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VOL. 127 | NO. 207 | Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Jeremy Park

Focused On Crosstown Arts

By Jeremy Park

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Last week we spotlighted the Overton Park Conservancy and shared a fun way we can support their efforts by attending an upcoming Halloween Party at the Sears Crosstown Building on Saturday, Oct. 27. This week let us expand on the other nonprofit beneficiary of that Halloween Party and talk about an organization that is working to both revitalize the Sears Crosstown Building and cultivate the arts here in Memphis: Crosstown Arts.

Founded in May 2010 by Todd Richardson and Christopher Miner, Crosstown Arts is a 501c(3) organization dedicated to further cultivating the arts community through events, exhibitions, programming and resources that support and showcase local artists and musicians. Originally, Crosstown Arts led the effort for the redevelopment of the Sears Crosstown building, and they have been instrumental in advancing the project to its current stage. While the development has now taken on a life of its own, with an expanded development team, Crosstown Arts is one of the nine founding partners. They will be a future tenant in the redeveloped Sears building and will continue to play a vital role in the project as a guiding force for the culture of the project.

Similar to LaunchYourCity and EmergeMemphis, which are incubators for entrepreneurs by offering a multitude of resources, along with a physical location to collaborate, mentor and focus on development, Crosstown Arts is in the process of creating an incubator for the arts here in Memphis. They have a number of new programs that are under development and scheduled to begin over the next few months. These programs include a new 1,400-square-foot gallery space committed to showcasing local artists, as well as bringing new contemporary art to Memphis.

Also in the works is an all-ages performance venue for musicians and performers at any level of expertise, as well as a wood and metal workshop and artist studio, an after-school program that will offer tutoring and creative writing projects to youth in the Crosstown neighborhood, and a partnership with the Visible Music College that will bring the Visible Community Music School to Crosstown. These new programs will provide opportunities for creative-minded Memphians at little or no cost to the participants.

There are two easy upcoming opportunities to support Crosstown Arts. First is the Halloween Party on Oct. 27 (www.overtonpark.org/halloween), which features live music by Elmo & the Shades, a costume contest, food and drinks, and much more. The second is MemFIX Cleveland Street, which takes place on Saturday, Nov. 10 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Similar to the successful “A New Face for and Old Broad” event held on Broad Avenue in 2010, MemFIX Cleveland Street will feature temporary street improvements, pop-up retail, food trucks, activities for kids and adults, music, movies, performances, art installations and more. Learn more about the events and Crosstown Arts at www.crosstownarts.org.

Jeremy Park, director of the Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club, can be reached at jeremyp@lpinsurance.com and followed on Twitter (@lpbreakfastclub) and Facebook (facebook.com/lpbreakfastclub).

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