City of Memphis wants your input naming Overton Park buildings

City of Memphis wants your input naming Overton Park buildings

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Calling all dreamers! The City of Memphis is looking for your ideas to fill a soon to be massive vacancy in Overton Park.

The City of Memphis says don't be afraid to think outside the box on what they should call the Brooks Museum and Memphis College of Arts home.

The deadline to pitch your idea is fast approaching.

The warm spring day filled Overton Park with visitors soaking up the sunshine. It was the perfect day for Briana Miller to spend a few hours at the playground with her nephew.

“We like to just put a blanket down out there and just let the kids run around a play or walk around the lake,” Miller said. “I bring my dog here all the time.”

Across the grassy field of the greensward is two of the park’s anchors, The Brooks Museum and Memphis College of Arts. The two buildings will soon be vacant by 2024.

“I don’t want it to just go to waste and then people don’t want to come here because it’s just like two vacant huge buildings,” Miller said.

It’s a fear for the city too, which is why city leaders are planning ahead launching the “Create Your Space Campaign.” The campaign calls for all ideas big or small.

“If you look at this history of Memphis, the role that Overton Park has played and the role that both of those buildings have played in being anchor institutions in there, that’s why we couldn’t take this lightly,” said Nick Walker, Deputy Director of Parks and Neighborhoods.

Rust Hall for now is home to Memphis College of Art, which will be the first vacancy in May 2020. A decision made by board members will follow a decline in enrollment and growing debt.

By 2024 the museum plans to be out of its space, relocating downtown to the riverfront.

Ideas are already being pitched, and the city says everything is on the table.

Individuals, organizations and teams from Memphis or beyond are encouraged to submit their ideas online by Tuesday, April 30 at 5 p.m. Respondents with the most compelling ideas will be chosen by a selection committee to expand on their ideas as part of a request for proposals (RFP) process.

The City, in partnership with EpiCenter, will host an informational workshop on Wednesday, April 17 from 5 - 7 p.m. at Memphis College of Art, where attendees can receive feedback from experts and the selection team, led by U3 Advisors. Interested parties can register for the workshop here.

In addition to the workshop, EpiCenter will be available throughout the month of April to provide potential respondents with advice and feedback on their ideas.

Click here to visit the Create Your Space website to submit your idea.

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