Shining Like A National Guitar

I kind of just want to keep writing about Memphis...I can't help it! We really did have such a great time! Saw an Eastern Ribbon Snake on the banks of the Mississippi, ate delicious banana pudding at a perfect diner (pictured below!), drank morning coffee in a cooling backyard, watched the sun disappear behind a giant pyramid & freight train was all a bit surreal, intensified by the serious heat ballooning around you like a hazy dreamy mirage! It was also really weird to be in Louisville and Memphis back to back where art is such a huge force in both cities but one (Louisville) has more funding than it knows what to do with and the other seems to be struggling a bit (Memphis).

I used to be highly critical of a lot of arts organizations in inner cities thinking that there are so much more pressing issues that need to be funded but, as I grow up, I realize that art is definitely a valuable resource for any community and can bring a whole lot of good into a place that is in need. In the case of Memphis: The Brooks Museum has a mural program to bring public art to communities throughout the city to bolster creativity in local children, The Blues Foundation seeks to help kids get musical education and also aids in getting healthcare for those in the precarious financial position of blues performer, the National Civil Rights Museum teaches everyone the importance of freedom (a thing I think is extra important in the current climate of marriage rights issues!) and UrbanArt is an amazing nonprofit that also seeks to beautify a slightly decaying Memphis by bringing artists into neighborhoods, libraries and other spaces to create memorable/destination images (I saw this supercool/amazing/captivating mural made through UrbanArt while down there and can't get it out of my head!).

Arts also brings a financial return to a city too, bringing in tourists and attracting outside money to help employ and enrich these cities further (the economic impact of tourism stats in this link about NYC are pretty insane!). Maybe museum going should be seen more as a civic duty that is not only culturally enriching to the museum go-er but enriching to an even greater good...?



Donna K. is a recent transplant to the Midwest where she can be found exploring culture at large through film programming, writing and her general interest in the world- both on and offline.