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Water Tower Town

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The Broad Avenue water tower has long served as the beacon for the arts district even though the tower's graffiti-stained, rust-flecked exterior doesn't exactly send welcoming vibes.

But the Historic Broad Business Association won a $65,000 grant from ArtPlace America last year to fund an art installation for the tower. And now Memphis residents will have a chance to vote on their favorite design.

After a national call to artists, the UrbanArt Commission narrowed submissions down to three finalists. Those finalists will present their design plans to diners at the Crosstown Arts-sponsored MemFeast event at the Water Tower Pavilion on Sunday, April 13th. At the end of the MemFeast dinner, attendees will cast their votes, and the winner will use the grant funds to spruce up the tower.

MemFeast, a dinner where patrons vote on public art projects, was launched in Crosstown in 2010, and the first three feasts were held in the Crosstown neighborhood. Diners voted for a seed-bombing project for Washington Bottoms, temporary colored lighting for the Sears Crosstown tower, and a film about a little girl from Soulsville. Last spring, the event branched out into the Vollintine-Evergreen community, and diners approved Jeannie Tomlinson Saltmarsh's fish sculptures installed along the V&E Greenline. Now they're taking the event to Broad and taking on the water tower.

"We're all in it together, trying to make all of our neighborhoods awesome," says Emily Harris Halpern with Crosstown Arts. The street food-inspired, vegan-friendly dinner will be prepared by Chef Miles McMath. Although the menu is still top-secret, McMath has said that he'll be making Meso-American tamales with local veggies, heirloom white beans, tomatillo salsa, butterbean guacamole, and pickled red onions.

Collage Dance Collective will perform, and music will be provided by DJs Leroy and Jones from Pressure World.

Memfeast on Broad, Sunday, April 13th, 6 p.m. at the Water Tower Pavilion (2542 Broad). $20. For more information, go to crosstownarts.org/memfeast-on-broad or call 507-8030.

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