ARTS & CULTURE
Discover Your Inner Artist
With tons of opportunities to experience arts and culture, downtown Chattanooga is a hotspot for museums, galleries, live music and more.
CHARACTER AROUND EVERY CORNER
Chattanooga changes by the block – from historic to modern architecture, and foodie hotspots to trendy shopping boutiques. Downtown shopping ranges from eclectic to edgy, while local museums offer vast collections of American artwork and historical artifacts. Music lovers flock to the city for its concerts, festivals and rich musical history. No matter what type of arts and culture experience you’re seeking, you’ll find it in Chattanooga.
Fine & Public Art
Take in one of the nation’s largest collections of American art at the Hunter Museum of American Art. Looking for something a bit more off-the-beaten-path? Explore gardens, historic B&B’s, cafes, galleries and emerging artists in the Bluff View Art District. The NorthShore district is home to many arts establishments, like In-Town Gallery and the Association for Visual Arts (AVA), which aims to strengthen and promote the artistic ecosystem of Chattanooga’s visual artists. Meanwhile, the Southside district is known for its hip, modern atmosphere, where artists thrive. Its eclectic mix of art, entertainment, cuisine and people invites tourists and locals alike to experience its unique energy. Area 61 gallery is home to a mix of works by more than 30 craftsmen and artists from the Chattanooga area. Step inside to find handcrafted furniture, woodworks, fine art, jewelry, pottery, sculpture and more.
Chart your own walking tour of Chattanooga to check out our robust collection of public art throughout the city. In total, the city maintains a collection of over 180 public art pieces, which means there’s a unique sculpture or mural on just about every street corner. Each time you come back, you’re bound to discover something new – the pieces are rotated regularly to surprise and inspire residents and visitors.
The Sculpture Fields at Montague Park will leave you awestruck at the size and beauty of these artists’ larger-than-life creations. Chattanooga also boasts one of the best artisan markets in the country at the Chattanooga Market every Sunday from 11am to 4pm at the First Horizon Pavilion. Discover even more local artists during First Friday Chattanooga.
Performing Arts & Live Music
Get in tune with Chattanooga’s music scene. The Chattanooga Symphony & Opera at the historic Tivoli Theatre presents a variety of live musical performances from Mozart to modern. The Chattanooga Theatre Centre is one of the oldest, largest, and busiest community theatres in the country, producing about 15 shows a year. The annual Moon River Festival is one of the most anticipated events in the city each year, welcoming big name musical guests spanning rock, folk, bluegrass, and more. Noteworthy music and arts festivals take place throughout the year, while concert venues like The Signal, The Caverns and The Granfalloon offer opportunities to grab a front-row seat to see your favorite local artists.
Chattanooga is home to a wealth of interesting history. During the Civil War, the Tennessee River was a means of transportation for soldiers, which you can learn more about by taking a cruise on the Southern Belle Riverboat or Chattanooga Ducks. For more than 30 years, African American heritage has been celebrated at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center. Ross’s Landing on the Chattanooga Riverfront was established in 1816 by John Ross, a Chief of the Cherokee Indians. Today, Ross’s Landing Park and Plaza encompasses a four-acre area overlooking the Tennessee River and scenic landscapes. The park includes green spaces, a playground, a pier and The Passage, which memorializes the Cherokee people who suffered and died on the Trail of Tears.
Other opportunities to learn about the city’s history are available at the nation’s first and largest military park, the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Chattanooga Choo Choo Train Station Complex and the International Towing & Recovery Museum.
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