Arts and Culture Sector United in Response to COVID-19

MEMPHIS, TN (March 13, 2020) – The arts and culture sector continues to take precautionary measures to protect the health and safety of staff, artists and audience members and program participants by adhering to Shelby County Health Department, Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization recommendations.

In a call today convened by Terri Lee Freeman, President & CEO of the National Civil Rights Museum and chair of the Memphis Cultural Coalition, thirty members of the arts and culture sector discussed ongoing strategies for operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Decisions on program continuation, postponement or cancelation are unique to each organization and their participants. These decisions are being continually reassessed as the situation develops to follow the recommendations of the public health authorities. Patrons should consult the organization websites directly for the latest information.

Elizabeth Rouse, President & CEO notes, “While Memphis arts and culture organizations have various missions, programs and operations, the sector is united in supporting each other and our community through this evolving pandemic.”

Freeman states, “We’re working together and striving to create innovative solutions which allow Memphians to be uplifted through the arts during this challenging time. We urge all citizens to be cognizant of the precautionary measures in place and make attendance decisions based on what is best for themselves and their families.”

ArtsMemphis, as the primary arts support and advocacy organization in Shelby County, is a resource for arts organizations during this evolving situation through online information, phone calls and one on one assistance.

About Memphis Cultural Coalition:

The Memphis Cultural Coalition was founded by Brett Batterson, President & CEO of the Orpheum Theatre Group, in 2016 and is a round table for leaders of arts and culture organizations. Joining today’s call were: Ballet Memphis, Cazateatro, Circuit Playhouse, Inc., Clayborn Temple, Collage Dance Collective, GPAC, Hattiloo Theatre, Indie Memphis, IRIS Orchestra, Levitt Shell, Memphis Botanic Garden, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis Rock 'n' Soul/Memphis Music Hall of Fame, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Metal Museum, National Civil Rights Museum, New Ballet Ensemble & School, Opera Memphis, Orpheum Theatre Group, Pink Palace Museum, Soulsville Foundation/Stax Museum of American Soul Music, StoryBoard Memphis, Tennessee Shakespeare Company, The Blues Foundation, The Dixon Gallery & Gardens, Theatre Memphis, University of Memphis College of Communication and Fine Arts, and Voices of the South.

About ArtsMemphis:

The mission of ArtsMemphis is to sustain Memphis's world-renowned cultural vitality and strengthen local communities through the arts. In its most recent fiscal year, ArtsMemphis awarded $2.5 million in grants to 73 local arts groups and artists creating 2.5 million arts experiences throughout every zip code in Shelby County. Since its inception in 1963, through generous donor support, ArtsMemphis has infused $82 million into the arts community.  For more information, visit

Posted by Josie Ballin at 16:11
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