arts

An Open Letter: Memphis Nonprofits Demand Action

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The following open letter was written in response to the recent deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and so many others. It has been signed by leaders in the Memphis nonprofit community, with the aim of highlighting systemic oppression and amplifying the demands heard on streets across the nation.   Click here to view as […]

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Our 2019 Annual Report

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“Each year at Memphis Music Initiative, we have the honor of working with over 4,000 young people across Memphis, with a focus on improving black and brown students’ equitable access to high quality music engagement. In 2019, we continued to grow as a direct service provider, and as a funder, and as advocates for our […]

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In the Age of COVID-19, Art Remains

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The past few weeks have been a roller coaster—and that’s putting it mildly. As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread across the country, we’ve all had to re-evaluate even the most basic aspects of our daily lives, from grocery shopping and visiting family members to, yes, hand washing. These are certainly turbulent times. But […]

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MMI Fellow Spotlight: Meet Marisa Polesky

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Welcome to MMI’s Fellow Spotlight series! Every other week we’ll be posting an interview with one of our amazing teaching artists. Not only do they lend their talents to support MMI and engage Memphis youth all over the city, but they’re also helping to build and sustain our arts ecosystem through their independent projects.  Meet […]

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Memphis Takes Nashville: Arts Advocacy Day 2020

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Last week, Memphis Music Initiative took our show on the road. Our mission? To advocate for the arts and show our state legislators just how big an impact it has on our community. But we weren’t alone. Memphis was well-represented by local arts and community organizations, including: AngelStreet, Blues Foundation, Memphis Slim House, New Ballet […]

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Empowering youth as agents of change

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by Lawrence Blackwell Meet our youth where they are.  This has become the guiding mantra for many of the community partners, schools, and programs I work with in Memphis.  It is a core principle from which we grow our programs at Hattiloo Theatre.   But what does meeting them where they are  mean?  Where are we […]

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Program Development Institute: Perfecting Gifts

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by Sharonda Mitchell As a young lady who was greatly inspired through Arts in our Schools and mentored through various summer camps similar to Sing-City; I know the impact of music first hand. Being a native of Memphis, my desire is to use my talents and experience to help kids and teens create a love […]

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Program Development Institute: Young Actors Guild

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by Bonita Iluobe Young Actors Guild is increasingly becoming known as a local treasure that contributes enormously to the creative arts development of young adults in the Greater Memphis community.  YAG was founded by Chrysti Chandler in 1991 to impact, inspire, and engage youth in the arts.  She molded her youthful fantasies, played out to […]

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Don’t talk to me about diversity

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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 […]

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Philanthropic redlining in practice

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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 […]

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