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CONTENTS

BRUCE VANWYNGARDEN Editor SHARA CLARK Managing Editor JACKSON BAKER Senior Editor TOBY SELLS Associate Editor CHRIS MCCOY Film and TV Editor ALEX GREENE Music Editor SAMUEL X. CICCI, MICHAEL DONAHUE, CHRISTEN HILL, JON W. SPARKS Staff Writers JESSE DAVIS Copy Editor, Staff Writer JULIE RAY Calendar Editor MATTHEW J. HARRIS Editorial Assistant LORNA FIELD, RANDY HASPEL, RICHARD MURFF, FRANK MURTAUGH, MEGHAN STUTHARD Contributing Columnists AIMEE STIEGEMEYER, SHARON BROWN Grizzlies Reporters ANDREA FENISE Fashion Editor KENNETH NEILL Founding Publisher

OUR 1666TH ISSUE 01.28.21 For the past couple of weeks, my wife and I have been watching a television series called (in America) A French Village. It ran for seven years in France, more than 70 episodes, so it has been a long, and still-ongoing, binge. We started watching out of curiosity. My wife is French and I like watching shows in French with subtitles so I can practice listening to the language in hopes of improving my “Ou sont les toilettes”-level French. There was no way, we vowed, that we’re going to watch seven seasons of this thing. But we’re six seasons in and A French Village has hooked us, big time. The show is set in the fictional town of Villeneuve during World War II. The village is controlled by the Nazis and the collaborative French government of Vichy. The driving conceit of the show, which becomes more apparent with each ensuing season, is that, sooner or later, almost everyone in Villeneuve has to make a choice: collaborate with the ruling Nazi/French-puppet regime, or resist. Most try for a third option: living quietly, going about their lives as close to normally as possible, hoping to avoid incurring the wrath of the Nazis, and staying out of the way of the Resistance. But sooner or later, the moment of truth arrives for everyone: Do you stay safe, keep your mouth shut, walk away, and accept that you are on the side of people doing horrible, murderous, genocidal things, or do you somehow find the courage to resist — or give everything up and flee? Businessmen sell lumber and concrete to the Nazis; restaurants serve them meals; city officials accommodate their demands; women at the bordello sleep with them; the local police cooperate in roundups and torturous interrogations; the local doctor treats their wounded. But as the “aryanization” of the village and its businesses widens, as the village’s Jewish families are rounded up, as they are pulled from their children and put on separate trains, never to return, the creeping horror of what is being accepted by most villagers becomes unavoidable. It’s a slow build. This being a French show and something of a soap opera at heart, there are, of course, love affairs and trysts and intrigue and secrets and betrayals: Most of the usual trappings of existence sustain themselves amid the shooting and the bombings and the horrors. All Germans aren’t monsters. All French aren’t heroes. The world is complicated. As are men and women. Another insight from the show: Life can be banal, even in wartime. But around season five, as the war begins to wind down and the Nazis leave, the town begins to split along a widening fissure: Were you a collaborator or not? It seems a simple delineation, but it turns out not to be. French cops who did the Germans’ bidding, hunting down resistance fighters and killing French civilians, are a simple call — they get the firing squad. But what about the young police conscript who served only a few weeks? And what about the mayor who convinced the Nazis to execute only 10 villagers instead of the 20 they’d planned? Did he do a good thing? Or is he irredeemably evil? What about the women who slept with Nazi soldiers? Collaborators or survivors? Coming back together as a community after so much trauma proves not to be easy. Much depends on who’s judging and who’s being judged. And maybe there’s a lesson here for America, after the divisive trauma of the past four years. Here’s what Joe Biden said in his Inaugural address: “To restore the soul and secure the future of America requires so much more than words. It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy: unity.” Unity. Our new president speaks of it often. And so do many Republicans these days. And I think most of us would agree that some sort of unity between the country’s two major parties could be good. But here’s the thing: Unity only works if justice is done first. Unity only works if there is a mutually agreed upon set of facts, a ground from which we can begin N E WS & O P I N I O N THE FLY-BY - 4 moving forward together. NY TIMES CROSSWORD - 6 Let me suggest a few facts that should FINANCIAL FEATURE - 8 be agreed upon: Joe Biden won the SPORTS - 9 presidential election; Democrats are POLITICS - 10 not part of a “deep-state” secret cabal COVER STORY of pedophiles; QAnon is an insane “20<30” conspiracy theory; the people who BY CHRIS MCCOY - 12 WE RECOMMEND - 18 vandalized the Capitol and terrorized MUSIC - 20 our legislators were supporters of Donald CALENDAR - 21 Trump, who invited them there. BOOKS - 24 People who deny any of these truths FOOD - 25 while calling for unity are collaborators. FILM - 26 They don’t belong in the village. C L AS S I F I E D S - 28 Bruce VanWyngarden LAST WORD - 31 brucev@memphisflyer.com

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THE

fly-by

MEMernet A roundup of Memphis on the World Wide Web. B E R N I E MAN IA! Memes of Sen. Bernie Sanders at the inauguration were everywhere last week. Thanks to the good citizens of the MEMernet, we got Bernie gold of our own.

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Following the frenzy, Sanders began selling sweatshirts featuring the meme to raise money for Meals on Wheels Vermont.

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Questions, Answers + Attitude Edited by Toby Sells

W E E K T H AT W A S By Flyer staff

Fraud, Opening Up, & COVID-19 New charges for state senator, attractions reopen gates, and a new health directive. LO OS E N I N G U P The Shelby County Health Department (SCHD) formally issued a new health directive (No. 17) last week, and the new, looser rules went into effect Saturday. The new directive lifted “Safer at Home,” the lockdown issued on December 26th that restricted unnecessary travel. Gyms and stores were allowed to remain at 50 percent capacity. Maybe the biggest change in the new directive allowed restaurants to fill their dining rooms to 50 percent capacity, instead of the 25 percent allowed under the previous health directive. Restaurant capacity is still mandated, though, by the ability to keep dining tables six feet apart. Diners must still wear face masks inside restaurants Clockwise from top left: “Better Days” at Stax, Kendra Lee named policy manager except when seated and in the for The Equity Alliance, the SCHD loosens COVID restrictions process of eating and drinking. Curbside service is still permitted, but restaurants must still close at 10 p.m. Brooke Boudreaux conspired to get the money from a Live entertainment, like concerts, will be allowed, but known associate of Boudreaux. Boudreaux told the person, the performers must be 18 feet from the audience. Band identified only as “R.S.” in court papers, that she needed the members must be six feet apart from one another and money for tuition and expenses to attend THI. separated by a barrier. No dancing is allowed indoors, but “R.S.” gave the money to the school, and “the conspirators outdoor dancing is permitted if those dancing together are split the money among themselves for their personal benefit in the same household and are six feet apart. Face masks and unjust enrichment,” reads a statement from Dunavant’s are still mandated at all times in gyms, even when working office. Investigators said Boudreaux was never a student at out, according to the directive. the school. The loosening of these restrictions came as the holiday If convicted, the defendants each face a possible sentence surge of virus cases began to ease in Shelby County. of up to 20 years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. EQ U ITY ALLIAN C E P R O M OTES These new charges come for Robinson after she received Last week, Memphis native Kendra Lee was named policy a 48-count indictment from a Memphis grand jury in July manager for The Equity Alliance, a Nashville-based grassfor theft and embezzlement involving government programs roots nonprofit advocacy group dedicated to increasing and wire fraud. voter turnout and civic engagement, especially in Black and other communities of color. ATTR ACTI O N S O P E N AF TE R SAF E R AT HOME N EW C HAR G ES FO R S E N. R O B I N S O N Memphis museums and other attractions were allowed to Tennessee state Sen. Katrina Robinson was formally charged reopen last weekend as the Safer-At-Home order lifted. last week on new allegations of wire fraud and money launThis move opened the gates (with some changes) at the dering, according to U.S. Attorney Michael Dunavant. Memphis Zoo, Brooks Museum of Art, the Stax Museum of The new charges arise from an alleged fraud scheme in American Soul Music, and more. which Robinson and two associates defrauded a party out Attendance was capped at 50 percent at the zoo, and of $14,470. The conspirators ran the money through The health protocols were in place at the Brooks. Over at Stax, Healthcare Institute (THI), a Memphis healthcare school they say, “We invite you to spend ‘Better Days’ with us.” Visit the News Blog at memphisflyer.com for fuller versions of Robinson founded and served as director. these stories and more local news. According to the charges, Robinson, Katie Ayers, and


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The Memphis Flyer tells you what you need to know in good times and in tough times. That’s what we’ve done since 1989, and not even 2020 could stop us. So, as we enter this new year, resolve to support the free, independent local paper that’s always here for you. Even a little helps a lot.

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For Release Monday, September 10, 2018

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The New York Times Syndication Sales Corporation 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10018 For Information Call: 1-800-972-3550 For Release Friday, September 14, 2018

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Boscarino said the United States spends $218 billion (or about 1.3 14 domestic product) percent of the gross growing, transporting, and disposing of food that is never eaten. She said the 17 waste numbers are staggering given that one in eight Americans are food insecure — lack reliable access to food 20 because of money and other concerns — and that one in five Memphians are food insecure. Waste occurs along nearly every stop in the food supply chain here, Boscarino 27 said. Some food spoils 28 as farmers can’t move it to market quickly enough. Some food is tossed as it may not meet cosmetic standards, 33 34 even though it has the same taste or nutritional value. Food continues to

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ensure fewer 36 37 Memphians go hungry. Clean Memphis 39 40 executive director Janet Boscarino said food waste 42 43 and packaging now comprise 45 46 47 30 percent of Memphis landfill volume. It also 51 52 53 produces the most methane gas (the most harmful 54 55 56 57 gas), she said. These reductions will aid city 59 60 leaders to meet goals detailed in the Memphis Area 62 63 Climate Action Plan. “The City of Memphis can serve spoil as it moves through the supply as a leader in developing a more chain to grocery stores, restaurants, CARLA MICHAELS sustainable food systemsPUZZLE approach, BY ANDREA and hospitality venues, she said. But the AND M reducing wasted food, and the resulting largest food-waste sector “by far,” she wasted labor, land, and money, as well said, is in homes. as increased pollutants by supporting “We over-purchase, we don’t store waste diversion and generating useful things right, we don’t eat leftovers, we products such as finished compost don’t use all parts of the food, and we’re with this diverted food waste,” reads not composting at a level we need to,” a December proclamation from Boscarino said. Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. To combat all of this, Project Green Food waste can be diverted from Fork will be working with restaurants, restaurants, hospitality providers, hospitality venues like hotels, and event and other food producers in the spaces like FedExForum to donate their city, according to the proclamation. food and avoid waste. Memphis Food Food from those sources has “great Waste Project members will educate rescue potential” for food “that would residents on how to more sustainably otherwise go to waste.” The food shop for groceries, how to store food, could be retrieved and donated to how to freeze food, and how to “fall in those in need, Strickland said in the love with leftovers,” Boscarino said.

