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101 Things To Do In Memphis #39: RiverArts Fest

by Melissa Thompson

RiverArtsFest is a street celebration of fine arts and fine local music with live artist demonstrations and hands-on art activities for all ages! More than 180 artists from around the country and right here at home gather to exhibit and sell their latest works of original fine arts in what’s become the largest outdoor juried artist market and urban street festival in the Mid-South. 

October 27 and 28, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

New Location! Riverside Drive, between Jefferson and Union

In 2016, RiverArtsFest was named one of The Best Festivals & Fairs in Tennessee by Travel Magazine.

$5 admission gets you daily in- and out- access to the festival on Saturday and Sunday. Children 10 and under are free. There are north and south entrances. Credit cards are accepted at all entrances, and an ATM will be stationed within the festival grounds. 

SPECIAL EVENT SATURDAY EVENING! In celebration of Mighty Lights, the festival will be running extended hours Saturday night with free admission beginning at 5PM. The artists market will close at 8:30P and the festival at 9P. Please visit the Mighty Lights website for more details.



Downtown Memphis offers plenty of parking within walking distance of the festival. For a full listing of garages, check out this handy map provided by the Downtown Memphis Commission.

Nearly 200 fine artists from across the nation will line Riverside Drive selling original work. A complete list of artists can be found here. 

See our full line up of local musicians and bands performing each day. The festival grounds will also feature strolling musicians and performing artists.

Our Hands On Art stations will be open Saturday and Sunday for children of all ages to tap into their inner artists by participating in our special art project. Sponsored by the Art Center, activities are creative, simple and make a great keepsake. 

Check out the artists lineup and schedule for our Artists At Work area, featuring local artists demonstrating their craft and skills. 

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101 Things To Do In Memphis #37: Beale Street Art Crawl

by Melissa Thompson

There’s a new event in the works that wants to flood “America’s most iconic street,” with local art and art buyers.

The inaugural Beale Street Art Crawl is scheduled for October 20th.

The event is being managed by the nonprofit Dear Music with support from Downtown Memphis Commission. Dear Music’s mission is to “provide positive community events centered on cultural enrichment, performance and visual arts, and community engagement.”

Beale Street Art Crawl welcomes artists of all mediums and various styles and aesthetics from Memphis, Nashville and surrounding areas. Organizers are working to establish this as a quarterly event to help artists reach a new consumer base, increase visibility, and have the opportunity to become a merchant on historic Beale Street for a day.

For updates about the event follow Beale Street Art Crawl on Facebook.

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101 Things To Do In Memphis #101: Crosstown Arts

by Melissa Thompson

Crosstown Arts is a contemporary arts organization dedicated to further cultivating the creative community in Memphis. Formed in 2010 with two goals: to create a vision for the redevelopment of the historic Sears Crosstown building and to help cultivate Memphis creative community. 

They provide resources and create opportunities and experiences to inspire, support, and connect a diverse range of creative people, projects, and audiences.

The spaces and programs they manage integrate varying components of exhibition, performance, production, education, and retail.  They welcome anyone in the community to join any of their events or projects, regardless of prior experience or expertise with creative interests.

Crosstown Arts is a founding partner, co-developer, and future tenant of Crosstown Concourse, the former Sears Crosstown building. Learn more about the development project here.

Click here for the upcoming events calendar.

1350 Concourse Ave, #280, Memphis, TN  38104

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101 Things To Do In Memphis #89: RiversArtsFest

by Melissa Thompson

In 2016, RiverArtsFest was named one of The Best Festivals & Fairs in Tennessee by Travel Magazine!

RiverArtsFest is a street celebration of the visual, performing and culinary arts with attractions and activities for all ages! Nearly 200 artists from around the country gather to exhibit and sell their latest works of original fine arts in what’s become the largest outdoor-juried artist market and urban street festival in the Mid-South.

A successor to Arts-in-the-Park, RiverArtsFest is in its tenth year located in the heart of the Historic South Main Arts District in Downtown Memphis, TN. This area is an ideal location since it is easily accessible from major streets and expressways and is home to many of the city’s finest galleries and restaurants with lots of free parking to be found.

