Glass House CollectiveChattanooga, TN
Glass House Collective is a Chattanooga-based non-profit founded to bring life back to Glass Street and Glass Street back to life. GHC gathers talent from in and around the community to develop creative projects of all kinds, with the ultimate goal of revitalizing the historic Glass Street commercial corridor. ArtPlace spoke with Katherine Currin, director of Glass House Collective, about the organization’s partnerships.
ARTPLACE: Who outside your organization has been key to your ability to move your initiative forward?
CURRIN: The neighborhood association, organizations and businesses who have been here for years are partnering with us to lay down a new kind of welcome mat for the community. By finding opportunities to literally showcase creative talents on Glass Street, these partners are helping us extend the invitation for artists to come to Glass Street. During ‘Glass Street LIVE’ and ‘On The Lot’ vacant lots and storefronts were transformed into creative studios and performance venues, attracting hundreds of people to the street.
We are partnering with Launch to spark entrepreneurship in the community. By creating a platform for artists to re-imagine and redesign the commercial corridor, Glass Street is already becoming more usable and attractive to the entrepreneurs coming out of the Launch 10-week business planning course. These are neighborhood level industries that can be attracted to and made better by the improved façades on Glass Street.
The City of Chattanooga has a tradition of arts activities and we’re collaborating with Public Art Chattanooga to extend that tradition to the Glass Street community. Public Art Chattanooga, which is housed in the City of Chattanooga Parks and Recreation Department, manages over a hundred permanent and temporary works of public art. Projects such as Art on Main and Chattanooga’s new urban park, The Main Terrain, have served as catalysts for revitalization in Chattanooga’s Southside community. Glass House Collective and Public Art Chattanooga are partnering on an upcoming project called “Rise Up Chattanooga,” a collaborative, temporary public art installation by artist Charlie Brouwer on Glass Street.
ARTPLACE: Are there secrets to good partnerships?
CURRIN: By acknowledging the role that creativity plays in community revitalization, our partners are demonstrating new enthusiasm for Glass Street and East Chattanooga. We’re asking them to creatively re-imagine how they can leverage their existing resources and to put individual artists at the heart of their work. This is key to creating a successful cross-sector collaboration.