Memphis Music Initiative

The MMI Emergency Relief Fund Artist Interviews: LaDarryl and Aa’liyah

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Welcome to the second installment of MMI’s Emergency Relief Fund Artist Interview series! Today, MMI Works student intern Aa’liyah and Relief Fund recipient LaDarryl chat about LaDarryl’s song Thank You— a toast to the money and opportunities that have been lost to the pandemic, but that will return one day. Because “This time, like all […]

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The MMI Emergency Relief Fund Artist Interviews: Nadifah and Sydney

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Welcome to the very first installment of MMI’s Emergency Relief Fund Artist Interview series! Today, MMI Works student intern Sydney and Relief Fund recipient Nadifah chat about the art series Nadifah created in response to the effects of self-isolation in quarantine. Nadifah’s series was commissioned through MMI’s 2020 Covid-19 Emergency Relief Fund last May. Take […]

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MMI on Live at 9!

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MMIxTape Live: Songs for the Future of Memphis Music is fast approaching! This morning, our Director of Grantmaking and Capacity Building, Rychetta Watkins, spent a few minutes chatting with Channel 3’s Live at 9 news team about Thursday’s event. She also shared insights about some of the pressing challenges Memphis’ arts community has faced in […]

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MMI Is In the News!

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Last night, our In-Schools program director, Lawrence Blackwell, appeared on Local 24 News via Zoom to chat about our work, our impact, and our upcoming fundraiser, MMIxTape Live. Click here to watch the full interview! Be sure to grab your tickets now for the December 10 event! It’s going to be an inspiring night full […]

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MMI Fellow Spotlight: Meet Rachel Johnson

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Welcome to MMI’s Fellow Spotlight series featuring our amazing teaching artists. Not only do MMI Fellows lend their talents to supporting and engaging Memphis youth all over the city, but they also help build and sustain our arts ecosystem through their independent projects. Today, meet violinist and violist Rachel Johnson! Rachel is a string instrument […]

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Authoring Their Futures: The 2020 MMI Works Intern Scholarship Essays

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This year, we learned to get comfortable with change. When it became apparent that our MMI Works summer program wouldn’t be happening in person, our fearless team leaders quickly and carefully adapted the program to the virtual world. But while a few pieces of the MMI Works puzzle have changed, most have not. At its […]

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MMI Fellow Spotlight: Meet Mersadie Wells

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Welcome to MMI’s Fellow Spotlight series featuring our amazing teaching artists. Not only do MMI Fellows lend their talents to supporting and engaging Memphis youth all over the city, but they also help build and sustain our arts ecosystem through their independent projects. Today, meet clarinetist and Renaissance woman Mersadie Wells! Mersadie has been with […]

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MMI Works 2020 Summer Program Intern Projects

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Memphis is music. It’s a city inseparable from the creatives and musicians who have shaped its culture, changed its politics, and built and rebuilt communities across Shelby County, from Frayser to Soulsville and beyond. Memphis’ list of music bona fides is a mile long, and while we may not be the biggest city, our musical […]

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The MMI COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund Student Art Commissions

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Over the past six months, the COVID-19 pandemic has had an outsized and devastating impact on artists and musicians. Memphis creatives—whether student artists or professionals—have lost income due to cancelled gigs, lessons, and more. So, back in April, Memphis Music Initiative established an Emergency Relief Fund to provide some short-term, immediate relief for the individual […]

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In a Year Unlike Any Other, Memphis Youth Remain Our Guiding Light

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As the new school year kicks off this week, it’s hard not to feel that familiar sense of transition. But this is not a normal year. Since the pandemic hit we’ve all been collectively transitioning away from outdated modes of thinking. We’ve been asked to examine our habits, need for interaction and compassion, and place […]

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