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JERRY D. SWIFT Advertising Director Emeritus KELLI DEWITT, CHIP GOOGE Senior Account Executives MICHELLE MUSOLF Account Executive DESHAUNE MCGHEE Classified Advertising Manager ROBBIE FRENCH Warehouse and Delivery Manager JANICE GRISSOM ELLISON, KAREN MILAM, DON MYNATT, TAMMY NASH, RANDY ROTZ, LEWIS TAYLOR, WILLIAM WIDEMAN Distribution THE MEMPHIS FLYER is published weekly by Contemporary Media, Inc., P.O. Box 1738, Memphis, TN 38101 Phone: (901) 521-9000 Fax: (901) 521-0129 memphisflyer.com CONTEMPORARY MEDIA, INC. ANNA TRAVERSE FOGLE Chief Executive Officer ASHLEY HAEGER Controller JEFFREY GOLDBERG Chief Revenue Officer BRUCE VANWYNGARDEN Editorial Director MARGIE NEAL Production Operations Director KRISTIN PAWLOWSKI Digital Services Director LYNN SPARAGOWSKI Circulation and Accounting Manager KALENA MATTHEWS Marketing Coordinator

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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, 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 1673RD ISSUE 03.18.21 The rain poured down the downspout near my bedroom window Sunday night. It’s a sound like low soft thunder, and it continued for hours, until it grew light through the window on the second morning of the spring time-change. Then came the sun, ambitious and bright, illuminating the green sprouts in the yard, the wet newspaper, the damp streets, an upstart azalea by the door, budding pink. Over the weekend, we’d gone into the garden and clipped away the brown stems and leaves and withered branches of last summer’s flowers, finding the fresh growth emerging from beneath, the annual return of the perennials, the Earth renewing itself as it always does. There were casualties. February’s deep freeze took out our venerable oregano plant. The senior rosemary bush could yet make it but appears to be on life support and may have to go to assisted living. The thyme, gnarled and ancient, is brown and crispy at its tips, but when I cut an interior branch, I find green. Thyme marches on. The Monday paper is full of sad basketball news: The Tigers miss the dance again; the Grizzlies blow a big lead. I don’t care much. Do you? Maybe it’s just that sports seem sort of pointless and irrelevant — the shortened seasons, the missed games, the empty arenas, the sideline masks. The magic isn’t there. The Big Dance? Meh. More like a junior high sock-hop. (Do they still have sock-hops? Don’t answer.) There are signs of new life everywhere. Each day brings news of more friends and family members who’ve gotten the COVID vaccine. As an ancient and gnarled human who’s now gotten both shots, I can attest that it is a relief that’s hard to put into words after a year of constraints and fears and relative isolation. A springtime of the soul. On Sunday afternoon, the patios of OLGACHIRKOVA | DREAMSTIME.COM Midtown were beginning to look like patios again. Slider Inn, the restaurants of CooperYoung, and the outdoor dining spaces in Overton Square were filled. Railgarten was stuffed to overflowing with kids, parents, volleyballers, cornholers (sorry), even a band. Outdoors feels safer to a lot of people these days, and that’s a good thing. (Just remember to respect your server and put on a mask when they approach.) Nationally, the news is also getting better. President Biden stated that he thinks there will be enough vaccine available that all adult Americans will be able to get a shot by May 1st. That’s six weeks, if you’re counting. The catch, of course, is that many adult Americans will choose not to get a shot, most of them because they’re suffering from another illness — a viral strain of ignorance and fear spread by absurd internet conspiracy theories and the willful dispensing of misinformation by right-wing media. Getting a COVID vaccination is all part of the “plandemic” — a genetically engineered bioweapon from China. It’s a scheme by Bill Gates to make billions off the sale of the vaccine. Dr. Fauci is an evil genius who created the virus as a bioweapon to reduce the population and undermine Donald Trump. The vaccine is a plan to put microchips into our bodies so we can be tracked anywhere. I didn’t make these up. The AP recently reported on 19 conspiracy theories that Americans (and others around the world) are using as a rationale to avoid getting the vaccine. They are brought to you by the same people who told you masks were worthless and COVID is no worse than the flu. Meanwhile, ICUs in Paris and elsewhere are filling back up with victims of COVID variants that have worse symptoms and poorer mortality outcomes than the origiN E WS & O P I N I O N nal virus. The good news is that it appears THE FLY-BY - 4 the vaccine protects you, even against the NY TIMES CROSSWORD - 6 new stuff. That’s why the goal should be to POLITICS - 8 get every person who wants a shot inocuSPORTS - 10 lated as soon as possible. Those who refuse COVER STORY “INSIDE COMING 2 AMERICA” will either get lucky as a result of the rest of BY CHRIS MCCOY - 12 us taking responsibility or they will get the WE RECOMMEND - 14 disease and learn the hard way. MUSIC - 16 The lessons of spring are obvious. CALENDAR - 18 Th ere are perennials and there are anFOOD - 24 nuals — fresh green shoots and dead SPIRITS - 25 brown branches. Parsley, sage, rosemary, FILM - 26 and thyme. C LAS S I F I E D S - 28 Bruce VanWyngarden LAST WORD - 31 brucev@memphisflyer.com

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THE

fly-by

MEMernet WAK AN DA FO R EVE R Memphis author Sheree Renée Thomas posted photos of herself, Troy L. Wiggins (pictured), and Danian Darrell Jerry signing copies of the just-released Black Panther: Tales of Wakanda to Instagram. Z AM U N DA FO R EVE R Memphis businesses celebrated the release of the Craig Brewer-directed Coming 2 America. Some flew the Zamundan flag, while others posed with Brewer.

March 18-24, 2021

POSTED TO INSTAGRAM BY @GLOBALCAFEINMEMPHIS

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S P R EAD LOVE A woman with a big heart was spotted at Sam Cooper and East Parkway last week. Christopher Champlain wrote on Facebook, “I think it’s pretty awesome that she woke up today and decided to sit at one of the busiest intersections and spread love.”

POSTED TO FACEBOOK BY CHRISTOPHER CHAMPLAIN

{

Questions, Answers + Attitude Edited by Toby Sells

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

Rudd Resigns, Forrest Leaves, & Hall Arrives C ITY NAM ES M P D D I R ECTO R F I NALI STS The city of Memphis has announced seven finalists for the position of Memphis Police Department director to replace current MPD Director Mike Rallings. The city said the announcement of the new director would be made in April, after an interview process is completed. The finalists are: Joel Fitzgerald, Sharonda Hampton, Samuel Hines, Anne Kirkpatrick, Michael Shearin, Joseph P. Sullivan, and Perry A. Tarrant. R U D D TO R ES I G N The University of Memphis has announced that President M. David Rudd, the 12th president of the U of M, will be leaving his position in May 2022. He plans to transition to faculty in 2023 for research and teaching, after a year’s sabbatical abroad.

Joel Fitzgerand (left); M. David Rudd

FO R R EST B UST TO LEAVE CAP ITO L Climaxing a years-long controversy, the Tennessee Historical Commission voted Tuesday, March 9th, to remove a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest from the state Capitol. Meeting virtually, the members of the commission resolved on the long-deliberated and fateful move by a 25-to-1 vote. The Forrest bust, implanted in a Capitol alcove in 1978 at the behest of the late state Senator Doug Henry (D-Nashville), had been the subject of frequent demands for removal on account of the Confederate cavalry leader’s background as a slave trader, alleged involvement with the massacre of Black Union troops at Fort Pillow, and his founding of a Ku Klux Klan corps after the Civil War. HALL NAM E D I NTE R I M D I R ECTO R O F H EALTH D E PARTM E NT The void left by the sudden resignation recently of former

Shelby County Health director Alisa Haushalter was filled, at least temporarily. Mayor Lee Harris announced on March 9th that LaSonya Harris Hall has been appointed interim director of the Shelby County Health Department. Hall currently serves as deputy chief administrative officer Dr. LaSonya Harris Hall for Shelby County government. She has previously served in various leadership capacities with the city of Memphis, Leadership Memphis, and Shelby County Schools. Hall has also served in a managerial role with the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. She is expected to serve up to 90 days as Shelby County Health Department director, until a permanent director is named, and will meanwhile help lead the search for a permanent director. continued on page 7


WE COULD USE YOUR HELP.

BRUCE VANWYNGARDEN

Editor

justice, and speaking truth to power without fear. I know the Flyer makes a difference in this city. People care about this little paper. I know because I hear it all the time, in person and via emails and texts. And I know because so many readers have become “Frequent Flyers,” supporting us with their dollars each month, asking only that we keep doing what we’re doing.

Our advertisers aren’t big box stores with Sunday inserts; they’re local merchants — providing what we eat, drink, wear, drive, where we go for live music. Our advertisers are local, just like us. They believe in us. So do our readers. And I couldn’t be prouder to play a part in creating this paper, and helping it stay around for the next 20 years.

