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ABOUT Arts-Based Collaborative


Transforming education in and through the arts.  

We Believe: 

Each artisitic discpline contributes towards a well-rounded education through building bridges beyond the classroom and equipping us with ways we can make meaning of the past, embrace the world around us today, and create a flexible future.


  • Support academic and social emotional learning needs through an arts-based approach to teaching and learning. 
  • Cultivate a roster of visual and performing artists that connects our area's creative community with learning needs across multiple fields and disciplines.  
  • Empower communities to collaborate from a place of strength to close opportunity gaps in the arts. 
  • Activate pathways for ongoing professional learning opportunities in and through the arts. 


The Arts-Based Collaborative was founded in 1987 through a unique public, private and institutional collaboration among the Getty Center for Education in the Arts, Chattanooga-based foundations, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, the State of Tennessee, and area school districts. Arts-Based Collaborative is one of six Getty funded regional institutes established to research and promote discipline-based visual art education. UTC and the Chattanooga community had the foresight to expand the concept to embrace music, theatre, and dance education. Their work in discipline-based arts education, now known as comprehensive arts education, serves as the foundation of all of their professional learning programs in arts education and concept-based arts integration. 

Since its inception, Arts-Based Collaborative has set high standards for teaching and learning in and through the arts. Our instructional model has been tested and developed through site-based professional development projects across schools in the southeast. Key components of the framework include competency-based arts learning experiences, rich and meaningful interdisciplinary connections, and an asset-based approach that promotes collaboration and sustainability.

Who We Serve:

We build bridges beyond the classroom through supporting arts learning needs in school and communities from the tristate, Chattanooga region (see service map below).