1. Thank You from CreateHere Saturday, December 31, 2011

    Since 2007, CreateHere has been a hub for deepened relationships between existing and emerging leadership, the development of entrepreneurs intent upon driving innovation in social, cultural and economic arenas and the funding of artistic excellence. It has been intense and exhilarating.  
    Today marks the Supernova of CreateHere.  
    Conceptualized as a time-sensitive, social-innovation laboratory to develop new work in the areas of arts, culture and economy, December 31st, 2011 is the end of the first chapter for CreateHere.  
    We’ve planned for this day since the beginning. A definitive end point has kept us on our toes and afforded us a sense of urgency that has increased exponentially over the last five years. 
    Focused on individuals and the development of 21st century tools to fuel creativity and innovation, CreateHere has heard the hopes and concerns of 26,000+ citizens through the community visioning process STAND, trained 400+ aspiring business owners through Springboard, funded 85 artists through the MakeWork Arts Grants, trained 90+ emerging leaders through the LeadHere Fellowship program and much more.
    New methods of connecting, teaching and sharing have been explored time and again.  
    Hand-in-hand, with the citizens of Chattanooga, CreateHere projects have charted a new intersection of arts, culture and economic growth. While some initiatives were designed as finite demonstration projects to promote a culture of engagement in social and civic issues, other initiatives have become fully fledged programs, mature to the point of being self sustaining.

    ‘Supernova’ means that many inspiring projects from this five-year initiative are exploding into the community while some will ‘stay put’ at their current address. As the emerging leaders who powered STAND take their work deeper into the neighborhoods of Chattanooga, our Main Street studio will continue to be fully animated by the MakeWork Program and The Company Lab. The Company Lab is the new identity for all of the CreateHere entrepreneurial programs, with the addition of many powerful new programs and people. As the newly designated start-up generator for the Southeast Tennessee region, The Company Lab will expand its offerings for Main Street and beyond as it becomes the new ‘front door’ for sparking creative enterprise. 
    We want to share the work.
    The Archive
    Over the past five years, we have compiled a significant archive of our programs and creative solutions to systemic community challenges. The CreateHere website holds all of our work in a user-friendly interface and we plan to add more to this archive during 2012. You are invited to explore our open-source archive of files and experiences, to share, copy, develop, and build upon our work. Please see the Creative Commons license on our site for more information. 
    As we reach this milestone, we are reminded of the words of Daniel Burnham:

    “Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty. Think big.” 
    Daniel Burnham, Chicago architect. (1846-1912)
    At CreateHere, we have always believed that cities should be places where everyone has the opportunity to pursue happiness. This city is ours and it is yours. We must strive to have vision and embrace boldness during the coming year. With Daniel Burnham as our guide, let us all think big in our relationships, our homes, our neighborhood and in our city and may we remember that though big and small goals are accomplished along the way, our work is never finished.


    Posted by Helen Johnson in Culture

  2. Several MakeWork Grantees Will Showcase At Track 29 Thursday, December 15, 2011

    Track 29 will feature local artists this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday December 15-17. For $10 a pop, these three nights of local favorites in three different genres cannot be missed. We can’t wait to kick the three-day Local Showcase off with tonight’s Electronic Dance Party featuring Digital Butter, and MakeWork Grantees Isaac Duncan and Phillip Allan as DJ Flux 308 and DJ K7. 

    Issac Duncan making music at the Southern Brewers Festival.

    Friday night is Blues and Southern Rock Night, featuring The Blueshammer Band, The Collins Brothers Band, and the WTM Band.

    Local indie night on Saturday will feature Raenbow Station, tHE HEARtS IN LIGHt, and Land Camera with MakeWork Grantee Charles Allison, who’s “A song a week” project can be found at

    Posted by in Arts

  3. Announcing a huge accomplishment for the future of MakeWork arts grants! Tuesday, December 13, 2011

    We’re proud to say, MakeWork has reached its fundraising challenge goal! The Lyndhurst Foundation promised to match 2:1 all donations made to MakeWork up to $100,000 through December 15th, and we’ve raised the full $100,000 amount. This generates $300,000 for MakeWork! 

    Outside looking in at a Kerrick Johnson piece in glass, at the MakeWork Showcase during MAINX24

    As the 5 years of CreateHere draws to a close at the end of this month to Supernova, several projects will continue on as independent organizations. This funding will allow MakeWork to be able to continue to offer grants to individual creatives, to challenge artists to challenge themselves, and to engage the community in conversations about contemporary art as the organization grows independently in 2012.

