Introduction to Our New Impact Areas

Glass House Collective’s artist-led, resident driven methodology uses three art infused, creative placemaking strategies for comprehensive community development: Business Development, Public Space and Streetscaping, and Residential Improvement.  These impact areas hone our focus and provide a means to transform our community from the inside-out.

Business Development: Glass House Collective improves local business viability through a multi-pronged approach.  We house our operations in and rehabilitate vacant and underutilized buildings, creating foot traffic so that potential developers can visualize themselves in the space worthy of their investment.  We support Glass Street’s existing creative enterprises: artist Rondell Crier’s Studio Everything, East Chattanooga  Academy of Art and Social Justice, Mark Making, and Binary Brew Works which in turn will attract more enterprises to the street.  We animate empty storefronts with cultural events and art installations.  We are continually working with both private, public and nonprofit partners on entrepreneur and business incubation and building redevelopment opportunities driving permanent investment in Glass Street’s people and built assets.

Our 2016-2018 Business Development goals include:

  • Renovate and activate a vacant business storefront along Glass Street.
  • Animate three (3) vacant business spaces with temporary events/installations along Glass Street (this could include pop-up businesses that test their product in the market).
  • Recruit three (3) new business tenants and building owners to Glass Street.

Public Space and Streetscaping: Glass House Collective strategically shapes the physical and social character of the Glass Street neighborhood around arts, cultural, and economic activities that animate public spaces and bring diverse people together to celebrate this special place.  Specifically we increase access, investment, shared accountability, and celebration of Glass Street’s bountiful natural/cultural amenities (e.g. 50 acre National Park Sherman Reservation located in Glass Street’s backyard just atop Missionary Ridge).  We generate social capital (social networks of reciprocity and trustworthiness) through neighborhood-based events. We enhance neighborhood pride through signage, public art, and beautification projects.  We are always striving to improve ‘complete streets’ connectivity throughout and beyond the Glass Street neighborhood.  And we drive permanent investment in and activation of permanent infrastructure and open spaces along Glass Street.

Our Public Space and Streetscaping 2016-2018 goals include:

  • Connect the Glass Street community to Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park’s 50-acre Sherman Reservation just above Glass Street atop Missionary Ridge.
  • Activate three (3) underutilized public spaces through temporary events/installations.
  • Drive permanent public space/streetscaping infrastructure improvements along Glass Street.

Residential Improvement:  Glass House Collective works with Glass Street’s home owner community to improve neighborhood housing stock and property values.  We do this through minor home repair/landscaping projects and site-specific artistic elements that improve the structure and forward-facing appearances of their dwellings.  We also educate homeowners on home upkeep, home improvement, and cheap money saving energy conservation strategies.  Long term, we hope to create a comprehensive, resident generated housing plan for the Glass Street community.

Our Residential Development 2016-2018 goals include:

  • Engage 45 East Chattanooga homeowners in landscaping improvement projects.
  • Engage 30 East Chattanooga homeowners in minor exterior home improvement projects.

Infused in each of these strategies is Glass House Collective’ grassroots methodology – artist led, resident driven.  We invest in the people that make up this place.  We are committed to inclusive, relationship-based citizen leadership at the planning, execution, and evaluation stage of each initiative.  We take a fresh, asset-based approach to community building, one that builds leadership capacity from the bottom-up by equipping individuals with tools to address pressing community issues.  To this end, we collaborate with the Good Neighbor Network (GNN), a collective of East Chattanooga residents working to make Glass Street cleaner, safer, and more inviting.  GNN is self-governing and works hand-in-hand on projects with GHC, offering GHC necessary guidance in addressing community needs.  The group has recently adopted the community policing and community schools model to effect positive change in their community.  The group has formed a Block Leader Team to work more closely with police and code enforcers to improve the security of the neighborhood by weeding out negative elements.  Likewise, GNN is committed to making Hardy Elementary a ‘community school,’ a hub for education, health, social services, and community engagement thriving on connection between parents, students, teachers, community members, and organizations.

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