How can more opportunities to play make Chattanooga a stronger city?

That’s the burning question behind the latest Causeway Challenge, which will award up to $30,000 to projects and ideas that offer ways to increase play in Chattanooga.

What is play? Causeway lists several inspirational ideas on their website.

Some examples include a speed camera lottery game in Stockholm; a basketball hoop playground sculpture in Nantes, France; and Chattanooga’s own Scenic Streets, which allowed residents to imagine neighborhoods, public spaces and business areas without automobiles. 

“We have seen so many examples nationally where simple, playful projects disrupt the norm just enough to change people’s habits, their perspectives and their interactions with others for the better,” said Chelsea Conrad, director of creative engagement at Causeway.

Heather DeGaetano, Causeway’s managing director, and Josiah Golson, a Causeway Challenge winner, work on a mission statement for his artist collective, called 800. (Photo: Contributed)

This, the third Causeway Challenge, seeks to focus on “raising up new community leaders” by opening submissions to individuals and groups this go-round, as opposed to nonprofits. Causeway hopes to entice neighborhood leaders, students, artists, entrepreneurs, PTA members and retirees.

According to a news release, Causeway has awarded $85,000 to 22 community-led projects through the Causeway Challenge since 2014.

The $30,000 allotted for this challenge will be dispersed among 10 selected projects. Winning projects will receive up to $3,000 each.

Applications will be accepted from Oct. 19 through midnight on Nov. 14. Winners will be announced Dec. 10, and the money will be used for the implementation of projects between January and April 2016.

A full breakdown of the project, including information on the application process, can be found here.

Causeway will open their office, located at 16 Patten Parkway, every Tuesday from noon to 1 p.m. to answer questions from potential applicants.

“A year later, we are still seeing growth and progress from many of the projects we selected through the first Causeway Challenge in 2014,” said Abby Garrison, executive director of Causeway. “That small amount of seed funding can do a lot to get an idea out of someone’s head and into a prototyping phase that can lead to a bigger impact.” 

Causeway is funded in part by the Benwood Foundation, Footprint Foundation and hundreds of donations from Chattanoogans wanting to make a difference in their hometown.