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Reopening The Bessie With A Digital Makeover

The Bessie Smith Cultural Center

The Bessie Smith Cultural Center here in Chattanooga - closed for more than a year due to the pandemic - will reopen to the public on Friday, with free admission on Friday and Saturday.

The center celebrates the African diaspora - and pays tribute to this city’s African-American culture - honoring Bessie Smith, “The Empress of the Blues.”

During the shutdown, the inside of the Bessie received a makeover, upgrading its technology and exhibition space.

Paula Wilkes is the center’s president - and Elijah Cameron is director of community relations at the Bessie.

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