Concept Report - University of Memphis

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DRAFT













Concept
Report











Memphis Music Magnet

||
Soulsville

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Contents

1. A Brief Overview

1

How it Works, in Brief
................................
................................
..

2

Why Soulsville
................................
................................
..............

2

Overview of the Document

................................
.........................

2

2. The
Background

4

The Importance of Creativity

................................
.......................

5

The Challenge: Doing Some
thing about It

................................
...

5

Inspiration
................................
................................
....................

5

The Memphis Music Magnet

................................
.......................

6

Values

................................
................................
.........................

6

Objectives

................................
................................
...................

6

3. The Rationale

8

Why a M
usic
-
Centered Approach?

................................
.............

9

The Pride of Memphians

................................
............................

9

Outsiders and Image

................................
................................
..

9

Economic Development Priority

................................
...............

10

The Memphis Music Magnet as an Alternative Economic
Development Approach
................................
............................

10

Music at the Nexus of Creativity, D
iversity, and Place
-
Making

12

4. The Neighborhood: Soulsville

13

History of Soulsville

................................
................................
...

14

Rebirth, Assets, and Lasting Potential

................................
.......

14

M
usic Heritage Properties

................................
.........................

15

Illustrating the Potential in Soulsville

................................
........

15

5. The Elements

23

Homeownership Incentives and Housing Programs

.................

24

Homeownership Incentive Models

................................
...........

24

Affordable Senior Rental: Legacy Housing

...............................

26

Place
-
based Neighborhood Amenities: Memphis Music Magnet
Centers
................................
................................
.......................

26

Accommodating the Memphis Mus
ic Magnet Centers

............

27

Warehouse Reuse || Live/Work/Show Space

..........................

28

Potential Long
-
Term Funding Sources and Existing Programs to
Leverage

................................
................................
....................

30

6. The Next Steps

31

A Work Program for Moving Forward

................................
.......

32

Appendices



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1



A Brief
Overview





1

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2

The
Memphis Music Magnet

is an

innovative
,

arts
-
based
neighborhood revitalization concept
-

with a
Memphis twist
.

The purpose of the Memphis Music Magnet is to create
neighborhood level change
in storied Soulsville, USA
by
attracting
and supporting musicians and the music industry

in Memphis
, and by
incorporating music and art as tools for community engagement.
The concept relies on
the development of
homeownership
incentives, housing programs,
and neighborhood
-
based
creative
amenities.

While the concept places a heavy emphasis on
musicians,
the initiative embraces all artists.

We hope to achieve
the foll
o
wing

overlapping objectives:



promoting neighborhood revitalization through physical
and cultural renovation



supporting an economic development target industry



infusing and sustaining creati
vity in Memphis



establishing a clear blueprint for development and growth
in Soulsville

How it Works, in Brief

Simply put, the Memphis Music Magnet
would program the
Soulsville neighborhood
with:



homeownership incentives and housing programs for
musicians



p
lace
-
based neighborhood amenities (
Memphis Music
Magnet Centers

and
other c
reative

arts

c
enters
), achieved
through the restoration and reuse of empty buildings, that
would appeal to musicians, broadly support creativity, and
contribute to the revitalizat
ion of the neighborhood

W
hy

Soulsville

Soulsville is the only neighborhood in the country th
at could host
such a pioneering

arts
-
based approach to comprehensive
neighborhood redevelopment
.
T
he neighborhood’s
world
-
renowned music heritage, and it’s
mix of
rich assets, community
activism, strong local institutions, organizational capacity,
geographic location (with close proximity to downtown and
thriving midtown neighborhoods),

affordable properties, and
available land make Soulsville fertile ground for a n
ew creative
approach to revitalization

A
working
collaborative has been
established
to develop and implement the Memphis Music
Magnet concept in Soulsville,

with partners
from the
neighborhood association, local government, area non
-
profits,
and the music
community.

Overview

of
the Document

The Memphis Music Magnet is
currently

in the conceptual phas
e.
Th
e

purpose of this document is to provide interested parties
with

additional

context and an overview of the concept
,

as we
seek support to
conduct the more

detailed planning

steps
necessary to move from concept to implementable revitalization
program.

Chapter
2

discusses
the origin of the concept and the motivation
behind it
. Chapter
3

describes
our rationale for a music
-
centered
approach to arts
-
based revit
alization
, and considers the role of
the Memphis Music Magnet as an alternative economic

DRAFT


3

development approach. Chapter

4

explores the potential
for
implementation in
the
Soulsville

neighborhood. Chapter 5

provides
some early ideas for program elements
. Fin
ally, Chapter
6 discusses next steps

and a proposed work program for moving
forward
.


An online version of the information included here, with active hyperlinks, is
available at
www.memphismusicmagnet.org
.



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4



The
Background



2

DRAFT


5

The Memphis Music Magnet concept originated in the Graduate
Program in City and Regional Planning at the University of
Memphis among a group of students and faculty exploring the
relationship between creativity
, culture, and community
development.

The Importance of Creativity

In terms of economic geography, the advantages of cities have
significantly shifted in recent decades.

Historically, cities emerged as firms clustered together to take
advantage of economie
s of scale in production and
transportation. And as firms clustered, so did people. A
side effect

of increasing population was that a wider range of cultural
amenities became feasible, making cities centers of creativity.

