Thriving Communities


Sparking “growth from within” communities through a regional creative placemaking movement.

Thriving Communities is a high-touch community accelerator program designed to enhance leadership and community development throughout the greater Chattanooga region through creative placemaking. Participating teams learn strategic approaches to leverage their unique, arts and cultural assets in order to spark economic vibrancy.

The program is funded by the Lyndhurst Foundation, with design thinking facilitation provided by global consulting firm Bridge Innovate. At the end of the program, each team is eligible to apply for a seed grant from the Lyndhurst Foundation to make their community strategy a reality.

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, Tennessee


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Participating partners

Program co-Designers

Thrive Regional Partnership

The Lyndhurst Foundation

Bridge Innovate


Volunteer Resource Team


Chattanooga Design Studio

Southeast Tennessee Development


Georgia Council for the Arts

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Tennessee Arts Commission

Northwest Georgia Regional Commission



Athens, Tennessee

Bridgeport, Alabama

Cleveland, Tennessee

Cohutta, Georgia

Dalton, Georgia

Dayton, Tennessee

Decatur, Tennessee

Ducktown, Tennessee

Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia

Fort Payne, Alabama

LaFayette, Georgia

Murray County, Georgia

Rossville, Georgia

South Pittsburg, Tennessee

Whitwell, Tennessee