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you to begin to understand the effects of a divorce prior to actually starting the process and helps put you in a position of strength for negotiation. Knowledge is key. Hire experts to help you. A good family law attorney can advise you on the divorce process and potential issues that might arise. A good financial advisor (CDFA) can take your information and project success or pitfalls in your current or future living objectives. Knowledge is key. Deciding to divorce should be the most emotional part of the process for you. Once you have made the choice to pull the trigger, remember to keep your emotions in check. Anger, fear, resentment, and hostility are all valid feelings, and I encourage you to work through these issues with a trusted friend or counselor. But if you let these feelings drive your process, you will be miserable and potentially make costly mistakes. Calm is key.

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ow tired are we of the COVID virus and the ensuing lockdowns, employment loss, and total disruption of our way of life? Luckily, humans are very adaptable (Zoom, masks, six feet apart, online shopping), and the rollout of vaccines (though slow) gives us a glimmer of hope that the “end” is coming this year. We will certainly be a different country at some levels, but many of the problems from the past are still there and will surely resurrect as some level of normalcy returns. As a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, I tend to look at trends in divorce and found conflicting information on the surge or diminishment of divorce during the pandemic: New York Post: “Divorce rates skyrocket in U.S. amid COVID-19 pandemic”; Institute for Family Studies: “Divorce is down during COVID”; Web MD: “Pandemic Drives Couples to Divorce or to Seek Help”; Bloomberg.com: “Divorces and Marriages Tumbled in U.S. during COVID, Study Shows.” At first glance, it would seem that divorces would spike during such a stressful time, given that money (or lack of) is a top conflict behind many marriage dissolutions. However, as with the Great Recession in 2008/2009, it might be a money issue that actually keeps a couple tied together until a recession — or pandemic — ends. Additionally, the shutdown of courthouses and law offices this spring most surely slowed many in-progress filings, so I have to believe that any trends that emerged in 2020 might be short-lived. If you are happily married, I congratulate you! You can finish reading this article and keep it in mind when you converse with friends who might not be so happy. If you are contemplating a separation or divorce, I wanted to give you some ideas on important topics you should consider as you work through this process. Know about your money. Know what you have (assets), know what you earn (income), and know what you need (budget). If you don’t know anything about your money, you must learn. Get copies of bank account statements, 401ks, pension benefits, etc. and become familiar with them. This allows

If you don’t know anything about your money, you must learn. Protect your children and yourself at all costs. If you are in an abusive relationship or fear for your life, leave. If you are not, be watchful during the process to make sure it doesn’t become abusive. And whatever you do, never talk bad about the other spouse to the kids that you have with that spouse. No matter the age, children will feel some sense of responsibility to protect their love for that parent. This is a position you should never put them in. Love is key. I hope that divorce isn’t in your future, but if it is, remember to be knowledgeable, calm and protective. Kathy Williams, CFP, CDFA, is Principal and Senior Wealth Strategist at Waddell & Associates.


S P O R TS B y Fr a n k M u r t a u g h

Hammer’s Time Thoughts on the exemplary life of Henry Aaron.

ily — Dad born and raised in Memphis — but Atlanta had become a big-league town in 1966 (when the Braves moved from Milwaukee), and we found time for Braves games during the summers of 1973 and ’74. Which means 4-year-old me sat in Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium when the great Henry Aaron took the field for the home team. I was more interested in the Braves’ mascot (and his home run dances) than the players hitting the baseball, but it’s safe to say I witnessed one or two of Aaron’s 755 career home runs, a record for the sport

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There are records, and there are the men who break them.

that stood for more than 30 years. Aaron’s most famous home run, of course, was his 715th, hit against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Atlanta on April 8, 1974, to break Babe Ruth’s career record. It was the second-biggest highlight of that year for me, as my sister, Liz, was born 10 days earlier. (I do remember leaving my nursery school early, to meet the new arrival.) I’ve seen Aaron’s famous shot hundreds of times, and every time it makes me think of my only sibling. That’s a gift Hank Aaron provided my family without knowing we even existed. Such is the work of legends. If you need a number to associate with Aaron, make it 6,856, his record for career total bases, and one we can safely say will never be broken. (Stan Musial is second on the chart, but more than 700 total bases — two outstanding seasons — behind Aaron.) Aaron’s career began in the Negro Leagues, even after the major leagues had integrated, so he represents a human bridge to a time when a celebration of baseball’s best meant only partial recognition. He endured hate and racism as he “chased” the record of a revered white icon. (Quote marks because Aaron never targeted Ruth’s mark. He was simply so good that the record became part of his story.) Hank Aaron remained dignified, strong, perceptive, and somehow, gentle through it all. He was a titan of a human being, one who just happened to be very good at baseball. The only man to hit more than 755 home runs — Barry Bonds — may be voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame four days after Aaron’s passing. If Bonds again falls short in his ninth year of eligibility, it’s because there are enough voters (more than 25 percent) still uncomfortable about honoring a man deeply connected with performanceenhancing drugs. And if Bonds joins Aaron in the Hall of Fame? There are records, and there are the men who break them. There is a standard established by the Baseball Hall of Fame, and a standard established by the life of Henry Aaron. Those paying close enough attention recognize a dramatic distinction. Rest in peace, Hammer.

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y family lived in Atlanta in the early 1970s. These were my preschool years, so memories are blurry at best. But it was an extraordinary time in an extraordinary place, largely because of the great Henry Aaron. I’ve been fighting back tears since last Friday when we learned the Hammer had rounded for home for the final time at 86. My parents were pursuing doctoral degrees at Emory University, and I was an only child when we arrived in Atlanta late in the summer of 1972. Mine was a St. Louis Cardinals fam-

THE SATCHMO SHOW

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POLITICS By Jackson Baker

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County commission takes on Trump, PILOTs, and other timely topics.

RESOLVE TO SUPPORT LOCAL MEDIA. The Memphis Flyer tells you what you need to know in good times and in tough times. That’s what we’ve done since 1989, and not even 2020 could stop us. So, as we enter this new year, resolve to support the free, independent local paper that’s always here for you. Even a little helps a lot.

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s u p p o r t . m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m

The public musings of the Shelby County Commission add up at times to as accurate a bellwether on issues at large as can be found in these parts, and that applies to state and national subjects as well as purely local ones. By definition, the commission represents a larger and more representative hunk of the population than does, say, the Memphis City Council, and, though the body is by no means exclusively partisan in its outlook, the fact that its membership is elected by political party gives it natural polarities on a number of matters. Four matters taken up by the commission at Monday’s public meeting illustrate the range. The first, sponsored by Commissioner Tami Sawyer, well known as a Democrat from her party’s progressive wing, was a resolution “to prohibit the naming of any Shelby County property after U.S. President Donald John Trump, the 45th President of the United States.” Clearly occasioned by public outrage and confusion stemming from the catastrophic endgame of Trump’s presidency, the resolution garnered the seven votes necessary for passage, all from Democratic members: Sawyer, Van Turner, Mickell Lowery, Willie Brooks, Edmund Ford, Michael Whaley, and chairman Eddie Jones. Three Republicans — Mick Wright, David Bradford, and Brandon Morrison — and Democrat Reginald Milton abstained. Two Republicans, Amber Mills and Mark Billingsley, cast outright “no” votes. A companion measure of sorts, coming late in the day, was a resolution “in support of preserving our Republic and condemning the insurrection that took place at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021.” That one, sponsored by Wright and Milton, garnered 12 “aye” votes across the board but got a single abstention from Morrison. In between those two resolutions was a pair of hot-button votes. One was a substitute resolution for one introduced back in the summer by Sawyer designed to curtail the potential acquisition of military-grade materials from federal sources by the Sheriff ’s Department. Co-sponsored by Turner and Milton, the revised version acknowledged the fact that current Sheriff Lloyd Bonner desired no such weaponry but gives the Sheriff ’s Department and the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security the option, via commission ap-

proval, to acquire protective equipment such as bulletproof vests, as well as rescue vehicles in case of emergencies. The original resolution had drawn fire from several members as being what they saw as an unwarranted attack on the character of the sheriff. On Monday, Sawyer addressed those reservations: “You know, why do we need police reform? Sheriff Bonner’s a great guy. … But in 2020, across the country, and right here in Shelby County, we recognize a pandemic of racial injustice that was almost as deadly as COVID-19 that impacts the lives of Black and brown people every day.” The ultimate vote on that one was 10-3, with Commissioners Billingsley, Mills, and Morrison remaining unmollified. The other resolution incurring extended debate was also sponsored by Sawyer. It proposed a 180-day moratorium on the issuance of any new PILOT (payment-in-lieu-of-taxes) grants by any of the eight authorities in the county able to issue PILOTs. Tami Sawyer

These tax-abatement grants, which by definition limit property-tax revenues in the interests of industrial recruitment, have long been controversial, as Sawyer noted, denouncing “the organizations that come and promise 1,000 jobs and never offer more than 300, organizations that pay no taxes, recipients whose workforces are 75 percent temporary workers with no healthcare, and no childcare. And then they close when they’re pushed to do anything else. Why don’t these corporations have to invest in the community?” Ultimately, the PILOT resolution was recast as a proposal to join with the city of Memphis in a task force to study the implications of PILOTs and to consider possible changes in policy. County Mayor Lee Harris supported that proposition, saying, “I am all for trying to figure out how we might reform the system. … It’s probably a good idea to not try to tee up too many questions. But instead, we try as best we can to narrow our scope to what we might be able to handle. So I would try to narrow the scope to bite-sized amounts.” With that understanding, the proposal was referred back to committee for further shaping.


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COVER STORY BY CHRIS McCOY PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRANDON DILL

The class of 2021 This is the 12th year the Memphis Flyer has asked our readers to tell us about outstanding young people who are making the Bluff City a better place. We had a record number of nominees, so narrowing it down to 20 was more difficult than ever. We do this so Memphis can meet the leaders who will be shaping our future. Even though we live in a time of uncertainty, speaking to these talented 20 never fails to fill us with hope. Here they are: Your 20<30 Class of 2021.