RiverArtsFest 2017 will feature:

  • A juried artist market featuring 190+ gallery quality artists in an open air setting
  • An invitational art show held off-site at Askew Nixon Ferguson Architects gallery
  • Live musical entertainment featuring 30+ acts across three stages
  • Live street performances daily throughout the festival grounds
  • Culinary delights in two food court areas and beer and wine throughout the grounds
  • Local artists introducing new and innovative artistic techniques while interacting with the public
  • Hands On Art projects for kids of all ages encouraging them to explore their creative energies at interactive art stations

Don’t forget the tasty Southern food!

Visit the website for FAQ, the music line up, sponsors, ways to get involved and so much more!

Friday-Sunday, October 27, 28 & 29. 

Admission and Hours of Operation:
FREE Friday evening only, 6p to 9p Rockin' RiverArts Show concert and limited market
$5 Saturday, 10a to 6p
$5 Sunday, 10a to 5p
Children under 10 free.

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101 Things To Do In Memphis #48: Buckman Performing Arts Center

by Melissa Hayes Thompson

Since 1996, the Buckman Performing Arts Center has inspired the Memphis arts scene through creative programming that features a rich variety of internationally renowned artists, dancers and musicians. Buckman audiences have come to expect the unexpected, while reveling in the daring and provocative offerings they find on The Rose Theater stage.

With a reputation as a home for eclectic music and contemporary dance in the most intimate of settings, it is the premiere performance venue uniting the Memphis community through the visual and performing arts.

The William H. Rose Theater seats between 288 and 328 in a sloped floor arrangement. The decorative and acoustically engineered wall treatments create a rich blended acoustical tone in the theater. A complex system of catwalks, rigging and adjustable lighting support a variety of performances. The main stage area has a resilient “sprung”  high-quality, wood floor, as well as a sectional marley covering for the dance performance.

Buckman’s also offers opportunities for all ages to participate in the arts! Join them for one of their exciting classes including piano, voice lessons, a variety of dance classes and acting.

A couple upcoming events you won’t want to miss…. Cirque-Tacular World Acrobatics, February 7th, Los Lonely Boys, March 20th , and Te Amo, Argentina Tango, April 19th. Your seat is waiting!

For more information about any event please call the Buckman Events Line at 901.537.1483 or visit their website.


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101 Things To Do In Memphis #45: Paint a Piece

by Melissa Hayes Thompson

You don’t have to be an artist and guests of all ages are welcome at this paint your own pottery studio! Paint a Piece, Memphis’ Most Popular Creative Studio, offers pottery painting, canvas painting, silver clay, and glass fusing.  

How it works… Pottery Painting: pick your piece, choose from a huge selection of unfinished bisque. Then you paint whatever design you want on it!  If you're not naturally that artistic, they have an idea book you can look at for inspiration, as well as stencils, stamps, stickers, plus over 60 paint colors!  So you can really get creative if the mood strikes. After you paint your masterpiece, you leave it at the store to be glazed and fired in the kiln.  It takes a couple days, then it’s your to take home and share!  Join in on Canvas Painting by choosing a canvas and following step-by-step instructions. How easy is that! Maybe you are interested in making your own jewelry? Silver Clay lets you choose your piece of silver and then they fire, tumble and polish your silver in the studio.  You can pick up your pieces in about 5 days! And last, but certainly not least, Glass Fusing, the process of manipulating pieces of glass to bend and form into shapes. Pick your base, create a design, frame it, fill it and design it. Paint a Piece will fire your piece and you’ll have a truly unique design.

If you are looking for a creative place for your next event, Paint a Piece offers a great space for birthday parties, girl’s night out and other special events. They offer unique events each month and specials during the holidays, plus they will even come to you! Paint a Piece has been doing field trips for the past 16 years to area schools and daycares.  

Visit for more info or contact them directly at 901.754.0884 or [email protected].

It is a great way to spend time with kids or friends and create something special for yourself or someone you love.

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Contact Information

Photo of Melissa Thompson Real Estate
Melissa Thompson
Crye-Leike Realtors
6525 N Quail Hollow Road
Memphis TN 38120
(901) 729-9526
(901) 756-8900
Fax: (901) 435-0620