ArtsBuild 2020 Annual Report

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Annual Report

Since 1969, ArtsBuild has invested more than $75 million in the arts in Chattanooga and Hamilton County. Through grant making, arts education initiatives, arts leadership, and advocacy, we carry out our mission to build a stronger community through the arts.

We couldn’t do it without the support of many donors and patrons, board members and volunteers, and the arts organizations, artists and educators who together create, sustain and celebrate the arts in our community.

Message from Our Board Chair

This past year has brought unexpected challenges for everyone. Here at ArtsBuild we have taken this chance to re-think, re-prioritize, and “re-mix� the work we do to support our local arts community. With the leadership of our new President, James McKissic, our focus at ArtsBuild has been to be a resource, a connector and a support for artists and arts organizations. I am proud of the ArtsBuild board and staff for being flexible, adaptable and responsive to the circumstances in order to make sure that our mission continues to build a stronger community through the arts. This moment also gives us an opportunity to recognize the potential that exists for the arts to sustain and heal. It is remarkable to see the creativity with which local artists and arts organizations are using their talents and their programs to reach people in new ways. Especially, I want to thank you, our donors and friends. The support we are able to give the arts community relies heavily on the generosity and dedication of everyone to make the arts an ongoing, thriving part of this community.

Mary P. Tanner

James McKissic joined ArtsBuild as President in December 2019. He is a Chattanooga-area native with two decades of experience promoting community and art. Most recently, McKissic managed fundraising, programming and community engagement as Chief Operating Officer of the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga.

James was the Senior Adviser to the Mayor and the Director of the City of Chattanooga’s Office of Multicultural Affairs. Both roles included improving diversity efforts and promoting inclusion throughout the city. James is an accomplished painter and arts collector, with a focus on supporting the careers of emerging artists in the Southeast.

“James has a demonstrated passion for empowering communities, connecting cultures and changing lives and will undoubtedly cultivate arts and culture equity throughout our region. We are confident in his ability to strengthen our organization, and our entire community, through the arts.� -- Mary P. Tanner, Board Chair

Message from Our President I grew up in what was called the “golden age of hip-hop” -- the mid-1980s to early 90s. An artist would release a great song and then a DJ would remix it, changing the beats, rhythm, order, pace, and energy, for example, turning the original song into something new and different. In 2020, the world has faced a pandemic. ArtsBuild has faced it by “re-mixing” the work that we do to support the local arts sector in every way that we can. This year our programs and old ways of doing things had to be adapted to become new and better models. Concern about funding has led us to look for new resources. In a time when we can’t gather together, we appreciate even more the generosity of our donors and the resiliency of our arts sector, while being sincerely concerned for the health and well-being of everyone. In a sense, this year has been ArtsBuild’s 2020 Remix. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge for the entire local arts sector, but the crisis has afforded ArtsBuild the opportunity to lean in, focus on our mission, and be present in new ways for the people and organizations who make this community a great place to live, work and play. My first year at ArtsBuild has been an absolute joy, and I continue to learn something new each day from the amazing staff and board I am blessed to work with. I am also grateful for the arts sector’s openness and willingness to work sideby-side with me and ArtsBuild as we remix, re-envision and roll-out new iterations of our core programs along with new ones that meet the immediate needs of our community.

James McKissic

ARTSBUILD FY20 Financials ArtsBuild pledges to be good stewards of all gifts and investments. Below is a simple breakdown of the sources of those funds and how they are used. We hold a high standard of accountability and transparency to the public and welcome any requests for more information. A copy of our most recent Audit and Form 990 can be found on our website. We are proud of our lean overhead costs, meaning 100% of tax-deductible donations are used directly for program support.

SOURCES OF FUNDS Contributed Income $696,226 38% Endowment Income $716,040 39% Government Grants $373,360 20% The Arts Building - Facilities Income



USE OF FUNDS Community Investments & Arts Education



Community Events & Leadership Programs



ArtsBuild Operations $386,198 21% The Arts Building – Facilities Expense



for year ending June 30, 2020

ARTSBUILD FY20 By the Numbers


764 Annual Donors

$1,043,110 Total Fundraising Revenue

Annual Campaign Fund Total



Students in ArtsBuild’s Imagine! Arts Education Program

Amount Invested by ArtsBuild in Hamilton County Schools

900,000 Cumulative Number of People Impacted by ArtsBuild Funding

53 ArtsBuild Grant Recipients

$172 million Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts Organizations in Hamilton County

community Arts PArtners Mission Support grants fund local arts organizations that create and provide year-round arts programs and experiences that are vital to the cultural life of the community. A grants review panel made up of community volunteers evaluates each organization’s application, heavily weighted on the organization’s efforts to create access to the arts across our community – through outreach, inclusion, and variety of programs.


Creative Discovery Museum

Association for Visual Arts

East Lake Expression Engine

Ballet Tennessee

H’Art Gallery

Bessie Smith Cultural Center

Hunter Museum of American Art

Chattanooga Ballet

Scenic City Clay Arts

Chattanooga Boys Choir

Sculpture Fields at Montague Park

Chattanooga Girls Choir


Chattanooga Symphony & Opera

Southern Lit Alliance

Chattanooga Theatre Centre

SPLASH Youth Arts Workshop


Unity Performing Arts Foundation

“ArtsBuild is proud to support such a diverse group of arts organizations. Our Community Arts Partners are key collaborators in our mission of building a stronger community through the arts, by expanding access to the arts and making a difference through their unique work.� Rowena Belcher, ArtsBuild Board Member

The Pop-up Project performs in Coopers Alley

Arts in the Community ArtsBuild’s Community Cultural Connections program awards grants of up to $2,000 on a rolling basis for projects or programs that use the arts to make our community a better place. Applicants do not need to be 501(c)(3) organizations. This year we funded 25 unique arts programs, events and projects.


