Bridgeport Accepted into the 2019 Thriving Communities Program

Downtown Bridgeport Alabama

Thriving Communities is a community accelerator program designed to enhance leadership and community development throughout the region by way of creative placemaking. Participating teams learn strategic approaches to leverage their artistic and cultural assets in order to spark economic vibrancy and growth from within their communities. At the end of the program, each team is eligible to apply for a seed grant from the Lyndhurst Foundation to make their community strategy a reality.

Cities and towns from the 16-county Tennessee Valley region are eligible to apply with teams representing various backgrounds and roles within each community. The teams are selected by a committee of professionals in the fields of urban planning, arts, culture, and philanthropy.

When the Mountain Lakes Chamber of Commerce was first notified that applications were being accepted for the Thriving Communities program, the Chamber immediately took action.  The Bridgeport City Council was made aware of Thrive and the positive impact it could have on the community, and then applied.

With the development of the Google Data Center in Bridgeport, the timing could not have been better.  Committee member J.P. Parsons had this to say after his selection to the committee, “After the city council approved the required committee for the 10-month program and judging what Thriving Communities has done for other regional communities in the last two years, Bridgeport will now have the opportunity to make great progress. This will be great!” The acceptance into the program will pair well with the community momentum currently building around Google’s presence in Jackson County.

Bridgeport (population 2,312), in Jackson County, Alabama, hosts several popular events such as Movies at the Downtown Amphitheatre and the Trail of Tears Commemorative Motorcycle Ride Kick-Off, which has raised thousands of dollars in scholarship funds for Native American children. The Siege of Bridgeport Civil War Reenactment has been named in Alabama’s Top Ten tourist attractions and is the fourth-most revenue producing event in the state. As active participants in the Thriving Communities program, the Bridgeport team envisions “growth in tourism, support and participation in local events, as well as heightened leadership and community development.”

Seige of Bridgeport

“The teams exhibited a strong desire to build upon their unique strengths and to leverage the input and talent of their local citizens for long-term growth and prosperity,” said Bridgett Massengill, President and CEO of Thrive.  “We are excited to bring these three communities into the growing network of Thriving Communities across our tri-state region.”

3 States, 16 Counties, 1 Million People!

Thrive works to ignite responsible and inspired growth across the greater Chattanooga region, and we are excited to be part of the growth effort.

Thrive Regional Partnership is an independent nonprofit with a mission to ignite responsible and inspired growth across the tri-state region for the next four decades. For more information about Thrive Regional Partnership, visit

Sarah Stahl