Four teenagers have decided to make some real change in Chattanooga-area schools. Rising high school seniors Ralston Hartness, Thomas West, McKenna Quatro, and Megan Daniel became aware of the underfunded (and often nonexistent) art programs in Chattanooga public schools—and decided to do something about it, with the support of Thorpe McKenzie and the McKenzie Foundation, Fletcher Bright, Pete Cooper and the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga, NPR’s “From The Top,” the Chattanooga Theatre Centre, WSMC, Southern Adventist University, the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera, the Chattanooga Youth Symphony Orchestra, Jim Barber—and many others.
With the help of these individuals and organizations, they’ve created “Let Beauty Awaken,” a performing and visual arts collaboration designed to raise money and awareness for Hamilton County public schools.
Their dream: to provide instruments, supplies, and equipment. Their methods: student-created art collections. They are accepting submissions of traditional (bluegrass, jazz, blues, classical, gospel, folk, etc.) musical performances from students between the ages of 10 and 19 in order to produce a CD that will both raise money and inspire other teenage musicians. Additionally, they will be collecting student-created visual artwork for a showcase in the lobby of the Chattanooga Theatre Centre.
This showcase will open with a CD launch party and benefit concert on November 21, starting at 7 p.m. and featuring the Dismembered Tennesseans, The WTM Blues Band and musicians featured on the CD. Cost is $30. Every cent donated to this collaboration will be placed in a fund for arts supplies that schools desperately need. For more information, visit letbeautyawaken.com