Memphis Music Soulsville USA







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Introduction & Overview

Memphis Music Magnet

@ Soulsville USA



Arts-Based Neighborhood Revitalization Concept with a

Memphis twist

Create neighborhood level change in Soulsville USA by

attracting and supporting musicians and the music industry in Memphis




Soulsville USA Neighborhood


Recommendation Areas

 Housing Programs  Physical Amenities


Case Study Programs

Paducah, KY:

Artist Relocation Program

Chattanooga, TN:


New Orleans, LA:

Musician’s Village


Position Memphis’ musical history as the foundation for

today’s hot live music scene.”


Memphis Talent Magnet Project

Memphis’ rich music heritage presents a unique opportunity

to re-establish the Music Industry as a major economic

engine for the community…while accentuating the City’s

image as an appealing place to live, work and play.”


Memphis Tomorrow


The music industry is now going

toward independence, and

technology is giving us the ability

to do that. So we don’t

necessarily need a major record

company anymore. We just need

people who have the knowledge

and the skill set.”

Ralph Sutton

(former Motown producer and Memphis music industry veteran)


It was this story about people operating like a family. It seemed like people were less interested in making it than in getting together and having a good time. And through that, they created an original and creative sound. I really felt like Memphis was calling me."


It was during the transitional period of integration and

everything was in an uproar. But with Stax we kind of had the

best of both worlds.

The staff was about fifty-fifty (black and white), the creative

people were fifty-fifty, and the key rhythm section was Booker

T. & the MGs. And by that combination , the feel of the white

side and the black side of music, by combining those two, I

think we crossed over and touched a lot of people.

I think we were instrumental in changing a lot of the attitudes

about the black-white situation.”


Soulsville Assets & Revitalization

 College Park, mixed-income HOPE VI community, developed to replace

LeMoyne Gardens

 Residential and commercial development by LeMoyne-Owen College CDC

 Memphis Black Arts Alliance opens the FireHouse Community Arts Center

 Stax Museum of American Soul Music built on the site of the Stax recording


 Creation of Stax Music Academy and Soulsville Charter School

 LeMoyne-Owen College plans expansion

 South Memphis Alliance planning to build new laundromat with social services


Home of Memphis Slim,

owned by LeMoyne-Owen College CDC

Aretha Franklin birthplace

James Alexander (Bar-Kays)


Community Engagement

Community connections

 Artist survey

 Presentation to the Soulsville Neighborhood Association  Engaging musicians, artists, and neighborhood residents at

Stax to the Max street festival

 Community planning charrette as part of the International


Partners & Participants

University of Memphis Soulsville Neighborhood Association  Soulsville Foundation LeMoyne-Owen College CDC LeMoyne-Owen College

South Memphis Alliance

Memphis Music Foundation

Memphis Black Arts Alliance

Visible Music College

Memphis Symphony Orchestra

City of Memphis Office of

Planning and Development

Memphis Division of Housing

and Community Development

Memphis and Shelby County

Music Commission

Shelby County Housing

Shelby County Land Bank

Memphis Heritage

Habitat for Humanity of

Greater Memphis



Infuse and sustain creativity in Memphis

Support an economic development target industry through

an alternative approach

Promote neighborhood revitalization through physical and

cultural renovation

Create a catalyst for development and growth in the

Soulsville USA neighborhood


MMM Recommendation Areas

 Targeted homeownership incentives and housing programs for artists  Includes rental and lease/purchase opportunities

 Place-based neighborhood amenities

 Restoration and reuse of empty buildings, that would appeal to musicians,

broadly support creativity, and contribute to the revitalization of the neighborhood

 Warehouse @ Soulsville  Memphis Slim’s Collaboratory

 Other programmatic community enhancements to attract activity to the


 Use music and art to engage residents with culture and one another  Create neighborhood connections


Magnet Housing Programs

Village Model

Identify target area with:

 Large amount of vacant land to accommodate a blend of

housing types

 Properties easy to acquire (e.g. land bank) or currently owned

by partner organizations

 Ability to generate private developer interest

 Ability to create significant impact (key neighborhood location,


Housing Programs

Village Model

 Blend of housing types

 Target – musicians, music-related industry, families of aspiring musicians  Single Family

 Focus on ownership and lease/purchase

 Music Focused Multi-Family

 Amenities for artists - practice room(s), small stage in common area,

business center

 Rental or Transitional Housing

 Duplexes and Triplexes for renters

 Possibility of transitional housing through Habitat for Humanity

 Mixed-Use/Commercial development on Mississippi

 Arts Park/Green space leading into block with public art  Sustainable design elements


Housing Programs

Spot Housing

Spot Housing Opportunities

 Foreclosures/NSP  Vacant Land

 Housing Renovation  Private Development


Direct Homeownership Incentives

5-year forgivable mortgage of up to $15,000

 Forgivable in full if the property remains owner-occupied for

the full 5-year term

 Recipients able to apply the incentive to down-payment and

renovation expenses

Substantial incentive for individuals interested in


Recommendation is a starting pool of $150,000 to





An intentional space to encourage and facilitate

collaboration among artists that will lead to increased

creativity, economic development, and community



Collaboration and Training Studio Videocast & Oral History Labs

Office Space Collab Lounge


The Magnet @ Soulsville USA

Warehouse Reuse

Adaptive reuse of a vacant warehouse property to accommodate a

set of place-based amenities that would attract, support, and meet the needs of musicians.

Serve as a hub musical and creative activity

Provide spaces and services that meet the needs of local and touring

musicians and draw musicians and creative individuals to the neighborhood

Provide short-term residential space for musicians and creative


Provide comfortable and accessible informal gathering space that would

foster organic, natural collaboration between established musicians, developing musicians, other artists, and neighborhood residents

Serve as a signature, gateway image of the broader MMM concept and a

physical symbol of the musical heritage and creative potential of the Soulsville neighborhood


The Magnet @ Soulsville USA

Program Elements

Café/Lounge and Adjacent Stage/Performance Area

Rehearsal Studios

Offices (Facility Management and Incubator Space)

Living Space (Apartments and Hostel)


West Elevation


Community Enrichment

Activity Generators

 ReSoul - Community Visioning - Temporary Reuse  Musical Programming

 Soulsville and Local Musicians, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Visual

Music College, LeMoyne-Owen College

Neighborhood Design

 Enhance gateways for a sense of entering an artistic place

 Assess opportunities for public art and murals throughout the


Community and Arts Enrichment

Microloans for Artist Development

 Loans to assist with physical improvements and professional

development for artists living in the neighborhood

 Microloan pool of $75,000

Microgrants for Community Arts Projects

 Grants for artists living anywhere to implement arts projects

that involve neighborhood residents

 Microgrant fund of $75,000





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