published Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

Allied Arts is becoming ArtsBuild

Emory Fry, left, and Bill Reason, right, of Graphic Works, unveil the new name and sign of Allied Arts, now ArtsBuild, for board members Tuesday at the Allied Arts building.
Emory Fry, left, and Bill Reason, right, of Graphic Works, unveil the new name and sign of Allied Arts, now ArtsBuild, for board members Tuesday at the Allied Arts building.
Photo by Allison Love.


The 14 Cultural Partners supported by ArtsBuild are: Arts & Education Council, Association for Visual Arts, Chattanooga Theatre Centre, Choral Arts of Chattanooga, Ballet Tennessee, Creative Discovery Museum, Chattanooga African-American Museum, Chattanooga Ballet, Chattanooga Boys Choir, Chattanooga Girls Choir, Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga History Center, Chattanooga Symphony & Opera and Shaking Ray Levi Society.

Prompted by the results of the yearlong cultural planning initiative Imagine Chattanooga 20/20 and a changing world, Allied Arts of Greater Chattanooga is changing its name and its mission, according to Executive Director Dan Bowers.

The arts advocacy agency, which was formed in 1969 primarily to raise and distribute money to a core group of arts agencies, now will be called ArtsBuild, a name that better reflects its purpose, according to board Chairman James D. Kennedy III. The new mission is to continue to raise money, but to distribute it to a broader base and to serve as an advocate for all arts in the community.

"We realize the [old] mission as it relates to the study was different," Kennedy said. "As it relates to the community, nothing is the same as it was in 1969. This new name reflects what we should be doing and what we are already doing."

Bowers said Allied Arts has raised more than $50 million over its history and will have a budget of about $1.8 million this year.

Bowers said ArtsBuild will continue to serve its 14 Cultural Partners by providing 15 to 20 percent of their operating expenses, what he called their "keeping-the- lights-on money."

"I'm very excited about it," said Hunter Museum of American Art Executive Director Daniel Stetson of the changes.

"I think it is a very dynamic name and very active name that really talks about how arts build community, and I really believe that."

The name change and the new sign over the agency's Frazier Avenue offices will be officially revealed Monday at 10 a.m. At that time, the 22 recipients of the new Community Cultural Connections grants will be announced.

The winners will be given grants of up to $6,000 each from a $60,000 fund created by ArtsBuild and Hamilton County District 8 Commissioner Tim Boyd.

"We cut out $40,000 from our budget to do this, and when Commissioner Boyd heard about it, he pledged $20,000 from his discretionary fund," Bowers said.

The grants are being awarded to "emerging groups and members of neighborhood organizations, including cultural and faith-based organizations throughout Hamilton County," according to Lillie Wills, Diversity Working Group co-chairwoman. They are to be used for everything from neighborhood festivals to workshops.

Bowers and Kennedy said these grants represent a new direction for ArtsBuild.

"We are taking the long view," Kennedy said. "In order to keep the symphony viable, for example, you need more people in attendance. We think by reaching more people in the community through the arts in their neighborhood or community, they will be more open to trying new things."

Bowers said the Community Cultural Grants are part of that plan.

"It's like pebbles in a pond," Bowers said. "We see us being a catalyst, and we see this as a tipping point. We will learn a lot of things through these grants."

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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