The Benwood Foundation supports innovative community efforts that help to make Chattanooga great. We believe that collective action is a crucial driver of civic change. Building a great city is everyone’s challenge, everyone’s opportunity, everyone’s work.

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The Benwood Blog

Those waiting in line to see the sharks and jellyfish often miss the river scene medallions that circle the Aquarium walls.

Echoes of Chattanooga’s Early Artistic Heritage

When we think about Chattanooga’s artistic heritage we think back to early performers like blues empress Bessie Smith or you may even know about jazz musician Valaida Snow or more recently actress Dixie Carter, actor Jim Nebors and of course Samuel L Jackson, Dennis Haskins and Usher. And we’ve in...

It is the start of a good day for a middle-school age boy from Chattanooga’s urban community.

2014 Chattanooga Boys Leadership Summit

What began in 2010 as a discussion of the needs of boys living within Chattanooga's urban core, the Boys Leadership Summit (BLS) celebrated its fifth year of inspirational training for middle and high school males on November 15, 2014. The Summit brings together a host of agencies, faith-based institutions,...

That is the definition of success that is brighter than any red carpet, that is larger than the letters on the Hollywood sign, that is more permanent than any star on the Hollywood walk of fame.

Giving Voice to Others: A wider play for Chattanooga

Many of the artists I’ve met have talked about a childhood formative experience that first inspired them and this was the case too for actor Christy Gallo. However for Christy, this was not the first step in a progression but a taster that led to self-doubt and leaving the theater...

Chattanoogans can take on a new challenge by moving beyond our tremendous downtown and apply the same creative and intellectual energies to the communities that surround it.

Designing Health

A little over a year ago, I was asked by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to be part of a panel discussion at the AIGA Head, Heart, Hand: Design Conference. I shared the stage with Doug Powell from IBM, Matthew Trowbridge, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of Virginia School of...

We can't just keep marching and rallying. What we need to not do is plant seeds and not come back and water them.

An Open Letter to Black Leaders

I'm from East Lake Courts, and my organization has taken a stand against violence.

I don't care what kind of violence it is. Sexual violence, gun violence, domestic violence. We should not be losing our young kids because of stupidity.

He hopes to see a Chattanooga that blends the arts, has a less disjointed creative scene and more unified and diverse audiences...

Speaking Up, Speaking Out: Christian Collier

"Being an artist means being comfortable with doing everything you can do, as much as you can, and being ok with not being enough." - Christian Collier

Many artists are known for their mastery of a particular form – an artist is a painter, or she is a singer,...