FUEL THE FREE PRESS M E M P H I S F LY E R . C O M / S U P P O R T

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I

’m proud that the Flyer is the only news medium in town that still offers a free print product and free website. In a city like Memphis, where poverty is endemic, access to a free source of local news is vital. And I’m proud that the Flyer is — and always has been — the city’s only progressive media voice, standing up for equality and

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

This is my 20th year as the editor of the Flyer. I’d planned to retire as full-time editor in March and focus on writing a column and feature stories. Then things changed and I’ve stayed around to help the paper get through the COVID crisis. I did it because I’m proud of what the Flyer has achieved and what it does — and I want it to survive. America’s news media have taken huge hits in recent years and it’s important that we not let this pandemic deliver a knockout blow to local media.

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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 Saturday, September 22, 2018

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Like twice-told 29 30 31 32 33 34 tales 35 36 37 2 Make psyched 43 3 “You know who 38 39 40 44 I am” 41 42 43 4 Symbols of 46 wave functions 50 44 45 46 47 48 49 5 Regular guy 6 Lee with three 50 51 52 Oscar-garnering 51 films 53 54 55 56 57 52 7 President 59 between James 58 53 and Grover 60 61 8 Lead female role in “Singin’ 55 in the Rain” PUZZLE BY MARK DIEHL 9 Gets down, in a 26 Add cornstarch 49 National Mall 40 Mariah Carey 58 way to liners holiday song 10 Made a meal of that was 28 ___ of the earth a #1 Adult 50 Airline in 11 In-pool fitness TO PREVIOUS PUZZLE Contemporary the early 1950s’ program 29 Defensive ring hit Operation Ali S C A B T W I T S 12 Rejuvenating Baba T U R E L S A G A N treatment at a 30 Selfless gesture 42 Out of sync spa E T I R E K N U R L 52 Minor deviation 31 One use for 45 Irked constantly E T S A U C E A A H 13 Vegetable aisle arsenic freshener S E C T I D U N N O 46 Curling venue 54 Derek Jeter’s 32 Former news H R O O M S S O T S 14 Give an retired number 47 Exchanged agent unexpected O R O C K E D I T some crosses hand 56 Top of Scotland T T A P O I S O N S 33 Gulf Coast flier 20 Rigby of 48 Figures in a S E L F B O N O songdom classic logic 37 Concern for TV’s 57 Bit of dance R E A C H I N problem Aunt Bee club equipment E R T H A T A P E 23 “My Kind of Town” lyricist Z I S F O R Z E B R A Online subscriptions: Today’s puzzle and more than 7,000 past 24 AlmostI O R A L E X A M S puzzles, nytimes.com/crosswords ($39.95 a year). sacrificed son N B E T A D E C A Y in the Bible Read about and comment on each puzzle: nytimes.com/wordplay. E S E E N D I N A 25 Summer 41

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people had been given two doses for full vaccination, and 126,825 had been given a single dose. N I K E AN N O U N C E S I NVESTM E NTS Nike announced several large contributions that it will be making to local organizations. The grants focus on programs that bolster education, economic empowerment, and social justice as part of its Black Community Commitment. A partnership with the National Urban League has seen Nike pledge grants to organizations in seven cities, to the tune of $2.75 million. Four institutions in Memphis were selected as recipients: Rise Foundation, Memphis Urban League, Bridges, and Stax Music Academy. M O R E TATE R S! Last month, Memphians were surprised to find bags of instant mashed potatoes in their mailboxes. According to a press release from the Idahoan company, more than 1.2 million servings of Idahoan Mashed Potatoes arrived at Memphis households through the month of February. “By choosing Idahoan more often than any other city in America, Memphians have helped Idahoan claim the honor of being America’s favorite mashed potatoes,” the release stated. Last week, the company offered up even more potatoes, this time as a direct donation to the Mid-South Food Bank. “The Food Bank received the first shipment of 668 cases of Idahoan Baby Reds Mashed Potatoes on Friday, March 5th,” said community relations manager Haley Scruggs. “These cases provide 171,008 servings and will be available for our partner agencies to distribute through their food pantries. In all, Idahoan is providing 2,553 cases, which equals to about 258,600 servings.”

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ARTS M E M P H I S AN N O U N C ES G R ANTS ArtsMemphis announced its second round of fiscal year 2021 operating support grants — for a total of $850,000 — benefiting 48 local arts organizations. Funding evaluation criteria includes: grantee narrative reports surrounding organizations’ COVID-19 responses and commitments to advancing racial equity and inclusion; financials from 2019 and 2020 coupled with 2021 projections; and staffing data, including total artist engagement. As the Mid-South’s primary arts funder, ArtsMemphis invested $2.8 million in 71 arts groups and 137 artists in 2020. During the COVID pandemic, the

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NEWS & OPINION

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Al Gore vs. N. B. Forrest Former veep gives rousing anti-pipeline speech; KKK leader’s bust gets reprieve. Momentum continues to gather against the construction of the proposed Byhalia Connection oil pipeline through several low-income African-American neighborhoods and across the footprint of the Memphis aquifer field. Former Vice President Al Gore, author of award-winning volumes on climate-change issues and one of the most prominent environmentalists of our time, was the featured speaker of a spirited and well-attended anti-pipeline rally staged in South Memphis Sunday, March 14th, by the ad hoc Memphis Community Against the Pipeline (MCAP) group. Encouraging grassroots opposition to the pipeline, which is pending under the auspices of the Valero Energy Corporation and Plains All American Pipeline, Gore called the proposed construction “reckless, racist, [and a] rip-off.” He noted that several actions to halt or retard development of the pipeline, which has approval by the Corps of Engineers, is imminent in the Memphis City Council, the Shelby County Commission, and the General Assembly. One strategy being discussed on the county commission, which at the moment holds in escrow several tax-defaulted properties along the proposed pipeline route, would be to require an independent study on the environmental feasibility of the pipeline before those properties could be released. For the time being, there is a moratorium on sale of the properties, but a vote on their status could occur as early as this week in committee or next week in the commission’s regular public meeting. • Dilating for a spell on the theme of racism during his remarks on Sunday, Gore noted, “The founder of the Ku Klux Klan [Nathan Bedford Forrest] is still honored to this very day with a bust in the Capitol building in Nashville, Tennessee. They ought to take that down!” At the moment, Gore’s remark may have seemed a mite anti-climactic, inasmuch as the Tennessee Historical Commission had, earlier in the week, reversed its prior positions and voted overwhelmingly to remove the bust, transporting it to

a section on military leaders in the nearby state museum. But Gore was on target. Though the commission’s action was supported by Governor Bill Lee, among others, and was in the wake of a vote by the Capitol Commission to remove the bust, there are still legal snags to the removal process. For one thing, state law provides for a 120-day waiting period to allow for potential legal challenges to the action. For another, as noted in the Tennessee Journal, Lt. Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) and Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) are calling the Historical Commission’s vote “unlawful” because, they say, the process omitted a statutory requirement for the state Building Commission to concur with the Capitol Commission’s previous vote for removal.

JACKSON BAKER

Gore on the stump Moreover, there are other rear-guard actions pending against the Historical Commission’s decision. State Representative John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge) and state Senator Joey Hensley (R-Hohenwald) have drafted a bill to reconstitute the Historical Commission’s membership. An amendment by Ragan would require a commission action such as the removal vote, which was technically a waiver, to be approved by majority votes in both chambers of the Tennessee General Assembly. Ragan’s amendment would further proclaim that monuments currently ensconced on the second floor of the Capitol (like the Forrest bust) “must be preserved and protected for all time,” with any attempt to remove them becoming an impeachable offense.


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

No Dance The Tigers’ NCAA tournament drought extends to seven years. What’s ahead?

I

March 18-24, 2021

t wasn’t supposed to go like this. When Penny Hardaway met a throng of boosters and media at the brand-new Laurie-Walton Center on March 20, 2018, he did not mention a four-year plan. There was no three-year runway toward contention for championships, be they conference or, ahem, national. “People are telling me to be patient,” said Hardaway three years ago. “But I’m not built that way. I’m not wired that way. I’ll go for it all or none at all.” These are wacky times, and that goes well beyond the world of college basketball. But the history books will note that Hardaway — a certifiable hardwood legend in these parts — is the first Tiger coach to end three consecutive seasons without an NCAA tournament appearance since Wayne Yates, way back in the late 1970s (1977-79 to be exact). Sure, a pandemic is in the mix. There was no NCAA tournament in 2020. (Hardaway’s second team would not have made the Big Dance, not without winning the American Athletic Conference tournament, which was also canceled.) But three years without March Madness in Memphis, Tennessee? On top of the four Madness-free years that preceded Hardaway’s arrival? It’s the longest drought for this proud program since a 10-year dry spell that ended with the Final Four run of 1973. Ouch. The Tigers played the Houston Cougars — the numbertwo seed in the NCAA tournament’s Midwest quadrant — to the buzzer twice in the span of six days this month. The notion that a tournament bracket can be filled with 68 better teams is ludicrous. But it’s never about what your team did when your “bubble” status bursts. It’s what your team didn’t do. The Tigers didn’t beat a “Quad 1” team this season, a team from the upper tier of overall rankings as determined by strength of schedule and location of games. This is problematic for a team that doesn’t play in a Power 5 league in a season the AAC didn’t exactly stuff the Top-25 rankings. Memphis had only two Power-5 opponents on its schedule. The Ole Miss game was canceled due to positive COVID results in the Rebel program, and the Tigers lost to Auburn. The Tigers didn’t get to play eight games — eight games — because of the pandemic. Four were canceled because of positive tests in their opponent’s camp and four were canceled because of positive tests in the Memphis program (including games against both AAC tournament finalists, home games with Cincinnati and Houston). Five or six more wins would have added some shine to the Tigers’ 16-8 record. Based on what we saw in Texas (twice), a win over the Cougars at FedExForum would not be a stretch. A second win over Wichita State (Memphis beat the AAC regular-season champs by 20 points in January) would have captured the right kind of attention. Consider Boogie Ellis the personification of the Tigers’ near-miss this season. The sophomore guard tied the first Houston game with a three-pointer inside the game’s final 10 seconds, only to watch the Cougars’ Tramon Mark heave 10 in a bank shot from 30 feet as time expired. Last Saturday, Ellis scored 27 points, his long-distance marksmanship fuel-

