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AEC Programs

Click on each program name for more information:


AEC Conference on Southern Literature

The biennial AEC Conference on Southern Literature is a writers' conference for readers. Together with its public school outreach programs, the three-day event brings readers and writers of all ages together with long-admired and emerging authors for workshops, residencies, booksigning, panel discussions, and readings.

Chattanooga Festival of Writers NEW!
Held during the off years of the AEC Conference on Southern Literature, the Chattanooga Festival of Writers is a celebration of the craft of writing. Enjoy the keynote dinner on Friday night, then choose from a selection of writing workshops on Saturday.


Spring and Fall Independent Film Series
The AEC provides current, critically-acclaimed, independent films that would otherwise be unavailable on Chattanoooga's "big screens." A new film begins every week during each 12-week series, playing daily at the Bijou Theatre in downtown Chattanooga. The fall series begins Labor Day weekend, while the spring series starts at the end of January.

Back Row Film Series NEW!
In 2005, the AEC collaborated with the Hunter Museum of American Art to produce the first Summer Film Series. Now, the AEC and Hunter are working with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga to expand the summer series into a nine-month program that will integrate filmmaking workshops, a local film competition, and unique monthly programming. More information on the Back Row Film Series will be available soon


CultureFest celebrates the vast and growing diversity in our city and region through the performing, literary, visual, and culinary arts. This one-day, early fall event gives thousands of area residents and visitors the opportunity to experience new cultures and art forms, sample a variety of ethnic foods, and discover the rich cultural heritage of Chattanooga and its inhabitants. Driven by the AEC’s mission to provide programs that celebrate and promote learning, creative expression, and the power of ideas, the multicultural event occurs annually in Coolidge Park on the river's northshore


TheatreExpress at the Tivoli Theatre
TheatreExpress is Chattanooga’s only professional drama series designed for public school students in grades K through 12. Since the program’s inception in 1990, nearly 200,000 children have gained appreciation and exposure to the performing arts through TheatreExpress. Held in the Tivoli Theatre, productions enrich arts education through professional, quality theatre productions, very often based on popular children's literature; accompanying study guides help weave the theatre arts experience into the classroom.

Future Focus Literacy Through Photography Professional Development
Using photography as a hands-on tool, Future Focus develops and enhances students’ reading, creative writing, visual arts, science, and math skills as well as a greater sense of self. Chattanooga Center for Creative Arts, Ooltewah, Nolan, and Normal Park Elementary schools currently participate in the program. In partnership with the Center for Documentary Studies in Durham, North Carolina, the AEC provides a weeklong professional development workshop in June for teachers interested in implementing the program in their schools.

Creative Writing Workshop Professional Development
Middle School teachers in Hamilton County Public Schools are invited to attend this workshop each March, led by well-known published authors. The half-day workshop is limited to 30 teachers.

Young Southern Student Writers
Students in grades K-12 enter their prose and poetry in this annual writing competition, judged by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga English Department. Deadline for entries is January 31, and awards are given in late March. The program began as part of the Conference on Southern Literature, but due to phenomenal growth in participation and popularity has become its own annual event.

Point of View and First Sunday

Point of View began in 1952 and is the longest running, locally produced, public affairs television program in the U.S. (and probably the world). The AEC weekly television program explores sometimes conflicting and diverse views on issues pertaining to the community, region, nation, and world. First Sunday promotes the city’s cultural events the first Sunday of each month, and focuses specifically on drama, films, literature, speakers, and other arts programs. AEC volunteers produce both programs in partnership with WDEF News 12. Programs are shown weekly on WDEF (Sunday mornings) and Comcast Cable Channel 3 (Tuesday/ Thursday).


Arts & Education Council | PO Box 4203, Chattanooga, TN 37405
Email | Phone: (423) 267-1218 | Fax: 423-267-1018


Allied Arts Funded Agency     Tennessee Arts Commission