published Thursday, December 6th, 2012

ArtsBuild a new direction for local arts



The arts.

What do those words conjure up in your mind, and are the three variations different to you? I would imagine we all have differing thoughts. Some will immediately think of highbrow things like museums, ballets and symphonies. Some will think of grade-school classes spent drawing trees and butterflies, and others might imagine pottery or sculpture.

I wonder how many of you immediately thought of the chair you are sitting in, the house you occupy or the way your office space makes you "feel."

The editorial floor here at the Times Free Press is one of the nicest anywhere, or so I'm told by newspaper people who visit. We have 14-foot ceilings, maple flooring throughout and giant windows that extend the length of the building.

Right now, a couple hundred holiday-themed drawings done by area schoolkids plaster the glass walls of our conference rooms. It's a great environment, made so by art.

Allied Arts of Greater Chattanooga has changed its name and its mission. Henceforth, ArtsBuild plans to concern itself with making us all aware of just how art, no, THE ARTS impact our lives.

It wants to make us aware that art is more than our government spending thousands of dollars on metal sculptures that some don't think we need. It's also the design of your car, the way lighting affects your mood and the way schoolkids who are exposed to the arts learn to think critically and to express themselves, meaning they do better in other classes and in life in general.

ArtsBuild also wants to convince all of us that the arts bring in money to a community in real ways. Like VW of Chattanooga, for example.

Changing the mindset won't happen overnight, but it is a noble and worthwhile plan.

Joan Koplan called the other day to say that a film crew is in town shooting the new season of "Small Town Security" at her JJK Security agency in Ringgold, Ga., and to relay some scheduling changes for the show.

"AMC has announced they've moved their unscripted reality shows like ours to Thursday night," she says. "I think that is better."

The show, which follows six JJK staffers as they go about their daily business, which usually involves plenty of off-color banter, was on at 11 p.m. Sundays. Koplan says she is not sure what time it will air but that it will premiere in the second quarter of the spring season.

Contact staff writer Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354.

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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