U OF M ATHLETICS / JOE MURPHY

U OF M ATHLETICS / JOE MURPHY

All-conference swingman Landers Nolley

AAC Freshman of the Year, Moussa Cisse

ing the Tigers’ second-half comeback from 12 points down. But Ellis missed six of 10 free throws, vanishing points that could have made the difference in another game decided in the final minute of play. “It’s hard to accept,” said a disconsolate Hardaway after the AAC semifinal loss. “Having the game won, knowing what’s at stake, and not being able to pull it through. We had a chance to knock them out a few times, and just couldn’t.” Hardaway acknowledged an uneven start to his team’s season, one that didn’t include transfer DeAndre Williams for the first seven games (the Tigers went 4-3 without him). “We started off very slow,” he said. “Just couldn’t get our footing. And it took us a long time to come together as a team. When we got our rhythm, we had the COVID pause, but we came out of that playing really well. We were locked and loaded for this tournament. It’s heartbreaking.” Heartbreak inevitably turns to hope over the course of a long offseason. And there’s reason for optimism in the Tiger program. The team’s entire nine-man rotation could return for the 2021-22 campaign. As you’re sketching lineups, though, keep in mind that the transfer portal has brought an element of free agency to college basketball. Remember Tyler Harris? Lance Thomas? Where would this year’s team have been without Williams (the team’s most impactful player, from Evansville) or Landers Nolley (an all-conference honoree, from Virginia Tech)? Subtraction and addition are larger equations now, particularly in a sport where merely one or two solutions (at the right positions) can transform a team. From Hardaway’s heralded 2019 recruiting class, Boogie Ellis and Lester Quinones have established themselves as 30-minute guards on game nights. D.J. Jeffries didn’t take the same strides forward as a sophomore, but could be a game-changer if he can score consistently. Malcolm Dandridge improved both his body and game in his second year at the college level, and Damion Baugh is a capable ball-handler off the bench if Hardaway chooses to attack

with a smaller unit. With Moussa Cisse manning the middle — the AAC’s Freshman of the Year — the Tigers have a defensive eraser and, at times, an offensive threat to feed the ball. Assuming Alex Lomax fully recovers from the ankle injury that sidelined him this month, next year’s Tigers will have senior leadership in the form of a player Hardaway has groomed since middle school. To all the veterans you can add the country’s 6th-ranked recruiting class, led by a pair of four-star prospects: Jordan Nesbitt (a scoring wing from St. Louis, already with the program) and Josh Minott (a small forward from Boca Raton, Florida, who will push Jeffries for playing time). Among Hardaway’s concerns as he enters his fourth year at the helm, depth of talent isn’t one. Can as many as 11 strong players mesh as a unit, though, and sacrifice (minutes played) enough to get this program back where so many feel it belongs? Should you have concerns about the Tiger program — seven years — don’t let the coach’s motivation be one. Shortly after he was hired in 2018, Hardaway shared some perspective on how very much he, personally, wants to win a championship — the national kind — with his alma mater. This is a man, remember, who did not win a title as a player at the high school, college, or pro level. He does, though, own an Olympic gold medal (won in 1996). “That gold medal was something we were supposed to do,” said Hardaway in 2018. “We had the best players in the world playing for one team. We’ve [now] got to do what’s not expected. They’re not expecting us to win a national championship here.” The best advice from parents far and wide: No one should challenge you more than you challenge yourself. Every member of the Memphis Tigers’ roster and coaching staff is coming to grips with that philosophy by one measure or another. Go ahead and win the NIT. It wouldn’t hurt. Then count the days till November and another chance for a proud program to fully regain its footing on the national stage.


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COVER STORY BY CHRIS MCCOY Arsenio Hall (left) and Eddie Murphy

INSIDE Coming 2 America CRAIG BREWER TALKS ABOUT DIRECTING EDDIE MURPHY AND LEADING HOLLYWOOD’S PANDEMIC COMEBACK.

T

March 18-24, 2021

hanks to COVID-19, 2020 was Hollywood’s year without hits. With American movie theaters shuttered to prevent the spread of the deadly disease, studios kept their big guns under wraps, while simultaneously trying to figure out how the new paradigm of streaming services fit into their business models. “What I think is most interesting is how the system of Hollywood that’s dependent on numbers started to be in question,” says director Craig Brewer. “It was shaky. With no box office, how could you judge a movie in this environment? By what numbers? You saw kind of a breakdown of everything that had been built around that.” But that hit drought ended on March 5th. If your TV was on that weekend, odds are you were watching Brewer’s new film, Coming 2 America. According to Screen Engine, the independent firm that tracks streaming viewership, the Eddie Murphy comedy scored the largest audience of any release since the pandemic upended the movie business the previous March, handily beating both Borat Subsequent Moviefilm’s 12 October release and Wonder Woman 1984’s Christmas audience. “The premiere of

projected,” Brewer says. “I’ve never been in a situation in my career where I’ve met or exceeded the numbers. It’s always been a victory that is ultimately more rewarding, like awards that come later, or a movie becomes beloved over time on television, like Hustle & Flow. People embraced it over a decade or so. I can now say, ‘Well, I’ve got this on the books. I’ve at least achieved that thing that a lot of people in Hollywood think is ultra important.’ And not that it isn’t; it’s just not something that you’re thinking about while you’re making a movie. You just want it to be as good as it can be.”

Black StarWars Coming 2 America has far exceeded any of our wildest expectations,” said Jennifer Salke, chief of Amazon Studios, who distributed the film. Brewer broke into Hollywood with 2005’s Hustle & Flow, the now-classic hip-hop film starring Terrance Howard and Taraji P. Henson, which was produced and filmed in Memphis. The film earned Howard a Best Actor Academy Award nomination and a

PHOTO COURTESY JODI BREWER

Craig Brewer stunning Best Original Song win for Three 6 Mafia’s “It’s Hard out Here for a Pimp.” But what most people don’t recall about the film is its disappointing opening weekend. “I’ve never been successful in the way that Hollywood gauges your success: These are the numbers, and this is what we

Brewer first worked with Eddie Murphy on the comedian’s 2019 comeback, Dolemite Is My Name. In the 1980s, when Brewer was a teenager dreaming of making his own films, Murphy was conquering the world. “It’s great to be young and watch a star explode,” Brewer says.” You feel like you were part of it. And I think for our generation, we were there watching him explode on Saturday Night Live. Then he became a movie star and transcended all of it. People around the world were like, ‘America! Eddie Murphy!’ He was like Elvis.”


Shari Headley and Eddie Murphy (above); Wesley Snipes and Murphy go toe-to-toe (left)

‘Is that really something to laugh at?’ “What I find interesting about the conversation that is happening around Coming 2 America is that it’s the same thing that we were talking about in the early drafts. It was packed with nods to the original movie. I mean, they were coming out of the woodwork. I think we went to the Zamunda McDowell’s opening, and Sam Jackson robbed the place again. There’s plenty of criticism that all our movie is, is nostalgia, which, by the way, is what we wanted to accomplish. We always felt like we wanted it to be a return to your old friends. But there is also something rather interesting, a lesson. It’s like ‘Don’t you do anything with my original movie! And don’t you dare explore any of your woke themes in my Coming to America!’ But Akeem was looking for substance. He wanted a woman who had a mind of her own.”

