Four cities successfully complete 2018 community accelerator program


Four cities in the greater Chattanooga region - Athens, TN; Decatur, TN; Fort Oglethorpe, GA; and Whitwell, TN - have completed the 2018 Thriving Communities program of Thrive Regional Partnership. They are now eligible to apply for a $20,000 seed grant from the Lyndhurst Foundation to kickstart their incubated strategies for local, asset-based community vibrancy and growth.

Thriving Communities is a 10-month community accelerator program designed to support cities to “grow from within.” The program engages local citizens and provides them with leadership coaching, tools, and inspiration to leverage cultural assets that enhance economic vibrancy and growth in their cities and towns across the tri-state, 16-county Chattanooga region. Team ideas are incubated, tested, and reiterated in each individual community to foster continual feedback from fellow citizens and neighbors. As a result, the strategies are authentically shaped by the people who live, work and play in these communities.

Read more about our work in creative placemaking.

A key outcome of the Thriving Communities program is the discovery of our region’s hidden gems: both people and places. It empowers emerging leaders to work together and create sustainable growth strategies that preserve a unique sense of place in their hometowns that can be celebrated for generations to come.
— Bridgett Massengill, President/CEO, Thrive Regional Partnership

The program is funded and co-developed by the Lyndhurst Foundation with capacity support provided by global design-thinking firm Bridge Innovate. To provide additional professional steerage, Thrive is proud to connect participating community leaders with members of the Thriving Communities Resource Team, which includes representatives from ArtsBuild, Chattanooga Design Studio, Georgia Council for the Arts, Northwest Georgia Regional Commission, Southeast Tennessee Development, SouthArts, Tennessee Arts Commission, UTC’s Interdisciplinary Geospatial Technology Lab, and UTC’s Southeast Center for Education in the Arts. Each partner has lent unparalleled talent and perspective to this creative placemaking movement in cities and towns throughout the tri-state region.

The Thriving Communities process has been about finding an identity. It was always there, but we needed to make the intangible tangible. We needed to find our voice, and Thrive has given us the platform to stand up and say, ‘This is who we are. This is where we want to go next.
— Susan Jarrett, Whitwell, TN

Contact us to to help you make your city a Thriving Community.

2018 Thriving Communities celebration | october 02 | hunter museum of american art