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Arts-Based Collaborative
The Arts-Based Collaborative at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (ABC at UTC) is a community-engaged center under the College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies.

Formerly known as the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts, ABC at UTC builds off the center’s thirty year history of programs in arts education and arts integration through engaging interdisciplinary connections in and through the arts.

The mission of ABC at UTC is to integrate arts-based solutions across multiple fields and disciplines to shape a collaborative workforce while amplifying diverse voices, perspectives, and skillsets into an arts-rich world of today and tomorrow.

This collection of stories highlights the transformative impact of arts-based learning through the collaborative’s programs and partnerships on and off campus.   

Ways to Connect
  • Todd Shipley is the Director of Fine Arts at the Tennessee Department of Education. He is the content lead at the state level for arts educators across Tennessee - and he steers the State of the Arts Initiative, to increase access to music and arts education in Tennessee schools.
  • Moc Up is one of the onramps for incoming students to our campus, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. In the past few weeks, students in the program were hosted on campus for free. Among the activities: play-based team building sessions, thanks to the Arts-Based Collaborative at UTC - or abc@utc.
  • ArtsEd Tennessee advocates for arts education for students across the state. The coalition promotes policies and funding for arts education on the state level while building support on the local level. Stephen Coleman is president of ArtsEd Tennessee.
  • As we celebrate the arts in our schools this month, we hear from a few voices from one community partnership for youth and the arts here in Chattanooga and Hamilton County.
  • Integrating the arts into early learning involves a collaborative choreography among educators. Kelly Shimel is the fine arts coordinator for Hamilton County Schools - and Jesse Goins is the principal of Battle Academy, the magnet school in Southside Chattanooga.
  • From our campus to your screen, the Arts-Based Collaborative here at UTC - abc@utc - works with teaching artists in the Chattanooga area to create educational content for children. One example is “Raise Your Hand” - the flagship program of the EDUCATE channel from our public media partner WTCI PBS.
  • Trust is key for social workers - and the people they are trying to help. For students who pursue a career in social work, how do they learn to establish and maintain trust? One answer you’ll find here on our campus, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
  • Jennifer Lynberg knows about teaching prospective teachers how to teach. She is an assistant professor in the School of Education on our campus, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and she has worked with UTC’s Arts-Based Collaborative - or abc@utc.
  • Michael “Arche” Twitty is a storyteller who found his voice in poetry. A Chattanooga native, Arche is a poet, playwright, actor and educator who helps others to discover - and cultivate - their own voices.
  • Jason Tinney plays many roles - on and off stage. An author, actor, musician and storyteller, he is assistant theatre director at the McCallie School here in Chattanooga - and a simulated patient actor and scriptwriter for the Arts-Based Collaborative here at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, in partnership with the UTC School of Nursing.