Broad Avenue aims for broad appeal Friday and Saturday during “A New Face for an Old Broad.”
The festival of food and drink, music and family and children’s activities is designed as a step toward forging a neighborhood identity along a street that, while half-derelict for decades, is now home to galleries and restaurants and artist’s studios, as well as professional offices and the headquarters of UrbanArt Commission.
For two days, a hopeful vision of a new urban village will prevail. Hours for the festival are 3 to 10 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday on Broad between Hollywood and Collins. The event is the first in a series called “Facelift Memphis: Reinventing Memphis — Block by Block,” coordinated by Historic Broad Business Association and Livable Memphis.
“I view the entire event as a two-day, three-block theater performance that showcases how art and urban planning can create a more livable Memphis,” said Pat Brown, business manager of T Clifton Gallery and vice president of the Historic Broad Business Association.
Business owners and volunteers have opened vacant storefronts to serve as “pop-up” vendor spaces for the festival, coats of paint have spruced up shabby facades, and the city has given permission for a two-day reduction of the street to two automobile lanes and for the painting of bicycle lanes and new parking slots. Authors will sign books in temporary bookstores. A grand collaborative mural painted by local artists will be displayed. Besides painting classes, children can participate in junior archeaology and wall climbing activities.
“We’ve been working on the festival for about three months,” said David Brown, owner of Splash Creative and president of the Historic Broad Business Association. “It really came about as the result of meetings among Greenline people and urban planners and others to see how to connect the Greenline through here to Overton Park. This is a grass-roots thing that has just taken off.”
The momentum from the festival, Brown said, “we hope will make people want to come to Broad Avenue and be part of a business and arts renaissance. If they come to the festival and see what has already been done, see what the buildings have been opened and what’s available, they may see what they can do here too.”
In addition to the Broad Avenue restaurants Three Angels Diner, Broadway Pizza and The Cove, food and beverages will be available from Republic Coffee, DéjàVu, Fratelli’s, Caritas Village, Muddy’s Bake Shop, Café Eclectic, The Crepe Maker and Ghost River Brewing Co.
“A New Face for an Old Broad”
3 to 10 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday. Free admission.
Music — Main Stage
5:30 p.m.: Ryan Peel
7:30 p.m.: Hudson and Saleeby
Noon: Gypsy Hombres
2 p.m.: Space Devoted
3 p.m.: Sexton Trio
4 p.m.: Bryan Hartley
5 p.m.: Tom Lonardo Jazz
6 p.m.: Wampa
7 p.m.: Nick Black
8 p.m.: Marcela Pinilla
Performing in the coffee shop will be William Lee Ellis, Marvin Stockwell, Jeffrey James and other musicians.
Facelift General Activities
4 p.m.: Welcome celebration
4:30: Turbo Kick with Kelly Newell
7: You Be the Artist class ($20, limited seating)
9 a.m.: Connector Workout with Holly Gunthrie
11: Broad Avenue Biker Babes Kids’ Parade, with Grand Marshall U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen
12:30 p.m.: You Be the Artist class (ages 4 and up, with adult, $30)
1:45: Bomb the Blight
2 and 3: Hoop Dance
4:30: You Be the Artist class ($20, limited seating)