Victory Laps

Shari Headley, who played Akeem’s love interest, Lisa McDowell, in the original film, was among the actors who returned for the sequel. She gets both a funny sequence with SNL vet Leslie Jones, and an emotional scene with Murphy as his loving wife and mother of three daughters. She’s not the only veteran Black actor who gets a victory lap. John Amos, famous first as the father from the seminal 1970s sitcom Good Times, returns as Lisa’s father, who shines when he gives Akeem a much-needed pep talk. “That was a special day working with him because the whole crew was just in awe of his whole legacy. He comes off so perfect in

that moment.” Brewer first worked with Wesley Snipes on Dolemite, where he played Murphy’s foil, director D’urville Martin. “I remember saying, ‘We need somebody that can go toeto-toe with Eddie Murphy.’ When I pitched that to Eddie, he was like, ‘I don’t think there’s anybody except Wesley.’ I was like, like, ‘Oh my God, can you imagine?’” In Coming 2 America, Snipes again plays Murphy’s rival — this time, General Izzi, leader of Zamunda’s neighboring country Nexdoria — and damn near steals the show. “He’s actually an inspiration to a lot of people. They go, ‘Man, I just like his attitude now.’ It’s at odds with what some people would predict how Wesley would be. And now that I’ve made two films with him, I’m just like, please, please, Hollywood. Are you seeing what everybody’s saying now? Can somebody back the money truck up to Wesley Snipes right now? Because we would like him back. “I think when you’re directing movies, the big joy you get is adding actors and actresses that you have always dreamed of working with, and being able to somehow work within their craft,” says Brewer. “But among all those people is one of those actors. … I mean, there’s us, and then there’s James Earl Jones, right? When you asked me, what was it like to meet him and work with him? It was like I was sitting down with the end credits of Field of Dreams.”

The Quest

To maintain secrecy, Coming 2 America filmed under the code name The Quest, which was Murphy’s first title for the original film. “We finished principal photography right before the end of 2019,” Brewer says. “We did think that we were going to probably try to get a week in New York after we did an edit. This is common with a lot

of big pictures. So there were some plans to explore that, but the more 2020 began to reveal itself to us, the less likely that became. … The pandemic hit, and then we really had to learn in real time what we could do with our editorial team, how we could work remotely.” Brewer directed the edit via video conference, first alone in his Los Angeles apartment, then in his Memphis office in Crosstown Concourse. “The technology did not rob me of my usual process, where I can be in the room with an editor and share that energy and immediacy. But I have to be honest, the remote process also taught me that there’s another way: Be clear with what you want, and give the editor or artists their own space to contribute, to do their own interpretation, without you having to be joined at the hip.” Eventually, the reshoots happened on the Paramount lot during the height of the pandemic. “It was interesting, because we had to learn how to do it. There’s a whole new color system, and you’re constantly being tested. But the good news is that, I’d have a safety meeting in the morning, and I’m looking around at these crews who’ve been working on sets for decades. There’s no one better to take on some challenges than a film crew. They’re going to figure it out.” Coming 2 America was originally scheduled for theatrical release in August 2020, but as the pandemic dragged on, the date was pushed back to December. Brewer says he saw the writing on the wall before Paramount announced the sale of the film to Amazon. “I was early in my opinion that we’re probably going to go to a streamer.” The reported budget of Coming 2 America was about $60 million. When Amazon paid $125 million for the rights to the film, it seemed like a decent profit for Paramount, who stood to lose an entire year of theatrical income. In retrospect, it seems like a bargain for Jeff Bezos — and a triumph for Amazon’s marketing team. “I was all for us being part of the entertainment during this time. By not pushing it to another year, I felt like we were, for a lack of a better term, like a service. Let’s get this movie out to everybody right now. We want to see some old friends. We want to enjoy ourselves. I felt really special, actually, after awhile. The whole cast did. Look, we were disappointed. Of course, we would want it to be in movie theaters, and we want that communal experience to happen where there wasn’t a pandemic and thousands of lives being lost. But here’s where we are now. We hope everybody just stays at home and watches Coming 2 America and has a great time with their family and friends. It’s a feel-good movie, and people need to feel good right now. It felt really bad for a long 13 time; now we need to feel good.” COVER STORY m e m p h i s f l y e r. c o m

Dolemite Is My Name garnered universal praise and Oscar buzz, even though Murphy was not ultimately nominated, despite many thinking he should have been nominated for Best Actor. “They even joked about it in the Oscars’ opening monologue that year.” Most importantly, the filming of Dolemite was a good experience for everyone involved. “[Murphy] was proud of his work, which he should be,” Brewer says. “He did a fantastic job. I’m really proud of Dolemite Is My Name. We realized that there was a good pairing there, a good team. So when he asked me about Coming 2 America, it seemed like this would be a great way to stay in the Eddie Murphy world. Eddie had been working on this idea for a couple of years, and I think now he was galvanized to move forward because he felt really confident with the way audiences were responding to Dolemite. And he was ready to tell this story.” Following up a beloved film like Coming to America is an enterprise fraught with expectations. The 1988 film starred Murphy as Prince Akeem Joffer, the scion of Zamunda, a fictional country in Africa. Unwilling to acquiesce to a dynastic marriage arranged by his father, King Jaffe (James Earl Jones), he flees to America to find love — and what better place for a king in waiting to find a wife than Queens, New York? Murphy’s co-star was Arsenio Hall as Semmi, the prince’s long-suffering best friend. The comic duo also played a series of memorable bit parts in the film, such as a pair of wisecracking old men in a Queens barbershop, and Murphy’s unforgettable turn as soul singer Randy Watson, frontman for Sexual Chocolate, who invented the mic drop. Like Hustle & Flow, the film had become part of the culture through decades of reruns on cable TV. “What the studio and Eddie would bring up all the time is, ‘Don’t underestimate how many people have watched Coming to America,’” Brewer says. “We nicknamed it ‘Black Star Wars’ because it comes with the same kind of complications as doing anything in the Star Wars universe.” Murphy and Brewer took a script by the original writers Barry W. Blaustein and David Sheffield and reworked it with Black-ish writer Kenya Barris. Getting the tone right proved to be difficult. Murphy had made a name for himself with raunchy comedy, but some of what was funny and transgressive in 1988 wouldn’t fly today. “We’re in a different place with comedy,” says Brewer. “Yes, you can just be as irreverent as you want to be, but that irreverence can’t equal offending people’s essence. As funny as [Akeem’s betrothed princess] Mani was jumping on one leg and barking like a dog, today, it’s gonna be received differently by 17-year-old women who are looking at a very authoritarian, patriarchal, misogynistic society, and saying,


steppin’ out (& stayin’ in)

We Recommend: Culture, News + Reviews

Lodge Love

By Julie Ray

This event exists because of donors’ generosity to January’s Indiegogo campaign raising awareness of Black Lodge’s plight. Since that generosity will help the independent video rental store and music and events venue survive until the end of lockdown, they’d like to give back. Memphians can enjoy 48 hours of movies, music, comics, art, and more, compliments of Black Lodge. “Venues all over the country have struggled to stay afloat during the pandemic, and Black Lodge is no different,” Black Lodge states on social media. “As our live band shows, movie screenings, and club nights have been on hold, it’s been a challenge to stay open. Thank you, so much, to each Long live the Lodge! and every one of you. Now, we want to give something back.” Featured bands will include Jack Oblivian, The Sheiks, and Louise Page live-streamed from Black Lodge, along with many other pre-recorded performances. Short films will include creations by Craig Brewer, Mike McCarthy, John Pickle, Laura Jean Hocking, Chad Allen Barton, and others. Josh McLane, Billups Allen, and other comics will make you laugh. Drag artists Moth Moth Moth and Hunny West will perform. Mixologist Morgan McKinney will host a special drink mixology tutorial. You’ll need one before watching the killer comedy Freaky, starring Vince Vaughn and directed by Christopher Landon. The telethon will wrap up with a double-feature of two of the worst movies ever made, E.T. rip-off Mac & Me and 1990’s Troll 2 (which is about vegetarian goblins — not trolls). You will be able to tip the bands and continue to donate to the Black Lodge fund. We hope that you do.

JAY ADKINS

DANIEL CONSTANTE | DREAMSTIME.COM

THE BLACK LODGE TELETHON, ONLINE FROM VIDEO.BLACKLODGEMEMPHIS.COM, FRIDAY, MAR. 19, 6 P.M., THROUGH SUNDAY, MAR. 21, 3 A.M., FREE.

March 18-24, 2021

Melissa Cookston (above) conducts a barbecue-cooking class. Food, p. 24

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Legislating by phone — or Zoom — might not be a great idea. The Last Word, p. 31

VARIOUS DAYS & TIMES March 18th - 24th “Bold Women Change History: Women of Elmwood, Part Two” Online from elmwoodcemetery.org, Thursday, Mar. 18, 6 p.m., $10 Online talk celebrating the marvelous history that Memphis women made, presented by Kim Bearden via Zoom.

Metamorphosis Virtual Job Fair Online from OUTMemphis, outmemphis.org, Fri., Mar. 19, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For LGBTQ+ 18- to 25-year-old unemployed, via Zoom, to help offset the increase in LGBTQ+ unemployment rates as a result of the pandemic.

Nat Turner in Jerusalem Online at playhouseonthesquare.org, Fri., Mar. 19, continues through Mar. 28, $25 A man faces execution for leading a slave rebellion in Virginia in August 1831. Attorney Thomas Gray seeks to journal the account.

Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Weekend Graceland, 3717 Elvis Presley, Fri.-Sat., Mar. 19-20, 7 p.m., $35-$125 Celebrate the King with the best Elvis tribute artists in the world. Past winners will perform live on stage in two exciting concert experiences.