ALEXUS ATAKORA Fashion Entrepreneur, House of Reign

CHIMA ONWUKA Mental Health Professional/ Entrepreneur/Speaker

COLLEEN CHANDLER Grants and Initiatives Manager, ArtsMemphis

SEAN WINFREY Digital Art Instructor and Filmmaker, Cloud901

“Fashion has always been my passion,” says Alexus Atakora, who first hit the modeling runway at age 8. While studying at the University of Memphis, she was inspired by Professor Peggy Quinn to make her passion a lifetime career. “I wanted to do my own thing. I started my own boutique, so I took that opportunity into my own hands.” When she’s not working to make House of Reign a national chain, she upholds a family tradition of volunteering. “I take the time because I feel like my mom instilled that in me as a young child,” she says. “There are people less fortunate than us. And this is our community. Why not make it beautiful?”

Chima Onwuka’s family is from Nigeria, which gives him a unique perspective on Memphis. Bullied in school for being different, he experienced depression at age 15. “Before I went to college and got a psychology degree, I had no idea what all this stuff that I was feeling was called. I never knew there was a name for it.” Perhaps it was inevitable that a life spent conquering fear would lead to a desire to help others. For Onwuka, that meant overcoming his fear of public speaking. “There’s a negative stigma to mental illness. For me to reach a broad amount of people, I had to start speaking. … I wanted to be an advocate for mental health. That way, if you feel touched by my speech, you will be more inclined to see a counselor, even if it’s not me.”

When the pandemic hit, Colleen Chandler was in a unique position to help at ArtsMemphis. “I live and breathe grants and initiatives day in, day out.” As the country shut down around her, Chandler assessed her community’s needs and reached out to funders. Within weeks, the Artist Emergency Fund was up and running, distributing millions of dollars in grants to artists who had seen their income evaporate overnight. “The arts will be one of the last sectors to recover from all this,” says Chandler. “So we’re definitely trying to support in any way we can.” The Junior League member has a passion for volunteering to help make her community better. “I feel like the creative community is so resilient, and I think the pandemic has just highlighted that.”

“I’m teaching kids right at the brink of adulthood, and a lot of kids don’t know that you can do careers that are actually fun,” Sean Winfrey says. “I’ve learned that a lot of kids don’t have confidence in the world, and they’re scared of the future around that age. I’ve just grown more passionate about it. I’ve personally seen some long-term change and impact on some of these kids.” The animator, who has created music videos for artists like Al Kapone, was at first apprehensive about teaching but found a supportive environment at Cloud901. “I feel like I work with a bunch of geniuses,” he says. “It is a very strange place, but I feel like, on a personal level, I relate to these kids. The reason why I got the position was because I’m a very good uncle.”


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The Berklee College of Music graduate has worked in London, New York, and Nashville, but Kady Brown’s decision to move home was vindicated when her single “Strawberry Feels” was embraced by Memphis radio. “I wanted to be able to do what I do from wherever I am,” she says. Last summer, as the Black Lives Matter movement was inspiring activism all over the world, Brown started the Memphis Women’s Rights Advocacy Group to help victims of sexual assault seek justice and healing. “I think it’s this idea of impacting what you can impact and hoping to cause a chain reaction. My biggest goal is to do what is within grasp and create a work that can either be continued or inspire another.”

KAYLA SEABROOK Musician/Marketing Manager, IRIS Orchestra Kayla Seabrook started playing piano at age 7, and discovered jazz while at St. Benedict high school. “I studied classical when in college, but I came back to jazz, because that’s really where my heart’s at.” Before COVID sidelined her performances, you could find Seabrook tickling the keys for audiences large and small all over Memphis. “I am going absolutely crazy. I have only been performing in my own house in front of my cat and my husband for the past many, many months.” She’s thankful to be able to represent IRIS’ classical music education and performance agenda. “It’s been a great outlet for me to be able to still really be part of the music scene, but in kind of a different way. It’s such a good organization. It’s one of those places where, and this is kind of a cliché to say, but it really does feel kind of like a family.” continued on page 14

COVER STORY m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m

KADY “KADYROXZ” BROWN Musician, Founder of Memphis Women’s Rights Advocacy Group

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continued from page 13

TORREY HARRIS Tennessee State Representative, District 90

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“In 2017, the representative before me stood up before an education committee and said our generation was the most ill-mannered, know-nothing, never-gonna-be-anything, immoral generation.” That thoughtless slander motivated Torrey Harris to run for office. “But my true motivation is just that I am all about helping people.” In 2020, on his second try, he defeated veteran legislator John DeBerry by a margin of more than 50 percent to become the youngest person in the state House of Representatives, one of only two LGBTQ members, and the first bisexual. Soon afterward, Harris hosted the first town hall meeting in his district for 15 years. “It was so impressive to see people my age are on the call being vocal about what it is that they want. As young people, we just want someone who’s gonna listen to us.”

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GISELA GUERRERO Immigration and Inclusivity Accountability Committee Chair, Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope (MICAH) Gisela Guerrero wants to break down the language barriers that keep the Latinx community from integrating into Memphis culture. In her day job, she helps patients access health information. “Some people may not know this, but at Church Health, about 40 percent of our patient population is Spanish speaking.” Born in Mexico City and a citizen of Memphis since age 5, Guerrero was in a unique position to help when COVID hit the Latinx community. “While it has been tricky to put all this health information in an easy and digestible method in English, it has been even more difficult to be able to do that in Spanish, or any other language, because of the misinformation that quickly gets around. “No one should have to be waiting for a translation. No one should have to wonder, if they call the hotline, if they’re going to be able to get somebody on the phone who understands them in the language they’re most comfortable in.”

JARED MOSES Administrative Director of Operations, Baptist Memorial Hospital “It is a lot of responsibility, but it’s one that I appreciate,” Jared Moses says. “I think it’s fun because I am the youngest person on the team by far. But I think I bring a new perspective, new ideas, new ways of seeing things. … There are people who’ve been working here much longer than I’ve been alive.” The pandemic saddled Moses’ healthcare team with the biggest responsibility they would ever face. “You really get to see people’s true colors, and how great of an asset they are, in times of need. Our team members stepped up and worked a ton of hours. We all started to rotate 12-hour shifts in the command center for the entire month of March and half of April. … I think I’ve always had a calm personality, a calm demeanor, but I really had to continue that level when the urgency was high.”

SAMANTHA CALHOUN Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Memphis Loewenberg College of Nursing “Whenever I was asked ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ the answer was always ‘a nurse,’” Samantha Calhoun says. “My mom’s attitude about taking care of people is my moral compass for approaching patient care. It’s the core of who I am as a nurse and nurse educator.”

ANNE ROSS Director of Marketing and Merchandising, Hollywood Feed When she first applied for a job at Hollywood Feed, Anne Ross was just looking for something to do after college. “It would help me pay the bills, and I’ll figure out my life from there. And I just ended up staying and loving it.” When she started, the Memphisbased pet store chain had 20 locations. “We have rapidly expanded over the years to the point where we have 105 locations across 14 States. So it’s been an adventure. … I think what I like the most about my job is that I don’t know what’s coming next. There’s always some new challenge, whether it’s COVID or it’s sourcing products from Brazil. It was just nothing that I could have ever dreamed up.”

Calhoun is one of the youngest nursing professors in the history of University of Memphis. “The biggest lesson I’ve learned from teaching nursing students is the beauty in making mistakes. You don’t always need to have all the answers.” After almost dropping out of nursing school, she founded the nonprofit Simply Faith to help coach others through difficult times. “Simply Faith is who I am. My mother named me Samantha Faith, and I honestly believe that my gift of faith is the most significant part of my identity.”


“I think I wrote my first article for the new Tri-State Defender in 2015 about female violence. And right then I knew, I kind of liked journalism,” says Brianna Smith-Herman. She was following in the footsteps of her father, Bernard Smith, who saved Memphis’ storied Black newspaper. Armed with a mass media degree from Clark Atlanta University, she produced three films, worked on the popular show Real Housewives of Atlanta, and helped create music videos for artists such as T-Pain, before seeking her fortune in Los Angeles. But after her father passed away unexpectedly, she returned to Memphis to carry on the family legacy. “God makes no mistakes, but my dad still had a lot of things that he wanted to accomplish in the city,” she says. “I felt that here in Memphis, I had a lane that I could go into that was not there in L.A. There was a lane for journalism. There was a lane for film. There was a lane for music. There was real opportunity, and room for growth.”

GEOFFREY MORRIS Attorney, Butler Snow The law runs in the Morris family. Geoffrey’s father and brother are both attorneys, and he says he fell into the family business. “I love the reading and writing aspect of it, and the problemsolving aspect of it. [The law] touches just so many things in the world.” After graduating from Vanderbilt, he could have gone anywhere, but Morris chose to return to help grow his hometown. “I’ve always seen potential in the city. I’d like to see a city that’s more modernized, more developed, but also still more equitable for everyone. You hear a lot about gentrification and things like that going on, but I think there’s kind of a middle ground where you can develop the city while also looking out for people of different socioeconomic backgrounds, different races, ethnicities, and not displacing people from their communities.”

SPENCER BECKMAN Clinical Quality Improvement Specialist, Church Health

DESTANY STORY Educator, Founder of Wonder Women and Wisdom

When Spencer Beckman came to Church Health as part of Rhodes College’s Kinney community service program, he had no idea he would find himself on the front lines of a global pandemic, coordinating the Midtown healthcare facility’s COVID testing program and screening 30 to 120 people a day. “Typical to the Church Health model, we relied heavily on our volunteers,” he says. “We used to have to worry about getting ice packs on our swabbers, because they’d be overheating in the summer sun. Now we’re having to buy propane tanks to make sure that our volunteers are not getting frostbite from being outside too long on cold, rainy mornings. “I would love for [Memphis] to be a place where, regardless of your background, regardless of your access to resources, regardless of previous experiences, everyone can have the opportunity to make their life what they want it to be.”

“I actually graduated from the school where I teach at now, Power Center Academy,” says Destany Story. Inspired by the Teach For America educators who instructed her, she decided to pursue education. “That was my first experience where I had teachers who really cared more about me than just my education.” While at Mississippi State University, she founded a support group to empower young women with ambition. “I wanted to focus it on minority students, because I did go to a predominantly white institution, and I felt like we weren’t represented enough.” Wonder Women and Wisdom met regularly for networking brunches until Story graduated. “I kind of put it on the back burner for a while, but when I came to my high school, I just noticed a lot of girls looking up to me, just because I was more relatable.” Wonder Women and Wisdom was reborn. “I transitioned it to a mentoring program for girls 9th through 12th grade. We do workshops based on business etiquette, mental health, body love, and support.”

