Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, September 1, 2023

Newsmakers: ArtsBuild to honor Holmberg award recipients

ArtsBuild created its Ruth Holmberg Arts Leadership Award  nine years ago to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the arts in Chattanooga and who are engaged in the cultural life of the community.

ArtsBuild’s board of directors will honor this year’s recipients Thursday, Sep. 14, as part of the organization’s inaugural InterMission fundraising event.

The event will be held at 8 p.m. at the Roland Hayes Concert Hall on the campus of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Award recipients will include:

Roland Carter: Born in Chattanooga, Carter served as a music professor at UTC for 24 years, and his undergraduate alma mater, Hampton University, for 25 years. Both appointments included leadership roles and director of choirs. As a leading figure in the choral arts, Carter’s accomplishments include lectures, workshops, master classes and concerts with major choruses and orchestras in prestigious venues nationwide. He is especially noted as an authority on the performance and preservation of music of African American traditions and composers.

Vincent Oakes: Oakes holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Florida and a Master of Sacred Music degree in choral conducting from Emory University. He’s entering his 20th year as artistic director of the Chattanooga Boys Choir, a group which includes over 120 choristers aged 8-18 in five ensembles and has performed and toured extensively. He’s also the director of choral music at The Baylor School in Chattanooga. Under his direction, the choral program has more than tripled in size. He has received numerous awards for teaching and service. An advocate for arts education, choral and community partnerships, Oakes has founded several initiatives in the Tennessee Valley region.

Peggy Wood Townsend: Townsend holds a Bachelor of Arts from Rhodes College and a Master of Arts in arts administration from the University of Cincinnati. During her long career in the arts in Chattanooga, she has worked in the education department at the Hunter Museum of American Art, became the first full-time director of the Association for Visual Artists, and was coordinator of the Department of Arts and Culture for Chattanooga Parks and Recreation. Townsend oversaw the creation of the city’s first public art plan and served 10 years as director of Public Art Chattanooga. She and her husband, Stan Townsend, own Townsend Atelier, an independent visual art school in Chattanooga.

Stan Townsend: Stan Townsend holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Fine Arts from East Tennessee State and is an accomplished working artist. He owned and operated Townsend Gallery and was one of the founders of AVA. He was assistant director of the Hunter Museum of American Art and taught art there, as well as UTC and Chattanooga State.

“Stan Townsend’s work has been integral to Chattanooga’s intentional efforts to include the arts at the forefront of community revitalization projects in the city since the 1990s,” notes ArtsBuild in a news release.

These awards are named in memory of Ruth Holmberg, an iconic local business and civic leader and philanthropist for the arts and other causes during her life.

Purchase tickets at ArtsBuild.com/intermission.

Chattanooga hires first director of housing policy

The city of Chattanooga has hired its first director of housing policy, a position that will oversee the implementation of its housing objectives and services and work to develop “equitable and innovative housing solutions,” notes a news release. Sydney Shivers will report to Nicole Heyman, the city’s chief housing officer.

Shivers joins the City of Chattanooga from New Orleans, where she worked as the director of the Mayor’s Office of Community Assets. There, she led cross-departmental and cross-agency initiatives aimed at creating equitable, inclusive, amenity-rich neighborhoods.

Her work led to successful zoning-reforms that increased the diversity of housing opportunities in New Orleans neighborhoods and stewarded the Redevelopment Framework, a tool for driving public benefits by leveraging underutilized city-owned properties to create new housing opportunities.

As director of housing policy, Shivers will plan, manage and oversee the daily functions of the city’s housing policy initiatives. The role will also include evaluating the effectiveness of implemented policy through data analysis.

Shivers earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia. Additionally, she’s a candidate for a Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Pennsylvania.

U.S. attorney taps ADA Minor as special assistant

United States Attorney Francis Hamilton III has appointed assistant district attorney Charles Minor to serve as a special assistant U.S. attorney in the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chattanooga.

This appointment is the result of a partnership between the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office.

“Due to the extraordinary proliferation of crimes against children originating on the internet, we have joined efforts with district attorney Coty Wamp to fight crimes against children by a adding a specially appointed federal prosecutor to work these types of cases,” says Hamilton. “As an SAUSA, Minor will work with the district’s Project Safe Childhood program and other assistant U.S. attorneys to improve the program’s effectiveness.”

Minor has worked as an assistant district attorney for Hamilton County, where he has focused on prosecuting child abuse and child exploitation cases, homicide, violent crimes and drug cases, since 2006. He holds a degree from UTC and a Juris Doctor from Northeastern University in Boston.