There's a block party in South Memphis this weekend, and the entire city is invited.
The corner of Mississippi and Walker is the latest target for MEMFix, a neighborhood block party with a focus on reactivating streets and vacant storefronts. South MEMFix is scheduled for Saturday, October 12th, from noon to 6 p.m.
The event will feature pop-up shops in abandoned properties. They'll be selling everything from clothing and accessories to barbecue and groceries. A farmers market will peddle fresh produce, and costumed actors from Elmwood Cemetery will portray historical figures, such as Ida B. Wells and Memphis Slim. Food trucks will be set up as well.
"And you can't come to Soulsville without music," says Jeffrey Higgs, executive director of the LeMoyne-Owen College Community Development Corporation. The Stax Music Academy and the LeMoyne-Owen College choir will be among those performing at the festival.
Residents of the area will also have a chance to give their feedback on the LeMoyne-Owen College CDC's community plan for the neighborhood. Higgs says the plan will be displayed as a "live document" at the event, and neighbors can share comments or concerns on the future of their community.
"We've done a lot in this neighborhood over the last 10 years, almost $200 million in development in Soulsville," Higgs says. "We have the big buildings up — the [new LeMoyne-Owen College] dorms, Stax [Museum of American Soul Music], Towne Center. But how can we invigorate local community economic development?"
The concept for MEMFix, which has been held in Crosstown and the University of Memphis area over the last year, is the work of Mayor A C Wharton's Innovation Delivery Team. South MEMFix is a partnership between the mayor's team, the LeMoyne-Owen College CDC, the Soulsville Foundation, the College Park Neighborhood Association, the South Memphis Alliance, Community LIFT, and other area nonprofits and churches.
South MEMFix, Saturday, October 12th, noon-6 p.m. Corner of Mississippi and Walker, www.facebook.com/MemFix2013