The Memphis Guide to Culture

The Memphis Guide to Arts & Culture

Art and culture are two of the important pillars that make up the city of Memphis, and the city is always looking for ways to share its heritage with the community. So, if you’re looking for ways to get out and explore Memphis culture, these are just a handful of examples of the incredible arts and culture that make up what the city of Memphis is today.

Africa in April

While February is African American heritage month around the country, Africa in April is unique to Memphis as the city looks to shine a light on the important influence African Americans have played in the overall cultural history of Memphis. You will find celebrations of African history, art and culture taking place throughout the city, with many vendors offering special products. There is also a Blues music showcase during the month.

Memphis in May

Throughout the entire month of May, there is an entire series dedicated to showing off the incredible heritage of the city. During the month, some of the most important cultural events take place including the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, Great American River Run, International Week and, of course, the Beale Street Music Festival.

Memphis Italian Festival

Whether you’re Italian or simply craving Italian food, the Memphis Italian Festival takes place every year sometime during late May or early June (this also depends on the Memphis in May celebration, as the Memphis Italian Festival will adjust accordingly, typically taking place the weekend after the Memphis in May celebration has finished). The Memphis Italian Festival occurs at Marquette Park and brings in Italian cooking competitions, musical activities, and local artists. There is also a 5K run, pizza tossing demonstrations, Galtelli Cup Recreational Bocce Tournament, and so much more going on with this festival.


Outside of major festivals and events, music is as much a part of the city as anything else. Some of the biggest names in gospel, blues, rock and roll, country and others stem from Memphis. While you may already know Elvis and B.B. King are important musicians from Memphis, performers such as Johnny Cash, Aretha Franklin, Roy Orbison, Isaac Hayes, and others all either were born in Memphis or spent a part of their career in the city. Beale Street and Stax Records are two important destinations for anyone looking to discover Memphis music.

Get Out and Experience Memphis Culture

These are just a few examples of Memphis culture. From art around the city to culturally significant events, it doesn’t matter if you’ve called Memphis home your entire life or if you are a recent transplant, now is the perfect time to get out and take in the incredible Memphis culture available to you.

Additional Reading:

We Are Memphis

Greater Memphis Chamber

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