The Bessie Smith Cultural Center is an interdisciplinary cultural center that promotes cultural, educational, and artistic excellence and fosters research and education of African and African American heritage. The Chattanooga African American Museum was founded in 1983 to provide sources of curricula, historical references, creative works, and the media about the identity of Africans and African Americans, particularly those of Chattanooga. Civil War era exhibits include discussion of the Underground Railroad, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. What is now one organization began as two that were distinctly seperate. Over the past 29 years, the Bessie Smith Performance Hall developed a strong brand within the Chattanooga community. As a result of an extensive strategic planning process and to generate an overall awareness of what the one entity offers to Chattanooga, surrounding areas, and the southeastern region, the Chattanooga African American Museum/Bessie Smith Performance Hall was renamed the Bessie Smith Cultural Center (African American Museum & Performance Hall) in 2009. The center is affectionally referred to as “The Bessie.”
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Bessie Smith Cultural Center
- Sat: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
- Mon - Fri: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
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