Category: History

Cup of Culture

With over 50 local coffee shops in the Scenic City alone, coffee has become its own subculture that has spread and affected the ambience of Chattanooga. Not only do these shops act as a social space for the spread of art and ideas, but many have their hand in community outreach as well. 

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One Step

Introduction

Through a series of four short films the story of the cultural significance of dance is told. In each story, whether Step told through the divine nine, Bachata and the Latin American community, Pow Wow and the Native American community, or line dancing in the senior citizen community, the steps in each story correlates to a history of dance. The history of dance whether for protest, joy, or celebration is ultimately connecting all people to a community and giving people a place to belong.

Podcast: One Step Overview

Humbled by the Step

Yancy Freeman Jr. stands on Chamberlain field at the center of the University of
Tennessee at Chattanooga’s campus. Freeman screams out, “A Phi,” as his brothers
respond with, “O six.” The chants that ring out over UTC’s campus are a battle cry for
the history of the step dancing demanding to be heard. As the chants echo they signify
that step dancing holds incredible power and significance within not only the African
American community but the Greek community as well.

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Spooky Sketches

Chatt Comix Co-op

Superhumans, powers, the odd and the horrifying can be found in the pages of the Chatt Comix Co-op anthologies and zines. The Chattanooga Comix Co-op meets bi-monthly in what co-founder Meagan Frey describes as a “comics support group.” It acts as a safe haven for comic book readers, collectors, and creators to explore and expand upon their creative endeavors. 

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Kevin Bate Paints

Kevin Bate is Chattanooga’s humble, quirky, and paint-covered yes man.

 

Bate moved to Chattanooga in 2005 in search of an older home, full of character and potential. This led him to the Highland Park neighborhood on McCallie Avenue, which at the time, was ripe with crime and boarded up storefronts. The neighborhood lacked life, color, and was deemed the “bad part of town.” As depressing as the neighborhood seemed, Bate questioned how such a place made its residents feel. He saw this as an opportunity to breathe life back into a part of Chattanooga that had been forgotten and overlooked. Bate picked up his paintbrush and quite literally began to recolor his town. His initial goal was to give his neighborhood a sense of pride and to draw more public attention to an area that he quickly grew to love.

Bate started painting large murals on old, dilapidated buildings that lined the streets of McCallie Avenue. He was an instant success. Chattanooga natives, who previously sped through the neighborhood, were stopping and taking pictures in front of his murals. An area that was once avoided was now a destination. The City of Chattanooga and various business owners wanted more from Bate. He started doing commission murals, including “The Fallen Five,” that are now iconic Chattanooga staples.

Bate has an original artistic style that is easily recognizable all over the city. He uses implied lines and abstract shapes that force the viewer’s brain to see a face; they make people stop in the midst of their busy days and just look. Beautification was Bate’s goal. Now, after being an established Chattanoogan, Bate has poured his heart and talent back into the art community. He states, “I’d like to be the person to put more local artists to work.” Bate knows how it feels to be an aspiring artist, living off mac n’ cheese and criticism. Therefore, he wants to inspire local artists to pursue their talents by collaborating with him on large projects to continue to paint this city.

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