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Cohort one, year one: INE in action

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by Doug Waddill There are invisible lines everywhere we go.  There are boundaries of cities, states, and counties that are real, but they cannot be seen with the naked eye.  There are more figurative “lines” that occur as well.  For example, when one moves from hungry to full or from a run to a sprint.  […]

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Our strategy: introducing the Institute for Nonprofit Excellence

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by Kiesha Davis With a multitude of challenges, the nonprofit sector working with community to support those needs are often pushed beyond their own capacity to do so. Sector leaders, and those all to often focused on serving communities of color, are routinely faced with a barrage of competing interests calling for their attention and […]

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Power

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 by Anasa Troutman Last summer, I made public a dream that I had held close to my heart for over 10 years. In a vintage theater on Martha’s Vineyard with no air conditioning, in front of a modest audience of 100 people, I shared my vision of building Shelectricity, a space where black and brown […]

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Shelectricity: energizing girls for innovative lives

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by Tawanna Brown It was a stormy Saturday morning in April, but the rains did little to deter the more than 100 middle school girls, parents and girl allies who showed up for Shelectricity’s Memphis Listening Party.  It was a festive affair that included girl-power music, from Alecia Keys to Aretha Franklin, spun by DJ […]

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Visible Community Music School at Su Casa

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by VCMS Staff At Visible Community Music School, we’ve just finished our first semester working with kids in the Berclair/Graham neighborhoods through a partnership with Su Casa Family Ministries.  With the help of Su Casa staff, Tim Jewett and Ceci Fortier, we were able to give piano and guitar lessons to 15 eager and excited students […]

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Getting teachers and principals to the “Room Where it Happens”

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  by Morgan Beckford When I first returned to Memphis after teaching in Virginia, I worked for Opera Memphis as the Coordinator for Education and Outreach. My charge was simple: find opportunities for local students to engage with Opera Memphis. I accepted the challenge; over the first month, I drafted an email list that included […]

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The real work of collaboration

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by Doug Waddill Ever since the dawn of the motivational poster, we have been inundated with clichés about how working together will make us stronger.  I know right now you are picturing the rowboat on the water with the bold letter caption underneath reading “TEAM — Together Everyone Achieves More,” the framed quote of “Teamwork […]

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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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Angel Street tackles after-school transportation challenges

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What began as a small children’s choir for a women’s Christmas event is now a fully operational after-school music-mentoring program. Angel Street serves girls ages 8-18 through musical performance training, songwriting, production, private music lessons and more. The all-girl environment provides a safe place for participants to share their voice both inward and outward. With […]

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Memphis Black Arts Alliance: thriving in 2017

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by Lar’Juanette Williams Memphis, Tennessee, long ago established itself as the city with heavy artistic influences that span from music ideologies to dance, voice, live stage and visual artistic impression. Many flocked to Beale Street to see, hear, feel and experience the sensation of artistic excellence. It was not only a place to hear good music, but […]

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