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Creating a sculpture celebrating the combined hopes and dreams that are the community of Kingsport, Rise Together Kingsport is a project by the City of Kingsport Office of Cultural Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission and artist Charlie Brouwer.

The project provides an opportunity for anyone in the community to participate in creating a sculpture signifying the combined hopes and dreams that depend on, build upon and support each other in Kingsport.

“I borrowed a ladder from a neighbor many years ago,” said Brouwer. “I needed it to get things done around my house. From borrowing that ladder, a relationship was built.”

Individuals, families, organizations, schools, churches, and businesses are invited to lend ladders to be connected together in a monumental sculpture towering in front of the Renaissance Center and spilling across its lawn to Center Street.

The ladders can be real extension and stepladders, or any form or size of ladder – including handmade ladders from any material. The ladders can be as creative or expressive, or as plain as the owners want them to be. All ladders will be registered and tagged, and lenders will be recognized on the list of lenders posted on the Rise Together Kingsport website and on a sign at the sculpture. The owner of a ladder may even choose to have the name of the lender be someone they wish to honor, or remember.

The Office of Cultural Arts is accepting ladders now until October 14th. Ladders can be dropped off at the Renaissance Center during designated times or can be picked up if you do not have a way of transporting the ladder. The drop-off times are September 30th and October 7th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., October 1st and October 8th from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., October 6th from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., October 9th to 13th from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. and October 14th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The temporary sculpture will be completed on October 14th and will remain on exhibit until November 13th when it will be dismantled and all ladders returned to their owners. For those who do not want their ladder back, they will be donated to Holston Habitat for Humanity.

The artist, Charlie Brouwer has led similar projects in 13 other U.S. communities from Allentown, PA to St. Louis, MO – for information and a video, visit

For more information on Rise Together Kingsport or lending a ladder, visit To arrange for your ladder to be picked up, please call 423-392-8414.

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