ArtsBuild Announces Recipient of 2016 Ruth Holmberg Arts Leadership Award

Fletcher Bright will be honored during the 2016 Ruth Holmberg Arts Leadership Award presentation on Tuesday, March 8. ArtsBuild will host the event at the Hunter Museum of American Art from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm.  Tickets for the event have sold out.

ArtsBuild established this annual award in 2014 to recognize an individual who has made significant contributions to the arts in Chattanooga and is actively engaged in the cultural life of our community. The award honors an individual who, through his or her exemplary efforts, has significantly contributed to building a stronger community through the arts.

Born in Chattanooga in 1931, Mr. Bright graduated from the Bright School, McCallie School, and Davidson College. He received an MBA degree from the University of Chattanooga and an LLB degree from McKenzie College of Law.

Mr. Bright began his career in the Real Estate business in 1953 working with his father, Gardner Bright. He is now Principal Broker and Chairman of Fletcher Bright Company, a full service real estate company including residential sales, commercial development as well as property management and loan servicing.

Through the years Mr. Bright has maintained a love for music of all kinds and has enjoyed Bluegrass music, being a founding member of the Dismembered Tennesseans, a Bluegrass band originating in his days at McCallie School in 1947. As a result, he has taught and played Bluegrass music in many places throughout the United States, Canada, and England. In 2005 Mr. Bright was awarded the Governor’s Award in the Arts, Folk Heritage Award. He enjoys giving support to the arts in Chattanooga, particularly the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra and has collaborated in many performances with the Symphony.

In spring 2015, the Symphony established “Fletcher Bright Fund for Strings,” a permanent part of the CSO endowment. Earnings from this fund are be used to support educational programs and other activities with stringed instruments. Fletcher Bright and his son, George, founded the 3 Sisters Festival, an annual two-day bluegrass music festival in Chattanooga that is offered free to the public. The Fletcher Bright Company is also a long-time supporter of the Nightfall Concert Series that takes place at Miller Plaza each summer. Mr. Bright resides on Lookout Mountain. He and his late wife, Marshall S. Bright, are the parents of George Bright, Elizabeth Bright Graham, Frank Bright, Ann Bright Monk, and Lucy Bright Griffin. He is a member of the Church of The Good Shepherd, Lookout Mountain, and has served as a member of the vestry, as junior warden and senior warden. He is also an active member of the Good Shepherd choir.

Laura Walker nominated Mr. Bright for the award. She is executive director of the Folk School of Chattanooga and has been lead singer of The Dismembered Tennesseans for more than 20 years. “Fletcher Bright is a renaissance man – a successful real estate builder, developer and manager, a real tycoon,” said Ms. Walker. “But foremost, he is a musician, playing piano and fiddle, well and strong, with a smile on his face, sharing his love of music with fellow musicians and performing for audiences far and wide.”

“Fletcher Bright embodies the essence of this prestigious award,” said ArtsBuild President Dan Bowers. “He has not only supported the arts community in Chattanooga for many years through financial contributions, but he is also an extremely talented musician in his own right and never misses an opportunity to selflessly share his talent with others.”

The inaugural Arts Leadership Award ceremony and reception took place in 2014. The first award recognized Ruth Holmberg for her extraordinary support of the arts and cultural community in Chattanooga over the past 70 years. In subsequent years, the annual award honors Mrs. Holmberg by establishing it as the Ruth Holmberg Arts Leadership Award.

The 2016 Ruth Holmberg Arts Leadership Award is sponsored by First Tennessee Bank. For more visit or call (423) 756-2787.