Blog

Don’t talk to me about diversity

the_title

by Denise St. Omer I’m tired of talking about diversity. You heard me right. I’m a black woman in philanthropy and I’m done engaging in conversations about diversity. Conversations about diversity create spaces for people to engage in activities that make them feel like they’re doing something, but don’t actually move forward toward creating inclusive […]

Read More »

Philanthropic redlining in practice

the_title

A conversation with Lar’Juanette Williams, Memphis Black Arts Alliance In the study, we explore this idea of “philanthropic redlining,” where essentially certain groups – primarily black- and brown-led organizations – are just excluded from traditional funding. Can you explain how you have experienced that with Memphis Black Arts Alliance or within the nonprofit sector? I […]

Read More »

Using what we know to guide what we do

the_title

by Doug Waddill “I know, I know, I know…oooh oooh, call on me, I know…”  We have all been in classes with THAT guy or girl.  The “know it all.”  As a former teacher, I was always amazed at that stereotypical kid that had to be first and had to know it all.  Usually when […]

Read More »

A view of value

the_title

by Tawanna Brown Detroit, Michigan reminds me a lot of Memphis. As a first-time attendee of this year’s Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA) Conference, there were aspects of the convening, held in Detroit, that felt very familiar. Both cities hug mighty rivers, entrenched in histories muddied with issues of race and class. Though world-renowned transportation operations are […]

Read More »

Honoring crossroads

the_title

by Kiesha Davis This summer as we closed out the last learning session for leaders of youth serving music organizations in our Institute for Nonprofit Excellence (INE), a capacity building model developed as an approach to supporting the organizational development goals, we offered a panel discussion on nonprofit operational practices.  Over the prior months, cohort participants […]

Read More »

Even when it’s messy

the_title

by Brittney Boyd Bullock I recently attended the National Guild for Community Arts Education Conference, where I met incredible people working in the field of healing and trauma-related spaces. Now, when I walk into a room I always assess the environment and most times I’m looking for the seat where I want my energy to […]

Read More »

Shifting from pain to promise

the_title

by Rhonda Broussard What if solving for pain points isn’t good enough?  From product designers to UX/UL to social entrepreneurs, we’ve been trained to get close to the problem.  Bryan Stevenson urges us to get proximate to people so that we can really understand their pain.  Last year, we worked with Memphis Music Initiative (MMI) […]

Read More »

Music Cities Convention Memphis

the_title

Memphis Music Initiative was proud to partner with Sound Diplomacy to present the Music Cities Convention in Memphis in October. The conference brought more than 200 people to our city, hailing from 60 cities and 15 countries, to talk about equity and access in a music city. Our own Amand Pugh attended and wrote this […]

Read More »

Bringing students into the field

the_title

by Heather Trussell At The Soulsville Charter School, Dr. Dennis Leoni and I have been working to create a classroom culture in the high school orchestras of orchestral etiquette, work ethic, and respect for colleagues and instruments. We consistently emphasize the fact that proper technique and posture informs the quality of music-making, as well as […]

Read More »

Equity and inclusion ain’t easy – but it needs to happen

the_title

by Sam O’Bryant  Since 2011, I have worked on projects and initiatives that have deliberately and intentionally discussed the role of race and equity in America. My work has included planning regional conferences on racial healing in the American South, hosting community conversations on race in the Delta, and even promoting black male achievement within […]

Read More »