LEAH FORD Political Campaign Manager Leah Ford cut their political teeth as President of Rhodes College’s Voices for Planned Parenthood. Gabby Salinas was on the board of the organization, so Ford worked on her 2018 State Senate campaign. When Salinas ran again in 2020, she tapped Ford as her campaign manager. “I was really honored, and definitely had a little bit of ‘imposter syndrome’ at first. I’m just always grateful to Gabby for giving me that chance because I learned so much.

“If we’re going to ever change the way Tennessee politics works, we need people to stay here who are from here to fix it and to make things better, because it’s not going to be these national organizations swooping down and saving the South. It’s going to be people who live here, who know their communities and know what needs to happen.”

continued on page 16

COVER STORY m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m

BRIANNA SMITH-HERMAN Journalist/Project Manager, Three(i) Creative Communications

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continued from page 15

JOY MARSEILLE Public Engagement Coordinator, Crosstown Arts Joy Marseille is on a mission to make the art world more equitable. “I think

Crosstown Arts is under no mistaken assumptions around how much it means to have somebody leading a program who looks like the people they’re leading.” When the pandemic shut down her public programs, Marseille created a series of “race talks” for arts professionals. “This has created a very strange silver lining for us to be able to create the infrastructure and set some systems in place that we have been wanting to get in place for a long time. But we’re all really eager to get Crosstown Arts back up and running again, because it’s been such a positive influence on the community.” With her friend, biologist Chandler Purity, she created Are We Terrible People?, a podcast she calls “a lighthearted take on heavy topics.” She’s also working on a novel and expecting her first child. “I don’t know that Memphis even realizes how unique it is. In good and bad ways, I think it’s a perfect example of the truest America.”

people’s lives, but not necessarily to be on the front end of it, but really on the back end.” After starting his nonprofit career at Bridges, Spence is now one of the star fundraisers for Memphis’ children’s research hospital. “I’d like to see the future of Memphis as a city where people come together to make change. I’m biased to say that I love philanthropy, but I really would love to see people more engaged from a philanthropic perspective, whether that means volunteering, serving, or giving, because I think Memphis has a lot of great assets. We need to figure out how to lift each other up.”

EMMANUEL SPENCE Prospect Development, ALSAC St. Jude “I believe that philanthropy is something that can be used to really uplift social good,” Emmanuel Spence says. “I wanted to make a difference in

20 30 The class of 2021 J a n u a r y 2 8 - Fe b r u a r y 3 , 2 0 2 1

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BRIAN MOUNCE History and Politics Professor, Christian Brothers University/ Incoming Associate Attorney at Evans Petree

University of Tel Aviv, and traveling the world, Brian Mounce found work at an intelligence think-tank unsatisfying. “I felt like the work I was producing wasn’t really helping folks,” he says. So I changed my career trajectory to try to become somebody who could help my community in a more tangible way.” He got a master’s degree and started teaching high school. “I absolutely loved it.” Now he teaches students about the Constitution at CBU while finishing his law degree. “My grandfather believed in this old ideology, which translates to ‘Repair a broken world.’ I’m an ardent believer in that, and Memphis helped my family so much that I felt the need to give back to Memphis.”

JASMINE WORLES Strategic Planning Advisor, Shelby County Schools

SCS. She was still learning the ropes when COVID hit and she was charged with empowering students for remote learning. “It went from, that February, looking at each other and saying, ‘There is a pandemic spreading across Europe, it’s coming into the United States. How are we going to cope with this?’ By August, we were procuring and employing 95,000 devices.” In normal times, a project that size would have taken three years. “With the amount of students we have, and the fact that we were able to give devices and hotspots to students who needed internet access in a three- to four-month time period, that’s the quickest mobilization that we’ve seen across the nation for a school district.” Worles somehow still finds time to help train candidates, and is currently expecting her first child. “I am a part of the pandemic baby boom.”

Jasmine Worles had been in Washington, D.C., training candidates to run for office when she returned to Memphis two years ago to work for

After studying at Rhodes College for three years, finishing his degree at the

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steppin’ out (& stayin’ in)

We Recommend: Culture, News + Reviews

An Open Book

Cicely Tyson’s Just As I Am

By Julie Ray

COURTESY NOVEL MEMPHIS

Fashion model turned actress of stage and screen, Cicely Tyson has had a career spanning more than 70 years. She has been nominated for countless awards honoring her craft. She has won many. She even became the first Black woman to receive an honorary Oscar for her work, 45 years after her Academy Award-nominated performance in Sounder. Now, in her ninth decade, she says, “I am a woman who, at long last, has something meaningful to say.” She has put her meaningful words to the page in Just As I Am. It seems extraordinary that the actress, lecturer, activist, and one of the most respected talents in American theater and film history has been able to encapsulate her life between the covers of the 432-page memoir. Tyson has laid bare her life saying, “Just As I Am is my truth. It is me, plain and unvarnished, with the glitter and garland set aside.” Tyson will be honored on Thursday at an online event where her new autobiography will be released. Novel is among the bookstores selected to participate in the book launch. The event will begin in conversation with Cicely Tyson and Whoopi Goldberg and be presented by HarperCollins with Girls Write Now along with editorial director Tracy Sherrod, and Well-Read Black Girl founder Glory Edim. The ticket price includes one hardcover copy of the book and a once-in-a-lifetime virtual meeting with Tyson.

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Good Neighbors by Sarah Langan (above) is heart-rending and beautiful. Books, p. 24

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ONLINE EVENT WITH CICELY TYSON: JUST AS I AM, FROM NOVEL, NOVELMEMPHIS.COM, THURSDAY, JAN. 28, 5 P.M., $32-$38

The unfinished wall on the southern border is a monument to a dark era. The Last Word, p. 31

VARIOUS DAYS & TIMES January 28nd - February 3rd Sundance Film Festival Malco Summer Drive-In, 5310 Summer, opens Thursday, Jan. 28, and continues through Feb. 3, $20-$25 per car Feature premieres will be satellite screened at the drive-in hosted by Indie Memphis. Experience an outstanding lineup including Judas and the Black Messiah, Strawberry Mansion, Censor, and more. Whiskey Tasting with Celtic Crossing Celtic Crossing, 903 Cooper, celticcrossingmemphis.com, Thursday, Jan. 28, 7-8:30 p.m., $50 Join owner DJ Naylor for the 21-Year-Old Tasting Series at the pub or virtually.

Clarksdale Film & Music Festival Downtown Clarksdale, MS, multiple venues, clarksdalefilmfestival.com, Friday, Jan. 29-Sunday, Jan. 31, $10 A unique hybrid of pop-up indoor theaters, a pop-up drive-in theater, and other socially distanced film and music venues featuring films and blues music. Cat Owners Association Improv Online from B&G Improv, bgimprov.com, Friday, Jan. 29, 8 p.m., free B&G Improv will host the international improv group, Cat Owners Association, for their monthly livestream show using audience suggestions to inspire the scenes, stories, and silliness.

Hilarious and Handsome + What She Said The Comedy Junt, 4330 American Way, Friday-Saturday, Jan. 29-30, 7:30 p.m., $20-$30 An all-male comedy showcase performs on Friday — where the comedians are not only funny but also good looking — followed by an all-female comedy showcase on Saturday. Pierre Chuckles Comedy Club, 1700 Dexter, Friday-Sunday, Jan. 29-31, 6:45 p.m. and 8:45 p.m., $20-$35 Versatile and talented comedian Pierre, who has appeared on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam, BET’s Comicview, and more, brings the laughs to Memphis.

Remember When Rock Was Young: The Elton John Tribute Bartlett Performing Arts and Conference Center, 3663 Appling, Saturday, Jan. 30, 4 p.m., $40 Be transported to the days of big hair, outrageous clothes, and cheap gasoline as Rocket Man look-a-like Craig Meyer impersonates Sir Elton John. Israel Speaker: Lieutenant Colonel Eyal Dror Online from Memphis Jewish Community Center, jccmemphis.org, Sunday, Jan. 31, 11 a.m., free Lieutenant Colonel Eyal Dror will share reflections from his 25-year IDF career and recount interactions with Syrians and the hopeful moments they shared.


Full STEAM ahead! WEDNESDAY

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The Pink Palace Family of Museums shuttered its doors on December 23rd. One month later, the Pink Palace Museum of Science and History is opening back up in a big way — with dinosaurs. Rawwwr. The museum’s new “Dinosaurs in Motion” exhibit, opening January 30th, will get the temporarily extinct dinosaur season reanimated. This new exhibit is an interactive STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) experience built for visitors of all ages. As a STEAM-minded exhibit should, it will engage and educate visitors with 14 fully interactive, recycled metal dinosaur sculptures. The sculptures feature exposed mechanics inspired by actual fossils. An amazing blend of art, science, and innovation, the exhibit weaves in sketching, sculpting, kinetics, biomechanics, observing, and experimenting. Every piece is interactive for visitors to touch and learn. “The exhibit goes beyond merely the history of dinosaurs,” says Bill Walsh, museum marketing manager. “It shows the biomechanics of these amazing creatures in an intriguing and artistic way that allows the visitor to have a hands-on, interactive STEAM experience.” The moving, human element to the exhibit lies in the story of the artist, John Payne. Through video and interactive touch, visitors will walk away with Payne’s inspiring message: “If you can dream it, you can do it.” The exhibition is one that inspires guests to learn, discover, and create. Get to the museum before the exhibit’s ex-STEAM-tion on May 2nd or you’ll be really saur. “DINOSAURS IN MOTION,” MEMPHIS PINK PALACE MUSEUM, 3050 CENTRAL, OPENS SATURDAY, JAN. 30, AND CONTINUES THROUGH MAY 2, $15.

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Midtown Connects: Mid-South Coliseum Online from Midtown Memphis, midtownmemphis.org, Mon., Feb. 1, 2 p.m., free Porsche Stevens, president of midtownmemphis.org, will talk with Marvin Stockwell about the past and future of the Mid-South Coliseum.

Virtual Black History Speech Series: “Say It Loud” Online from Hattiloo Theatre, hattiloo.org, Tuesday, series begins Feb. 2, 6 p.m., free New series opening with James Cook as Congressman John Lewis with an introduction by Commissioner Van Turner.

