EPB Launches ArtSpark to Inspire Student Design of Public Art That Showcases the Beauty of Electricity

Chattanooga, TN (April 25, 2018) — EPB is launching ArtSpark, a pilot educational program developed in collaboration with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and other community partners that engages high school students through STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) education to learn about electricity while creating artwork for public spaces.

“ArtSpark will meet our high school student artists at the intersection of art, technology, and the community. We can't wait to see what our students create for public display facilitated by dedicated Hamilton County visual art teachers and supported by our community partners,” said Hamilton County Public Schools Related Arts Lead Teacher Claire Stockman. “This project is an ideal example of how art is not separate, but integral, to a well-rounded education that supports our future-ready goals.”

Teachers at five Hamilton County high schools with students in grades 9-12 are encouraged to apply for the ArtSpark program with a goal of creating designs, one of which will be translated into a vinyl wrap to cover an EPB utility box in downtown Chattanooga. The ArtSpark theme for 2018 is "The Beauty of Electricity," which pays tribute to the beautiful moments in life that are powered by electricity. Five total boxes, one design from each school, will be chosen by a panel of community members.

"EPB is excited serve with dynamic organizations in ways that ignite student imagination, enhancing quality of life for everyone in our community through public art," said Elizabeth Hammitt, EPB Director of Community and Environmental Stewardship.

EPB will collaborate with ArtSpark program partners — UTC’s Southeast Center for Education in the Arts (SCEA), Hamilton County Public Schools, the City of Chattanooga Public Art Commission, River City Co. and ArtsBuild to provide a multidisciplinary experience and professional development for students with these opportunities:

  • To learn about Chattanooga's smart grid, solar power distribution and utility boxes
  • Develop teamwork, project management and communication skills
  • Collaborate with design professionals
  • Create a final product to be displayed in downtown Chattanooga

“Building community connections through partnerships like ArtSpark reflect the mission of UTC and provide opportunities for our teacher candidates to bring their learning to life,” said Laurie Melnik, executive director of the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts at UTC. “We’re thrilled to collaborate on a STEAM-based program that will increase access to experiential learning in and through the arts for high school students across Hamilton County Schools.”

The students collaborative work will be celebrated and revealed during an ArtSpark public event in the fall of 2018. For more information, please visit https://epb.com/community/artspark.

About EPB

Established as an independent board of the City of Chattanooga in 1935, EPB is a municipally-owned utility that provides electric power and fiber optic communications services as a means of promoting economic development and enhancing quality of life across the local area.

EPB serves more than 170,000 homes and businesses in a 600 square-mile area that includes greater Chattanooga, as well as parts of surrounding counties and areas of North Georgia.

In 2010, EPB became the first provider in the United States to deliver up to 1 Gig (1,000 Mbps) internet speeds utilizing a community-wide fiber optic network that provides access to every home and business in its service area. In 2015, EPB became the first, and to date, only American ISP to make up to 10 Gig (10,000 Mbps) internet speeds accessible to all of its residential and commercial customers as a standard offer.

EPB has also utilized its community-wide fiber optic network to deploy the most advanced and highly automated smart grid power management system in the nation. In recognition of EPB’s groundbreaking infrastructure, the Department of Energy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory are utilizing EPB’s smart grid as a national model for researching and developing best practices. EPB is also the first major power distribution utility to earn the USGBC’s PEER certification for having a highly automated, modernized electric power grid. Go to EPB.com for more information.

April 25, 2018

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