The RiverArts Fest is a newly formed organization bringing together two significant forces involved in promoting public involvement in the visual and performing arts. Experience Art in Memphis (formerly Arts in the Park) and the South Main Association have come together to create a new and exciting event for the citizens of Memphis and the mid-south region.
Our steering committee is comprised of individuals from both organizations along with former board members of Arts in the Park. While we come from diverse backgrounds we all share a genuine desire to promote an appreciation of the Arts by the citizens of our community.
Our mission is to cultivate, promote, encourage and develop public appreciation and support of the visual, performing, literary and culinary arts for the benefit, education and enjoyment of the citizens of Memphis and surrounding communities in the Mid South.
In fulfillment of our mission statement the RiverArtsFest organization seeks to produce an annual event located in the heart of our Downtown Arts District. This annual festival which is open to the public features a juried exhibition in fine art, youth art show, artists market, live Entertainment, culinary delights from downtown restaurants, and children's art activities.
While the RiverArtsFest organization itself is new, its roots can be traced back many years in the life of the City of Memphis. The RiverArtsFest as it exists today is a collaboration between two very strong arts centric organizations; Experience Art in Memphis (formerly Arts in the Park) and the South Main Association which is home for some of the city's finest art galleries. The synergies created in this collaboration along with a location in the heart of a revitalized downtown will make this event one of the premier art events in the Mid South.
Experience Art in Memphis (Formerly Arts in the Park)
In 1984 Arts in the Park began in Overton Park as a program of Art Today, an organization of the Brooks Museum under the leadership of Richard Wilson Sr. The objective was to bring together the visual and performing arts for a weekend of dance, music, sculpture, song, paintings, fine eating and participation; a fine arts exhibition. The success of the program led to the formation of a 501(c)3 corporation which came to be the Memphis Arts Festival. In 2003, the name was changed to Experience Art in Memphis to reflect an expanded mission to include literary and culinary arts. The invitation is to experience the art, to understand how it came to be, to enjoy all aspects of its creation, and to celebrate its existence. Since 1989, Memphis Arts Festival, through Arts in the Park and related events has involved over 500,000 citizens of the community in all its programs.
South Main Association (southmainmemphis.org)
The South Main Historic Arts District, located in downtown Memphis. The 11-block, 20-acre area is a culturally rich and unique neighborhood anchored by the historic Central Station and the famous Arcade restaurant on the south end, the beautifully restored Orpheum Theater on the north and on the east and west by the National Civil Rights Museum, art galleries, hip restaurants, renovated warehouses-turned-lofts and trendy shops.
The District is home to some of Memphis finest art galleries. These galleries represent local, regional, national and international artists. The galleries offer works on canvas, as well as three dimensional works that range in scale to fit the needs of any residential or commercial space. The galleries are varied in mediums and style, but the quality of the work in every gallery reminds many collectors of galleries in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
The monthly South Main Trolley Night tour of the galleries on South Main has become a popular event for the citizens of Memphis. The ring of the trolley sounds as the shops, restaurants and galleries in the area open their doors to the throngs of Memphians and visitors on the last Friday of the month.
For Complete information, visit the Official River Arts Fest Site Here!