Glass House Collective is a non-profit that aims to “bring life back to Glass Street and Glass Street back to life” through artist-led and community involved projects.  Its work recognizes and celebrates the distinctiveness of Glass Street’s people, place and culture with the goal to inspire, support and ignite the spark that will bring about positive community change. Glass House Collective works together with residents and partners to make Glass Street and the surrounding community cleaner, safer, and more inviting. Teal Thibaud is Executive Director.

What inspires you to do your work at Glass House?

I gain inspiration from the thought of 'what could be. And from our neighbors and artists that we’ve worked with along the way.

Can you describe an a-ha moment when you knew you were on the right track?  Or needed to pivot?

When we first came to Glass Street to share our big plans to light up storefronts and we were asked to leave. Who were we to come into a neighborhood and tell them what to do? We made a big mistake and took the time, over the course of a year, to sit back and listen and co-create an action plan with the community.

Who inspires you? Why?

I’m inspired by Gail McKeel, an East Chattanooga resident who works tirelessly to make sure her neighbors are informed. And I’m inspired by Theastre Gates, an artist that uses his artistic talents to build a more just community.

What is one wish you have for your work? For Chattanooga?

I wish Chattanooga had a model neighborhood that was for all. I also wish Chattanooga understood that our traditional way of community planning/development has not always led to communities being as equitable, healthy and sustainable as they could be.

How does your work nurture meaningful connections to place?

Our work happens when our partners and creatives join our neighbors in shaping their community’s future, working together on place-based community outcomes. It’s not always focused on making places more creative but about creatively addressing challenges and opportunities. Our work is rooted in a neighborhood so most of our connections are attached to our people in our place.

TEAL THIBAUD Executive Director, Glass House Collective

TEAL THIBAUD Executive Director, Glass House Collective