gave a gift to each child in attendance.  You could hear the oohs and ahhs as children opened their gifts, the holiday cheer was palpable.  Santa had once again done his job and Glass Street looks forward to seeing him again in 2016.