Spring Botanicals Paint Night with Leana Fischer Online from Arrow Creative, arrowcreative.org, Thurs., Mar. 18, 78:30 p.m., $25 Digital at-home art-making with a watercolor class led by artist Leana Fischer, owner of May We Fly.

Chalkfest Online from Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, brooksmuseum.org, Thurs.-Sat., Mar. 18-20, free Grab your chalk and hit the sidewalks, then share your work on social media for fun prizes. #chalkfest2021 @brooksmuseum.

Mark Curry Chuckles Comedy Club, 1700 Dexter, Fri.-Sun., Mar. 19-21, 6:45 p.m. and 8:45 p.m., $20-$35 Curry practiced his act on customers while working at a drugstore. His wild sense of humor has since taken him all over the world.

Fast & the Furriest 5K and Walk Humane Society, 935 Farm, memphishumane.org, Sat., Mar. 20, 9 a.m., and virtually Mar. 21-27, $30 Virtual or in-person fundraising options available. Registration includes race and T-shirt, benefiting Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County.


PHOTO COURTESY OF RHODES COLLEGE

Dr. Bettina L. Love

Love Speaks

By Julie Ray

Award-winning author and professor Dr. Bettina L. Love will discuss the struggles and possibilities of committing to an abolitionist goal of educational freedom, as opposed to reform, moving beyond what she calls the educational survival complex. That’s a heavy but necessary conversation from the Communities in Coversation lecture series hosted by Rhodes College and co-sponsored by Facing History and Ourselves and Rhodes’ Division of Student Life, and Educational Studies, Africana Studies. Love is the perfect person to highlight during Women’s History Month. The educator and orator teaches at the University of Georgia and has been instrumental in establishing abolitionist teaching. A founder of the Abolitionist Teaching Network, Love is passionate about developing and supporting teachers and parents to fight injustice within their schools and communities. In a recent TED Talk, Love said, “Students who identify with hip-hop culture embody the characteristics of grit, social and emotional intelligence, and improvisation — all of which are proven to be predictors of academic success.” She argues that, “Ignoring students’ culture in the classroom is all but an oversight; it’s discrimination and injustice that plays out in our culture in very dangerous ways.” Love discusses these topics and more, followed by a Q&A.

What She Said 7 The Comedy Junt, 4330 American Way, Sat., Mar. 20, 8 p.m., $20 Join this all-female comedy show live featuring headliner Kenya Faith. “Without Religion: Secular Humanism in American Religious History” Online from Memphis Freethought Alliance, memphisfreethought.com, Sun., Mar. 21, 2-3 p.m., free with registration This talk will discuss the place of the secular humanist movement in the historical contexts of religions in the United States.

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Hollywood Feed University: Nothing But the Tooth Online from Hollywood Feed, hollywoodfeed.com, Tues., Mar. 23, various times, free with registration Dr. Amy Cooper discusses basic anatomy of a dog’s teeth and ways to spot potential mouth conditions.

Conservation Conversations: Women in Environmental Science Online from Harpeth Conservancy, harpethconservancy.org, Wed., Mar. 24, 6 p.m., free with registration Hear from women in the environmental field as they share their expertise and experiences.

“There and Gone: Working for the Dead” Online at elmwoodcemetery.org, Tues., Mar. 23, 7:30 p.m., $10 Presentation given by Kim Bearden about the history of cemeteries, cremation, catacombs, and more, via Zoom.

Oxford Virtual Film Festival Various locations in Oxford, MS, oxfordfilmfest.com, in-person starts Mar. 24, virtual begins Apr. 1, $40-$175 A lineup of 158 films in an online/ in-person hybrid. VIP passes include panels, workshops, and more.

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The Steve Ross-directed A Ballet Season takes a close look at Ballet Memphis. Film, p. 26

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

“WE GON’ BE ALRIGHT, BUT THAT AIN’T ALRIGHT: ABOLITIONIST TEACHING AND THE PURSUIT OF EDUCATIONAL FREEDOM,” ONLINE FROM RHODES COLLEGE, RHODES.EDU, WEDNESDAY, MAR. 24, 6 P.M., FREE WITH REGISTRATION.

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MUSIC By Alex Greene

Frog Squad David Collins evokes a city built on nature with Memphis.

March 18-24, 2021

D

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avid Collins, onetime jazz major at the Uniabout things like weeds growing through the sidewalk. versity of Memphis, now the principal force How Memphis is built on nature, but is in a constant behind avant-garde jazz group Frog Squad, battle with it as well.” is telling me about the players on his new The titles tell the story: “Cooper-Young After it Rains,” album, Memphis, self-released on digital platforms last “The Moon Over Shelby Forest,” “Petunia in the Sideweek. “It’s just a quintet,” he tells me. Sure, a quintet — featuring Collins, Paul Taylor on bass, and Haley Ivey PHOTONICAL on flute. If that sounds like alternative David Collins math, you’ll have to cut him a break: He’s a drummer. (Ba-dum bump). Actually, Collins’ description is perfectly accurate. He’s speaking as an arranger, not a bean-counter, and the scores he wrote out for the album are indeed for five parts. Ironically enough, those don’t include drums. This album, aside from being rich with cascading harmonies and contrasting timbres, is one of those rare beasts, a work that’s completely free of percussion. And yet there are rhythms and counter-rhythms galore, as the acoustic and electric guitars and vibraphone (all played by Collins using overdubs) blend with the fretless bass and flute in an intriguing weave. “When you don’t have a drummer, you hear the rhythm differently,” he tells me. “Actually, the acoustic guitar is kinda like the drums. I recorded that first. It sounds like it’s floating the whole time.” This is doubly so because of the flute’s prominence in the mix. The various instruwalk.” If there are battles here, they are expressed more ments alternate between unison and contrasting lines of as subtle tensions or abrupt turns to more aggressive melody and harmony, creating a unique milieu that is passages, evoking folk rock like Pentangle, if that group such a world unto itself, it could almost be the score for a had no vocals. Yet, unlike most rock, they are mere passvideo game — a very calming video game — perfect for ing colors, moving quickly on to other tonal shades more the onset of spring. common in jazz or classical music. The world Collins evokes is Memphis itself, grounded Though structured by the composer, there is also a in a very specific vision he has of the city. “This album is suggestion of ambient music here, albeit a type devoid of

synthesizers. Instead, more expansive spaces are suggested by processing the organic sounds. “That’s kind of the idea with nature growing through the sidewalk,” he says. “Like acoustic sounds being processed. I had a lot of fun running some of the flute, vibraphone, bass, and guitar parts back through pedals, or resampling them in Ableton. Then Patrick Moss, an electronic music producer, mixed it all. He did a great job. I gave him a bunch of resampled stuff and he had to figure out what to do with it.” Fans of Frog Squad, who were steadily playing more shows in the years leading up to the pandemic, will be surprised. Though that group has both feet planted firmly in avant-garde jazz and may never play Beale Street, Collins says they are crowd-pleasers in their own way. “Frog Squad is like punk rock and psychedelic jazz. And it works well in grungy bar scenes, which you might not expect from a lot of jazz.” Though Collins does score horn parts for the group, this album takes his scoring to new levels. His interest in melodic and harmonic instruments goes back to his family. “In sixth grade I picked up the drums. But my grandpa, Aubrey Morris, was a piano player who played with Eddie Bond and Reggie Young, back in the day. I grew up really close with my grandparents, and he was always playing. I’d play drums with him on piano, and he’d show me stuff on it. So I learned both at the same time, kind of.” You can almost hear those family jam sessions echoed in the more propulsive vibraphone parts of Memphis. But ultimately, the greatest influences on the album were non-human. “I work Downtown, so I’m looking at the Mississippi River every day, and that thing is the biggest inspiration in my life. This huge, powerful force of nature, with gigantic bridges over it. It’s great.”

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CALENDAR of EVENTS:

March 18 - 24

T H EAT E R

Hattiloo Theatre

The Night Watcher, the story of a woman who chooses not to have children, only to be pulled into the real-life struggles of kids of all ages, races, and backgrounds. $150 for four seats. Fridays, 7:30 p.m., and Saturdays, Sundays, 2 p.m. Through April 4. 37 S. COOPER (502-3486).

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

The Orpheum

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. 203 S. MAIN (525-3000).

Playhouse on the Square

Nat Turner in Jerusalem, a man faces execution at sunrise for leading a slave rebellion in Southampton, Virginia, August of 1831. Attorney Thomas Gray, seeks to journal the account. playhouseonthesquare.org. Fridays-Sundays. Through March 28. 66 S. COOPER (726-4656).

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.

March 18-24, 2021

630 PERKINS EXT. (682-8323).

OT H E R AR T HAP P E N I N G S

3rd Space Online

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

Chalkfest

Grab your chalk and hit the sidewalks then share your work on social media for fun prizes. #chalkfest2021 @brooksmuseum Through March 20. MEMPHIS BROOKS MUSEUM OF ART, 1934 POPLAR (544-6209), BROOKSMUSEUM.ORG.

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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.

