As summer approaches, Chattanooga’s vibrant Innovation District is abuzz with excitement and creative ideas that have the potential to shape the future. And at the Enterprise Center, we are always excited to highlight partners working toward a future that includes everyone.
June is an ideal month to celebrate this spirit of inclusivity, as it hosts both Pride Month and Juneteenth, two significant observances that promote acceptance, equality, and respect for historically marginalized communities. It’s these diverse experiences and identities that enrich downtown Chattanooga.
Juneteenth, which commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States, is celebrated locally through a wide range of events across the city. We’ve shared a few taking place in our Innovation District below. You can see the full schedule of events for Chattanooga Festival of Black Arts and Ideas here.
Saturday, June 17 | noon-6:30 p.m. | Bessie Smith Cultural Center
Bessie Smith Cultural Center will celebrate Juneteenth on Saturday, June 17 from noon to 6:30 p.m. A Juneteenth documentary will be shown in the performance hall at 12:30 p.m. and again at 3:30 p.m. There will be live music on the BCBST Stage on the Bessie Smith Cultural Center terrace. The Center for Creative Arts Jazz Vocal Ensemble will perform at 3 p.m. Kofi Mawuko and Ogya World Music Band will perform at 5 p.m. There will be art and merchandise vendors on the lawn as well as food trucks. More details here.
Saturday, June 17 | 10 a.m. | Chattanooga Public Library – Downtown branch
In Partnership with the Chattanooga Public Library Local History & Genealogy Department, Scratching Your Roots Black Genealogy Society will present a Black genealogy workshop that is designed to provide tools for those of African descent to discover where their ancestors were from. This year’s workshop, “Preservation 101 for the Family Historian”, is presented by CPL History & Genealogy Department, and will cover basic methods for taking care of family treasures such as photographs, diaries, scrapbooks, textiles, etc. Learn how you can become a member of Chattanooga’s first and only Black Genealogy Society. More details here.
Sunday, June 18 | noon-4 p.m. | Miller Park
Black Dads Matter Father’s Day Jazz Brunch
This year’s concert will be performed by members of the hit musical ‘The Color Purple’, showcasing jazz and gospel favorites. At the finale, the 4th Annual Extraordinary Father of The Year Award will be announced. Details here.
Celebrating Pride Month in Tennessee holds profound significance, particularly in a state that has experienced recent restrictions on LGBTQ rights.
It serves as a powerful reminder of the resilience, strength, and visibility of the LGBTQ community in the face of adversity. We invite you to adventure beyond the Innovation District to show extra support this year …
“Life’s A Drag”
Saturday, June 17 | 6-10 p.m. | Stove Works
Just beyond the Innovation District lies a warehouse bustling with artistic endeavors, and we are very excited for their Pride event! Enjoy music, an amateur drag show, performances + get your own drag look done by MAC artist and drag queen Veronica Day and friends. More details here.
Brunch with the Dolls
Sunday, June 25 | 11 a.m. | The Big Chill
Support some Chattanooga Drag that has been holding it down for years. The last Sunday of every month at The Big Chill & Grill is Drag Queen Brunch with the dolls. Hosted by Miss Veronica Day and friends. The show begins at 1 p.m. and is family rated through and through. (Regular brunch begins at 11 a.m.)
Lastly, we’ll draw your attention to one of our own Innovation District inclusive events that welcomes everyone and works to consider the unique needs of all attendees:
Networking & Neurodiversity: A different kind of happy hour
Tuesday, June 27 | 4:30-6:30 p.m. | Floor Five at the Edney Innovation Center
In an effort to create a more inclusive networking space, The Enterprise Center will host its 3rd Networking & Neurodiversity Happy Hour! Enjoy a gaming space hosted by GameOn Chatt, beverages and snacks, and low-stress networking tables from local employers like City of Chattanooga, Chattanooga State, STEAM Logistics, and more. Quiet, low-light spaces are available if the event becomes overwhelming. RSVP (it’s free) here!