Allied Arts of Greater Chattanooga (Now ArtsBuild): A Citizen-driven Planning Process

Image of children drawing at ArtsBuild event

Team: Thomas Wolf, Dennie Palmer Wolf, Marc Goldring, Jane Culbert

As part of a Kresge-funded initiative coordinated by Allied Arts of Greater Chattanooga, consultant Dr. Thomas Wolf conducted an organizational assessment of Allied Arts itself. The Kresge initiative is aimed at strengthening local arts organizations and enhancing their long-term viability and sustainability. The major component of the project included individual assessments of each of Allied Arts funded partners. These included reviews of their activities, governance, staffing, finances, marketing, fundraising, and also included on-site interviewing of trustees, staff, funders, and constituents.

Based on this work, WolfBrown was later engaged to complete a regional cultural plan for the Greater Chattanooga area. Utilizing local research that identified citizen aspirations for the future of their community, WolfBrown worked with a 50-person task force that included civic, corporate, and public sector leadership. Priorities were established in such areas as education, economic development, diversity and democracy, downtown development, and quality of life. The resulting report, “Imagine Chattanooga 20/20: Strengthening the Region through Creativity, Arts and Culture,” not only established the action steps in each of the priority areas but laid out the infrastructure needs to accomplish the plan. One of these was a change in the funding policies of the local arts agency from traditional united fund for arts organizations to a funding approach that focused on initiatives and community priorities as well as basic operating support.

Find out more about this project by reading this online article.