A
s we have shifted from an economy

centered on producing
goods to one driven by exercising knowledge, the old advantages
in production and transportation have diminished in value
-

and
the
importance of cultural amenities has increased
. Knowledge
-
based
firms and workers, who can essentiall
y locate anywhere, seek out
locations that foster creativity and support creative collaboration
through networks of knowledge and social capital.


Access to unique forms of culture and experience has become the cake
and not just the icing, as culture, or m
ore broadly, quality of life, has
come to be recognized as the key element of the competitive advantage of
cities.


1


The Challenge: Doing Something about It

Cities across the US

are increasingly acknowledging the
importance of culture and creativity, and many have begun to
incorporate references to the “creative class” in their economic
development lexicon (in large part due to the success of Richard
Florida’s seminal work,
The R
ise of the Creative Class
).

But
,

the connection between theory (recognizing the importance
of supporting creativity) and practice (doing something about it)
has remained largely elusive.

How can cities operationalize this quest to tap into the creative
cla
ss? What are the tangible policies?

We have taken these questions as our challenge
-

and have sought
to develop a tangible policy approach that explicitly
links creativity
to neighborhood revitalization

and broader community development.

Inspiration

With
this challenge in mind, a group of graduate city planning
students began exploring a variety of tools and concepts related
to creating community development through promoting
creativity, arts, and culture. They made their way through the
theory, looking fo
r practical applications that might inform our
efforts, and zeroed in on two tangible approaches to arts
-
based
neighborhood revitalization that would provide lasting
inspiration:



The Artist Relocation Program
|| P
aducah, KY



ArtsMove [CreateHere]

|| Chattanooga, TN

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6

Both programs use homeownership incentives to attract visual
artists and other creative individuals to targeted geographic areas,
with the goal of turning abandoned buildings
into neighborhood
assets and fostering neighborhood rebirth.

While similar in objectives, the programs offer a lot to learn as a
pair because they vary in implementation approaches, relying on
different financing mechanisms and marketing techniques, and
ap
pealing to different audiences. (We also found inspiration in
the varying approaches of the
Musicians’ Village

project in New
Orleans and Cleveland’s
Arts Collinwood
.)

We arranged site visits to Paducah and Chattanooga to learn
more about the workings of t
hese programs, view their impacts,
and engage in dialogue with sponsoring organizations,
participating artists, and neighborhood residents. We came away
from these visits convinced of two things:



That creativity
could

affect neighborhood
-
level change



That
we

could link creativity to neighborhood
-
level
change
in Memphis

-

but only if we made the concept our
own by building it around our assets, rather than simply
adopting one of these models wholesale

The Memphis Music Magnet

The Memphis Music Magnet derives

from ideas like ArtsMove
and the Artist Relocation Program, but puts a local spin on arts
-
based neighborhood revitalization by tying in to our creative
heritage.

Values

The development of the concept has been informed by the
following set of values:



Buil
d on existing assets (rather than creating a new image)



Support emerging artists (with a focus on affordability)



Emphasize retaining and growing talent (not solely
attracting talent)

Objectives

The purpose of the Memphis Music Magnet is to create
neighborh
ood level change by
attracting and supporting musicians and
the music industry

in Memphis
, and by incorporating music and art
as tools for community engagement. The concept relies on the
development of
homeownership incentives, housing programs,
and neighb
orhood
-
based
creative
amenities.

While the concept
places a heavy emphasis on musicians, the initiative embraces all
artists.

We hope to achieve the following overlapping objectives:

1. Promoting neighborhood revitalization through physical
and cultural
renovation

by:



creating vested stakeholders through homeownership and
housing programs



restoring neighborhood properties and promoting infill
development, with specific measures to ensure that new
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7

investments do not displace members of the target
community



reclaiming music heritage properties and reprogramming
them with active uses so that they are accessible to
neighborhood residents, not just tourists



fostering community engagement among musicians and
artists and facilitating meaningful interacti
on with other

neighborhood residents

2. Supporting an economic development target industry

by:



retaining local talent and strengthening a commitment to
Memphis



attracting new talent looking for a supportive
environment



building a critical mass of music ta
lent

and music
-
related
creatives

necessary to support a broader music business
infrastructure



fostering creative networks and facilitating artistic
collaboration through geographic proximity

3. Infusing and sustaining creativity in Memphis

by:



creating a
sense of community and an environment in
which
artists

and creative people feel valued



nurturing the creative talents of neighborhood residents



creating momentum to position Memphis as a place that
appeals to a wide variety of creative people

4
.
E
stablish
ing a clear blueprint for development and
growth in Soulsville

by:



identifying key community assets, investments, and
gateways



facilitating focus groups and interviews with community
stakeholders about implementation of homeownership
and housing programs
and Memphis Music Magnet
Centers



coordinating community visioning to explore ways that
the Memphis Music Magnet project could impact
streetscapes, gateways, and other community
development efforts



documenting information gathered in planning process to
in
form ongoing community development efforts in
Soulsville



proposing priorities based on planning process for
continuing the development efforts in Soulsville



Notes

1
.

Flew, T. (2003). Music, cities and cultural policy: a Brisbane experience.
Conference
paper.



DRAFT


8



The Rationale



3

DRAFT


9

Music is both an important heritage industry that we should fight
to hold onto in Memphis, as well as a toehold we can use to
climb into the new creative economy.

