September in the Innovation District has been an incredible month of endings and beginnings, with the playful haze of summer transitioning into crisp focus of fall. We are getting our minds sharpened, honing our social skills, and cranking our entrepreneurial gears into motion for the busy autumn ahead.
Miller Park, the verdant heart of the Innovation District, got into the groove this summer, with River City Company hosting its 35th year of Nightfall, a weekly concert series featuring local acts. The final show of Nightfall started our September, and music continues to emanate from downtown’s favorite green space into autumn with Noontoons, a lunchtime concert collection featuring acts like Richard Daigle and Call Me Spinster. Miller park also hosted the finale of BASECAMP, a monthly coworking series co-hosted by The Enterprise Center and Colab, which (aside from providing a delicious working opportunity to escape the cubicle) helped us invigorate our productivity and connections with creative speakers, guests, games, artists, yoga, crafts and even puppies! Special thanks to Community Pie, Taqueria Jalisco, and Lil Mama’s, the Innovation District businesses that helped cater these celebrations.
Hispanic Heritage Month sparkled around the District, keeping things especially lively at the UTC campus, with a Latin Dance Night, networking events, Fiesta Fridays, Chef’s spotlights, and many others. Latina Professionals Chattanooga hosted Nuestras Historias: A collaboration between the UTC and Chattanooga communities to share stories from professionals and their journeys at ArtsBuild and will continue to host meaningful gatherings honoring LatinX culture into October.
Here at The Enterprise Center on Floor Five of the Edney Innovation Building, we welcomed representatives of nearby cities curious about Chattanooga’s Innovation District and Chattanooga as a whole. Early in the month, we were joined by city leaders from Decatur, Alabama. A spectacular array of panelists illustrated the success story of our river city. Esteemed representatives from EPB, Public Education Foundation, and Launch Tennessee spoke on the collaborative nature of the growth in the area. Representatives from River City Co., Chattanooga Tourism Company, and the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce spoke to Chattanooga’s ambitious and inspiring downtown development. We finished off with an illuminating discussion featuring insights from Chattanooga State, The Bentwood Foundation, Urban League, and Tech Goes Home regarding equitable access to opportunities and growth for all Chattanoogans.
Mid-month, The Enterprise Center hosted another electric panel for Leadership Oak Ridge. Members of the Oakridge Center for Leadership & Community Development program, one of the longest continually running community leadership programs in the country, visited Floor Five for two days of inspirational talks. Senator Bob Corker spoke, and was joined by Nonprofit panelists from ArtsBuild, CoLab, SoundCorps, and Public Education Foundation, Artist Josiah Golson, Velvet Poetry (Erika Dionne Roberts), City officials and Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce, and representatives from TVA, Hamilton County Schools, and Chattanooga State!
The event spaces on Floor Five at the Edney were overflowing with fascinating groups from near and far. The Community Web Symposium brought together “folks from web archiving institutions for a day of presentations, workshops, discussion, and networking” centered around locally-focused web archiving.
The Public Education Foundation partnered with Blue Cross Blue Shields “Blue Skies” program to bring together Students from high schools all over Chattanooga to work in teams to build video game prototypes and learn from experienced programmers.
October will be even more blustery and bustling, so please check in to our Innovation District Events Calendar to stay updated on the humans & happenings in and around Chattanooga’s Innovation District as we continue to collide, connect, collaborate, and create!