Creativity is all around us in Memphis. Our many musical venues are obvious go-to destinations for soaking up creativity, but go looking and you’ll find lots of opportunities for appreciating creatives or being one. Here are some opportunities to help you get inspired.

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Appreciating creativity

Here are some places for sparking your imagination by observing and listening.

Art museums

Memphis is home to a number of notable art museums, including:

  • The Brooks Museum (18th through 20th-century art), 1934 Poplar Ave.
  • AMUM, the Art Museum of the University of the University of Memphis (works from ancient Egypt to present), 3750 Norriswood Drive
  • The Metal Museum (metalworks, foundry and blacksmithing), 374 Metal Museum Drive
  • The Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art (historical and contemporary), 119 South Main St.

Garden strolls and art

Winter is a good time to heighten awareness of landscaping shapes, colors and textures (think bark, bare branches and berries) that we often don’t appreciate when blooms are abundant. Enjoy a winter stroll at Memphis Botanic Garden, 750 Cherry Road, and check its website for outdoor art exhibits (Origami in the Garden2 through March) and special events like the Jan. 25 Incognito! Art Auction fundraiser.

Downtown mural walks

Take a virtual walk online or an actual one downtown in search of the city’s famous murals, from “The Sound of Memphis” to “I Am a Man.” The downtown Memphis website provides details.

Positively Creative Series lectures

In the spring, Memphis College of Art, 1930 Poplar Ave., will host a series of talks about subjects including entrepreneurial blogging, fashion design, and maximizing social following on websites like Instagram.

Babies at the zoo

What can be more creative than birth? The Memphis Zoo, 2000 Prentiss Place, invites you to visit three new babies — Winnie the hippo, Rowan the orangutan and Lua the Linne’s two-toed sloth.

Being creative

Memphis is home to a number of organizations that encourage you to be creative in a hands-on way. Here goes.

Events and skill camps for creatives

Creative Works, 516 Tennessee St., is an organization that provides a wide variety of networking and learning events as well as a marketplace for creatives. It’s a good place to connect with creative types including animators, entrepreneurs, graphic artists, marketers and screenwriters. Events range from free pub network gatherings to 16-hour skill camps (about $1,000) and an annual creativity conference.

Crosstown Arts, 1350 Concourse Ave., is another organization that promotes creativity with exhibits, presentations and workshops by many kinds of artists, including writers and musicians. It offers residencies as well as community art making areas.

Innovative workspaces and incubators

ArtUp, 138 St. Paul St., is a business hub for entrepreneurial creatives including artists, chefs and designers. It offers lofts and mentoring for about 20 residents in its incubator program as well as support for creatives who don’t live there.

Creativity and mentoring aid the success of all startups. The “Memphis Business Journal” provides a detailed list of local business incubators, including Emerge Memphis, which offers tenant space and technical assistance programs.

Mid-South Makers, 2804 Bartlett Road, is an organization that provides makerspace (aka “hackerspace”) for people who love to tinker and invent. It’s a good place to meet other makers, share ideas and collaborate on projects.

Check out Crosstown Arts Shared Art Making for access to shared art-making facilities and equipment in digital arts, music, woodworking, printmaking, and photography. This space is open to all types of artists – from professionals to hobbyists!

Musical gigs

Love to sing? Perk up your pipes and maybe your picking skills at the Memphis Songwriters open mic nights. They’re held Monday through Thursday nights and Saturdays at coffee houses, restaurants and taverns throughout town.

If you enjoy performing classical works, the Memphis Symphony, 610 Goodman St., holds choir auditions twice a year. If you have some training, give it a go.

Becoming aware of opportunities

Never stop looking for opportunities to experience and practice the arts and innovation. Memphis is a great place to grow creatively.

#WeAreMemphis and we heart our city’s art.


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