Memphis Flyer Coloring Book

Memphis Brooks Museum of Art

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

“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. “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. “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.

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

Monthly Art Giveaway

The gallery is giving a work of art to a lucky visitor each month. Drop off your business card or 3x5 card with contact information for a chance to win. Through June 30.

1934 POPLAR (544-6209).

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. Ongoing. memphisheritage.org.

MID-SOUTH ARTIST GALLERY, 2945 SHELBY (409-8705).

The Peace Project

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

Spring Botanicals Paint Night with Leana Fischer Digital evening of at-home art-making with a watercolor class. $25. Thurs., March 18, 7-8:30 p.m. ARROW CREATIVE, 2535 BROAD.

ONGOI NG ART

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).

Beverly and Sam Ross Gallery at Christian Brothers University

“Rome: A Study of the Changing America,” exhibition of works that fuse anime and digital art with a traditional style to create new visions often drawn from the artist’s dreams by Kenneth Wayne Alexander II. View online or by appoint-

2282 MADISON (272-2727).

Metal Museum

ment. cbu.edu/gallery. Through April 16. 650 EAST PARKWAY SOUTH (321-3243).

Binder Projects

“Bright Lites,” exhibition of work under $1K by Jim Buchman, Roger Allan Cleaves, Nancy Cheairs, Phil Donohue, Taylor Loftin, Whitney Lorenze, and others. binderprojects.com. Through April 30. 74 FLICKER (634-1698).

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. (604-3420) Ongoing. 1350 CONCOURSE.

David Lusk Gallery

“ALPHABETANICAL,” exhibition of works utilizing only the stamp by John Salvest, known for his use of everyday objects. Through March 20. “Wonderstruck,” exhibition of new paintings by Beth Edwards. March 23-May 1. 97 TILLMAN (767-3800).

“Rome: A Study of the Changing America” at the Beverly and Sam Ross Gallery at Christian Brothers University 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).

EACC Fine Arts Center Gallery

The Watercolors of Richard Stephens, through March 31. EAST ARKANSAS COMMUNITY COLLEGE, 1700 NEWCASTLE, FORREST CITY, AR.

Eclectic Eye

“Queens,” exhibition of photo-realistic portraits of empowered women by Becca Hand. The series draws inspiration from traditional playing card iconography. Viewed by appointment. Through March 31. 242 S. COOPER (276-3937).

Fratelli’s

“Beauty in Isolation: Perspectives from a Father and Son,” exhibition of watercolors and pen-and-ink work by father and son artists David and Jared Rawlinson. Through April 30. 750 CHERRY (766-9900).

Gallery 1091

Artists’ Link Spring Showcase and Sale, exhibition of over 100 pieces of art by more than 40 artists. Online viewing only. wkno.org. Through March 31. WKNO STUDIO, 7151 CHERRY FARMS (729-8722).

Jay Etkin Gallery

Permanent Collection: “The Flow Museum of Art & Culture,” ongoing. 942 COOPER (550-0064).

The Salvation Army Kroc Center Local Black Artists, exhibition in honor of Black History Month featuring conventional and unconventional techniques with a variety of paintings, illustration, and mixed media. Through March 26. 800 E. PARKWAY S. (729-8007).

Memphis Botanic Garden Memphis/Germantown Art League Spring Exhibition, through March 30. 750 CHERRY (636-4100).

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

Northwest Community College (Fine Arts Auditorium)

“I Wander, I Wonder,” exhibition of mixed-media works by Angi Cooper. Avialable Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Through March 31. 4975 HWY. 51 N. (662-562-3200).

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. 400 S. FRONT.

Tops Gallery: Madison Avenue Park

“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


CALENDAR: MARCH 18 - 24 medium. Through April 10.

Conservation Conversations: Women in Environmental Science

151 MADISON (340-0134).

Various locations

Hear from women working in the environmental field as they share their expertise and experiences. Free with registration. Wed., March 24, 6 p.m.

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

HARPETHCONSERVANCY.ORG.

Hollywood Feed University: Nothing But the Tooth

SEE WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION.

Join Dr. Amy Cooper as she discusses the basic anatomy of a dog’s teeth and mouth and ways to spot potential mouth conditions. Free with registration. Tues., March 23, 8-9:30 a.m., 12-1:30 & 5-6:30 p.m.

OPERA

“Opera Speed-Runs” Series by Jake Stamatis

Tales of Hoffman on YouTube by Handorf Company artist. Free. Ongoing.

HOLLYWOODFEED.COM.

OPERA MEMPHIS, 6745 WOLF RIVER (257-3100).

Sing2Me

Mobile operas will come to your neighborhood or place of work to perform a themed concert. Visit website for details. 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.

C O M E DY

Chuckles Comedy Club

Mark Curry, $20-$35. Fri.-Sun., Mar. 19-21, 6:45 p.m. and 8:45 p.m.

“The Watercolors of Richard Stevens” at EACC Fine Arts Center Gallery

1700 DEXTER.

The Comedy Junt

What She Said 7, live with headliner Kenya Faith. $20. Sat., March 20, 8 p.m. 4330 AMERICAN WAY (249-4052).

Hi Tone

Live Weekly Comedy with John Miller, open mic style. Free. Tuesdays, 8-10 p.m. 282 N. CLEVELAND (278-TONE).

L E CT U R E / S P E A K E R

“Bold Women Change History: Women of Elmwood, Part Two”

Online talk celebrating the marvelous history that Memphis women made happen, presented by Kim Bearden via Zoom. $10. Thurs., March 18, 6 p.m.

“Oakland Cemetery and The Importance of Preservation”

Special presentation on historic preservation done the Atlanta way featuring guest speaker David Moore. $10. Tues., March 23, 6-7 p.m. ELMWOOD CEMETERY, 824 S. DUDLEY (774-3212).

ELMWOOD CEMETERY, 824 S. DUDLEY (774-3212), ELMWOODCEMETERY.ORG.

“There and Gone: Working for the Dead”

Presentation given by Kim Bearden about cemeteries, cremation, charnel houses, catacombs, pyramids, and more as you take a trip through time via Zoom. $10. Tues., March 23, 7:30 p.m. ELMWOOD CEMETERY, 824 S. DUDLEY (774-3212), ELMWOODCEMETERY.ORG.

“We Gon’ Be Alright, But That Ain’t Alright: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom”

Dr. Bettina L. Love will discuss the struggles and possibilities of committing to an abolitionist goal of educational freedom followed by a Q&A. Free with registration. Wed., March 24, 6 p.m. RHODES.EDU.

“Without Religion: Secular Humanism in American Religious History”

This talk will discuss the place of the secular humanist movement in the historical contexts of religions in the United States. Free with registration. Sun., March 21, 2-3 p.m. MEMPHISFREETHOUGHT.COM.

OPERA MEMPHIS, 6745 WOLF RIVER (257-3100).

continued on page 20

Find a physician at

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

SaintFrancisHosp.com or SaintFrancisBartlett.com

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

When should you have a colorectal cancer screening and how often? The answer may depend on your personal risk factors. Please don’t delay your care. The team at Saint Francis is here to help you stay on top of your health. As always, your safe care is our #1 priority.

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

Detecting colon cancer early can be lifesaving.

19


CALENDAR: MARCH 18 - 24 continued from page 19 Zoo Dude

Hosted by Chief Zoological Officer Matt Thompson, Memphis Zoo updates. Free. Wednesdays, Sundays, 8 a.m., and Saturdays, noon. MEMPHIS ZOO, 2000 PRENTISS PLACE IN OVERTON PARK (333-6500), MEMPHISZOO.ORG.

a well-known site that was the scene of the brutal murder of patrolman Edward Broadfoot in 1918. 13+. $25. Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Boston Celtics Mon., March 22, 7 p.m. FEDEXFORUM, 191 BEALE.

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Golden State Warriors

THE BROOM CLOSET, 546 S. MAIN (497-9486), HISTORICALHAUNTSMEMPHIS.COM.

Fri.-Sat., Mar. 19-20, 7 p.m. FEDEXFORUM, 191 BEALE.

Slow Your Roll Saturday Morning Meditation

E X P OS / S A L E S

Elmwood Store C O N F E R E N C ES/ C O NVE NTI O N S

Mighty Miracles Memphis

Three nights of worship, praise, and breakthroughs featuring Jekalyn Carr. Come with expectancy to receive deliverance, healing. Free with registration. Fri.-Sun., Mar. 19-21, 7-9 p.m. PAVILION OF HOPE, 1470 RIVERDALE RD (567-4305), MIGHTYMIRACLESMOVEMENT.COM.

Join mindfulness and meditation teacher Greg Graber’s meditation session in the Church Health Meditation Garden. No sign-up is required. Masks are a must. Saturdays, 9:30-10 a.m. Through Dec. 25.

Shop the Elmwood store online for books, cards, mugs, and more. Ongoing. ELMWOOD CEMETERY, 824 S. DUDLEY (774-3212), ELMWOODCEMETERY.ORG.

The Perfect Wave: Digital Boat Show

CROSSTOWN CONCOURSE, 1350 CONCOURSE.

