Art, Culture & Music

 

Story Ideas for Chattanooga

Home to a variety of museums, festivals and art focused community initiatives, Chattanooga offers something for every type of art lover. The restoration of the iconic Chattanooga Choo Choo in 2016 created the city’s emerging entertainment district, and the complex continues to undergo major renovations and additions featuring new restaurants, bars, attractions, shopping, and entertainment. Housing the new Songbirds Center this interactive learning museum features STEAM-based exhibits teaching visitors about guitars and how the instruments shaped the history of music in Chattanooga. The center also features a 250-person venue boasting a custom-built stage to host live events and concerts.

Home to state-of-the-art music venues, such as Tivoli Theatre which is currently undergoing renovations, the Walker Theatre at Memorial Auditorium and The Signal, the city offers countless live-music entertainment, annual music festivals and concert series. On the horizon, the former food hall Market South will convert its large indoor space into a 500-person music venue with a balcony by this summer.

Major music festivals from every genre takeover Chattanooga each year. From the Riverfront Nights that run every Saturday in August and beginning of September to the tried and true like Riverbend Festival (June 3-5). Other musical events include the Big 9 Roots Festival in April and the popular Nightfall Concert Series from June through September which offers a mix of local openers and national headliners.

The destination’s art scene is also second to none. Take in one of the nation’s largest collections of American art at the Hunter Museum of American Art and discover the many galleries and emerging artists at the Bluff View Art, NorthShore and Southside districts. The city’s 33-acre Sculpture Fields at Montague Park also features works by world-renowned sculpture artists John Henry, Peter Lundberg and more. Visit Passageways 2.0 or Cooper’s Alley, the city’s newest alley installation featuring a continuous, large-scale sculpture flowing through the alley creating spaces for live music, happy hour, movie screenings and more. Attend 4 Bridges Arts Festival (April 9-10) a two-day, nationally ranked arts festival that draws more than 12,000 people annually and features exceptional visual & fine art from local and regional artists, creative kids area, live music, and great local food

On the culture front, the new Charles H. Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center offers innovative and interactive displays and experiences. Visitors are situated in the middle of historic moments that have earned fellow Americans this prestigious prize, the National Medal of Honor, which was born in Chattanooga. A community jewel, the Bessie Smith Cultural Center reopened last summer with new renovations to better tell the story of

African Americans in Chattanooga throughout history. New additions include a children’s education program and new exhibits highlighting well-known African American entertainers from Chattanooga like Valaida Snow, Samuel L. Jackson, Usher, Roland Hayes, and many others.

The city is also home to a variety of quirky museums including the International Towing Museum and the new Classic Arcade and Pinball Museum

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