ArtsBuild campaign begins

By Staff Report Article posted on Thu. Feb. 21st, 2013
ArtsBuild's Cultural Partners

Arts & Education Council; Association for Visual Arts; Ballet Tennessee; Bessie Smith Cultural Center; Chattanooga Ballet; Chattanooga Boys Choir; Chattanooga Girls Choir; Chattanooga History Center; Chattanooga Symphony & Opera; Chattanooga Theatre Centre; Choral Arts of Chattanooga; Creative Discovery Museum; Hunter Museum of American Art; and the Shaking Ray Levi Society.

ArtsBuild, formerly Allied Arts of Greater Chattanooga, will kicked off its annual fundraising campaign Thursday with a celebration at The Church on Main, 1601 Rossville Ave.

In addition to hearing about the organization's plans, attendees can participate in mini art experiences such as Indian dancing, ballet and finger painting for adults. Local musicians Ed Huey and Lon Eldridge will provide entertainment, and hors d'oeuvres and drinks will be served.

Robert Lynch, president of Americans for the Arts, will speak about the vital role the arts play in building Chattanooga and Hamilton County's economic development. According to the Arts & Economic Prosperity IV study, the economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations in greater Chattanooga topped $106 million in 2010.

Funds raised through the $1.1 million annual community campaign are used to help fund 14 major art institutions in Chattanooga.

The campaign also supports arts education in Hamilton County schools and projects such as the new Community Cultural Connections grants, which are small grants for arts experiences in social-service agencies, neighborhoods and municipalities.

"The arts are an economic engine in our community," said Dan Bowers, president of ArtsBuild. "They provide employment, play a huge role in attracting new businesses to our area, make our downtown vibrant and prepare our youth for the 21st-century workforce. Simply put, Chattanooga and Hamilton County are stronger because of the arts."

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