Fully digital, immersive experience aimed at engaging with consumers in this dynamic boat show season. Free. Through Aug. 31.

Led by Milan Vigil, this Chinese martial art promotes relaxation, improves balance, and provides no-impact aerobic benefits. All levels welcome. Free. Sat., March 20, 10:30 a.m.

Ghost Walk

Join the Historical Haunts Investigation Team and explore the macabre and dark history of Downtown Memphis. $20. Saturdays, 8 p.m. THE BROOM CLOSET, 546 S. MAIN (497-9486), HISTORICALHAUNTSMEMPHIS.COM.

Metal Museum Audio Tour

Explore the newly updated Sculpture Garden and accompanying audio tour while adhering to safe social distancing. PWYC. Ongoing, 11 a.m.5 p.m. METAL MUSEUM, 374 METAL MUSEUM DR. (774-6380).

Urban Adventure Quest Virtual Games

Series of small games that will take you on a virtual tour of a state from the safety of your home. Free. Ongoing. VARIOUS LOCATIONS, SEE WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION (805-6035620), URBANADVENTUREQUEST.COM.

March 18-24, 2021

Walking Tour and Ghost Hunt

Part walking tour and part ghost hunt. Tour the South Main district and investigate

Metamorphosis Virtual Job Fair

For LGBTQ+ 18- to 25-year-old unemployed, via Zoom, to help offset the increase in LGBTQ+ unemployment rates as a result of the pandemic. Fri., March 19, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. OUTMEMPHIS.ORG.

WE Consign

Featuring a large selection of furniture, rugs, crystal, sterling silver, antiques, and other treasures benefiting the Woman’s Exchange of Memphis. Mondays-Fridays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Through April 16. WOMAN’S EXCHANGE ART GALLERY, 88 RACINE (327-5681).

S P O R TS / F IT N E S S

Ballet Memphis Online Pilates and Ballet Classes

Visit website for more information. Classes offered include Espresso Flow, Stretch & Burn, Fascial Fun, Intermediate/Advanced Ballet, Intermediate Mat Flow, and Get Moving. $10. Ongoing, 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. BALLET MEMPHIS, 2144 MADISON (737-7322).

Volkssport Trail Walk Weekend

Fri.-Sun., Mar. 19-21.

AGRICENTER INTERNATIONAL, 7777 WALNUT GROVE (757-7777), SAFEHARBOREVENT.COM.

Fast & the Furriest 5K and Walk

Visit website for virtual and inperson options. Registration fee includes the race and a T-shirt. $30. Sat., March 20, 9 a.m., and March 21-27. HUMANE SOCIETY OF MEMPHIS AND SHELBY COUNTY, 935 FARM (937-3900).

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).

Fast & the Furriest 5K and Walk, Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County Ladies’ Night

All ladies and non-binary participants get 50 percent off day passes. Fourth Tuesday of every month, 6-10 p.m. Through April 27. HIGH POINT CLIMBING AND FITNESS, 21 N. HUMPHREY’S (203-6122), HIGHPOINTCLIMBING.COM.

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. Fourth Tuesday of every month, 9 a.m. Through Dec. 31. BAPTISTCANCERCENTER.COM.

Save the Amphitheater

Downtown Neighborhood Association will host this event to gather community ideas and feedback. What you would like to see happen with Mayor Strickland’s allocation of $4M toward the amphitheater’s restoration? Thurs., March 18, 5:30 p.m. CAROLINA WATERSHED, 141 E. CAROLINA, DNAMEMPHIS.ORG.

Register for a weekend of walking activities along the Wolf River Trail, through Germantown, and along the improved and unimproved trails of Shelby Farms. $3. March 19-21. AVA.ORG.

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 IA L EVE NTS

The Black Lodge Telethon

A massive two-day, all-streaming event featuring 18 live bands, standup comics, variety shows, local music videos, and Memphis short films. Fri.-Sun., Mar. 19-21. VIDEO.BLACKLODGEMEMPHIS.COM.

Breakout Games’ Dispatch

M E ETI N G S

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.

Virtual Dixon Book Club

Interactive discussion on great reads. Email for more information. Third Thursday of every month, 6-7 p.m. THE DIXON GALLERY & GARDENS, 4339 PARK (761-5250), DIXON.ORG.

Literacy Mid-South’s Adult Tutor Training

A volunteer opportunity to

Enjoy treasure hunts, secret agent assignments, murder mysteries, and more. Breakout Games has four different box sets that can be ordered online to bring the escape room to your living room. $45-$130. Ongoing. DISPATCH.BREAKOUTGAMES.COM.

Countdown to 100

Join Theatre Memphis on their social media for special items counting down to the theatre’s 100th birthday. Follow using #TM100 or #SHINEONTM. Through May 20. THEATRE MEMPHIS, 630 PERKINS EXT. (682-8323), THEATREMEMPHIS.ORG.

continued on page 23

FOSSIL FEST PINK PALACE

20

THE DIXON GALLERY & GARDENS, 4339 PARK (761-5250).

Battle in the Saddle

PLAYHOUSE ON THE SQUARE, 66 S. COOPER (726-4656), LITERACYMIDSOUTH.ORG.

Virtual-T

Taijiquan

EXPERIENCEMASTERCRAFT.COM.

TO U R S

work one-on-one with adult learners who are beginninglevel readers. Sat., March 20, 9 a.m.-noon.

Travel back millions of years at Fossil Fest for a two-day paleontology party at the Museum of Science & History,

MARCH 27th & 28th


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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

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21


[PUBLIC NOTICE]

SHELBY COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING PROPOSED FISCAL YEAR 2022 ANNUAL ACTION PLAN PUBLIC HEARINGS (July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022)

The Shelby County Department of Housing (SCDH) has prepared the proposed Program Year 2021 Annual Action Plan for the period from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022 for Shelby County Fiscal Year 2022. This plan is required by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the

receipt of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships Program Entitlement funds. The proposed Annual Plan describes activities proposed by SCDH to address housing and community development needs, especially needs in low- to moderate-income areas of

Shelby County outside of the City of Memphis. SCDH was notified of CDBG and HOME allocations and is basing this proposed Plan on actual allocation amounts as follows: $1,173,763 in CDBG and $430,082 in HOME funds, $100,000 in prior year unallocated CDBG funds,

Annual Plan (PY 2021)- ACTUAL FUNDING PUBLISHED ALLOCATIONS ON 02/25/2021 Anticipated Resources CDBG Actual Allocation $ 1,173,763.00 Prior Year Unallocated $ 100,000.00 Match $ Program income $ 10,000.00 TOTAL AVAILABLE $ 1,283,763.00

March 18-24, 2021

Project Name Housing Rehab/Minor Home Repair CHDO Set-aside Community Development/ Infrastructure Projects Public Service Program Delivery Administration and Planning TOTAL

22

The proposed Annual Plan for July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022 will be available for public review from April 1, 2021 through April 30, 2021 online at https:// www.develop901.com/housing/ planningReporting These documents are accessible from a computer, smartphone, or tablet and are also available to access through public library branches in Shelby County. In order to solicit public comments on the proposed Annual Action Plan SCDH will hold two virtual public hearings on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 11:00am and Thursday, April 22, 2021 at

HOME $ 430,082.00 $ 10,000.00 $ 96,768.45 $ 15,000.00 $ 551,850.45

CDBG

$ $ $ $ $

$10,000 in prior year unallocated HOME funds, $10,000 in CDBG Program Income, $15,000 in HOME Program Income, and $96,768.45 in local match funds for use during Shelby County’s Fiscal Year 2022. The following table summarizes resources and expenditures in this proposed Annual Plan:

Total Funds 1,603,845.00 110,000.00 96,768.45 25,000.00 1,835,613.45

HOME

TOTAL

$ $

204,010.40 -

$ $

322,561.50 64,512.30

$ $

526,571.90 64,512.30

$ $ $ $ $

550,000.00 75,000.00 210,000.00 234,752.60 1,273,763.00

$ $ $ $ $

43,008.20 430,082.00

$ $ $ $ $

550,000.00 75,000.00 210,000.00 277,760.80 1,703,845.00

5:30pm. To join the virtual public hearing from a computer, tablet, or smartphone, follow this link: https://global.gotomeeting.com/ join/263730605 or, dial into the meeting using a phone with the following details: +1 (312) 7573121, access code 263-730-605. If you plan to attend the public hearing and have special needs, please contact the Department of Housing at (901) 222-7600 by 4:30 p.m. Friday, April 16, 2021 and we will work to accommodate you. Citizen input and public participation is strongly encouraged. Shelby County expects to submit

the Annual Plan to HUD on or before May 15, 2021 following this 30 day review and comment period planned for April 1-30, 2021. Persons wishing to comment on the above subject but who are unable to attend the meeting may do so by writing to Dana Sjostrom (dana.sjostrom@shelbycountytn. gov). Comments will be accepted via email through 4:30pm CST on April 30, 2021. SCDH will respond to written comments within five working days of their receipt. For questions concerning the Program Year 2021 proposed Action Plan, please contact the Department of Housing at 901-222-7600 or TTY

at 901-222-2300. The Shelby County Department of Housing does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age or disability in employment or the provision of services. Equal opportunity/equal access provider. Lee Harris Mayor Attest: Scott Walkup, Administrator Shelby County Department of Housing


CALENDAR: MARCH 18 - 24

While at home, do some investigative work to solve a mystery from a collection of images in the digital archives. New photo posted weekly. Ongoing.

