Local grassroots organizations are calling for volunteers to help with the second Mid-South Colisuem clean-up on Saturday, August 10th.
The effort, spearheaded by Clean Memphis and the Coliseum Coalition in partnership with the city, is in preparation of upcoming events planned for the building this fall.
Saturday volunteers will clean from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., sweeping, organizing, picking up litter, and doing other tasks. Sign up for the clean-up here. Only 16 of 50 volunteer slots remain open, but there is a waiting list.
After the clean-up, volunteers will receive lunch and a tour of the Coliseum.
One of the upcoming events is the Roundhouse Revival 4, a day-long community event featuring music and wrestling. It's slated for September 21st.
In the past, the event has been a forum for organizers to gather community input on the future of the Coliseum and garner support.
Roy Barnes, president of the Coliseum Coalition, the group pushing for the preservation and reopening of the building, said that the past Roundhouse events have contributed to the “growing public opinion that the building has a future.”
This year, for the first time, the Roundhouse Revival will take place inside the Coliseum.
The first Coliseum clean-up took place in April. That's when the building was opened to the public for the first time since it closed in 2007. In preparation for the Roundhouse and other events this fall, city officials are in the process of moving historic items that have been stored in the building since the time it was closed.
Some of the historic papers and memorabilia stored there will be organized for an online digital collection, some of it will be preserved in the library’s permanent collection, and other items will be curated for display during the Coliseum’s revitalization period.
“We are excited to be a part of the revitalization of this historic place,” said Clean Memphis executive director Janet Boscarino. “Part of our mission is to raise awareness around materials having value. To that end, we will focus on upcycling and recycling materials, avoiding landfilling as much as possible.”
Last year, the state designated the Mid-South Fairgrounds, including the Coliseum, as a tourism development zone (TDZ), allowing the Coliseum to stay in place rather than be demolished.
Any redevelopment of the Coliseum would happen in the third phase of the Fairgrounds project.
“The Coliseum has been officially saved, and soon it will be cleaned up and ready to host the public once again,” Marvin Stockwell, co-founder of the Coliseum Coalition, said. “When people get to see what our VIPs have been seeing for the last two years, we will find the collective civic will to reopen the building. Investors will see the public’s love of the building, and they’ll see the opportunity.”