City of Memphis, Tennessee
The NEA grant will support master planning, design, and public art for the Memphis Heritage Trail. The Memphis Heritage Trail Redevelopment Area includes historic Beale Street, the FedEx Forum arena, the National Civil Rights Museum, and underutilized commercial and cultural spaces such as the site of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s last speech. Self+Tucker Architects will oversee the outreach and planning process that will determine the routes for the trail, and will develop design excellence guidelines for community-based artistic elements and cultural identifiers. The UrbanArt Commission will develop criteria and oversee the selection of three pieces of public art to be installed along the trail, the themes of which will be drawn from local cultural histories. Programming will focus on the 3,000 majority African-American residents of the Memphis Heritage Trail Redevelopment Area, 67% of whom live below the poverty line, as well as the adjacent downtown population and tourists.