In terms of
infrastructure and economic impact, we are currently
a long way from the halcyon days of the late 1960s, when music
was one of the city’s largest industries, and Memphis was among
the world’s top recording centers.
1

For a variety of reasons, the
magnitude
of any local music industry is difficult to pin down.
The categories used in the standard industrial classification
system do

n
o
t make it easy to single
-
out employment that is
specifically music
-
related.
In addition, available statistics
do

n
o
t
account wel
l for self
-
employed musicians, or those for whom
music is a second job.
Even with these inadequacies in the data,

by most reasoned measures, Memphis no longer stands out as a
music industry Mecca. Our concentration of music
-
related
employment is not signif
icantly different than most
cities of
similar size.
2

Why a Music
-
Centered Approach?

As we crafted our Memphis approach to arts
-
based
neighborhood revitalization, the realization

of the current state of
the music industry in Memphis
gave us pause


but
,

ult
imately
,

we remain convinced that a focus on
music

makes sense as the
centerpiece of our approach.

Music is more than an industry. Music is Memphis’ most
recognizable indigenous outlet for creativity, and remains an
important part of the city’s culture. I
t
s impact or worth cannot be
defined by traditional measure of industry magnitude.
Moreover,
i
n Memphis, the music
community

has always been more important
to the city than the music
business
.

Our resolve is strengthened by the way in which people
consisten
tly recognize music as a unique and significant asset.
That recognition exists among:



people who live in Memphis,



people outside of Memphis,



and the people who make and influence economic
development policy in Memphis

We believe that this
undercurrent of a community
can serve as
foundation for change.

The Pride of Memphians

In September of 2007, the
Commercial Appeal

asked readers:
What
is Memphis’ single greatest asset?

The overwhelming majority of
the printed responses focused on music an
d/or art.

Beyond

the heritage, a vibrant
,

current music scene is one of the
most important cultural amenities necessary to foster a creative
workforce.


Like a magnet, a city’s music scene can either attract
or repel young, creative professionals looking f
or more out of life
than just a 9 to 5 job. Music provides a common bond around
which people from different walks of life can converge.

Outsiders and Image

Memphis’ reputation as the “
h
ome of the blues” and the
“birthplace of rock and roll” remains intact
and as strong as ever.
The outside interest that derives from this recognition manifests
itself in significant music
-
related tourism, as noted in a study
of
the economic impact of the music industry

in Memphis and
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10

Shelby County conducted by the
Sparks Bure
au of Business and
Economic Research

at

the University of Memphis:


Clearly, music
-
related tourism and its close ties to the musical heritage of
Memphis has a large positive impact on the image and economy of
Memphis.


P
rojects like Craig
Brewer’s
$5 Cover

continue to help
spread the
word about the tremendous diversity of our

current local music
scene.

This longstanding national recognition and reputation provide a
foundation on which to build



a built
-
in springboard that other
cities who have found succes
s with arts
-
based revitalization
projects have not had. We believe that we can build on this
historical and developing reputation

to shape our image, and
expand how we promote Memphis to appeal to the creative
workforce essential for success in the 21
st

ce
ntury knowledge
economy.

Economic Development Priority

Business, civic, and government leaders who make and influence
economic development policy in Memphis

have recognized the
music industry and the music scene as critical to the city’s future
economic success.

A report of
the
Memphis Talent Magnet Project
, prepared for
local city and county

governments and the Greater Memphis
Chamber, urges the following:


Spread the word that Memphis music didn’t pass away with Elvis.
Position Memphis’ musical history as the foundation f
or today’s hot live
music scene.”

Memphis Tomorrow
, an association of business leaders seeking
to foster economic prosperity for the Memphi
s community, has
developed a special music industry development initiative:


Memphis’ rich music heritage presents a unique opportunity to re
-
establish the Music Industry as a major economic engine for the
community…while accentuating the City’s image as
an appealing place to
live, work and play.


The
MemphisED

e
conomic development plan, administered by
the Greater Memphis Chamber and developed through a
partnership directed by Me
mphis Tomorrow, identifies music as
a “key target industry.”

The Memphis Music Magnet as an Alternative
Economic Development Approach

Supporting Memphis music has emerged as a clear priority that is
shaping economic development policy responses. We believe

the
Memphis Music Magnet program can provide an
alternative
economic development approach that is a
complementary
to a
traditional model of supporting hard infrastructure and
businesses.

As an economic development tool, the Memphis Music Magnet is
built o
n a recognition of the changing nature of the music
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11

industry, our current standing among peer cities, and the organic
strengths of our local music
culture
.

Because most elements of the music industry are not capital
intensive, the utility of traditional pr
operty tax abatement tools
(like PILOT) is likely to be limited.
W
ith advances in technology
that affect the production, distribution, and consumption of
music, the relative importance of the hard infrastructure elements
of the industry has been declining
for years. Musicians who can
record digitally in their own basements, share tracks electronically
with collaborators around the world, and promote and sell their
own work online have a diminishing need for studios and labels.


The music industry is now goi
ng toward independence, and technology is
giving us the ability to do that. So we don’t necessarily need a major record
company anymore. We just need people who have the knowledge and the
skill set. Memphis certainly could be one the forerunners in the
ind
ependent movement. We have great talent here
-

some of the greatest
musicians
.”

3

-

Ralph Sutton, former Motown producer

and Memphis music industry veteran


Considering the rapidly changing nature of the industry, and
knowing where we stand in terms of
traditional industry
measurement, our approach recognizes that it will not be efficient
to solely target incentives to hard infrastructure and music
businesses.

