Can coloring in the lines bring us closer to home? Kevin Bate, a local painter and muralist, led a project to animate a vacant storefront and showcase the Glass Street’s historic buildings. Up until the 1960s, locally-owned businesses dominated the Glass Street commercial corridor, which served hundreds of area residents in the East Chattanooga community. Establishments like the Hamilton National Bank, The Rivoli Theater, the Lakeview Café and Kay’s Ice Cream made the area uniquely engaging. To help bring some of that history back, Bate engaged kids from Hardy Elementary School, Girls Inc, and East Chattanooga Parks & Recreation in completing two paint-by-number works for 2437 Glass Street—home to Kay’s Ice Cream from 1937 to 1956. The result? A celebration of the past and a banner that says, this place has a future, too.Up until the 1960’s, locally-owned businesses dominated the Glass Street commercial corridor that served hundreds of area residents in the East Chattanooga community.
Engaged over 30 youth from the community in the production of two large-scale paintings that now animate the otherwise empty storefront located at 2437 Glass Street.
Can business planning bring prosperity to an overlooked neighborhood? From barbecue barons to creative residents, LAUNCH is proving that entrepreneurs are critical to Glass Street’s revitalization.Working in partnership with this development program, Glass House Collective recruited a dozen potential participants from our own backyard. From their, LAUNCH volunteers carried them through a 10-week business planning curriculum adapted from the Company Lab’s time-tested SpringBoard program.With a better sense of feasibility and impact, our budding business owners have graduated into the community and today play an important role in the district’s renewal.
Graduated 12 entrepreneurs, including immediate neighbors and Chattanooga residents interested in putting down roots nearby.
Fifty children created trophies as part of Art120’s Trophy Making Workshop as part of Build a Better Block. Read more
Can 12 teenagers turn an eyesore into a neighborhood hangout in less than a month? They can if they’re part of the inaugural Glass Street Design/Build Camp, a free two-week program for ages 12 and over. Participating on a voluntary basis, teens were led through a charette to build process by local architect, Kelly Fitzgerald and artist/sculptor, Rondell Crier.
The concept, developed the first week, is a musical playground that will beautify the space and encourage community. The temporary installation was constructed on concrete slabs of demolished buildings – property owned by Community of Christ Church, who also donated $5,000 for materials.
Besides practical knowledge like how to operate a concrete grinder or build scaled models, the campers gained soft skills like collaboration, communication and creative problem-solving – helping prepare them for the workforce. The project also fostered new relationships with area kids and the church, located across the street from GHC offices.
Ultimately, the kids created way more than an outdoor installation. They built an appreciation for their neighborhood, a sense of pride in themselves and a foundation for future success.
12 kids participated
24 models assembled before build phase
30 street lights repurposed
8 power tools used by kids
$2,500 amount of donated materials
10 items delivered and donated from the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum
120 hours worked
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