What: HATCH Chatt Scramble
When: 8-11 p.m. today
Where: Hunter Museum of American Art, 10 Bluff View Ave.
Who: Featuring performances by the Chattanooga Dance Projects, Chattanooga Symphony String Quintet, TheaterQuest, Shakespeare Chattanooga
Cost: $20 in advance, $25 at the door
Artists of all stripes are banding together this week in an explosion of performances, sculpture installations and art exhibitions.
The new endeavor, HATCH Chatt, will span the week between the 4 Bridges Arts Festival and the Mid-South Sculpture Alliance's conference and include more than 200 events, many uniting artists from different backgrounds.
Opera singers will perform in the Hunter Museum of American Art, improvisational ballet dancers will join the Chattanooga Symphony String Quintet and a sculptor will install a giant, remote-controlled harp on the Walnut Street Bridge.
"It's a huge celebration of culture and life," said Hunter Executive Director Dan Stetson, chairman of the steering committee for HATCH, which stands for History Arts Technology Culture Happenings.
The bridge harp is one of 10 large art installations that will be erected for the organization MakeWork's 10X10 program, which will take place over 10 blocks between 10th Street and Riverside Drive. The sculptures, called "artifacts," will emphasize historic moments in Chattanooga, including the city's industrial past, civil rights movement and Occupy protests.
"It's kind of experimental," said 10X10 coordinator Allie O'Connell. "[The artists] are responding to the historical narrative of the space."
Elsewhere downtown, artists will set up temporary exhibitions in businesses, civic spaces and at least one abandoned building, showcasing visual art media, as well as music.
"I want locals and visitors to celebrate all the arts organizations in town," said Mid-South Sculpture Alliance President Verina Baxter, who conceived of the HATCH festival. "The arts have a lot to do with the quality of our life."
She hopes the festival will draw arts-minded tourists, or at least encourage visitors to 4 Bridges and the Mid-South Sculpture Alliance conference to extend their visits. Doing so, she said, will be a boon for the entire city.
"The arts do have an economic impact in our community," she said.
Local actors, musicians, dancers and poets also are eager to perform. The Chattanooga Theatre Centre has wall-to-wall events during HATCH, including plays, auditions, workshops and readings of the winning plays from a recent contest.
Members of the Chattanooga Dance Projects will team up randomly with choreographers from the region, read environmental essays and compose original works.
The Chattanooga Symphony and Opera will host a happy-hour collaboration with modern and ballet dance troupes and visual artists who will improvise over the music.
"It's an opportunity to provide a really high-quality performance to the public," said Kathy Allison, operations manager for the symphony.