The Memphis Music Magnet focuses on supporting the soft
infrastructure necessary to facilitate
creative endeavors within
communities. Charles Landry defines soft infrastructure as the
“system of associative structures and social networks,
connections and human interactions, that underpins and
encourages the flow of ideas between individuals and
inst
itutions.”

4


In other words, our approach is about directly supporting the
creative people

(the content producers), by removing barriers to
creativity and creating an environment that facilitates
collaboration, in which musicians and other artists feel va
lued. It
is the creative individuals who contribute not only to the music
industry in Memphis but also to the city’s culture, quality of life
,

and sense of place.
T
hrough geographic proximity, we are hoping
to once again foster the sort of
convergence

of c
reative people with
diverse backgrounds and styles that contributed to the birth of
the Memphis sound.

(Advances in music recording and
production technology threaten to eliminate the natural
opportunities for convergence and collaboration
-

artists litera
lly
bumping in to one another
-

that were once commonplace.)

The strengths of our music scene lie not in the business elements
of the industry (at least not currently), but in a sense of
community, and a culture of openness and collaboration.
5

Larry
Nager
captures this unique allure of the Memphis music scene in
his chronicle of the city’s musical history,
Memphis Beat: The Lives
and Times of America’s Musical Crossroads
:


In Memphis, music has always tended to emerge from community rather
than industry… In

the Memphis music business there’s always been more
music than business… There’s also a genuinely affectionate attitude, and
musical ideas are swapped as freely as stories. With so little industry
pressure, the communal feeling of the brass
-
band scene Han
dy experienced
at Pee Wee’s, or that sixties kids found hanging out at Estelle Axton’s
Satellite Record Shop, is free to thrive.


DRAFT


12

In a recent
Memphis Flyer

interview
,

Jake Rabinbach, of
Jump
Back Jake
, described his motivation for moving from Brooklyn to
M
emphis

to advance his music career:


It was this story about people operating like a family. It seemed like
people were less interested in making it than in getting together and having
a good time. And through that, they created an original and creative
so
und. I really felt like Memphis was calling me.

I decided I didn’t need
to be in this cultural epicenter and that maybe it would be better to go to
Memphis and try to put an R&B band together.


Community

is the appeal of Memphis to musicians, and
community

is what we seek to support with the Memphis Music
Magnet. We know that we cannot replicate our indigenous music
culture with a business plan, but we believe that we can create an
environment in which that culture can flourish.

Music at the Nexus of
Creativity, Diversity, and
Place
-
Making

Memphis’ most prominent outlet for creativity has always been
music. And Memphis music has often existed at th
e

nexus
of
creativity, diversity
,

and place
-
making.

Early Beale Street thrived on WC Handy’s blues out of
the
Mississippi Delta.
W
hile the blues represented an expression of
African American culture born from a combination of sounds,
Beale Street grew to become a center of African American
business in large part due to the activity of Robert Church, the
son of

a white riverboat captain and a biracial mother. Church
became one of the city’s biggest real estate and business investors
after the yellow fever epidemic of 1878. Later, rock and roll
would emerge from Memphis, as Elvis and other Memphis
rockabillies ad
ded a new beat and gospel influence to the blues
and R&B stylings of Beale Street, and offered up a new pop
sound.

But the best example of music at the nexus of creativity, diversity
,

and place is a neighborhood that would come to be known as
Soulsville
-

our proposed target neighborhood for the Memphis
Music Magnet.



Notes

1.

Nager, L. (1998).
The Memphis Beat: The Lives and Times of America’s Musical
Crossroads
. New York: St. Martins Press

2.
Guralnick, P. (1989)
Sweet Soul Music
. New York: Harper
Perennial.

3
.
For a good multi
-
city industry analysis, see
Chicago Music City: A Report
on the Music Industry in Chicago
.

4
.
Williams, D. (2007). Changing Its Tune.
Commercial Appeal
. Oct 7 (C2).

5
.
Landry, C. (2000).
The Creative City: A Toolkit for Urban Innovators.

London:
Earthscan. P 133.

6
.
In our
survey of local musicians

and industry folks, “opportunities for
artistic collaboration” was among the

factors that respondents considered
most
important

in choosing a place to live and work, and was also one of the factors
with which respondents were
most satisfied

in Memphis.


DRAFT


13



The Neighborhood
: Soulsville







4

DRAFT


14

H
istory

of Soulsville

The Soulsville neighborhood got its name from the marquee of
the Stax recording studio, which displayed “SOULSVILLE USA”
in response to Motown’s “Hitsville, USA” sign.

Stax produced artists like Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Isaac
Hayes, and B
ooker T & the MGs. But Stax was more than just a
studio
-

it was a place where diverse people with diverse sounds
converged to create something new in American soul music.

The sound was not the only unique element of the Stax story:


Black and white working together in Memphis, Tennessee in 1962, you
were making more than just music history. During the most explosive
period of the civil rights movement… the heartbeat of Stax came from its
half black, half white house band, its multirac
ial songwriting staff, and
the songs themselves, which mixed down
-
home blues and R&B with more
than a little country music… But the catalyst that turned R&B into soul
music was gospel.


