Be a part of the conversation

Each month we bring the community together to discuss a wide variety of arts-related topics. This free series features area experts in a fun, casual, after-work setting with beverages and snacks. Each spark typically lasts one hour. Come listen, come join in the conversation, or just come meet some new like-minded friends. 

We also have periodic spark jr. events which are geared toward families. Check out our Facebook events section for upcoming events, and if you have an idea for a future discussion, please email us at We look forward to sparking a conversation with you soon!


  • February 17, Playhouse Cafe, 6:30 reception/conversation: Choreographer's behind-the-scenes chat about Places BeyondJoin us before the premiere of our winter show to hear the inspiration and meaning behind the new works being presented, including choreographers Steven McMahon, Mark Godden and Uri Sands and moderated by WKNO's Christopher Blank.
  • March 10, Amurica, 6p reception/6:30-8p talks, Spillit: Emerging Artists. Our all female line-up will tell personal stories about creativity, feminism and pushing their art further. We'll also have a few special guest "veterans" to round out the night.

Recent Events

  • January 19, Crosstown Arts, 430 N. Cleveland, 6p reception/6:30-8 conversation: Economic Development—Artfully Speaking. The panel will examine several arts related events and organizations that increase tourism dollars and job growth for their region. This conversation will focus on early objectives, communication with the government and business organizations, and documenting success. Panelists include: Siphne Sylve, Urban Art CommissionElizabeth Rouse, ArtsMemphisWesley Smith, Washington County Mississippi Convention and Visitors BureauAsante Salaam, New Orleans Mayor's Cultural Economy officeModerator: Amy Daniels, Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce
  • November 10, Amurica, 6p reception/6:30-8 conversation: Art as Activism. We will explore the impact of art in encouraging, leading, and funding community change. From the charity concert supporting a cause or  art-based neighborhood revitalization policies, to the after school dance club teaching positive expression and the artists addressing racial and economic inequity, we will discuss it all. Come be a part of a discussion that spotlights art on the front line of activism. Panelists include Gretchen McLennon, Hyde Family Foundations; Marvin Stockwell, Church Health; Nikki Lewis, Ballet Memphis; Richard Lou, University of Memphis; and moderated by Rachel Knox, Innovate Memphis. Community Partners include Innovate Memphis & Leadership Memphis
  • October 15, Playhouse Cafe, 6:30 reception/conversation: Relating to Race. We will speak to how to open doors to better use the arts as a voice for different peoples, faces and tongues represented in our community. 
  • September 8, Jay Etkin Gallery, 6p reception/6:30 conversation: Grassroots arts organizations from start up to success. We examine the process from challenging the status quo and working with existing groups to building community awareness and serving community need. Featuring Hattiloo Theatre, Ballet Memphis, Blues Hall of Fame and Centro Cultural Latino de Memphis.