That’s a Wrap! Celebrating the Success of Thriving Communities 2018

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This week, the Bridge Innovate® team joined Thrive Regional Partnership and the Lyndhurst Foundation in celebrating four regional community teams - Athens, TN; Decatur, TN; Fort Oglethorpe, GA; and Whitwell, TN - during the 2018 Thriving Communities Celebration event for successfully completing the 10-month community accelerator program. As a result, the community teams are now eligible to apply for a $20,000 seed grant from the Lyndhurst Foundation to kickstart their community vibrancy strategy.

In addition to the recognition and celebration portions of the event, each community team had a chance to “pitch” their vibrancy strategies to a resource panel of experts for feedback and guidance as they take next steps in seeking funds and transforming their communities. Teams also shared their journey and the impact the program has had with honored guests from city government, state art institutions, community members, and the media.

Since its inception in 2016, Bridge Innovate has proudly partnered with Thrive Regional Partnership and the Lyndhurst Foundation in the design and delivery of the Thriving Communities program. Designed to support cities and towns to “grow from within,” Thriving Communities is a powerful intersection between design thinking and creative placemaking to enhance leadership and community development throughout the tri-state region. This year’s community teams tackled the challenge:

How might we leverage our local arts and cultural assets
to create community vibrancy and economic growth?

Participating community teams learned strategic approaches to leverage their artistic and cultural assets in order to spark economic vibrancy. Team ideas were incubated, tested, and iterated in each individual community to foster continual feedback from fellow citizens and neighbors. As a result, the strategies were authentically shaped by the people who live, work and play in these communities.

“A key outcome of the Thriving Communities program is the discovery of our region’s hidden gems: both people and places.’ says Bridgett Massengill, President/CEO of Thrive Regional Partnership. “It empowers emerging leaders to work together and create sustainable growth strategies that preserve a unique sense of place in their hometowns that can be celebrated for generations to come.”

What began as an experiment has now developed into a regional movement in just two years. The momentum keeps building as the Thriving Communities network expands from eight to twelve municipalities across the tri-state region and counting. It’s been an honor to serve the community teams as coaches and strategic guides throughout the process, and we look forward to following their success!


For more information on how you can become part of the Thriving Communities network to ignite community vibrancy in your city or town, connect with our friends at Thrive Regional Partnership.



Join us in the quest to change communities for good
through the power of innovation.