Now is the Time. Memphis is the Place.

Save the Date: MEMFix 10/13

Photo: MemFix

BLDG Memphis’s eighth installment of MEMFix is bringing innovation and revitalization to Madison Heights on Friday, October 13th.

MEMFix is a one-day block party strategically intended to bring re-birth to Memphis communities. Featuring pop-up shops, public art, pedestrian-friendly streets, food, entertainment, and more, the Madison Heights edition of MEMFix is sure to be a blast! MEMFix showcases a neighborhood’s potential by helping residents and businesses discover new possibilities. Through tactical urbanism, creative placemaking, and urban prototyping, MEMFix is making Memphis even better one party at a time.

  • When: Friday, October 13, 11am-8pm
  • Where: Madison & Cleveland Intersection (1340 Madison Ave)
  • Cost: Free


Retail Vendors:

Intrigued? So are we! Check out our interview with Executive Director of BLDG Memphis, John Paul Shaffer:

C901: What is MEMFix? 

John Paul Shaffer: MEMFix is a temporary re-imagining ​of a streetscape and vacant storefronts, disguised as a block party! It’s a chance for folks already in the space or just passing through to get a fresh perspective on a commercial district that could use just a little sprucing up.

C901: What most excites you about bringing MEMFix to Madison Heights?

John Paul Shaffer: ​I’m excited about the partnerships we have in this event – Memphis Medical District Collaborative (one of BLDG Memphis‘ member organizations), ULI-Memphis, Urban Art Commission, and more. Having artists involved from day one brings new thinking to the process, and having people and organizations who are really interested in the success of the neighborhood at the table throughout is such a key part of the work. It’s also just a neat block of Madison, architecturally and location-wise – right at the intersection of Midtown, Crosstown, and the Medical District. There are some great businesses on the block, some newer spots, and a few more coming online – we’re just looking to fill in the gaps for a day.

C901: What attracted you to this cause?

John Paul Shaffer: I really like the idea of just doing something to make a change in your environment. ​I got started doing this work when a friend from planning school – Sam Powers – sent me a link to a project in the Dallas Area called “Better Block.” I forwarded it on to the staff at BLDG Memphis (then Livable Memphis), who shared with the Broad Ave folks, and we all came up with A New Face for an Old Broad. The way the work has evolved has been remarkable, and this time around we actually got a chance to bring Team Better Block to Memphis to help us with the early concept design. Now a group of students from the University of Memphis architecture program​ ​is helping sketch a more permanent re-design that looks at a few more blocks surrounding where we’ll be on the 13th. ​

C901: How have you seen MEMFix work in communities in the past and what inspires you to continue this initiative?

John Paul Shaffer: MEMFix works best when there’s a strong presence within the neighborhood that is interested in a more vibrant future – whether that’s an organization or a few individuals. The results have differed by project, but there’s always something left behind – it may be a physical change in the place or new momentum from residents or businesses to think differently or rekindle something on the human side. I know that there are a lot of groups out there that have the passion to pull these things off in their own backyards, and I look forward to helping use our experiences to facilitate that local action in the future.

C901: How can other Memphians join in, and what do we need to know about community development? 

John Paul Shaffer: ​Well, we’re certainly looking for volunteers! Really, though, if people haven’t seen a MEMFix event before – and even if they’ve seen them all – each neighborhood is a totally different place with a unique vibe and character. That’s true for MEMFix, but for community development as a whole. At its heart, it’s about people who really care about their space, their neighborhood, and their community enough to devote themselves to making change happen where they are. It can be housing, it can be for people, it can be economic development or art. ​

Check out MEMFix on Facebook for updates and save the date.

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