ArtsBuild’s Imagine! Initiative strives to provide arts experiences for all public elementary school students in Hamilton County. Through the Imagine! initiative, all Kindergarten students can attend the Creative Discovery Museum, first grade students can attend a Chattanooga Theatre Centre Youth Theatre production, second grade students can attend Chattanooga Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker, third graders can attend the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera’s Young People’s concert and fourth graders attend the Southern Lit Alliance’s Drama for Youth theatre presentation. ArtsBuild provides the tickets for students and teachers to attend the performances as well as transportation to and from the events, in addition to curriculum support material (set to State standards).

2019-2020 Imagine! Presentations


Creative Discovery Museum
CDM tour is offered Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9:30 – 11:00 a.m., October 17, 2019 through March 6, 2020. The Museum can accommodate up to 60 children per tour. 1 free adult per 5 children. Call CDM for reservations: (423) 648-6045.

1st Grade

Chattanooga Theatre Centre’s Youth Theatre (choose one):
Disney’s The Lion King, Jr.
October 22, 23, 29, 30 and November 5, 6, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.

Disney’s Mary Poppins
December 10, 11, and 12, 2019 at 9:30 a.m.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
February 25, 26, 27 and 28, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.

The Cat in the Hat
May 5, 6, 7, 12, 13 and 14, 2020 at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.

2nd Grade

Chattanooga Ballet’s The Nutcracker
December 11, 12 and 13, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.
The Tivoli Theatre

3rd Grade

Chattanooga Symphony and Opera Young People’s Concert
February 5, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. and Noon and February 6, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.
The Tivoli Theatre

4th Grade

Southern Lit Alliance and Theatre Express: The True Story of Pocahontas
October 1, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.
Abba’s House

The Imagine! program is generously sponsored by:

Beacon Foundation Charitable Trust

City of Chattanooga

George R. Johnson Family Foundation

Hamico Foundation

Schillhahn-Huskey Foundation

Tennessee Arts Commission

Tucker Foundation

For reservations - 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade teachers:
1. Call ArtsBuild at (423) 756-2787 or email to schedule your performance.
2. Schedule your bus. ArtsBuild will reimburse the school for the cost of the bus.

Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades only. All other teachers should contact the Creative Discovery Museum, Chattanooga Ballet, Chattanooga Theatre Centre, CSO and Southern Lit Alliance to make their reservations.

The Imagine! film follows Ooltewah Elementary School classroom teacher Mrs. Lisa Steele, and her class, during the fall of 2014 as they prepare to visit the Tivoli Theatre to see The Nutcracker. Despite a lack of financial resources for arts education at her school, Lisa Steele incorporates what she has learned at ArtsBuild’s Kennedy Center Workshops to successfully integrate arts education into her students’ learning every day.

Countless studies have shown that arts instruction, as well as integrating the arts into all curriculum, strengthens a student’s academic ability. However, visual arts teachers are lacking in many of Hamilton County’s elementary schools. Despite a State mandate that all public elementary schools should employ a visual arts teacher, during the 2014-2015 academic years, only 13 out of 43 HCDE elementary schools have a visual arts instructor.

Now in its ninth year, ArtsBuild’s Imagine! Initiative’s goal is to help bridge this education gap by providing arts and cultural experiences to all first through fourth grade students in Hamilton County, Tennessee. At no cost to the student or school, ArtsBuild provides the opportunity for first graders to see a play at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre, second graders to attend Chattanooga Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker, third graders to attend the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera’s Young People’s Concert, and fourth graders to see a professional theatre performance in collaboration with the Southern Lit Alliance.

Imagine! is produced by ArtsBuild, a nonprofit organization in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with the mission of “building a stronger community through the arts.” The film was directed by Leif Ramsey, SVAD Productions.