August 4, 2008
Did You Know?
Chattanooga: Details, A Renewal Story, Cultural Offerings
Arthur Golden – Author
Bessie Smith – Blues Singer
John Meacham – Editor
Leslie Jordan – Actor
Reggie White – NFL Player
Roland Hayes – Tenor
Samuel L. Jackson – Actor
Usher – R & B Singer
Chattanooga, Tennessee, the site of NASAA Assembly 2008 in September, has been touted by The New York Times as “the undiscovered gem of Tennessee, where old-school Southern manners and grand Victorian mansions meet a thoroughly modern, eco-friendly Tennessee riverfront.” Chattanooga, the fourth-largest city in Tennessee, is home to 155,554 residents with estimated reports of the metropolitan area population close to 500,000. Situated in the southeast corner of the state near Georgia, the Chattanooga area is home to more than 300 kinds of trees and 900 wildflowers, more than any location on the earth except central China.
In the early 1980s Chattanooga was beset by economic hardship, social tension and urban decline. The city has since received national recognition for the revitalization of its downtown and riverfront and has been cited in textbooks as a model for citizen involvement in community planning and decision making. Arts and culture have played a big role in the revitalization of Chattanooga. The following are just a few of the fine cultural offerings Chattanooga has to experience:
- The Hunter Museum of American Art is housed in two buildings, a mansion built in 1904 and a contemporary style building from 1974. The original mansion was donated in 1951 to the Chattanooga Arts Association by George Thomas Hunter, one of Chattanooga’s most respected philanthropists. The museum houses the largest collection of American art in the southeast. Artists whose work is represented in the museum include: Thomas Cole, Fitzhugh Lane, Winslow Homer, Mary Cassatt, Childe Hassam, Robert Henri, John Marin, Thomas Hart Benton, Helen Frankenthaler, Louise Nevelson, Jack Beal, George Segal, Duane Hanson and Robert Rauschenberg. The current exhibition is William Norris: Myth, Object and the Animal.
Chattanooga Fun Facts:
- In a league of her own. In 1931, Jackie Mitchell, a female pitcher for the Chattanooga Lookouts, struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in succession.
- Gear head in tow? The city is home to the world’s only museum dedicated to the towing and recovery industry.
- Feel like putting a round? Welcome to the birthplace of miniature golf!
- The Passage is the nation’s largest public art project celebrating Cherokee history and culture. The installation symbolizes the Trail of Tears. The Passage was developed by Team Gadugi, five Native American artists from Oklahoma, and serves as a bridge between downtown and the waterfront. The main artistic element of the project, a visual representation of the Cherokee’s brutal forced relocation from Chattanooga and other eastern cities, is a series of seven glazed and carved medallions inserted in to the wall of the walkway. Each medallion represents a specific aspect of the tribe’s history, its religious beliefs and its struggles with colonial settlers.
- The Bluff View Art District is located on the stone cliffs overlooking the Tennessee River. The district is a premier destination for cultural and culinary arts, business and leisure activities, private functions and public festivals. Home to the River Gallery and River Gallery Sculpture Garden, the district is in close proximity to the Houston Museum of Decorative Arts, the Hunter Museum of American Art, the Tennessee Aquarium and Coolidge Park. Come stroll amongst the ‘cliff dwellers’ and partake in artisan roasted coffee, fresh pastries, seasonal chocolates and homemade pasta. Make sure to schedule some time for a game at the Bocce Court Terrace.
For more information about what to do when you are in Chattanooga for NASAA’s Assembly 2008 visit www.chattanoogafun.com/