Memphis has one of the richest, most diverse, and cultured art environments in the world. Our city is home to world-class theaters, ballet performers, museums, orchestras and artists of all types.
The Memphis arts scene
We’ve heard some rumors that other art scenes around the country are a bit, well… pretentious. They may not be all that friendly to new faces or art world newcomers, and they sometimes engage in what’s known as “artspeak”—something that can be a bit intimidating to people who are simply interested in appreciating a good painting or some outstanding opera. In those settings, it can seem as if finding out about art shows and performances requires knowing someone who knows someone who knows the guy who knows the secret handshake.
That’s not us.
Everyone is welcome to join the arts in Memphis!
Bring your questions. Bring your curiosity. Bring your kids. Heck, bring your own brushes! All we care about is that you bring your interest in art to one of our many museums, theaters, galleries or playhouses.
Art galleries and exhibits
What type of art gets your mind going? Is it painting, sculpture, photography, modern or something you can’t quite define? Maybe it’s all of the above, or a mix and match. Whatever it is, you are sure to find extraordinary exhibitions that pique your interest in Memphis.
We’ve got professionally curated exhibits. We’ve got exhibits of work done by local students and rising stars. And we’ve got exhibits that include world-famous masterpieces.
See for yourself what our art galleries and exhibits are currently showing by scrolling down, where we have coverage of Memphis art events.
Performing arts in Memphis
Great performances can be found all over Memphis. Beyond world famous Beale Street, many can be found down on Wolf River Parkway, South Main Street and South Cooper Street.
That’s where you’ll find Opera Memphis, the Orpheum Theatre and Hattiloo Theatre, all of which are home to some of the finest productions and performing artists in the country.
You may not know that the Memphis performing arts community rivals those of New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. In fact, many of the best voices in Bluff City are opera singers, Broadway stars and thespians.
But it doesn’t end there. Right down the street from the Hattiloo Theatre is our nationally known ballet company, Ballet Memphis. Memphis is like that – there’s something for everyone around every corner.
If you appreciate the performing arts, you’ll find something to fall in love with here in Memphis.
It’s been said that museums are places to look at, learn about, absorb and appreciate the past in order to build a brighter future.
That’s why Memphis is proud to house an array of museums focused on everything from art to observatories, and history to popular culture. Our city has played an important role in shaping the country’s civic and cultural landscapes, and many of its contributions have been memorialized at the National Civil Rights Museum, the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum and Graceland.
Memphis is also home to the Brooks Museum of Art, which was founded in 1916 and is the oldest and largest art museum in the state of Tennessee. The Brooks Museum features impressive galleries of paintings, sculptures, prints, photographs and much more, while also engaging the community through creative programming, such as Yoga Thursdays and free film screenings.
We also have a deep appreciation for the arts, which is why we have museums dedicated to works by world-famous artists, up-and-comers and others who make their voices heard by creating.
If you’re the type of person who loves to look, learn, absorb and appreciate, be sure to check out some of our many Memphis museums.
The Memphis Symphony Orchestra
The Memphis Symphony Orchestra puts on performances throughout the year at three different locations, bringing to life works written by the masters.
Our orchestra also presents special performances by other groups, such as the U.S. Naval Academy Glee Club.
We’re proud of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and hope that you’ll enjoy our world-class musicians as much as we do.
Learn more about our orchestra.
The art and soul of Memphis
Now you know more about all that the Memphis arts scene has to offer, you probably can’t wait to book your flight to the Bluff City.
And when you get here, we’ll be waiting with an array of artistic, theatrical, operatic, balletic and orchestral offerings for you to enjoy.