-

Jim Stewart, Stax Co
-
Founder



The staff was about fifty
-
fifty (blac
k and white), the creative people were
fifty
-
fifty, and the key rhythm section was Booker T. & the MGs. And
by that combination, the feel of the white side and the black side of music,
by combining those two, I think we crossed over and touched a lot of
pe
ople. I think we were instrumental in changing a lot of the attitudes
about the black
-
white situation.


-

William Bell, Stax singer/songwriter

Many of the artists involved in the success of Stax lived in the
neighborhood surrounding the studio or knew one an
other from
church or school in the community. The Satellite record shop
adjacent to the studio served as a neighborhood hangout and
provided an instant focus group for the music being recorded
next door.

The circumstances made it easy, almost inevitable, for a diversity
of artists to bump into one another
-

and end up in the studio
combining sounds. The setting facilitated what economists today
would call “knowledge spillovers”
-

part of the fuel of a crea
tive
economy. It is this sort of convergence that the Memphis Music
Magnet model hopes to foster and support through geographic
proximity.

To learn more about the history of Soulsville, see the Stax Museum’s
About
Soulsville
page, and the museum exhibit,
F
ROM THE SOUL: An
Intimate Portrait of Soulsville, USA
.

Rebirth, Assets, and Lasting Potential

Stax boomed in the 1960s, but went bust in the mid
-
70s
, when
the organization was forced into involuntary bankruptcy
. The
Soulsville neighborhood, already modest,

declined, saddled with
problems of disinvestment, flight, and public housing.

But the area has seen significant renewal in recent years, anchored
by key developments and the efforts of neighborhood
institutions. In 2003
,

the Stax Museum of American Soul M
usic
was built on the site of the Stax recording studio (torn down in
1989) as an exact replica of the original structure. The
development also includes the adjacent Stax Music Academy,
which serves at
-
risk youth through music and mentoring, and the
DRAFT


15

Soulsv
ille Charter School. The Lemoyne
-
Owen College
Community Development Corporation supports the
neighborhood through housing and economic development
programs, and is developing the new Towne Center at Soulsville,
across the street from the Stax Museum. The a
rea’s public
housing complex has been replaced with a mixed
-
income HOPE
VI community (College Park) built with new urbanist design
principles. Another HOPE VI community (University Place) is
being developed adjacent to Soulsville.

Soulsville is also home t
o
the Memphis Black Arts Alliance, housed in the FireHouse
Community Arts Center, a renovated historic 1910 fire station
located at a key neighborhood gateway. Both the Memphis Black
Arts Alliance and the Stax Music Academy have tremendous
potential as pla
ce
-
based resources for home
-
growing talent, and
solidify the rationale for an arts
-
based neighborhood
revitalization program in Soulsville.

The Soulsville neighborhood remains one of the poorest in the
city and still suffers with high unemployment, low lev
els of
education, and a lack of private market interest. But the
neighborhood’s mix of rich assets, heritage, geographic location
(with close proximity to downtown and thriving midtown
neighborhoods), community activism, strong local institutions,
organiza
tional capacity, affordable properties, and available land
make Soulsville fertile ground for a new creative and
collaborative approach to revitalization.

Music Heritage Properties

Soulsville retains an underlying historical music fabric that can
serve as
a significant asset to the development of the Memphis
Music Magnet program. The neighborhood is home to several
properties that are tied to important figures in Memphis music,
including the former homes of Aretha Franklin; influential blues
musician, Memph
is Slim; Booker T. Jones; James Alexander of
the Bar
-
Kays; and legendary gospel composer Herbert Brewster’s
East Trigg Avenue Baptist Church.

Reclaiming music heritage properties, many of which now lie
vacant, by reprogramming them with active uses
that su
pport
creativity and are
accessible to neighborhood residents can help
promote neighborhood revitalization through physical and
cultural renovation.

Illustrating
the
Potential

in Soulsville

The following series of maps and images illustrate the potential
f
or revitalization in Soulsville, highlighting the
neighborhood’s

assets, central location,

proximity

to downtown,

and mix of
affordable properties and available land.

While a lack of private market interest represents a long
-
term
obstacle for revitalizatio
n, current conditions may serve to ease
acquisition costs and keep homeownership costs low.

There are 1,321 resident properties in the broad target area. Of
these properties:



349 are vacant lots



75 have been condemned



96 are county
-
owned tax sale properti
es



And 34 were foreclosed on in 2008

Figure 1. shows the Soulsville target area, highlighting selected
neighborhood assets and music heritage properties.

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16

Figures 2 through
5 show
a selection of music heritage properties
with current appraised values.

Figures 6 and 7 illustrate some of the neighborhood’s attractive,
historic housing stock.

Figure 8,

a slide from the Soulsville
Community Asset Map
,
illustrates the benefits of the neighborhood’s geographic location.

Figure 9
shows county
-
owned land bank
properties, vacant
residential land, and major project of the Division of Housing
and Community Development.

Figure 10 shows condemnations and foreclosures.

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17


Figure 1.


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18


Figure 2.

Home of
Memphis Slim, owned by LeMoyne
-
Owen
College CDC


Figure 3.

Aretha Franklin birthplace. $20,500


Figure 4
. James Alexander.



Figure 5.

Booker T. Jones. $34,000

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19




Figure 6.

Streetscape,
F
ountain

C
ourt

H
istoric

D
istrict





Figure 7.

Streetscape,
A
zali
a

Street


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20


Figure 8.

A Slide from the Soulsville Community Asset Map

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21



Figure 9.

