grantmaking

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 Since the pandemic hit we’ve all been collectively transitioning away from outdated modes of thinking.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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Memphis Music Initiative Emergency Response Fund

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Thanks to a generous gift, Memphis Music Initiative (MMI) has established an Emergency Relief Fund to provide some short-term, immediate relief for individual musicians and young people who are part of our extensive network of programs. We recognize that creatives and the arts have been disproportionately negatively impacted by restrictions taken in response to the […]

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Improving the work through equity in the board room

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by Sarah Lockridge-Steckel When we started the Memphis Music Initiative, we knew a few things were true. More than 26% of youth in Memphis’ underserved communities will not graduate from high school, and only 5% of youth have access to after-school music programming. This is critical because music is a powerful tool that can deepen […]

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Your gifts will make room for you

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by Roniece N. Gilkey My aunt encouraged me to be a teacher when I was in college. She told me if I planned to have a family I would have the same schedule as my children and have the summers off with them. I have a Bachelor of Arts in History and I was a […]

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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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Toward the Future of Arts Philanthropy: 5 Recommendations for Action

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It’s not about you, “Philanthropy.” Philanthropic work is not about showing how smart you are, it is about empowering and liberating the people. Those who seek to help must respect the community as experts in order to drive solutions that work for the world that they know best. Whether it’s musicians, neighborhood leaders, youth or teachers, […]

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Return on investment

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by Kiesha Davis I’ve been pondering over a challenge posed by Susan Taylor Batten during the opening plenary of this past ABFE Annual Conference – The Fierce Urgency of Now, held here in Memphis a few weeks ago. When detailing the themes for the conference, she made reference to “investing in the leadership versus the labor […]

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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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Using what we know to guide what we do

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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 […]

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A view of value

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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 […]

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