Beginning in the 1980s, civic revival in Chattanooga was underway. But by the 2000s, some of this dynamic energy and innovative determination had dwindles. The city was leaking its talent to other cities once again.

In response, two inspired citizens–Helen Johnson and Josh McManus–started a bold initiative called CreateHere, a nonprofit project to infuse cultural and economic life back into the city of Chattanooga by supporting the arts and creative enterprises–or, more specifically, the people behind them.