Land Bank Properties, Vacant Res
idential Land, and HCD Projects

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22

Figure 10.

Foreclosures (2008)
.
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23



The Elements



5

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24

The M
emphis Music Magnet

concept has been developed
through a collaborative process that has evolved over a two
-
year
period.
S
tudents

in

the Graduate Program in City and Regional
Planning at the University of Me
mphis hosted round
-
table and
focus group discussions, conducted stakeholder meetings,
surveyed local musicians

and others in the industry to help build a
better understanding of the

current strengths and weakness of
Memphis as a place to live and work

(see Appendix
A. Memphis
Music Magnet Survey
)
, and engaged neighbors in informal
conversation. Based on the input received through these
conversations, and an exploration of best practi
ces in other cities
,

the students developed a framework for arts
-
based revitalization
in Soulsville.

The Memphis Music Magnet
framework

consist
s

of
two

primary
sets of elements to be developed
in consultation with Soulsville
stakeholders and
the arts comm
unity:

1.

Homeownership incentives
and h
ousing programs for
artist
s

2.

Place
-
based neighborhood amenities (Memphis Music
Magnet Centers

and
other c
reative
arts
c
enters
), achieved
through the restoration and reuse of vacant buildings,
that would appeal to
musicians, broadly support
creativity, and contribute to revitalization

Homeownership
I
ncentives
and

Housing
P
rograms

The intent of creating homeownership incentives and housing
program
s

for musicians is to attract new talent looking for a
supportive envir
onment, strengthen the commitment to
Memphis among local talent, create vested neighborhood
stakeholders, and contribute to a sense of community.

There are a variety of alternative approaches that could be used
to provide homeownership incentives. We are w
orking to
develop an appropriate model that takes advantage of our
strength as an affordable place to live, that is accessible and useful
to working musicians and artists who are not yet well
-
established
financially, and that won’t displace current residen
ts of the target
community.


Homeownership

Incentive Models

Arts
-
based revitalization programs in Paducah, Chattanooga,
New Orleans, and Cleveland all provide models from which
appropriate ideas can be gleaned.



The Paducah Model: Private Financial Institut
ion
Supported

Paducah’s Artist Relocation Program has used
homeownership incentives to attract artists to the formerly
distressed Lowertown neighborhood, adjacent to the city’s
downtown. The Paducah

model is relatively simple and is
primarily driven by a relationship with the locally owned and
operated Paducah Bank, and the bank’s willingness to alter
lending guidelines for artists purchasing properties within the
target area. Because of the context
of the program, the bank
has been willing to offer mortgages
,

with lower interest rates
and higher loan
-
to
-
value ratios than it normally would, to
recipients
,

whose income is not always easily verified by
standard procedures, to purchase properties in a
DRAFT


25

ne
ighborhood in which it might not otherwise lend. The city
also offers vacant lots for new construction at no charge to
qualifying applicants, and offers $2,500 towards architectural
or other professional fees for new construction or
renovation. The program

is supported by an aggressive
national marketing campaign.

Participants in the program have tended to be well
established artists (rather than “starving” artists) capable of
securing large mortgages for costly gallery and living space
renovation in Lowert
own’s large
,

Victorian structures.



The Chattanooga Model: Foundation Supported

Chattanooga’s CreateHere developed the ArtsMove
homebuyer incentive program to assist qualifying artists of all
disciplines to purchase residential property in five urban
neighb
orhoods. The incentive is a 5
-
year forgivable mortgage
of up to $15,000 which requires no pre
-
payment and accrues
no interest, provided the artist purchases property in a
qualifying neighborhood and the property remains owner
occupied for the full 5
-
year t
erm.


Artists may use the
incentive for down payment assistance, closing costs, prepaid
expenses, and upgrades included in the contract. Recipients
are determined by a juried competitive application process.
Funding is provided through a relationship with
the
Lyndhurst Foundation.



The New Orleans Model: Non
-
Profit New Construction

New Orlean’s
Musicians Village

contains 72 new single
-
family
homes developed by Habitat for Humanity. While the homes
are available to all applicants meeting Habitat’s income
requ
irements, the project has been geared toward supporting
local musicians displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The project
also includes 10 rental homes for elder New Orleans “music
masters” and the
Ellis Marsalis Center for Music
, which will
provide for the “mus
ic education and development of
homeowners and others who live will nearby.”

A significant
amount of vacant land exists within the Soulsville
neighborhood to support such an approach.



The Cleveland Model: Non
-
Profit Foreclosure Recovery

The Northeast Shores Development Corporation has been
purchasing foreclosed properties in the Collinwood
neighborhood and making them available to artists through a
combination of rental, purchase, and
lease/purchase

arrangements. The CDC plans to expand t
he project to 25 or
30 homes using funding from the Neighborhood Stabilization
Program, an element of the federal recovery initiative
administered through HUD. Efforts in Cleveland have been
mindful of the threats of gentrification to existing residents,
a
s well as to the artists who may move to blighted areas, only
to be forced out by rising property values.



Transitional
Housing
Models: Lease/Purchase or
Renter Equity

The current economic climate, particularly as it relates to
mortgage lending practices, m
ight make some of these
homeownership incentives difficult

to implement in the short
term.
A l
ease/purchase or renter
equity housing program
administered by a non
-
profit community development
corporation

might provide
a
more suitable tool
for

attracting
a concentration of musicians and artists

in the short term
.
Such programs would also help recipients develop their
credit
DRAFT


26

portfolio, develop ownership skills, and build financial assets
for a down payment or other business investments.