Laughter Yoga Online from Baptist Cancer Center, baptistcancercenter.com, begins Monday, Feb. 1, 6 p.m., and continues on select days through Dec. 20, free Join the group on Zoom for a unique combination of breathing, fluid movements, and voluntary laughing to make you happier and healthier.

Woman in Motion: Nichele Nichols Malco Paradiso, 584 S. Mendenhall, and Collierville Grill & MXT, 380 Market, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 7 p.m., $15 In 1977, NASA was struggling to recruit. Nichols, Star Trek’s Lt. Uhura, asked, “Where are my people?,” creating a national PR blitz that recruited the first African-American, Asian, and Latino men and women to fly in space.

Novel at Home: Sarah Langan with Grady Hendrix Online from novelmemphis.com, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 6 p.m., free with registration There’s something wicked going down on Maple Street. The author will launch her new novel, Good Neighbors, during a live online session in conversation with NYTbestselling author and screenwriter Grady Hendrix. Memphis Tigers vs. UCF Knights FedExForum, 191 Beale, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 7 p.m., $15-$25 Watch men’s basketball as the University of Memphis Tigers, on their home court, take on the University of Central Florida Knights.

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FOR TICKETS AND INFORMATION, VISIT

LAFAYETTES.COM/EVENT-TICKETS

OR CALL 901.207.5097 2119 MADISON AVENUE | MEMPHIS, TN 38104 (901) 207-5097 | LAFAYETTES.COM

m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m

Former Memphian Kentucker Audley’s Strawberry Mansion lands at the Sundance Film Festival. Film, p. 26

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

COURTESY PINK PALACE MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND HISTORY

By Julie Ray

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MUSIC By Alex Greene

R.U.D.Y

what we can’t see with our naked eye. You need ultraviolet light in order to illuminate certain things. That’s why crime scene investigations, they can discover the truth of what really happened. The stuff we hide, the stuff we don’t want people to see? That’s what the black light illuminates. It shows us truth. And I wanted my music to do that. I hear you name dropping Socrates in one rap. Oh yeah. ‘I’m trying to learn philosophies that Africans taught Socrates.’ I was a history major at the University of Memphis. I graduated last year. was a good way for me to feed My studies were mainly focused my fan base with records that on African-American history and weren’t really a project. Like African-American Studies. one-offs, loose records. There There’s also a political edge to your were some good songs in that lyrics. Confronting poverty and series. I’m thinking of starting it how it affects people on the level of up again. The reason I stopped the soul. was that I began to work on my Yeah, man. I grew up poor. I was project that I put out toward the born in Atlanta, but my dad is end of the year, Till We Open. from the South Side of Chicago. ‘Indestructible’ was the single. It My mom is from Gary, Indiana. R.U.D.Y was produced by my homie Lee And we moved there right after Mars, who’s a very important I was born. Then, when I was figure in helping me discover my 12, we moved to Glenwood Park in South Memphis. sound and who I am as an artist and a person. We grew Rough as Memphis is, compared to Gary, it’s still … well, real close over the last two years. I met him at work. He I’m grateful to be here. I’m grateful to have come from was listening to a Jay Z record on a forklift, and I started Gary because it taught me how to survive. I’ve had to do rapping along with it. It turned out we were both anime homework by candlelight, if my mom couldn’t pay the fanatics. That was really the glue for us, the fact that we light bill. The homework’s still gotta be done. And when loved anime so much. I’ve been into it since I was 9 or you walk out the house, you don’t dress like your situa10, and I’m 27 now. It’s a part of who I am. tion. You walk with dignity.” Most of your releases thus far have been produced by members of your collective, Black Light Entertainment. R.U.D.Y’s latest release is Till We Open. Watch for more What is that focused on? singles to drop around Valentine’s Day, and an EP proWhat is black light? And what does it do? It illuminates duced with IMAKEMADBEATS later in the year.

T

o infinity and beyonnnnnnnd!” screams the chorus, over a deadstop Memphis beat that evokes wide, empty streets in the night. It’s not quite trap, but sonically, it paints a similar landscape. The singer’s voice tacks disarmingly between rap swagger and a questioning catch in the throat. And while the lyrics are tough-minded snapshots of a life steeped in poverty and casual crime, they just as often pull back to infinity, to reflect on the complexities. “I have no fear, even if I’m feeling fear, even if I feel afraid, I must still move in a maze.” The track is “Infinity Stones,” by the up-and-coming R.U.D.Y (no period after the Y), who really began upping his releases in 2020, the downtime of the quarantine age. R.U.D.Y, aka Rudolph Swansey Jr., carved out a niche for himself in the netherworld between the graphic grit of trap and something closer to knowledge rap, a rare combination.

J a n u a r y 2 8 - Fe b r u a r y 3 , 2 0 2 1

Memphis Flyer: You did a whole series of two- or threetrack EPs last year called Rudy Tuesday’s, volumes 1-7. How did they come about? R.U.D.Y: Rudy Tuesday’s was just something that I felt

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LEE MARS

Gritty, philosophical rap from the quarantine age.


Memphis Flyer Coloring Book

TH EAT E R

Germantown Community Theatre

Order your book today benefiting local artists and journalism. $35. Ongoing.

Wit, a renowned professor of English spent years studying and teaching the sonnets of John Donne. Diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer she comes to reassess her life and her work. Through Jan. 31.

MEMPHISMAGAZINESTORE.COM.

Metal Museum Online

Peruse the art and craft of fine metalwork digitally. Featuring past gallery talks from previous exhibitions, interviews with artists, and demonstrations including “Beauty in the Boundary,” the museum’s exhibition of gates and railings. Free. Ongoing.

3037 FOREST HILL-IRENE (453-7447).

Hattiloo Theatre

From the Frontlines of COVID-19, online series that spotlights healthcare workers who share emotional insight of their critical work as they care for those who have been impacted by the virus. hattiloo.org. Free. Ongoing.

METAL MUSEUM, 374 METAL MUSEUM DR. (774-6380).

Hear the peace offerings made up of artists voices, instruments, ambient noises, and reverberations in a healing space featuring work by Hank Willis Thomas. Ongoing, 6 a.m.-6 p.m.

Kudzu Playhouse

Kudzu Playhouse Virtual, join Kudzu social media for donation-based classes, games, scholarship opportunities, and more. Download the app for more fun theater activities and information. Ongoing.

MEMPHIS PARK (FOURTH BLUFF), FRONT AND MADISON, MEMPHISRIVERPARKS.ORG.

Pinot’s Palette Virtual Paint

P.O. BOX 47 (888-429-7871).

The Orpheum

Register online for Zoom invite and an emailed supply list. Don’t forget the wine. Visit website for dates and times, $15. Ongoing.

Orpheum Virtual Engagement, join Orpheum staff, artists, and students for activities, interviews, and more on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Visit website for more information. Ongoing.

PINOTSPALETTE.COM.

Volunteer Opportunities: Costume and Scenery and Props Construction

203 S. MAIN (525-3000).

Playhouse on the Square

Registration for Winter Adult Theatre School, a fun and challenging experience, inperson or online, for both the beginner and the experienced performer. Visit website for more information and registration. $150. Through March 1. Playhouse on the Square at Home, a series of digital content through POTS website and social media platforms. View past performances, engage in quizzes, enjoy digital playwriting, and more. Free. Ongoing.

Theatre Memphis

Online on Stage, a Theatre Memphis Facebook group that serves as a clearinghouse for performers wanting to share their talents. Featuring storytime, readings, or performance art. Ongoing. 630 PERKINS EXT. (682-8323).

66 S. COOPER (726-4656).

PINK PALACE WWW.MEMPHISMUSEUMS.ORG

OT H E R A R T HAPPE N I NGS

3rd Space Online

Visit Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn for exciting activities and relief efforts from the local creative community. Ongoing. 3RDSPACEARTS.ORG.

“Say It Loud,” starring James Cook as John Lewis, at Hattiloo Theatre, Tuesday, February 2nd, at 6 p.m. Arrow Creative Online Store

All sales benefit local creatives. Shop locally made jewelry, candles, greeting cards, soaps, and more. Ongoing. ARROW CREATIVE, 2535 BROAD, ARROWCREATIVE.ORG.

Help construct costumes or assist with set construction needs. Visit website for more information. Mon.-Thur., Jan. 25-28, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. THEATRE MEMPHIS, 630 PERKINS EXT. (682-8323), THEATREMEMPHIS.ORG/EVENTS.

Watercolor Florals 101 Shelby Brown, studio artist at Arrow, has made a PDF of steps, techniques, and a 25-minute video tutorial to teach you how to make watercolor florals. $10-$50. Ongoing. ARROW CREATIVE, 2535 BROAD.

Art Museum at the University of Memphis (AMUM)

“Africa: Art of a Continent,” exhibition of African art from the Martha and Robert Fogelman collection. Ongoing. “IEAA Ancient Egyptian Collection,” exhibition of Egyptian antiquities ranging from 3800 B.C.E. to 700 C.E. from the Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology collection. Ongoing. 142 COMMUNICATION & FINE ARTS BUILDING (678-2224).

ArtsMemphis

The Peace Project

37 S. COOPER (502-3486).

O N G O I N G ART

“Unfolding: The Next Chapter in Memphis,” exhibition of visual art by local Memphis artists, curated by Kenneth Wayne Alexander. artsmemphis.org. Ongoing. 575 S. MENDENHALL (578-2787).

Buckman Arts Center at St. Mary’s School “From Folk to Fine,” exhibition of new works by Billy Moore featuring traditional art pieces incorporating new canvas abstracts. Through March 1. 60 N. PERKINS EXT. (537-1483).

Clough-Hanson Gallery

“Art 260: Curation in Context,” exhibition of work by student artists in partnership with seasoned artist curators. rhodes.edu. Ongoing. RHODES COLLEGE, 2000 N. PARKWAY (843-3000).

Crosstown Concourse

“Nightlife,” exhibition of an outdoor light installation by Lake Roberson Newton. Ongoing. 1350 CONCOURSE.

David Lusk Gallery

“In Conversation,” exhibition of woodcuts by modernist Ted Faiers. Through Feb. 6. 97 TILLMAN (767-3800).

continued on page 22

DINOSAURS IN MOTION New Exhibit Opens January 30, 2021 sponsored by

m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m

Jan. 28 - Feb. 3

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

CALENDAR of EVENTS:

Send the date, time, place, cost, info, phone number, a brief description, and photos — two weeks in advance — to calendar@memphisflyer.com or P.O. Box 1738, Memphis, TN 38101. DUE TO SPACE LIMITATIONS, ONGOING WEEKLY EVENTS WILL APPEAR IN THE FLYER’S ONLINE CALENDAR ONLY.

