Happy Birthday to the Memphis Arts Community!

This Friday, March 2nd, ArtsMemphis will turn 55!  That's right -- we've been around for five-and-a-half decades, serving as the Mid-South's primary arts grant-maker.  It all started with the shared vision of a small group of community leaders, including William F. Kirsch, Jr., Irving Metz, and Walter Armstrong.  They recognized the need for a central source of funding to sustain our city's anchor arts organizations.  Guided by that need, they created the Memphis Arts Council.

And while ArtsMemphis has evolved a great deal over the the last half century -- including the adoption of our new name in 2008 -- our commitment to the vitality of the Memphis arts community has constant.  What's more, we remain dedicated to providing general operating support to local arts groups.

Today, we provide grants to 80 local arts groups and artists.  These grants are powering arts assets every single day.  Want proof?  Here are just a few of the unique arts happenings scheduled for our birthday:

And what better way to celebrate our "Big Five Five" than by getting out and experiencing one of the events list above, or one of countless others listed on our cultural calendar.

Keep an eye out on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts this Friday for special celebratory posts.  And please feel free to share your ArtsMemphis memories with us via social media or email.  Or just stop by the office and reminisce with us!

* All photos courtesy of Nancy E. Bogatin and Liz Conway, from their book The Memphis Arts Council: A Twenty-Five Year Retrospective.
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