    Christie Burns performs with friends at the MakeWork Showcase

    “I’m raising a glass to MakeWork and all the hard work they’ve put in so far to make cool things happen around my town. A toast to your success as CreateHere becomes ‘CreateWuzHere’, to lots of future funding and a further refinement of the work you do. Cheers to the donors, big and small, who provide something of a ‘love fest’ for the arts in Chattanooga. And, finally, a big high five to my fellow grantees who stay in the game beyond their own projects, shifting from recipient to donor and back again—making sure they’re right there playing whatever role is needed when a focused community effort is required to make the arts thrive!”
    -2011 MakeWork grantee Christie Burns, founder of The Folk School of Chattanooga

    Andrew Gage of Velo Coffee explains the art and process. Stop by and ask him about cupping coffee.

    Rondell Crier’s Sculpture at the MakeWork Showcase Gallery

    To see many more photos of the MakeWork Showcase and the many wonderful performances, audio and visual displays, and sculpture, visit us on Facebook.

    Posted by in Arts

  4. Sustain Chattanooga Stand Through Causeway Monday, December 12, 2011

    As the emerging leaders who drove Chattanooga Stand, the world’s largest community visioning process, Katherine Currin, Teal Thibaud, and Garth Brown are passionate about exploring and refining new ways to increase connectivity between people, resources and networks. Over the past two years, Chattanooga Stand successfully engaged hundreds of individuals in meaningful action ranging from green space improvement projects to launching innovative ideas and organizations to meet social needs.

    celebrating community and the places they live

    building relationships with neighbors: cowart place

    Chattanooga Stand is passionate and equipped to implement creative work in unlikely places. Now, they are taking successful engagement tools and strategies from Stand’s portfolio and planting them in some of the more forgotten, urban neighborhoods in Chattanooga.

    planting big ideas for a better future

    The task goes beyond just being a catalyst for change, and takes on a new form of engagement that involves close collaboration with existing and emerging leaders within the community. Currently, Stand sees a groundswell of enthusiasm among residents eager to give their time, talents, and resources to make our region better, and greatness mandates that no talent be wasted. As CreateHere moves toward Supernova, Stand seeks your assistance in becoming sustainable. In just two days, Stand received over $7,000 and 16 hours of design and marketing assistance in contributions through

    engaging in unlikely places: glass street

    finding innovation in blight

    Please visit Chattanooga Stand’s Causeway profile to support and learn more about its projects as it develops. All funds raised by January 1st, will be matched.

    Causeway is a new way to give in Chattanooga. It’s pretty new, but it’s getting a lot of attention from community members who seek to launch their social innovation ideas and gain support for their ideas. Learn more about Causeway here.

    Posted by in Culture

  5. SHIFT: Connecting Our Community, Neighboring Schools Wednesday, December 07, 2011

    With the release of the state report card last week, signs of Hamilton County’s improvements shouldn’t slow us from striving for even better public schools. We must consider the growth of our community and the tremendous impact further gains in education will have upon our community. 

    This fall a stakeholder regional group of civic leaders and organizations has been meeting regularly with open meetings to discuss the formation of a Regional Growth Planning Process. How will this affect the schools in our county and region?

    The school profiles available on the website of the Hamilton County Department of Education show varying math, literacy, and graduation rates. What if a child from Red Bank Middle, a school with 24% math and 44% reading rates, moves with his family to Ooltewah, and attends Ooltewah High School that has an 84% math and 77% reading mastery? And how do the differences between proficiency scores in one section of our county affect another section of our county?

    To improve public education in Hamilton County, we shouldn’t be solely concerned with the school in our neighborhood. We also need to be concerned for the school in the next neighborhood over and even those across the county. The success of our community and how it grows and changes depends upon the success of these schools. For instance, we know that increasing the high school graduation rate by 10% — just 300 more graduates — in Hamilton County Schools we will create: $1.1 million in government savings from poverty-related benefits and $135,000 in reduced crime costs for a total benefit to the community of over $184 million, or $550 per resident. These are tangible dividends and goals that will touch every resident. 

    To do this, we must support our teachers. On Tuesday December 13th, TEACH/Here will screen the new documentary American Teacher. This event is currently the only planned screening of the film in the entire Southeast. The showing will occur at the Public Education Foundation [100 East Tenth Street Suite 500 Chattanooga, TN 37402] on the 3rd Floor at 5:00pm followed by a Panel Discussion at 6:00pm, which should last an hour.

    Posted by in Education

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