The Arts Are Everywhere!

Located in Chattanooga, Tennessee ArtsBuild’s mission is to build a stronger community through the arts.

For almost 50 years ArtsBuild has supported the creative future of Hamilton County by investing more than $70 million in our community’s leading arts organizations, funding arts integrations programs for our students and teachers, and ensuring that even our most underserved populations have access to arts programming.

ArtsBuild provides free professional arts experiences to more than 11,400 Hamilton County students in grades K-4 each year. Events include a tour of the Creative Discovery Museum, Chattanooga Theatre Centre’s Youth Theatre production, Chattanooga Ballet’s The Nutcracker, Chattanooga Symphony & Opera’s Young People’s Concert, and a Theatre Express performance with the Southern Lit Alliance.

In 2012 ArtsBuild established the Community Cultural Connections grant program designed to bring arts and cultural programming to underserved areas in Hamilton County. These grants have funded more than 70 projects for a total investment of $170,000, with new projects awarded continuously. Recipient organizations have included Orange Grove Center, Salvation Army, H*Art Gallery, Signal Centers, Northside Neighborhood House, and SPLASH.

ArtsBuild Muse – Fall 2015

ArtsBuild Muse – Summer 2016

ArtsBuild’s mission is to build a stronger community through the arts by:

  • 01_Partnering_Large

         Collaborating to reach creative solutions

  • Advocating

       Articulating the role of the arts in building lives and communities

  • Connecting

       Providing arts opportunities for all

  • 04_Educating_Large

       Cultivating creativity to enhance academic and personal growth

  • Advancing

       Strengthening the economic environment

  • Supporting

       Generating resources to support arts and cultural experiences

The Board of Directors

Executive Committee

  • Mary Poston Tanner – Chair
  • Sybil Topel – Secretary
  • Marcus McKamey – Treasurer

Ex Officio

  • The Honorable Andy Berke
  • The Honorable Jim Coppinger
  • Jim Kennedy III
  • Bill Kilbride

Board Members

  • Suzy Anthony
  • Warren Barnett
  • Andrea Becksvoort
  • Rowena Belcher
  • Jeff Boehm
  • Nicole Brown
  • Roger Brown
  • Xavier Cotto
  • Carmen Davis
  • Lee Davis
  • Olga de Klein
  • Isaac Duncan III
  • Sally Faulkner
  • Lori Finlay
  • Patti Frierson
  • Jeannine Grogg
  • Drew Hibbard
  • Steve Hunt
  • Vanessa Jackson
  • Bryan Kelly
  • Christian Patiño
  • Tiffanie Robinson
  • Ronelle Sellers
  • Marcus Shaw
  • Chris Thomas
  • Peggy Townsend
  • Edna Varner


Dan Bowers, President

Dan Bowers

Dan joined ArtsBuild in November 2007. Dan served the United Way of Greater Chattanooga for 13 years, first as Campaign Director and ultimately as President. He left the United Way to become President of the Memorial Health Care System Foundation, where he served for six years, then departed to form his own fundraising consulting firm. He holds B.A. and Masters degrees in Communications from the University of Alabama.

Caroline Bulman, Development Manager


Caroline joined ArtsBuild in January 2008. She holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Tennessee Wesleyan College and most recently worked at the Tennessee Aquarium. She is responsible for providing administrative support for the annual campaign and to the Director of Finance.

Sallie Lawrence, Director of Finance

Sallie joined ArtsBuild in October 2017. She holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina. She spent more than 20 years with arts organizations in Atlanta, as the Director of Finance at the Alliance Theatre and as Senior Financial Analyst with the Robert W. Woodruff Arts Center. Sallie most recently worked as an accountant with Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprises.

Sara Lee Tolbert, Office Manager and Administrative Assistant

Sara joined ArtsBuild in February 2018. Originally from Rhode Island, she graduated from Salem College in Winston-Salem, NC with a B.A. degree Studio Arts with three concentrations in Graphic Design, Printmaking and Painting. Sara has volunteered with New Urban Arts in Providence, a nationally-recognized community arts studio for local high school students and emerging artists and is also an artist herself.

Rodney Van Valkenburg, Director of Grants and Initiatives

Rodney Van Valkenburg

Rodney joined ArtsBuild in May 2001, after serving for more than 18 years with the Chattanooga Theatre Centre as Director of Programs and as Director of Education. Rodney holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Child Drama from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In 1992, he was named Youth Theatre Director of the Year by the American Alliance for Theatre in Education and received the Distinguished Achievement Award by the Tennessee Theatre Association.

Kathryn Wroth, Director of Development

Kathryn joined ArtsBuild in November 2017. She holds a B.A. degree in Music and Art from DePauw University and an M.A. in Arts Administration from Indiana University in Bloomington. Most recently Kathryn was Director of Annual Fund for the Nashville Symphony, and prior to that worked for 12 years in fundraising and development for New Mexico’s state museums at the Museum of New Mexico Foundation in Santa Fe.