The Chattanooga Tourism Co.'s Cultural Tourism Advancement (CTA) Grant is designed to advance tourism-related projects initiated by Culture, Heritage, and Arts (CHA) partners. Qualifying projects support several objectives identified in the CT Co.'s strategic plan, including increasing brand awareness and driving visitor demand while aligning with the CT Co.'s mission of promoting and developing visitor experiences that enhance the economic and social prosperity of Hamilton County. 

In the summer of 2018, more than 150 stakeholders and community partners provided input for CT Co.'s strategic plan to lay out a new strategy to identify top opportunities to become the nation's most competitive and innovative destination organization. Through the strategic plan, the CTA Grant was created to support mission-focused initiatives and provide opportunities for collaboration and industry growth. Since the grant's inception, CT Co. has proudly invested over $1 million in CHA initiatives in Hamilton County.   

Here Are A Few 2022 CTA Grant Recipients and Their Upcoming Projects to Be Looking For:   

Davis Wayne's - Intimate Evening Music Series  

Davis Wayne's, located in Cambridge Square, is an upscale meat-and-three restaurant reaching diverse residents and visitors. To offer an enhanced fine-dining experience, complemented by musical performances, Davis Wayne's will be expanding its offerings and customer experience by enclosing part of their outdoor seating space and reviving their Intimate Evening Music Series. This series will feature local, regional, and national artists with an all-inclusive ticket price covering dining, cocktails, and a musical performance. Once renovations are complete, the Intimate Evening Music Series will be offered bi-monthly. 

Tennessee Valley Railroad - Accessibility Improvements

As part of a multi-year project, the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum will enhance its facilities and train operations at the Grand Junction Campus. The enhancements will include multiple mobility access points and improve the visitor experience for those with all abilities. Current access to historic railroad equipment is impacted by physical constraints created by the vintage equipment's design and is exempt from ADA requirements. The construction of multiple boarding ramps, coupled with the use of specific accessible equipment, will lead to a more enjoyable and educational experience for all visitors

Lookout Mountain Conservancy – Wayfinding Signage at Old Wauhatchie Bouldering Park  

Old Wauhatchie Bouldering Park, managed by the Lookout Mountain Conservancy, is a public bouldering area that offers quality bouldering at all grades. Situated at the base of Lookout Mountain near Chattanooga’s historic St. Elmo neighborhood, the park has 27 boulders open to climbing; all marked with signs along the trail. With more boulders opening in the future, more wayfinding signage through trails and mapping is planned for easy navigation. Additionally, the Lookout Mountain Conservancy will update trail access from the parking lot, including remediation and landscaping to minimize environmental impact.  

Hot Chocolatier – Experiencing Chattanooga Made Chocolate   

After opening in Chattanooga as a unique chocolate shop 14 years ago, the Hot Chocolatier will launch its Experiencing Chattanooga Made Chocolate program with new interactive experiences for everyone. These experiences will include a chocolate bean-to-bar open daily to visitors and educational, hands-on classes. Through these offerings, chocolate lovers can perfect their chocolate expertise, experience the Hot Chocolatier chocolate process starting from raw cacao, and make their visit to the shop even more memorable.

Check out some of the events funded through the 2022 CTA Grant that we loved:

Hunter Museum of American Art's Enchanted: A History of Fantasy Illustration | May 20 - Sept. 5, 2022

Enchanted: A History of Fantasy Illustration explores centuries of fairy tales, magical spells, and Green mythological legends. Enchanted, organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass., features over 100 artworks. While focusing on American fantasy illustrations from the early 20th century to the present, the collection also included artwork depicting over five centuries of legends and lore. CTA Grant funds were utilized to increase the museum’s ad-buying capacity, reaching a broader audience. In return, Enchanted: A History of Fantasy Illustration is the most visited single exhibition in the museum’s history! 

Sculpture Fields at Montague Park – Fire Up the Fields  

The Sculpture Fields at Montague Park celebrated its 6th Anniversary with an explosive art event: Fire Up the Fields. Fire Up the Fields was an all-day, free event featuring interactive art experiences and a celebration of a unique Chattanooga institution. This event welcomed locals and visitors to a performative and vibrant experience featuring local and regional artists, live music and dance, food and drink, and a large-scale sculpture burn to end the celebration. 

Chattanooga Zoo's Asian Lantern Festival | Nov. 10, 2022 - Jan. 15, 2023

A spectacular celebration of art, culture, and the beauty of traditional Asian lantern festivals, this was one of the most unique light displays in the Chattanooga area. Festival goers enjoyed more than 35 illuminating and interactive displays featuring guests’ favorite zoo animals, traditional Asian lanterns, and natural elements. The 2022 CTA Grant funded digital ads driving visitor attendance to this event. In its first year, the Asian Lantern Festival welcomed over 23,700 visitors. 

The Chattanooga Tourism Co. takes pride in continued collaboration with our CHA partners to elevate our community’s economic and social prosperity by developing and implementing new and enhanced visitor experiences.  

Learn more about the CTA Grant at