Memphis Current will debut at a launch party December 23rd at 409 South Main.
“It’s an arts and culture quarterly that focuses on the creative forces behind Memphis — the artists and musicians, restaurateurs that make Memphis unique,” says founder/editor-in-chief Sam Prager, 25, a native Memphian who graduated from Germantown High School and University of of Memphis, where he received his journalism degree.
Asked why he decided to start the magazine, Prager says, “I just needed a job in journalism.”
Actually, he says, “I just think Memphis deserves as much attention as it can get. There are not enough people to talk about it. And Memphis gets a bad reputation even from its own media a lot of the time. Those TV guys. I always think it’s good to shed light on the city. There are a lot of people’s stories that need to be told.”
The first issue’s music section will feature a story, written by Prager, on local band Spaceface. “I just think they’re a good band from the area and they have a good enough following,” says Prager, a veteran musician who plays guitar in Racquets.
And, he says, the members “are all real involved in the music community and other communities they serve.”
The restaurant Ecco on Overton Park is the subject of the first food feature. “Sabine Bachmann [owner/founder] has a super cool story,” says Prager, who also wrote that story. “She’s an immigrant woman in Memphis who came to the city without a lot of resources and had three sons here. She got divorced really early on and was in a strange country by herself with three sons.
“Those are the stories that need to be shared about Memphis — a city of opportunity, perseverance, and soul. And anything can happen here.”
The magazine, which includes staff and freelance-written articles, also features an outdoors section, a cocktail section with a bartender and one of their cocktails highlighted each issue, a history section, and a travel section, which will feature a destination within six hours of Memphis.
Memphis Current will include a heavy emphasis on art, Prager says. About half the magazine will feature full-page spreads on artists and photographers. “I think local artists and photographers are looked over a lot in the city and under-appreciated a lot as well. So, I think with the closing of MCA (Memphis College of Art) and Brooks (Memphis Brooks Museum of Art) moving, it’s important to appreciate the local artists we do have while we have them.”
The first issue is “100 pages from cover to back. We hope to expand it by 20 pages by the next issue.”
The public is invited to attend the Memphis Currents launch party, which will be from 7 to 11 p.m. December 23rd at 409 South Main. Spaceface will perform, Ecco is providing the food, Wiseacre Brewing Co. the beer, and Joe’s Wines & Liquors the wine. The cocktail will be “The Best Negroni in Town” made by Morgan McKinney. The cocktail and bartender are featured in the first issue. Tickets are $25.
“I hope the magazine not only sits on your coffee table but brings new people to surround it,” Prager says.