ArtsBuild Adds Kindergarten to its Imagine! Initiative

ArtsBuild will add Kindergarten to its Imagine! Initiative for the 2017-2018 school year in collaboration with the Creative Discovery Museum.

Founded in 2010, ArtsBuild’s Imagine! Initiative strives to provide a systematic introduction and exposure to the arts for all public elementary school students in Hamilton County through professional performances.

Through the Imagine! Initiative, all 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 have the opportunity to attend the Southern Lit Alliance’s Theatre Express! presentation.

Through donations from foundations, corporations, the City of Chattanooga, and individuals, ArtsBuild is able to provide tickets for students and teachers to attend the performances as well as transportation to and from the events, and curriculum support material that complies with State education standards.

In the new Kindergarten program children will experience the tactile nature of the creative process as they plan, create and reflect through the use of clay and bread dough. Thirty minutes of the tour will be spent in the museum’s Culinary Corner creating and manipulating bread dough as they use various techniques to knead and shape the dough and then bake what they make. Another half hour will be spent in the art studio planning and creating a clay pot that will be fired so it will last for posterity.

Children will also have the opportunity to play and explore in the visual arts studio and performing arts gallery. Finally, children will be asked to reflect on their experiences and processes including finding similarities and differences in their experiences with clay and with bread.

In the 2016-2017 school year, 41 out of 42 eligible HCDE elementary schools participated in the Imagine! Initiative, for a total of more than 11,500 students benefitting from the program.

“We are excited to add Kindergarten to this popular program,” said Rodney Van Valkenburg, ArtsBuild’s Director of Grants and Initiatives. “Imagine! is the one of the few programs of its kind in the nation to serve all students in grades K-4. Teachers have shared with us how much they and their students appreciate and enjoy these quality arts experiences. Plus, the teachers are able to use these experiences to enhance their curriculum.”

For more information about the Imagine! Initiative, contact Rodney Van Valkenburg at (423) 756-2787 or