HGN: DMC expands creative grant program, selects first recipients

HGN: DMC expands creative grant program, selects first recipients

The Downtown Memphis Commission is broadening the scope of its Downtown Events, Animation, and Activation Grant program designed to bring fun, creative and artistic ideas to downtown. The DMC has had an event grant in place for several years, but it was focused solely on events.

“This year we expanded it to include more community and creative placemaking and ways to animate downtown,” said Leslie Gower, DMC VP of Sales and Marketing. “If you have an art project, community garden, performance art, or other ideas that would add some vibrancy to downtown, we can help fund your idea.”

The first seven grant recipients of the new fiscal year have been selected, and they include a cigar festival on Beale Street, an Ocktoberfest in Tom Lee Park, a home tour of Victorian Village, a street performance called Basketball Jones, a performance at the Cannon Center called Strange Fruit, a youth film festival by Indie Memphis, and a StartCo. Demo Day at Loflin Yard.

“We’re really trying to bring more creatives to downtown and have their ideas become a reality versus something that they want to do but can’t get off the ground,” said Gower. “The real intent is to bring new events to downtown. Primarily we’re looking at public spaces, so most of the events we’re funding are taking place either at a park or on a main street.”

Funding will be allocated for projects taking place between July 1 and June 30 of next year, and grants will be made on a first-come, first-served basis until funding has been depleted. The DMC began with $60,000 to allocate for this fiscal year, and the maximum amount an applicant can receive is $5,000.

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HGN: DMC expands creative grant program, selects first recipients

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