Monday, August 26, 2019

U of M Moves to Brand Central Avenue as Arts Corridor

Posted By on Mon, Aug 26, 2019 at 1:46 PM

Future home of the Central to the Arts Hub - GOOGLE MAPS
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  • Future home of the Central to the Arts Hub

The University of Memphis is working to designate a stretch of Central Avenue as the “Central Arts Corridor.”

To help brand this part of Central, between Patterson and Zach Curlin, as an arts corridor, the College of Communications and Fine Arts (CCFA) is taking over the former information kiosk at Central and Patterson and reopening it as the Central to the Arts Hub.

The small, circular building will serve as a “gateway” to the arts corridor, which will be a “real arts destination,” Anne Hogan, dean of the university’s CCFA, said.

“I think this building is an opportunity to brand and designate this as an area for Memphis where students, the university, and the wider communities can come and benefit from the resources and arts,” Hogan said. “We want everyone in the city to know we’re doing creative stuff over here."

Once open, the art hub will house pop-up galleries featuring one student’s work for two weeks at a time. This gives students the opportunity to curate their own gallery and sell their work. There will “always be fresh art to see there,” Hogan said. Genres of art to be featured include everything from sculpture to ceramics to photography.

The art hub will also be a place where the public can come and learn about the university’s art programs and upcoming events.

Hogan said the goal is for the arts corridor and the new hub to bring attention to the many performances happening at the university throughout the year.

“Our students are just so talented and they do great work,” Hogan said. “We have performances going on all the time that are open to the wider public, but a lot of times, people just don’t realize that they are here.”

Hogan said the college has “amazing art facilities and resources” that are all located just off of Central. On this segment of Central sits the university’s art museums, galleries, theater, and concert hall.

click to enlarge Rendering of Scheidt Family Music Center - ARCHIMANIA
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  • Rendering of Scheidt Family Music Center

A big piece of the college’s rebranding effort is the addition of the new Scheidt Family Music Center, for which construction is slated to begin this fall and wrap up in the spring of 2021.

It will occupy much of what is now a parking lot on the north side of Central just east of Patterson.

The 90,000-square facility is going to be a “beautiful, highly visible building,” Hogan said. It will be a state-of-the-art facility, she said, and an “incredible asset for the larger Memphis community.”

Not only will the center host student performances, but the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and other community organizations will also perform in the new space.

Hogan said when she assumed the role of dean for the CCFA two and a half years ago, the college had been talking about building a new music center “for literally decades. It was a dream everyone had, and now it’s finally happening.”

click to enlarge Rendering of Scheidt Family Music Center interior - ARCHIMANIA
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  • Rendering of Scheidt Family Music Center interior

The public is invited to take a sneak peak of what the music center will look like on Saturday, October 5th, during the unveiling of the Central to the Arts Hub. There will be renderings of the Scheidt Family Music Center on display in the newly opened hub.

The half-day event, scheduled for noon to 4 p.m., will also feature live music from students in the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music and stage combat demonstrations from the Department of Theatre & Dance.

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