For the past five years, Crosstown Arts has presented MemFeast, a competitive banquet of community art ideas and actions. Equal parts family-style dinner, show-and-tell, and immediate philanthropy, this “Feast” (Funding Emerging Art with Sustainable Tactics) invites the public to gather together, share a great meal, and democratically fund new and emerging artmakers.
MemFeast is Memphis’ local version founded and facilitated by Crosstown Arts, helping to rethink how the arts are financed and experienced communally. Check out the original “Feast”-ers here.
The mission of MemFeast is to support a diverse cross section of contemporary artistic and social practices, and to provide local artists with new opportunities to produce work that engages the community. Unlike many conventional grant programs, MemFeast brings people together for a communal dinner and conversation centered on creativity and innovation, where artists receive funding immediately and are enabled to make timely work.
At each MemFeast, anyone from the community can buy a ticket for a locally sourced dinner, along with drinks and a ballot to vote on the night’s presentations. During the meal, a selected group of local artists make presentations of their proposed projects. At the end of the night, the audience votes for their favorite idea and the project with the most votes is awarded $5,000 (from the ticket sales and other sponsorships) to produce the work.
Each year we have partnered with a different organization or neighborhood to produce a unique event and art project immediately following the event.