What Makes a Great City

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A letter from the Publisher.

I love this time of year,especially in Chattanooga. I’ve lived and worked in several great cities around the globe, with spring and early summer always being a great time of year to visit. Ottawa has their Tulip Festival, Austin celebrates Eeyore’s Birthday (my favorite) and SxSW, London has festivals and concerts weekly and Paris is stunning anytime of the year but glows magnificently in the late Spring. Perhaps my fondest memories are from Stockholm, a city darkened most of the year by its northern location but which enjoys sunlight 20+ hours a day during the summer—to them, the return of Spring is truly a miraculous time.

What makes Chattanooga a great city, and how do we compare to these stellar destinations? We enjoy moderate temperatures, the renewal of our outdoor spaces and the return of the Market. We celebrate music through the annual return of Nightfall, Riverbend and now at Bessie Smith on the lawn. We hike our national forests, kayak and sail our waterways and search out new spaces from which to dine and share drinks with friends.

Our natural surroundings have been recognized as some of the best in the world. But, honestly, it’s the independent arts & cultural partners which truly transform our city into one of the Great Cities of the World. Without the historical efforts of Carla Pritchard (Nightfall), Ann Law (Barking Legs Theater), AVA (4 Bridges Arts Festival), James McKissic and Shane Morrow (Jazzanooga), Bob Boyer (Patten Music Series), Kathy Lennon (Open Studio Nights), and Monica Kinsey (MAINx24 and Track 29) along with countless other local, independent and largely self-funded efforts which often go unnoticed.

Chattanooga is notably a Great City, thanks to the combined efforts of small organizations and individuals which have made it their mission to make us great. And the natural wonders are pretty cool too.

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About Author

Chris is the Publisher of Chattanooga Magazine, and Executive Director of Public Markets, Inc (the 501c3 non-profit organization which produces the Chattanooga Market, River Market, Collegedale Market, Cambridge Square Market and Chattanooga WorkSpace).

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