CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) Today we’re talking to Glass House Collective and here joining us from Glass House is Whitni McDonald.
Whitni with Glass House Collective tells viewers who have never heard of it that it is a nonprofit organization that is focused on community and neighborhood revitalization, bringing life to Glass Street and Glass Street back to life, and it’s been around for five years in East Chattanooga along Glass Street which is a business kind of a historic corridor really and it’s a way of getting neighbors to the table and finding out what they’re priorities might be in ways that they can partner with artists to create interesting opportunities in the neighborhood and really just facilitate conversation, get to know one another.
If anyone’s been down Glass Street recently there is a lot of great artwork and I’m sure Glass House Collective has been a big part of that.
Whitni said “Yes, in fact, really recently, this has been as recently as this last weekend when there was a lot of weather, there was a festival that was along Glass Street but it’s really Roanoke Avenue as it curves around and that was called the East Chatt Highlight Festival and it was a three day festival highlighting the good things going on in the neighborhood. Often times, the area around Glass Street really needs advocacy for the good. For what, highlighting what people are doing, it’s creative and positive and the people that live in the neighborhood, the kind of relationships that we are able to learn about all the time. There’s just really creative, interesting, kind and hardworking neighbors that are an inspiration everyday in the work that we’re doing there.”
They wanna bring people to that part of town, to get people to shop in their stores, explore the street.
Whitni states that not only are there other artistic events like the Highlight Festival where there was the pool, it’s been in three different neighborhood locations. The big sculpture that you step on and it lights up, but also there’s lots of artistic experiences like that but also business is a big thing, and there’s actually a small business owner who’s opening today.
“May 1st is a good time to start something like that, and her name is Gloria and it’s Designs by Gloria and she’s doing a artistic kind of alterations fabric and sewing, classes eventually, she wants to offer that as well, alterations company, and it’s right on the main strip and so she’s able to partner with and collaborate with an artist who has a studio across the street and everything and it’s wonderful. He’s able to bring people in and do work in that space and she’s able to maybe facilitate some classes in that space as well so it’s been really interesting to see those things take shape.”
Whitni says they need collaboration all the time.
“This work is nothing without partnership and collaboration and that’s what we’re always striving for so those who wanna get involved can go to our website and there’s actually a link, a tab at the top called Get Involved, and that’s a way to connect with us to receive the newsletter, to stay in touch on social media. We have Instagram and Facebook as well, highlighting all the events, highlighting different kinds of endeavors that our friends and neighbors are putting together all the time.”
More information to get involved is on the Glass House Collective webiste, http://www.glasshousecollective.org/get-involved/.
*Photo from Glass House Collective