A new Master's of Fine Arts program is coming to Glass Street in 2016! A long term lease has been secured for their campus, but funds are needed to develop it's first phase, which is a community art gallery. That's where we come in! Our grant will allow them to construct ten pop up walls and the lighting to accompany them so they can begin using the great open space right in the middle of downtown East Chattanooga. The art exhibitions will focus on finding and developing local artistic talent and empowering them through the voice of quality art exhibition opportunities. The impact on the neighborhood will be immediate.
Helping a Chattanoogan sell their wares at a farmers market could mean the difference between paying a bill and not quite making it. By helping provide the market with vendor setups (EZ-Up tents with weights, tables, chairs, and benches) someone who might not have the opportunity to sell their vegetables or craft at one of seven markets will get it. Last year the market loaned a tent and a table to a Ukrainian immigrant. By the end of the market season, she was able to buy her own tent and table. This made a huge impact in her life and the success of the market. Not only will this help the vendor but having more wares available at the market will better serve our communities. The newest market location is in Highland Park, where fresh vegetables are in desperate need.
We couldn't pass up another opportunity to support the Chattanooga Film Fest this year. It really is the perfect platform for The UNFoundation to find local and regional fimmakers that need funds to propel their artistry. For its second year, we sponsored the awards ceremony to the tune of $1500. The grand prize winning feature film will take home $1000, while the best short will take home $500. Big checks will be presented Sunday night, April 5th at the closing ceremony in Waterhouse Pavillion (that's the building in Miller Plaza, guys).
The festival brings everything from a Vampire Western to family friendly shorts to an LGBTQ-esque documentary to light up the screens. It's sure to be a reel good time for all. Pun intended.
We couldn't pass up an opportunity to support bringing indie bands to Chattanooga while giving back to our community. I mean, who do you think we are? Flashlight Shows puts on shows in music venues and gives a portion of profits to a designated non-profit. For the love of music and all things good, we love how philanthropic these young folks are! Flashlight Shows shines a light on hard working DIY independent bands, deserving charities, and showcase what a great city Chattanooga can be to the bands who pass through.
Thanks to our $1,800 grant, a documentary of this historic event will be made. Back in 1925 here in Chattanooga, an old time fiddle contest was born to determine the best local fiddler who would then challenge Henry Ford’s self proclaimed “Champion Fiddler” Mellie Dunham. The annual event grew to be the premier old time fiddling contest of the south. Considered the “Southern Championship”, this was a huge deal for the music, musicians, and for Chattanooga, drawing over 5,000 spectators to the new Memorial Auditorium in 1927 for the contest. The event continued strong up until war and fuel rationing put an end to it in the 1940’s. Matt Downer revived the convention in 2010 and the response has been outstanding. Held in historic Lindsay Street Hall, everything is 100% acoustic, no microphones, amps, PA, etc. and is as authentic and true to its roots and the traditional music as it can possibly be. This documentary will bring youngsters and old timers together with a camera and lots of fiddles.
Recipient: Brenda Trigg | Grow Hope Urban Farm
Grow Hope Urban Youth Farm, in partnership with Hope For the Inner City, is not only providing food that's good for the neighborhood, but also serves as a gang-prevention activity, empowers young people to give back to the community, gain pre-employment skills, and moves the good food revolution one step closer to food justice. We are pumped about the good work this crew is doing out in East Chattanooga! So pumped that we are helping fund a water catchment project to expand their production in the spring of 2015. We also plan to volunteer at their MLK Day of Service project-- more details to come! Please join us.
Recipient: Run Chattanooga
Did you participate in Ironman Chattanooga this year? If so, you probably noted the $685 general entry fee (yikes). We’ve noticed a continuing trend of 5k and race events getting more and more expensive. However, this month we received an appy from Run Chattanooga for a FREE (yes, FREE) Half Marathon. Run Chattanooga hosts free group runs and workouts five days a week, and special events periodically, all over the Chattanooga area. We’re supercharging their upcoming Half Marathon FREEze your Half Off. Give them a LIKE on Facebook and get ready to run on January 10th!
Recipient: Relevant Hope
When Relevant Hope asked us to help fund a pilot program that would provide innovative winter coats to local homeless folks, we jumped at the chance. The coats double as sleeping bags, and are the brainchild of The Empowerment Plan, an organization based in Detroit that aids the homeless in their area. As a result of our grant, 22 coats were purchased from them, and distributed here just in time for that nasty cold snap in November. And with another harsh winter looming, the coats will be invaluable to those lucky enough to receive them. Here’s some more news coverage on the results. They may raise additional funds to expand the program and purchase more coats, so please follow them on Facebook to stay tuned!
Recipient: Hill City Neighborhood Association
The UnFoundation loves awesome neighborhoods, and we were so excited about this grant for the Hill City Neighborhood Association. The residents recognized the need for a safe and beautiful gathering place in the area, so they banded together and built a neighborhood garden on unused land. To keep their garden growing, the dedicated volunteers decided to add a neighborhood composting service. The UnFoundation provided the funds to pass out 100 compost buckets to residents and to spread the word about the service. Volunteers pick up the buckets weekly, literally turning their trash into a neighborhood treasure.
Recipient: Andy O’Brien, Katie Hargrave, Lauren Ruth
The Apothecary Art Gallery is a student run art gallery (created by the UTC Art Department) that is located in the MLK neighborhood. We weren’t sure what a “NeighborFloat” was, but once we figured it out, we were excited to provide them with a grant to purchase the needed materials to build it. It is literally a parade style float, that has since been designed and constructed by UTC students and neighborhood partners. The NeighborFloat project is an initiative designed create awareness and connections between the Apothecary Gallery and the MLK neighborhood. We can’t really think of a better way to create awareness and bring folks together than a parade!
Recipient: Kimberly Elbakidze | Red Bank High School
Kimberly Elbakidze has been on a mission to make her classroom the coolest one at Red Bank High School, and what’s cooler than a 3D printer!? Mrs. E’s students told her that they had to have one, and we at the UnFoundation agree. Thanks to our August grant, Red Bank High School purchased the See Me Educate 3D printer and 3D printing curriculum for the technology class. Now, over 240 students are learning how to 3D print, and we think that’s awesome.
Recipient: Lindsey Hagan
Wouldn’t you rather learn to play the ukulele than the recorder? I sure would, I mean, what cool band is looking for a hip recorder player? At least if you learn to play the ukulele you have a forever job in Hawai’i. Although still in the curriculum, recorders are loathed by many around the world, including Hamilton County teacher Lindsey Hagan. Ukuleles cost more than a recorder so public schools typically can’t afford them. Well, now Bess T Shepherd Elementary has 30 on hand, thanks to the UNFoundation, so hundreds of students each year are playing the ukulele instead of the recorder. #CHA is more awesome for many years to come!