Opinion: Chattanooga’s ArtsBuild initiative shows hunger for arts

Posted on: July 13, 2017

“With all types of art not a given in every Hamilton County public school, area residents are fortunate to have an organization like ArtsBuild to provide exposure to presentational arts for every first- through fourth-grader,” writes Clint Cooper in Wednesday’s (7/12) Times Free Press (Chattanooga, TN). “The organization’s Imagine! Initiative has provided a systematic introduction and exposure to the arts for all Hamilton County students since 2010. First-grade students attend a Youth Theatre production at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre, second-graders see the Chattanooga Ballet’s production of ‘The Nutcracker,’ third-graders view the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera’s Young People’s Concert, and fourth-graders attend the Southern Lit Alliance’s Theatre Express! presentation…. For many baby boomers who grew up in Chattanooga, visual arts and music classes in the then-Chattanooga Public Schools, and occasional field trips for special performances, were a given. We can recall, for instance, a third-grade trip to Memorial Auditorium for a performance by the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra…. During the 2016-2017 school year … 41 out of 42 eligible Hamilton County Department of Education schools participated in the Imagine! Initiative.” Rodney Van Valkenburg, director of grants and initiatives at ArtsBuild, says that broad interest demonstrates “the hunger for the arts in the schools.”

Posted July 13, 2017