Affordab
le Senior Rental: Legacy Housing

In addition to developing incentives to create vested stakeholders
through homeownership, we are also interested in supporting the
elder legends and unsung heroes of Memphis music who might
have a need for affordable senior

rental housing.

There are many venerable musicians who have contributed to the
fabric of the Memphis music scene but have not achieved lasting
stardom or long
-
term financial stability. (Recently, local musicians
and industry players have banded together t
hrough benefit
concerts and other fundraising efforts to assist bluesman Blind
Mississippi Morris and Beale Street Legend Ruby Wilson with
housing troubles.)

A “Legacy Housing” component would allow these individuals to
live with dignity and continue to ma
ke important contributions to
the community, while relieving them of a financial burden and
the risk of foreclosure or other housing struggles.

Other short
-
term rental options for up and coming or visiting
artists are discussed below.

Place
-
based Neighborh
ood Amenities
:

Memphis Music Magnet Centers

We propose the development of several Memphis Music Magnet
Centers
-

unique music
-
related amenities
-

within the target
neighborhood.

We believe that the lure of affordable housing and the
opportunity to live amo
ng like
-
minded artists as part of a
community will have significant appeal to musicians. The purpose
of the Memphis Music Magnet Centers is to
augment

this appeal
with physical elements that support creativity by addressing
needs, removing barriers, and fo
stering an environment that
facilitates collaboration.

We are developing a broad set of appropriate ideas for the
Memphis Music Magnet Centers. Programming elements could
include:



Rehearsal Space

Providing a convenient and affordable place to rehearse
woul
d solve a problem that all performing musicians face.
The right building could provide a number of high quality
rehearsal spaces as well as a gathering place for neighborhood
musicians. Spaces could also be set aside to support touring
musicians coming to
Memphis.



Affordable Equipment Rental

Affordable rental of music and live sound gear would provide
a short
-
term solution for local musicians in need of
equipment for performances or recording. The program
could also coordinate with local music venues to
advertise the
availability of rentals for touring musicians, easing the
hardships of travelling with bulky gear.



Traveling Musicians’ Dorm

Short term housing for visiting artists and touring musicians
could be made available in a traveler’s hostel arrangem
ent,
with dormitory and private rooms available.


The Traveling
Musicians’ Dorm would provide a more affordable alternative
to traditional hotels, incorporating secure parking for vans
DRAFT


27

and trailers.


The facility could help foster collaboration
between loc
al and touring musicians.



Musicians’ Health Care Center

In our survey of local musicians and others involved in the
industry, respondents identified “availability of affordable
health care” as one of the most important factors in a place
to live and work
-

and only 26 percent were satisfied with the
availability of affordable health care in Memphis. (Health care
concerns exist for musicians everywhere because it is difficult
for self
-
employed individuals or part
-
time employees to find
affordable insurance.)

There is a wide range of ways in which
a neighborhood center could address the health care needs of
local musicians, with options ranging from a simple
information clearinghouse with appropriate counseling, to the
more complicated development of a full
-
sc
ale primary care
treatment facility. The most appropriate approach would
likely involve a partnership with one of the non
-
profit health
care providers already serving the Memphis area, such as the
Church Health Center
, which

currently serves musicians
thro
ugh a relationship with the Memphis and Shelby County
Music Commission.



Community Music and Education Center

A neighborhood facility that serves as a community center
with a music

and ar
t

focus could be an essential tool in
nurturing the creative talents of neighborhood residents and
meaningful exchange between artists and other neighborhood
residents. The Memphis Black Arts Alliance, through the
FireHouse Community Arts Center, and the St
ax Academy
currently provide arts outreach and education services in the
neighborhood; a new facility would seek to build on

their
efforts
, offering increased capacity,

and would tie their work
to a comprehensive program.

Accommodating the Memphis Music M
agnet
Centers

In addition to providing amenities for musicians, the centers are
also intended to stimulate revitalization through the restoration
and reuse of vacant buildings. There are at least three alternative
ways in which this can be accommodated:



Si
ngle Large
-
Scale Adaptive Reuse

This approach would entail a large adaptive reuse that could
allow multiple elements to be programmed into a single
currently vacant building (e.g., a vacant warehouse or school).



Multiple Smaller (Music Heritage) Properties


This approach would focus on reclaiming some of the music
heritage properties identified in the previous
chapter

and
programming those smaller individual properties with
appropriate Music Magnet Center elements (e.g., Memphis
Slim’s house could serve as
the health center, etc.)
.

This
approach would not only accommodate the desired amenities,
but would also increase the revitalization impact of the
Memphis Music Magnet program by spreading property
renovation throughout the neighborhood. It would also help

preserve elements of the neighborhood’s (and the city’s)
musical heritage in a unique way by reprogramming these
properties (many of which are now vacant) with active uses
that are accessible to neighborhood residents, not just
tourists.



Combined Approach

It might be most appropriate to program some of the
elements into the smaller music heritage properties while
grouping others into a larger adaptive reuse.

