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


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.

In each round, Thrive listens to the collective aspirations of participating communities in order to learn the passions and hopes of the people who live there. We provide support, tools, and inspiration for active citizens to take ownership of a innovative planning process that engages their neighbors, fellow business-owners, and policymakers. Using design thinking methodology, the residents determine their city’s unique assets and test collective will by experimenting with their ideas and collecting feedback. Thriving Communities is a grassroots movement for anyone with a dream to better their hometown for all who live there.

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

2018 Community Signposts of Success


Monetary and in-kind contributions


Collaboration partners


Artists engaged


Out-of-town guest attendance


Volunteers engaged


Features in local media outlets

Since 2016, the Thriving Communities program has generated over $2 million in local investments and engaged over 1,600 volunteers across the region.


Go Deeper


Program partners

Thriving Communities is made possible by the generous support of the


And the Resource Team, comprised of several leaders from