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C A L E N DA R: JA N UA RY 2 8 - F E B R UA RY 3 continued from page 21 The Dixon Gallery & Gardens

“Learning to be Astonished,” exhibition of impressionistic landscapes created during the COVID-19 pandemic by Jimpsie Ayres. Through April 4. “America’s Impressionism: Echoes of a Revolution,” exhibition of work by late 19th century to World War II American impressionism painters. Through May 9. 4339 PARK (761-5250).

Gallery 1091

“The Elements,” exhibition of work by the Tennessee Craft: Southwest Fine Craft Showcase. wkno.org. Free. Through Feb. 28. WKNO STUDIO, 7151 CHERRY FARMS (729-8722).

Jay Etkin Gallery

Jeff Scott, exhibition of multimedia works. Through Feb. 8. Permanent Collection: “The Flow Museum of Art & Culture,” ongoing. 942 COOPER (550-0064).

L Ross Gallery

“Listening to the Earth,” exhibition of works pairing the encaustic paintings of Jeni Stallings with porcelain sculptures by Laurel Lukaszewski. lrossgallery.com. Saturdays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and Wednesdays-Fridays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Through Feb. 6. 5040 SANDERLIN (767-2200).

J a n u a r y 2 8 - Fe b r u a r y 3 , 2 0 2 1

Memphis Brooks Museum of Art

“Arts of Global Africa,” exhibition of historic and contemporary works in a range of different media presenting an expansive vision of Africa’s artistry. Through June 21. “Power and Absence: Women in Europe,” exhibition explores the representation of women in Europe from around 1500 to 1680, known as the Renaissance and Early Baroque period. brooksmuseum.org. Ongoing. “Drawing Memory: Essence of Memphis,” exhibition of works inspired by nsibidi, a sacred means of communication among male secret societies in southeastern Nigeria by Victor Ekpuk. Ongoing. 1934 POPLAR (544-6209).

Memphis College of Art

Novel at Home: Sarah Langan with Grady Hendrix

“Intrepidly Yours,” exhibition of Spring 2020 BFA work by last graduating class. mca2020bfa.com. Through Feb. 28.

Author will launch a new novel, Good Neighbors, during a live online discussion with NYT-bestselling author Grady Hendrix. Free with registration. Tues., Feb. 2, 6 p.m.

1930 POPLAR (272-5100).

Memphis Heritage

“Newman to Now” Virtual Exhibit, exhibition of historic photographs taken by Don Newman between the 1940s and 60s and contemporary photographs of the same sites taken by photographer Gary Walpole to explore continuity and change in Memphis’ built environment. memphisheritage.org. Ongoing.

NOVEL, 387 PERKINS EXT. (922-5526), NOVELMEMPHIS.COM.

LECT U R E /S P EA K E R

“Entrepreneurial Insights”

Weekly podcast featuring accomplished business owners and entrepreneurs from Memphis sharing insights and stories of their journey to success. Every other Wednesday.

2282 MADISON (272-2727).

Metal Museum

“Tributaries: Ben Dory,” exhibition of works paying homage to traditional granulation, an ancient and intricate technique of fusing primarily gold spheres. Through April 3.

BLUFFCITYBUSINESS.COM.

Israel Speaker: Lieutenant Colonel Eyal Dror

374 METAL MUSEUM DR. (774-6380).

Mid-South Artist Gallery

Mid-South Artist Gallery Artists, exhibition of work by Becky McRae, Sandra Horton, Jean Wu, Jon Woodhams, Marina Wirtz, Michelle Lemaster, Pat Turner, and others. Ongoing. 2945 SHELBY (409-8705).

Tops Gallery

“An Angle to the Place I Live In,” exhibition of sculptural paintings by Ezra Tessler that contend with both the physical and ontological limits of the medium. Through April 10.

Virtual & Online

“Tried and True,” exhibition of previously owned works from longtime collectors in the Memphis area. View works by Burton Callicott, Nancy Cheairs, Ted Faiers, Veda Reed, Mary Sims, and Dorothy Sturm. binderprojects.com. Ongoing. BINDERPROJECTS.COM.

400 S. FRONT.

OPERA

Tops Gallery: Madison Avenue Park

“Opera Speed-Runs” Series by Jake Stamatis

“An Angle to the Place I Live In,” exhibition of sculptural paintings by Ezra Tessler that contend with both the physical and ontological limits of the medium. Through April 10. 151 MADISON (340-0134).

Various locations

“We Deliver for Memphis,” exhibition of work honoring essential workers on digital billboards along I-55 near Downtown Memphis, West I-55, I-55 at Hwy 61 (Third Street), and 240 at Airways. uacmem.org. Ongoing. SEE WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION.

Tales of Hoffman on YouTube by Handorf Company artist. Free. Ongoing. OPERA MEMPHIS, 6745 WOLF RIVER (257-3100).

Wednesday Opera Time

Join Opera Memphis every Wednesday on Facebook for an assortment of live events including “Opera for Animals,” Bingo Opera, and more. Free. Wednesdays, 7 p.m. OPERA MEMPHIS, 6745 WOLF RIVER (257-3100).

C O M E DY

Chuckles Comedy Club

Pierre, $20-$35. Fri.-Sun., Jan.. 29-31, 6:45 p.m. and 8:45 p.m.

Be Mine Boutique at Found Studio, Tuesdays through Sundays, through February 13th

1700 DEXTER.

The Comedy Junt

Hilarious and Handsome, allmale comedy showcase where the comedians are not only funny but also good looking. $20-$30. Fri., Jan. 29, 8 p.m. What She Said, all-female comedy showcase. $20-$30. Sat., Jan. 30, 7:30 p.m.

PO ET RY /S PO K E N WO R D

The Poetry Society of Tennessee

Lieutenant Colonel Eyal Dror will share reflections from his 25-year IDF career and recount his interactions with Syrians and the hopeful moments they shared. Free. Sun., Jan. 31, 11 a.m. MEMPHIS JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER, 6560 POPLAR (761-0810), JCCMEMPHIS.ORG.

Midtown Connects: Mid-South Coliseum

Porsche Stevens will talk with Marvin Stockwell about the past and future of the MidSouth Coliseum. Free. Mon., Feb. 1, 2 p.m. MIDTOWNMEMPHIS.ORG.

Tennessee-Resident Challenge, invites anyone residing in the state of Tennessee to submit an original and unpublished poem related to Janet Qually’s artwork. $25 to the winner and publication in Tennessee Voices. poetrytennessee.org. $1. Through March 1.

Real Talk with the Rabbis

282 N. CLEVELAND (278-TONE).

P.O. BOX 770688 (264-7532).

Cat Owners Association Improv Show

B O O KS I G N I N G S

MEMPHIS JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER, 6560 POPLAR (761-0810), JCCMEMPHIS.ORG.

4330 AMERICAN WAY (249-4052).

Hi Tone

Live Weekly Comedy with John Miller, open micstyle. Free. Tuesdays, 8-10 p.m.

B&G Improv host the international improv group, Cat Owners Association, for their monthly live-stream show using your suggestions to inspire the scenes, stories, and silliness. bgimprov.com. Free. Fri., Jan. 29, 8 p.m. BIGIMPROV.COM.

Online Event with Cicely Tyson

Author, in conversation with Whoopi Goldberg, discusses Just As I Am, followed by a live Q&A. Ticket includes a hardcover copy of book. $32-$38. Thurs., Jan. 28, 5 p.m. NOVEL, 387 PERKINS EXT. (9225526), NOVELMEMPHIS.COM.

Each month, a local rabbi will help us find meaning in our chaotic world in a conversation about current issues through a Jewish lens. Free. First Tuesday of every month, noon Through July 6.

Virtual Black History Speech Series: “Say It Loud”

Series opens with James Cook as Congressman John Lewis with an intro by Commissioner Van Turner. Free. Tues., Feb. 2, 6 p.m. HATTILOO THEATRE, 37 S. COOPER (502-3486), HATTILOO.ORG.

Tiger Blue Tiger Blue

The Flyer’s THE FLYER’S MEMPHIS BLOG

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MeMphis www.memphisflyer.com/blogs/TigerBlue/ Tiger Blog

www.memphisflyer.com/blogs/TigerBlue/


C A L E N DA R: JA N UA RY 2 8 - F E B R UA RY 3

Walking tour of the region’s only urban oldgrowth forest. Last Sunday of every month, 10 a.m. OVERTON PARK, OFF POPLAR (276-1387).

E X POS/ SALES

Be Mine Boutique

Featuring handmade local artisan items and vintage gifts for your sweetheart or yourself. Sundays, 1-4 p.m., and Tuesdays-Saturdays, 12-5 p.m. Through Feb. 13. FOUND STUDIO, 497 N. HOLLYWOOD (652-0848).

Teach 901 Virtual Job Fair

Connect with over 30 school networks who are hiring for the 2021-22 school year. Mon.-Fri., Jan. 25-29. JOBS.TEACH901.COM.

Sat., Jan. 30, 7:30 p.m., and Mon., Feb. 1, 7:30 p.m. FEDEXFORUM, 191 BEALE.

Memphis Healthy Quiz

Memphis magazine, along with the YMCA, developed some questions to run in the month of January. Take the quiz, learn more about your health, and win prizes. Free. Through Jan. 31. MEMPHISMAGAZINE.COM.

Memphis Tigers vs. UCF Knights Wed., Feb. 3, 7 p.m.

FEDEXFORUM, 191 BEALE.

Virtual Training & Group Fitness

YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South offers workouts for anyone to try at home. Visit website to join. Free. Ongoing. YMCAMEMPHIS.ORG.

Wolf River Group Run F EST IVALS

Clarksdale Film & Music Festival

A unique hybrid of pop-up indoor theaters, a pop-up drive-in theater, and other socially distanced film and music venues. Fri.-Sun., Jan. 29-31. CLARKSDALE, MISSISSIPPI, CLARKSDALEFILMFESTIVAL.COM.

S P O RTS / F IT N ES S

Beginners Yoga Series

Join Amy Hutcheson for this 6-week beginners yoga series and learn proper alignment, breathwork, and safe movement. In-studio or virtual options are available. $75 - $120. Wed., Feb. 3, 6:45-7:45 p.m. DOWNTOWN YOGA, 515 S. MAIN (690-6806), DOWNTOWNYOGAMEMPHIS.COM.

