Bessie Smith Cultural Center of Chattanooga

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Chattanooga 175 Talk with Daryl Black

October 1st, 2014 by bsccadmin

Join Chattanooga History Center Executive Director Daryl Black on Wednesday, November 12th at 6:00 pm as we explore the many fascinating layers of Chattanooga’s dramatic and colorful history as part of the CHA 175 celebration. The talk is free and open to the public.

This talk is presented as a collaboration between the Bessie Smith Cultural Center, Chattanooga History Center and City of Chattanooga.



Clyde Stubblefield Day at the Bessie and #CHA 175

October 1st, 2014 by bsccadmin

Celebrating Clyde Stubblefield and 175 years of Chattanooga with Clyde Sutbblefield Day at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center on Saturday November 8, 2014. The fun begins at 12:00 pm with Clyde Stubblefield presenting a pair of drumsticks to add to our permanent collection. Admission will be $1.75 that day for non-members and we will have fun activities celebrating “the Funky Drummer” and Chattanooga.

The Roots Project – Genealogy Workshop ft. Suzette Raney

October 1st, 2014 by bsccadmin
The Bessie Smith Cultural Center and the Chief John Ross Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution partnered to present our first genealogy workshop on September 20 inside the museum galleries. The Roots Project will be a series of workshops that focus on best practices in genealogy research. Our next workshop will be held on Tuesday, November 18th at 6:00 pm and will feature Suzette Raney from the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Library history department. Raney will focus on the many tools available at the library for genealogy research.

The event is free and open to the public but we do ask that you register for the workshop at or 423-266-8658

Pictured from the September 20th workshop: From left, Vanessa Jackson, Reinza Jackson Woods, Cheryl Kyles, Barbara Allen and Teresa Rimer, regent of the Chief John Ross DAR Chapter.

The Threads That Bind

September 4th, 2014 by bsccadmin

“The threads that Bind” is an exhibit made up of extraordinary quilts from local quilters.  These quilts represent a cross section of the diverse types of quilts made in the Chattanooga area.  They are all from local quilters.  This group of ten quilts includes traditional pieced quilts, a crazy quilt, a Gee’s Bend interpretation, a self portrait piece, African-American story/symbolism pieces, raw edge applique and modern pieces.  These quilts were made for different purposes – coverings, wall hangings and for family members as personal mementos.

Quilters featured in this exhibit are:

Zaneta Attle

Vanessa King

Linda Smith

Delia Price

Fran Randolph

On display through December 5, 2014 in the Vilma Fields Atrium. This exhibition was developed by the Bessie Smith Cultural Center and is curated by Karen Downer, quilt historian and educator.

Pictured: My Grandparent’s Wedding by Zaneta Attle


Textile: The Work of the Zuri Quilting Guild

August 13th, 2014 by bsccadmin

Quilting has been part of the American landscape for centuries, but each culture has taken the art form and made it its own.Color and textile and resourcefulness are very key to quilters in general, but was particularly important to those women who were enslaved Africans. These quilters would bleach flour sacks, use scraps of their mistress’ clothes, their children’s clothes, or the actual textiles that they worked.

The Zuri Quilting Guild is a Middle Tennessee-based group of African-American quilters co-founded by Judi Wortham-Sauls and Dr. Renita J. Weems. The Zuri quilters (“Zuri” means “beautiful” in Swahili) incorporate traditional African textiles and African-American quilting styles to create work that is amazing.

The members of the guild use various techniques, some traditional while others use bold colors and unique designs. The guild describes themselves as a group of black Women “Piecing Together Our Past While Keeping Ourselves in Stitches”. We are excited to feature this exhibition in conjunction with the AQS Quilt Week in Chattanooga, TN.

This exhibition will be on display through December 5, 2014

Museum Hours

Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday, Noon to 4 p.m.
Sunday, Closed

Admission Information