Blog

In the classroom: discovering your voice

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by Marcus King My name is Marcus King. This is my first year with Memphis Music Initiative and I highlight this as one the best years I’ve spent as a teacher. This is due to the wonderful students I get to teach and mentor at Cordova High School and Southwind High School in Memphis. The […]

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Bringing youth voice to the table

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by Dana Wilson When I sit down with members of the Memphis community and discuss the great work our Bridge Builders youth are doing, I always get the same question: “How do you find so many confident, smart and thoughtful young people?” My answer is always the same: “They’re everywhere.” Memphis has a huge youth […]

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A global movement to change lives through music

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by Eric Booth The beautiful work of MMI (that I praise loudly just about everywhere I go) contributes to a larger field.  This larger field is called by many names—such as creative youth development and arts for change, and social practice arts—but all share the same mission: to provide new life opportunities through highly engaging […]

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MMI Youth Voices: Khamyl B.

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I have attended schools with many students who each year had the opportunity to travel overseas, whether to visit family and friends, or their families were just going on a vacation. I have always wished that I could visit other places and countries. Now with an opportunity with MMI Works I will finally get the chance to […]

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Seattle artists and culture workers speak out

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by Lara Davis In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, we see tremendous uprising in cities and states across the Unites States of America.  From student-led walkouts to bank boycotts, marches and rallies for justice, communities are engaging in civil disobedience and movement building – coming together to take action and be heard. Youth […]

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Untapped potential

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by Kiesha Davis Do you ever think of how much young people could accomplish if we listened to them empathetically? I mean, really listen? Take for example the traditional dynamic of funder and grantee relationships. The prevailing practice in the philanthropic community is to play in to the position of power with grantees, often with […]

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The Spark

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by Jeff Kollath “You can’t start a fire without a spark…” – Bruce Springsteen I began my career at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music on June 8, 2015; I met staff from the Memphis Music Initiative on June 22, 2015. Needless to say, MMI has been there all along for the museum and […]

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Leveling the playing field

“Talented students in low-income areas needed more opportunities to attend concerts, take private or semi-private lessons, and go to summer music camps. During this year’s auditions for All West Honor Orchestra, I saw three teachers from low-income schools – who each have Music Engagement Teaching Fellows – truly excited to see that we had some […]

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Q&A with Alberto Mejia of Creative Action

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MMI: Let’s start with a bit of background on Creative Action. Tell me about the organization’s work, a little about the history and how/when you became involved. Alberto Mejia: Creative Action’s mission is to spark the emotional, social and academic development of young people through cultural arts and creativity. Owning the fact that I’m relatively […]

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Making the old new again: Overton High School’s Memphis Jug Band

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  I have always believed in the power of heritage, and we—the community of Memphis— have the distinct privilege of being the recipients of a rich musical legacy. This legacy embodies in America a similar cultural identity to that of Mozart and Haydn in Vienna. One cannot visit Memphis without hearing the blues, visiting Graceland, […]

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