Since 2007, CreateHere has been a hub for deepened relationships between existing and emerging leadership, the development of entrepreneurs intent upon driving innovation in social, cultural and economic arenas and the funding of artistic excellence. It has been intense and exhilarating.
Today marks the Supernova of CreateHere.
Conceptualized as a time-sensitive, social-innovation laboratory to develop new work in the areas of arts, culture and economy, December 31st, 2011 is the end of the first chapter for CreateHere.
We've planned for this day since the beginning. A definitive end point has kept us on our toes and afforded us a sense of urgency that has increased exponentially over the last five years.
Focused on individuals and the development of 21st century tools to fuel creativity and innovation, CreateHere has heard the hopes and concerns of 26,000+ citizens through the community visioning process STAND, trained 400+ aspiring business owners through Springboard, funded 85 artists through the MakeWork Arts Grants, trained 90+ emerging leaders through the LeadHere Fellowship program and much more.
New methods of connecting, teaching and sharing have been explored time and again.
Hand-in-hand, with the citizens of Chattanooga, CreateHere projects have charted a new intersection of arts, culture and economic growth. While some initiatives were designed as finite demonstration projects to promote a culture of engagement in social and civic issues, other initiatives have become fully fledged programs, mature to the point of being self sustaining.
'Supernova' means that many inspiring projects from this five-year initiative are exploding into the community while some will 'stay put' at their current address. As the emerging leaders who powered STAND take their work deeper into the neighborhoods of Chattanooga, our Main Street studio will continue to be fully animated by the MakeWork Program and The Company Lab. The Company Lab is the new identity for all of the CreateHere entrepreneurial programs, with the addition of many powerful new programs and people. As the newly designated start-up generator for the Southeast Tennessee region, The Company Lab will expand its offerings for Main Street and beyond as it becomes the new 'front door' for sparking creative enterprise.
We want to share the work.
Over the past five years, we have compiled a significant archive of our programs and creative solutions to systemic community challenges. The CreateHere website
holds all of our work in a user-friendly interface and we plan to add more to this archive during 2012. You are invited to explore our open-source archive of files and experiences, to share, copy, develop, and build upon our work. Please see the Creative Commons license
on our site for more information.
As we reach this milestone, we are reminded of the words of Daniel Burnham:
"Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty. Think big."
Daniel Burnham, Chicago architect. (1846-1912)
At CreateHere, we have always believed that cities should be places where everyone has the opportunity to pursue happiness. This city is ours and it is yours. We must strive to have vision and embrace boldness during the coming year. With Daniel Burnham as our guide, let us all think big in our relationships, our homes, our neighborhood and in our city and may we remember that though big and small goals are accomplished along the way, our work is never finished.