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28

Warehouse Reuse || Live/Work/Show Space

Warehouse renovation
might

allow for the development of
additional program elements that could support a broader variety
of artists (beyond musicians), provide short
-
term housing
options, and serve as a hub of activity. The
AS220

facility
in
Providence, RI provides an example of a warehouse reuse that
supports creative people and the arts community in an
innovative
way
. The facility is housed in a renovated 20,000 square foot,
three
-
story building, with each floor serving a different purpos
e.
The first floor includes five artist galleries, a performance space,
and a café; the second floor provides 9 artist studios and
workspace; and the third floor provides 11 dormitory
-
style rental
units for artists who are committed to engagement in the
co
mmunity. (
Nuci’s Space

in Athens, GA provides another
example of a multi
-
use facility that provides health services,
practice space, a performance area, and community café.)

The Soulsville area provides several pote
ntial spaces (particularly
near the intersection of Bellevue and Walker) for a similar multi
-
use “live/work/show” facility that could offer a variety of
elements available to a broad range of artists and creative people.

Bringing together artists and creat
ives from different genres can
help facilitate natural synergies (e.g., music and film) and help
foster new forms of collaboration.

Figure 11, the Conceptual Map,
shows the Soulsville target area
and highlights three potential “activity nodes,” which would

serve
as focus areas for the Memphis Music Magnet Program.


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29


Figure 11.

Conceptual Map
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30

Potential
Long
-
Term
Funding Sources

and
Existing Programs to Leverage

Developing these elements

will require significant
long
-
term
funding. We have identified several funding sources to
investigate
, as well as some existing local programs that might
contribute to the provision of homeownership incentives. The
sources identified here are generally long
-
term “brick and
mortar” options.

The
Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence

has prepared a full
report of potential funding sources.
(See Appendix B
. Funding
Research Report.)

The sources listed below are just a few
examples.



National Park Service
||
Saving America’s Treasures
Grant Program

Bricks and mortar grant for preservation and/or conservation
work on nationally significant intellectual and cultural artifacts
and historic structures and sites. Might be appropriate for
renovation of individual

music heritage properties.



National Park Service ||

Preserve America Grant

Program

Matching
-
grant program that provides planning funding to
support preservation efforts through heritage
tourism,
education, and historic preservation planning.



National Endowment for the Arts ||
Artist
Communities: Access to Artistic Excellence

Grant
Program

Small matching
-
gran
t funding for projects that employ the
arts in strengthening communities.



Economic Development Administration ||
Economic
Adjustment Assistance Investments

Grants for investment in areas of economic distress.


Funds
can be used to develop a comprehensive economic
development strategy (CEDS) or implement such a strategy
through site acquisition, infrastructure improvements, or the
administration of revolving loan funds.



Tax Increment Financing (TIF)

Could be used for i
nfrastructure or other improvements.



Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC)

Could be used to support development of Legacy Housing
component (affordable senior rental).



Neighborhood Stabilization Program(NSP) Grants

Could be used for purchase and redevelop
ment of foreclosed
homes to support homeownership and housing elements of
the
Memphis
Music Magnet program.



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31



The Next Steps



6

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32

A Work Program for Moving Forward

A working partnership has formed to move forward with the
development of the
Memphis Music Magnet
concept

for the
Soulsville neighborhood
. The

partnership was formed at the
request of

neighborhood leaders,
and
includes representatives
from the
Soulsville,
USA Neighborhood Association,
the
Soulsville Foundation, the Memphis Music Foundation, the
LeMoyne
-
Owen College CDC, the Memphis Black Arts Alliance
,
the University of Memphis’ Division

of City and Regional Planning
,
the
City of Memphis
Division of Housing

and Community
Development,

and

the
Memphis and

Shelby County
Divis
ion of
Planning and Development
.

In order to complete the development of the Memphis Music
Magnet concept and move toward implementation in the
Soulsville neighborhood, we
are seeking suppo
rt to embark on a
work program focused on accomplishing t
he

following planning
tasks:



Build
ing

strong neighborhood partnerships

and providing
appropriate opportunities for broad neighborhood
and
artist
ic community

input in visioning



Continuing

to build

and strengthen

working partnerships
with allied organizations



Developing an
appropriate organizational
structure

for
management of the

program
elements
and associated
Memphis Music Magnet
centers



Developing a branding and marketing strategy



Supporting
and

integrating
related comprehensive
revitalization efforts for the neighborhood



Develop
in
g

an implementation
/business

plan

that would
define

or determine
the following
:

For Homeownership Programs
:

o

a
n appropriate target area for homeownership
incentives

o

an appropriate mechanism for
providing
homeownership incentives
, including funding
source and scope of funding

o

eligibility guidelines for homeownership
incentives
, lease/purchase housing programs,
and/or renter equity programs

o

the role of county
-
owned tax
delinquent
properties and foreclosed properties in
homeownership incentives and related
revitalization efforts

o

the
potential for new housing construction related
to the program, including potential sites, designs,
developers
, and funding mechanisms

o

the fea
sibility of a senior low
-
income rental
housing element, including potential sites, designs,
developers, and funding mechanisms

o

the role of existing city and county programs in
providing relevant incentives

For Pla
ce
-
Based Neighborhood Amenities
:

o

specific M
emphis Music
Magnet Center program
elements

DRAFT


33

o

appropriate means of accommodating

Memphis

Music Magnet
C
enters
(
i.e., which buildings to
use
)

o

a
ssociated
acquisition and
renovation costs, and
funding sources

o

the feasibility of a warehouse renovation for
live/work/show space