Horseback Riding Lessons

Private lessons available for ages 6-adult, beginner to intermediate. English, Western, and pleasure/trail. $50 per lesson. Ongoing. PONY DREAM FARMS RIDING SCHOOL, 11241 HOLLY SPRINGS, HERNANDO, MS (827-2429).

Kroc Center Online Fitness Classes

Classes will be offered free and online. From mediation and yoga to boot camp and kickboxing, find the right class for you. Free. Ongoing. THE SALVATION ARMY KROC CENTER, 800 E. PARKWAY S. (729-8007).

Laughter Yoga

Join Baptist Cancer Center on Zoom for a unique combination of breathing, fluid movements, and voluntary laughing to make you happier and healthier. Free. First Monday of every month, 6 p.m. Through Dec. 31. BAPTISTCANCERCENTER.COM.

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Indiana Pacers Tues., Feb. 2, 6 p.m.

FEDEXFORUM, 191 BEALE.

All paces welcome. Run 3-5 miles along the Germantown Greenway or the Wolf River Trails. Free. Wednesdays, 6 p.m. Through Feb. 10. BREAKAWAY RUNNING GERMANTOWN, 1223 S. GERMANTOWN (7548254), BREAKAWAYMEMPHIS.COM.

M E ETI NGS

BLM Memphis January Chapter Meeting Free. Sun., Jan. 31, 3 p.m. FORM.JOTFORM.COM.

Churches from the Presbytery of the MidSouth: Sunday Worship Livestream Combined livestream worship. Visit website for more information and livestream link. Sun., 11 a.m. IDLEWILDCHURCH.ORG.

Free Tax Prep

United Way of the Mid-South will prepare and file taxes for low-to-moderate income families. Walk-up or drivethrough locations available. Visit website for locations. Free. Through March 15. UNITED WAY OF THE MID-SOUTH, 1005 TILLMAN (433-4300), UWMIDSOUTH.ORG.

Virtual-T

Weekly Zoom gathering for anyone 18+ who identifies as a member of the trans or GNC community. For login information, email ahauptman@ outmemphis.org. Tuesdays, 6 p.m. OUTMEMPHIS.ORG.

S P EC I A L EVE N TS

Death to Selfies Headshot Day

Includes five professional retouched digital headshots. $50. Sat., Jan. 30, noon. THE COMEDY JUNT, 4330 AMERICAN WAY (249-4052).

“Dinosaurs in Motion”

Interactive STEAM experience featuring 14 recycled metal dinosaur sculptures with exposed mechanics inspired by fossils. $15. Jan. 30-May 2. MEMPHIS PINK PALACE MUSEUM, 3050 CENTRAL (636-2362).

Lunchtime Meditations with Amy Balentine

Explore a variety of meditation practices designed to help you find balance and reduce stress. Join live or enjoy past meditations online. Fridays, noon. DIXON.ORG.

FOOD & DR I N K E V E N TS

Muddy’s Fun House: Super Fantastic At Home Bake-a-long and Variety Show Visit blog for a new episode each week hosted by Kat. Thursdays. MUDDY’S COFFEE & BAKE SHOP, 585 S. COOPER (683-8844), MUDDYSBAKESHOP.COM.

Science of Beer Pick 6

Pick up a card from participating breweries or download from the museum website. Visit breweries and get your card stamped to enjoy free museum admission between January 16 and February 28. Through Feb. 28. MEMPHIS PINK PALACE MUSEUM, 3050 CENTRAL (636-2362), MEMPHISMUSEUMS.ORG.

Whiskey Tasting with Celtic Crossing

Join owner DJ Naylor for the 21-Year-Old Tasting Series at the pub or virtually to venture through a lineup of three whiskeys. $50. Thurs., Jan. 28, 7-8:30 p.m. CELTIC CROSSING, 903 S. COOPER (274-5151), CELTICCROSSINGMEMPHIS.COM.

FI LM

Indie Memphis Movie Club

Weekly virtual screening opportunities, plus online Q&As on Tuesday evenings between programmers and special guests. Visit website for more information and schedule. Ongoing. INDIEMEMPHIS.ORG.

Morris and Mollye Fogelman International Jewish Film Festival

Features nine films ranging from feature films, to documentaries, to comedy. Some films include Q&A or panel discussion. $12 members, $15 nonmembers. Through March 3.

MEMPHIS JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER, 6560 POPLAR (761-0810), JCCMEMPHIS.ORG/FILM.

Sundance Film Festival

Featuring an outstanding lineup of feature premieres, screenings. $20 members, $25 nonmembers. Jan. 28-Feb. 3.

Girls’ nights IN are gonna take COVID-19 OUT. We don’t get enough laughs these days. But, wherever they are, our friends are as close as a click. Vaccines are coming. But until enough of us are vaccinated, we still need to slow the spread. We can watch our distance, and not let COVID-19 keep us apart. Learn more about vaccines and slowing the spread at cdc.gov/coronavirus

MALCO SUMMER 4 DRIVE-IN, 5310 SUMMER (681-2020), INDIEMEMPHIS.ORG.

Woman in Motion: Nichele Nichols, Star Trek

Also screening at Collierville Grill & MXT. Tues., Feb. 2, 7 p.m. MALCO PARADISO CINEMA, 584 S. MENDENHALL (682-1754).

Brought to you by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m

Old Forest Hike

Memphis Grizzlies vs. San Antonio Spurs

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

TO U R S

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BOOKS By Jesse Davis

Psycho Street

J a n u a r y 2 8 - Fe b r u a r y 3 , 2 0 2 1

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his week’s column faces me with a happy predicament — how to write critically about a book I unequivocally loved? Some novels are puzzle boxes, devices of impossible intricacy meant to delight the intellect. Some take a different form — a raw, beating heart, oozing pathos and humanity. Sarah Langan’s Good Neighbors (Simon & Schuster) is both things, and more. It wrecked me, left me in tears twice, and if the past three days are any indication, Good Neighbors will live rent-free in my mind for a long time to come. When the novel Sarah opens, the Wilde famLangan ily has already worn out its welcome on suburban Maple Street. It isn’t anything they did, exactly. Sure, they could stand to take better care of their lawn, but it’s really about who they are. Arlo Wilde, charting-musicianturned-office-supplysalesperson, with monster-movie-themed tattoos covering his track marks, likes to sit on the front porch and burn through packs of Parliaments. Gertie freezes up in social situations, leaving a big, fake smile on her face, a remnant from her beauty pageant days. She wears cheap jewelry, and her shirts are cut too low. Larry, their youngest, is going through a phase — he’s bright, but socially, he’s developing slowly. And poor Julia, pimply and pubescent, had to move to a new town at life’s most awkward stage, and now finds herself trying to fit in with a group of kids who’ve known each other since before they could speak. As a family, the Wildes are damaged but brave, ever attempting to rise above hidden scars far more grisly than Arlo’s track marks. When the novel begins, with a Fourth of July block party, Maple Street’s de facto leader Rhea Schroeder is on the outs with Gertie, ostensibly her best friend. In fact, both the Wilde women are feuding with the Schroeders, it seems, as there’s friction between Julia and Rhea’s

daughter, Shelly. That drama is upstaged, though, when a sinkhole opens up in the park that borders the neighborhood. Ominous, hinting at hidden dangers, it spews candy-apple-scented fumes, a clear indication that something deadly lurks, hidden, under Maple Street. Somehow, about a month after the novel’s beginning, the resentment bubbling under the surface of Maple Street overflows and leads to a series of murders. Good Neighbors makes no bones about that — each page takes the reader inexorably closer to catastrophe. Langan could teach a master class in suspense. She peppers the plot with interstitial chapters taken from “real-life” newspaper clippings, articles, and Hollywood Babylonstyle books about the infamous Maple Street Murders. As a result, every plot point feels tragically inevitable. “There’s this thing that happens to people who’ve grown up with violence. It changes their hardwiring,” Langan writes. “They don’t react to threats like regular civilians. They do extremes. They’re too docile over small things but they go apeshit over the big stuff. In other words, they’re prone to violence.” Langan lays out her pieces with a watchmaker’s precision, setting up the circumstances that lead to the Maple Street Murders. What’s terrifying is how common those circumstances turn out to be. In Good Neighbors, they’re newish neighbors who don’t quite fit in, a sinkhole, an oppressive and recordbreaking heatwave, a tanked economy (glimpsed in the margins), a worsening environmental crisis, and a family with secrets. It’s generational trauma and PTSD and a community, a microcosm of America, struggling under the weight of these intersectional crises. In other words, it could happen here, too. Novel at Home: Sarah Langan with Grady Hendrix, authors in conversation in live online launch party for Good Neighbors, Tuesday, February 2nd, at 6 p.m. Event is free with registration.

DAVID ZAUGH, ZAUGH PHOTOGRAPHY

Sarah Langan’s Good Neighbors is a masterpiece.


FOOD By Michael Donahue

Salt/Soy: Soon

The eatery will serve Asian-inspired food — and fun.

When Salt/Soy opens on Broad, the menu will include vegetarian and pork ramen bowls. The restaurant’s general manager, Brad McCarley, who Scott worked with at the old City Block Salumeria, is “curing all the meat in-house. We’re fermenting our own miso, our own kimchi. We’ll let that inspire the direction we go in. He’s got a ‘fried chicken and dumpling’ dumpling. It’s incredible.” There are talks of doing a dim sum brunch on Sundays, but offering it between noon and 6 p.m. instead of earlier in the day. But Salt/Soy isn’t going to limit itself to serving one type of food, Scott says. “We’re not pigeonholing ourselves to only doing Japanese. It will be Asian-inspired; pulling from all cultures and melding them together.” And, he says, “I’m also looking for some Pacific inspiration there. We might

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CAMILLE JONES

McKenzie Nelson, Nick Scott, Alex Moseley, and Brad McCarley

throw in some tiki stuff. We may do some riffs on classic tiki drinks. We’ve talked about that. The overall menu — the food menu, the sushi menu, and the cocktail menu — is going to be really fun, exciting, different.” Salt/Soy began as a pop-up in 2018 at Puck Food Hall. The idea was “sushi and seafood with ceviches and different types of crudos,” Scott says. And “market-style fish and seafood by the pound. “The next stage we started looking for brick and mortar. We looked at a lot of places. We knew Lucky Cat [Ramen] went out of business, unfortunately. And there was a lot of talk about it within the industry, a lot of people who wanted to get in there. I had some real estate contacts who lead me in the right direction, and it kind of fell in my lap. “It was a no-brainer,” he adds. “They had everything built out and ready to go. We changed a few things, but not a lot. That happened in October.” The concept for the new location is “less of a market concept and more of an izakaya sushi concept,” Scott says. “A Japanese drinking establishment, with Japanese tapas, serving small plates. People come in and have drinks and cocktails.” Downstairs will be “a little more upper-scale dining,” he says. “We’ll have the patio, which will evolve over spring and summer — a massive patio. And then upstairs will be more of a late-night, rock-androll situation. Kind of a little more gritty than downstairs. We’ve talked about getting a Bluetooth record player up there and playing only vinyl.” Bar manager Alex Moseley came over from Alchemy. McKenzie Nelson, who was at Lucky Cat and High Noon, also will be behind the bar. Both bartenders are “very creative,” Scott says. The restaurant has been given an artful makeover. They repainted the interiors and brought in an artist, David Johnson, to survey the space to determine how he could bring his own creative vision into the mix. Scott says Johnson outfitted some of the downstairs spaces with paintings that work with the restaurant’s new color scheme. “His artwork is black and white with pops of color — and [the pieces] will be for sale.” The restaurant’s name already adorns the front door. Scott can’t wait for that door to open to the public. “It’s going to be a fun place.”

