We’re always learning valuable lessons while working on and advocating for Glass Street and the community here. Sometimes we get the exciting opportunity to share ideas and stories with other folks who care about placemaking’s role in improving city and cultural health. On Wednesday, April 4th, Glass House Collective was invited to team up with Chattanooga’s transportation leaders for a panel called Glass Street: Using Art and Placemaking to Raise Up a Neighborhood during Intersections 2018, Smart Growth America’s placemaking and complete streets conference held nearby in Nashville, TN.
Representing Glass House Collective, Nicole Lewis presented the history of the organization along with bright photographs, giving complete context for the work here over the last seven years. “I thought the questions at the end revealed the power of what we are able to accomplish by thinking outside of the box and relying on the strengths and specialties of a wide range of partner organizations,” Nicole said.
Josiah Golson, artist and founder of 800 Collective, represented the work of Glass House Collective in contracting with him to present meaningful, playful interaction with ideas and potential neighbors wish to see happen at the intersection of Dodson Ave. and Glass St.
Nicole recalls a lot of open curiosity about the simple, yet game-changing concept of funding neighbors to host dinners for their immediate neighbors, in order to gather input and discuss possibilities in a less formal atmosphere.
“It seemed to make sense to people there who have really struggled with authentic neighborhood input collection–oh yes, of course! It seems so obvious, but sometimes the simple ideas get overlooked. As one of the leaders here myself, it was meaningful to have the chance to be honest about our own ongoing challenges, and our tenacity to try what really connects people to people,” Nicole said.
Bert Kuyrkendall, P.E., Senior Transportation Engineer (Gresham, Smith and Partners)
Blythe Bailey, AIA, Administrator (Chattanooga Department of Transportation)
Nicole Lewis, Manager of Community Relations (Glass House Collective)
Josiah Golson, Artist (Glass House Collective)
Greg Heath, DHSc, MPH, Guerry Professor of Exercise Science, Health and Human Performance (University of Tennessee at Chattanooga)
About Intersections 2018 Conference (from SGA’s website):
Building on the momentum from Street Lights, our first Complete Streets conference in November 2016, Intersections will take our implementation and equity work to the next level. But how can arts and culture help us get there?
This year, Smart Growth America’s arts & culture team has partnered with the National Complete Streets Coalition to produce Intersections. At SGA, we believe that everyone in America—no matter their age, ability, income, or race—deserves the option to live somewhere affordable, convenient, beautiful, and safe. SGA’s arts & culture team funds pilot projects, supports local and regional partners, and conducts research that shows that art and culture play a crucial role in supporting this vision by providing an organizing force for residents, business owners, and other stakeholders to work towards strengthening neighborhoods, by revealing the authentic character of communities, and by connecting citizens with decision makers to collectively pursue smart, equitable policies and projects.