Mark Making

Center for Mindful Living

Move N Groove Kidz

Chattanooga Sound Project

The Net Resource Foundation

Chattanooga Writers’ Guild

Northside Neighborhood House

Chattanooga’s Legends of Soul Christian J. Collier Culture Books Doors Open Jazz Epilepsy Foundation of Southeast Tennessee

The Pop-up Project Resilient Documentary Project Scenic City Clay Arts The Shaking Ray Levi Society Songs of Freedom

Glass House Collective

Brie Stevens

Tim Hinck Hip-Hop for Humanity Chattanooga

Voci Virili Men’s Consort and Voice of Reason Women’s Ensemble

Lincoln Park Neighborhood Association

Young Ladies of Power

Broadening Access to the Arts

The Tennessee Arts Commission’s Arts Build Communities (ABC) grant program is designed to provide support for arts projects that broaden access to arts experiences, address community quality of life issues through the arts, and enhance the sustainability of asset-based cultural enterprises. ArtsBuild manages the grant applications for Hamilton County.

ARTS BUILD COMMUNITIES GRANT RECIPIENTS FY20 Friends of the Library SoundCorps SPLASH Youth Arts Workshop East Lake Expression Engine Scenic City Clay Arts Mid-South Sculpture Alliance The Shaking Ray Levi Society

Charlie Newton, founder of SPLASH Youth Arts Workshop

2020 Highlights


Candy Kruesi

ArtsBuild was pleased to honor Candy Kruesi at a reception at the Hunter Museum of American Art on March 10, 2020 as the recipient of this year’s Arts Leadership Award. Kruesi has been an active

volunteer in the community for many years, giving generously of her time, expertise and resources to support Chattanooga’s non-profit institutions, especially its many arts organizations.


ARTS 65+

Even though Hamilton County School elementary students won’t be taking any field trips this year, we are bringing the arts to them. ArtsBuild’s popular Imagine! arts education program will be different but just as important during the pandemic. We are producing a series of high quality educational arts videos in partnership local arts organizations so that teachers can continue to incorporate the arts as an essential component of their curriculum.

With generous support from Morning Pointe Senior Living, ArtsBuild was able to offer a menu of free arts classes to seniors throughout Hamilton County. Classes in dance, music, theater, and visual arts were provided by Chattanooga arts organizations and other nonprofits.

ARTIST EMERGENCY FUND Thanks to donations from local foundations and individual donors, we were able to provide relief checks of up to $500 for 104 self-employed artists who had lost work due to the pandemic.

2020 Highlights

ARTISTS WORK GRANTS ArtsBuild, Public Art Chattanooga and the Southeast Tennessee Development District announced a new Artists Work Grants program to provide funding to individual artists, artist studios and non-profit arts organizations for the production of artworks for public spaces in Chattanooga. With the sudden loss of audiences, jobs and patrons due to COVID-19, the program was created as economic stimulus, investing $300,000 in new funding to benefit both the arts sector and the public realm.

SHARED SERVICES ArtsBuild has launched a shared services program to address different needs across our local arts sector for resources and services such as legal assistance, human resources, marketing, communications, back office, and other training and tools. As part of this program, ArtsBuild also coordinates training and resources to address racial equity within our organization, in all of our programs and among the broader arts community. These shared services are currently facilitated for our Community Arts Partners, the recipients of ArtsBuild mission support grants.

“The Shared Services program that ArtsBuild started in 2020 has made a real difference for Chattanooga Ballet. We’re seeing great results from the work we’ve been doing through the program. Thank you to ArtsBuild for helping to make arts organizations like Chattanooga Ballet as successful as possible.” John Farrimond, Executive Director Chattanooga Ballet

Board & STAFF

BOARD OF DIRECTORS as of August 1, 2020 Andrea Becksvoort

Isaac Duncan III

Bryan Kelly

Rowena Belcher

Sally Faulkner

Marcus McKamey

Nicole Brown

Lori Finlay

Tiffanie Robinson

Roger Brown

Patti Frierson

Mary Poston Tanner

Xavier Cotto

Jeannine Grogg

Sybil Topel

Carmen Davis

Andrew Hibbard

Peggy Townsend

Olga de Klein

Vanessa Jackson

Edna Varner

STAFF James McKissic, President Sallie Lawrence, Director of Finance Kathryn Wroth, Director of Development Caroline Bulman, Development Manager Miriam Manda, Manager of Grants and Community Engagement Amy Lowdermilk, Program Manager Sara Lee Tolbert, Office Manager and Administrative Assistant

Donors, Thank You!

At ArtsBuild we work each day toward a vision of More Arts in More Places for More People, investing your donations and community resources where it is needed most. Our goal is to keep the arts community strong through these challenging times, because we know how necessary they will be for healing, economic recovery, and our community’s well-being. Thank you for your generous support of the arts!



301 E. 11th St., Suite 300 Chattanooga, TN 37403

423 756-2787