University District

University of Memphis readies inaugural arts festival celebrating community's creative spirit

What’s happening: A new street festival is set to close down (and liven up) Central Avenue on Saturday, April 1. It’s not an elaborate April Fools’ Day joke but rather the inaugural Central to the Arts Festival from the University of Memphis. The fact that the university is billing this as the inaugural Central to the Arts Festival leads us to believe that UofM is hoping the event proves popular enough to return year after year.

What it is: The Central to the Arts Festival is intended to celebrate the creative spirit of the University of Memphis and the greater Memphis area as a whole. While details on the festival line-up are forthcoming, we’re told that the event will feature live performances from musicians, dancers, and actors, and also include film showings, fashion shows, and interactive arts booths. Food trucks will line Central Avenue.

Why it’s important: "This festival is a wonderful opportunity for our community to come together and celebrate the arts," says Dr. Ryan Fisher, interim dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts. "We are proud to showcase the incredible talent of our students and faculty, as well as the amazing creativity of the Memphis community."

Where and when: The inaugural Central to the Arts Festival is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 1, with the school’s College of Communication and Fine Arts Expose’ performance to follow. The festival is free and open to the public. It will be located on Central Avenue, from Innovation Drive to Zach H. Curlin Street, which will be closed to automobile traffic.

What they’re saying: "We are excited to offer a little something for everyone at this year's festival," Dr. Fisher says. "Whether you're a lover of music, dance, film, fashion or fine arts, there will be something to inspire and delight you."

Visit Central to the Arts Festival online for up-to-date information on the inaugural event.
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