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

S

alt/Soy is slated to open in February in the Broad Avenue Arts District. The goal is to get the restaurant at 2583 Broad “up and going before Valentine’s Day so we can do omakase, a Japanese tasting menu,” says owner/sushi chef Nick Scott. “Usually, the omakase chef comes up with a tasting menu on the fly. This is something we’d set; three or four courses.” Salt/Soy was hosting pop-up omakases Thursdays through Fridays at Alchemy, which Scott also owns. The pop-up events were “mainly a preview for what’s to come,” he says. They were “a huge success. The lines couldn’t get through the door.”

25


FILM By Chris McCoy

Sundance in Memphis

Former Memphis filmmaker Kentucker Audley returns home with Strawberry Mansion.

J a n u a r y 2 8 - Fe b r u a r y 3 , 2 0 2 1

I

t’s been 30 years since the U.S. Film Festival in Park City, Utah, changed its name to the Sundance Film Festival. It has since become America’s most prestigious festival, launching the careers of people such as Steven Soderbergh and Paul Thomas Anderson. In 2005, Memphis went to Sundance, when Craig Brewer’s Hustle & Flow won the Audience Award, and Ira Sachs’ Forty Shades of Blue took home the Grand Jury Prize. This weekend, Sundance will come to Memphis for the first time. The pandemic has forced film festivals to adapt to a world where traveling long distances and congregating indoors with strangers is a bad idea. Last fall, the Indie Memphis Film Festival held a hybrid online and in-person festival that featured socially distanced screenings at the Malco Summer Drive-In. Sundance adopted a similar hybrid model, but on a much larger scale, by partnering with regional film festivals all over the country. Sundance and Indie Memphis will host nightly screenings at the drive-in from Thursday, January 28th, to Tuesday, February 2nd. Memphis’ opening night film comes from a hometown filmmaker. Kentucker Audley’s cinematic education began in the early 2000s at Memphis’ Digital Media Co-Op. “Walking into that place out of the blue, knowing nothing about movies or anybody involved in moviemaking, changed my life very simply and very profoundly,” says Audley. “For the next six years, I was there every day. It was just a really vital, exciting place to be. It opened

my eyes to so many different things about moviemaking — and culturally. It was just sort of a worldview that I came into. Most of that was based around Morgan Jon Fox, who was probably my most profound influence coming of age in Memphis.” After winning a string of awards at Indie Memphis for films such as the autobiographical Open Five, Audley’s brutally honest, no-frills filmmaking gained recognition as part of the mumblecore movement, alongside actors and directors such as Greta Gerwig and Josephine Decker. His film Open Five 2, which won Best Hometowner Feature at Indie Memphis in 2012, was partially about his decision to move to Brooklyn. “I had to win back my ex-girlfriend, who is now my wife,” he says. In Brooklyn, Audley started his own online

Runnin’ down a dream — in Strawberry Mansion, director Kentucker Audley (above) plays a dream auditor on a fantastical journey of discovery. indie film platform, NoBudge, and the ironically understated “MOVIES” merchandise brand, while pursuing an acting career. In 2017, he co-directed Sylvio — a comedy about an urbane gorilla who becomes a talk show host — with Albert Birney. They teamed up again for Strawberry Mansion. “Our story takes place in a world where the government records and taxes dreams,” Audley says. Audley plays a dream auditor who is assigned to examine the dreams of an 80-year-old woman (Penny Fuller) who is behind on her dream taxes. “He goes into her dreams and sees that they’re wildly different than his dreams or anything he’s ever seen,” says Audley. “He stumbles upon this secret that unlocks the potential for him to become a higher form of himself.” Audley says Birney first sent him a draft of the script almost 10 years ago. “I didn’t know him at the time, and the script was sort of beyond my understanding. I was in Memphis making these hyperpersonal, naturalistic mumblecore movies, and this was very fantastical and surreal — playful and childlike in its innocence.” They continued to talk about

We Saw You.

with MICHAEL DONAHUE 26

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FILM By Chris McCoy

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satellite screens. Strawberry Mansion will debut simultaneously in Key West, New Orleans, and Tulsa, but it is Memphis that means the most to Audley. “When I heard Memphis was a part of the satellite screenings, I was completely thrilled. I just couldn’t imagine a better scenario for the first screening of this movie. It’s just sort of like coming full circle — especially screening at the Summer Drive-In! It’s like a dream to have my movie screen there. It takes years to make a movie, and most of it is agonizing and so stressful. Then when something like this happens, it makes it all worth it.” Tickets for Strawberry Mansion and other Sundance films Jan. 28-Feb. 2 at the Malco Summer Drive-In are available at the Indie Memphis website.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

the idea as they made Sylvio. “We collaborated for many years trying to figure out how we can make this thing feel like both of us. It’s influenced by a lot of the movies from the 1980s we saw growing up.” Audley says they wanted Strawberry Mansion to feel like “finding a random VHS and popping it in. You don’t know what world you’re being invited into. And then, you’re not sure exactly what you watched, but it was exciting and strange.” Premiering your film at Sundance is always a big deal, even if this year it comes without the snowy crush of celebrities in the ski mecca of Park City. All the films in the festival’s lineup will screen online, with different lineups available at all the

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TH E LAST WO R D By Michael J. LaRosa

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Donald Trump’s flight to the border — six days after the Capitol insurrection — focused the nation on the foundational lie (and Trump’s unfinished border wall was enduring failure) of his administration: the border wall. While built on a lie, and stands as extolling the virtues of the mostly imaginary wall in south Texas, a monument to a cruel and divisive an actual wall, or fence, was under emergency construction in moment in U.S. history. Washington, D.C., to protect the nation’s capital from the president and his insurrectionists. Some segments of Trump’s “big, beautiful wall” went up during his administration — maybe as much as 450 miles. He had promised to build 2,000 miles of wall and told us that Mexico would pay for it. He convinced many in his party that immigrants from the global south were terrorists, yet we found out, sadly, that the terrorists are from right here in the USA. He challenged his party to re-script the entire history of the United States: Trump’s USA was a dark, dystopian place where immigrants were dangerous criminals. Protecting America meant denouncing immigrants and separating ourselves from them both physically and psychologically. Trump, during his four-year rule, wrecked the asylum laws — laws and norms through which people with a “well-founded fear of persecution” in their home nations could seek asylum in the USA. But Trump forced an agreement with Mexico whereby, essentially, Central American asylum seekers to the USA now must “wait” in Mexico before being offered a hearing with a U.S. judge. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, all such court appearances have been canceled — stranding thousands of Central Americans in Mexico. That country, reeling from political and social violence, economic decline, and COVID-19, is not necessarily a hospitable place for Central American asylum seekers. There was a time when the USA was universally admired for its asylum laws and policies: Our current “Wait in Mexico Indefinitely” asylum policy is hardly helping our sinking standing on the world stage. We educators, after virtually every crisis, call for “more” education. Looking at and listening to that angry mob on January 6th made me wonder what we’ve done wrong in the education community. Something we must do, immediately? Stop teaching patriotism and start teaching truth. My students — good kids at Rhodes College here in Midtown — are generally amazed to learn about the role of the USA in toppling legitimate governments in Latin America: The list is long, and U.S. actions in Brazil and Chile helped usher in cruel, violent military dictatorships in those places, in 1964 and 1973 respectfully. Many newscasters on January 6th, so astounded at what was occurring in real time, went to the “banana republic” comparison. They didn’t name specific nations, but they were probably thinking about Guatemala. Guatemala is Guatemala because we helped make it that way. We pushed forward the overthrow of a legitimate, democratically elected government there in 1954, and the nation has never quite been the same. Our political and military leadership was involved, including President Dwight Eisenhower. So too were religious figures such as Cardinal Francis Spellman of New York. Cuba, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, and Honduras (some of the other “B” Republics) have all suffered under the influence of the USA. Teaching “American exceptionalism” is another part of the problem: Like every powerful nation or society of the past, other more powerful nations will eclipse us, and we ought to have a clear, sound, historically truthful understanding of how (and why) this happens. It happens for many reasons, but a unifying characteristic of every great society’s stall involves leadership that becomes disconnected from reality. Think of France in the late 18th century or Russia in the early 20th century. Think of Trump now. I suspect we’ll survive the current crisis, wholly manufactured in the USA. Politicians should tell the truth all the time, but they don’t. Educators must tell the truth always because what happened on January 6th suggests an existential failure, and we’ve all rushed in to blame the … Capitol Police. And of course President Trump. But we’re all to blame. The horror show of the Capitol riot represents a failure of our education system, a failure to understand who we are as a society, and a basic failure of imagination. And a failure to speak clear truth to power. It all started with an absurd lie about a wall that never got built — a wall that now surrounds our capital city and just might encroach and suffocate our nation, unless we help take it down. With the truth. Michael J. LaRosa is a professor at Rhodes College.

THE LAST WORD

MATI PARTS | DREAMSTIME.COM

Trump’s wall didn’t keep people out, but it was a symbol of a dark era, now thankfully past.

31


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Memphis Flyer - 1/28/2021  

20 < 30 - The Class of 2021 Good Neighbors Salt/Soy Sundance in Memphis

Memphis Flyer - 1/28/2021  

20 < 30 - The Class of 2021 Good Neighbors Salt/Soy Sundance in Memphis