What started as a day-long festival honoring Jazz History Month in 2011 has evolved into an independent and thriving nonprofit, community-based organization that serves thousands of individuals annually.

Originally housed under the umbrella of the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga (CFGC), the popularity of the original jazz festival, our namesake of Jazzanooga, and the support of regional corporations and foundations, propelled us to acquire our independence from CFGC in 2015 by acquiring our non-profit status and expand our service offerings to address the lack of diverse arts and cultural programming in the region.

Our mission is dedicated to honoring and celebrating what once was, still is, and what could be regarding jazz, its affiliated music genres, and its culture. With growing participation in our festival, local performances, community involvement, and an ever-increasing need for cultural and artistic support, we have initiated a second, larger evolution of our mission. 

In 2016, Jazzanooga began seeking solutions to address the art disparities in our city's underserved communities by conducting a series of informal community discussions. We also hosted a half day mini-conference focused on diversity and inclusion in Chattanooga's arts community which included a panel of local & regional arts leaders discussing ways to promote greater audience development and program inclusion.

It was evident, after reviewing the findings, that not only was the need for this type of conversation long overdue, but more discussions and strategies were needed to immediately address the lack of cultural arts programming and creative representation of diverse backgrounds in our communities.

Jazzanooga created and implemented an extensive strategic plan that placed a special emphasis on actively engaging our underserved community members by providing an array of community arts programming that creates new opportunities for creative experimentation and community transformation.

Jazzanooga began to envision itself as a multifaceted cultural institution that strives to revitalize and sustain the local and regional diverse art and music communities of the Chattanooga area through linked intervention initiatives; Preservation, Education, and Performance.

Jazzanooga accomplishes these initiatives by providing employment opportunities for primarily minority and female artists, entrepreneurial training for artists, free, or low cost, space for performance, practice and discussion of arts and community issues, cultural education and artistic training for youth, and numerous events that highlight local and regional artists and musicians.

By using a combination of music, storytelling, poetry, dance, cultural cuisine and visual art, we celebrate the life and cultural traditions of community participants and "immortalize" these traditions in art.

Contact Us




Monthly Newsletter

Stay up-to-date on all things RISE, plus first dibs on new content and exciting opportunities!