BENJAMIN L. HOOKS CENTRAL LIBRARY, 3030 POPLAR (415-2700).

“Dinosaurs in Motion”

Interactive STEAM experience featuring 14 recycled metal dinosaur sculptures with exposed mechanics inspired by actual fossils. Visitors are invited to touch and learn. $15. Through May 2. MEMPHIS PINK PALACE MUSEUM, 3050 CENTRAL (636-2362).

“Just for the Health of it Bingo Challenge” Each participant will receive a bingo card with challenges to complete. The activity will be posted on Facebook. For prizes, take a picture completing the activity and email it to ocantre1@utk.edu. Tuesdays, Thursdays. XTENSION.TENNESSEE.EDU.

Lenten Preaching and Waffle Shop

Some speakers will participate via Calvary social media. Inperson speakers will have advance sign up. New this year, a line-up of local musicians. Waffle Shop will serve through pre-orders and take-out food. Wednesdays, Fridays, 11 a.m.1 p.m., noon, & 5:15-6:15 p.m. Through March 26. CALVARY EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 102 N. SECOND (525-6602), CALVARYMEMPHIS.ORG.

Let’s Go to the Garden Enjoy daily spring break activities for the family. Free with admission. Through March 19. MEMPHIS BOTANIC GARDEN, 750 CHERRY (636-4100).

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.

Outdoor Scavenger Hunts

Choose an outdoor familyfriendly scavenger hunt. A portion of the proceeds benefit HopeKids. $13-$40. Ongoing. VARIOUS LOCATIONS, SEE WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION, LETSROAM.COM.

Registration open for 2021-2022 Step Ahead Scholarship

Recognizing and providing financial support for promising young women from the greater Memphis community who are committed to public service in the areas of academic success and effective, responsible life planning.

Tues., 10 a.m.-noon.

ASTEPAHEADFOUNDATION.ORG.

CHURCH HEALTH CROSSTOWN, 1350 CONCOURSE AVE, CHURCHHEALTH.ORG.

River Garden Bingo

Download a bingo card or make your own for a fun game while enjoying Mississippi River Park. Free. Ongoing.

Cooper-Young Community Farmers Market

MISSISSIPPI RIVER PARK, OFF RIVERSIDE DRIVE, MEMPHISRIVERPARKS.ORG.

Saturdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

River Garden Guides

Jones Orchard Farmers Market

Download River Garden Field and Bird Guides and explore Mississippi River Park. Ongoing. MISSISSIPPI RIVER PARK, OFF RIVERSIDE DRIVE, MEMPHISRIVERPARKS.ORG.

Sex Trivia

Assemble your 21+ team and get ready for the wildest trivia questions, games, and prizes. Get half-price weiners: Chicago, Chili Cheese, or Breakfast Dogs. Mondays, 7 p.m. THE SLIDER INN, 2117 PEABODY (725-1155).

Tennessee R.E.A.D.S.

Use your library card to check out ebooks and audiobooks. Includes Big Library Read connecting readers around the world with the same book at the same time. Ongoing. READS.OVERDRIVE.COM.

Trivia Night at Celtic Crossing

Emcee Allan Creasy is back every Wednesday. Parties of six or less participate in four rounds of eight questions. Wednesdays, 7-8:30 p.m. CELTIC CROSSING, 903 S. COOPER (274-5151), CELTICCROSSINGMEMPHIS.COM.

Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Weekend

Celebrate the King of Rockand-Roll with the best Elvis tribute artists in the world. Past winners will perform live on stage in two exciting concert experiences. $35-$125. Fri.-Sat., Mar. 19-20, 7 p.m. GRACELAND, 3717 ELVIS PRESLEY (332-3322).

United Way of the Mid-South: Driving The Dream

For those impacted by COVID-19. Puts callers in contact with essential services, without individuals having to repeat the circumstances for the call. Follow-up ensures those connections were made. MondaysFridays, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. (888-709-0630), CALL.DRIVINGTHEDREAM.ORG.

FOOD & DR I N K EVE N TS

Cook Well, Be Well

Participants will become comfortable in the kitchen as they learn to build meals and flavor, stock a healthy pantry, and cook on a budget. For ages 16 and up. In-person on Tuesday and virtual on Wednesday. Wed., 5:30-7:30 p.m., and

FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, 1000 S. COOPER (278-6786).

Mondays-Saturdays, 8 a.m.5 p.m.

JONES ORCHARD, 6880 SINGLETON (872-0703).

Memphis Dawah Association: Mobile Food Pantry

A weekly mobile food pantry organized by Memphis Dawah Association and Mid-South Food Bank. Volunteer opportunities available. Saturdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. MEMPHIS DAWAH ASSOCIATION, 837 CRAFT (601-672-0259).

FI LM

CUBA: Journey to the Heart of the Caribbean

Through the eyes of Cuban artists, historians, and scientists, the film provides an intimate look at this vivacious island nation. $10. Wednesdays-Sundays, 11 a.m. & 4 p.m. Through March 28. CTI 3D GIANT THEATER, IN THE MEMPHIS PINK PALACE MUSEUM, 3050 CENTRAL (636-2362).

Drive-In Movies

During Lent, enjoy movies featuring popcorn, soda, and more. Bring canned pop top food for Pop Top ministries. See website for movie titles. Free. Saturdays, 6:30 p.m. Through April 2. ST. MARY’S EPISCOPAL CATHEDRAL, 700 POPLAR (626-6763), STMARYSMEMPHIS.ORG.

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.

Oxford Virtual Film Festival

A lineup of 158 films in an online/in-person hybrid. Screenings in person March 24-28 at special outdoor theaters. In April, films available virtually. $40-$175. March 24-28. DOWNTOWN OXFORD, TOWN SQUARE, OXFORDFILMFEST.COM.

Sweded Film Festival

Classic movies, remade by amateurs who replace A-list stars and CGI with whatever is laying around their houses and a ton of creativity. Benefits local film festivals. $4. Ongoing. ROWHOUSE.ONLINE.

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

DIG Memphis Mysteries

Through April 2.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

continued from page 20

23


FOOD By Michael Donahue

BBQ 101 Melissa Cookston and Tuffy Stone to conduct barbecue school.

W

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March 18-24, 2021

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hat makes a legend? They know how to barbecue. Melissa Cookston, the first woman inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fame, will join Tuffy Stone of Virginia to teach people the fine art of barbecuing in the Legends of BBQ Cooking Class, March 19th through March 21st, at Cookston’s Horn Lake restaurant, Memphis Barbecue Company. The world champion pit masters are teaming up to feature tips on how they consistently produce award-winning barbecue. “Tuffy and I have been competitive cooks for many years,” says Cookston, dubbed The Winningest Woman in Barbecue. “He primarily competed in Kansas City-style, and I do primarily Memphis-style. I’m going to teach the Memphis side of competition, which is full hog, full shoulder, and ribs, and he will teach the Kansas side: butts, spare ribs, chicken, and brisket.” They’ll get “an eclectic bunch” of students. “Some backyard barbecuers, some competitive,” Cookston says. “I know a couple of seasoned pros coming to the class. Some people want to come just to see how it’s done. They really don’t cook, but just want to hang out. “Barbecue is an experience,” she adds. “It’s a noun. It’s a verb. It’s an adjective.” Smoking is one of the first things people want to know, Cookston says. “People are intimidated by woods and smoking and big cuts of meat.” The type of wood you use is important. “Pork is a delicate white meat, so you wouldn’t want to use a harsh wood. Pecan is a yes, [or] applewood.” But, she says, “Save hickory for beef and red meat that can take harsher smokes.” Cookston recalls her first memory of barbecue. “My grandfather was my person. I think everyone has their person.” She spent summers with her grandfather in Pontotoc, Mississippi. “He was an auto mechanic. He was retired by then, but he’d still overhaul transmissions under the shade tree,” she says. “Afterward, we’d go to this coffee shop and he and the other old men would sit and tell stories. “I would get to have a barbecue sandwich,” she says. “I don’t know if it was the company I was in, but it was the best barbecue in the world. There was just some-

thing about those memories. The smell of barbecue cooking in the mornings while we were there, with him drinking his coffee and me having my Coke. These memories will always be etched. That pit barbecue and the tangy vinegar sauce on the sandwich, I will never forget.” Cookston, who has been in the restaurant business for 38 years, began competing more than 20 years ago. “My husband, Pete, took me to a barbecue contest. I fell in love at first sight with competition barbecue. It appealed to my competitive nature and my love of barbecue. I knew it was something I wanted to do.” She went home and bought a variety of spices and created a rub and sauce. “It took me probably a year to get the flavor I

PHOTO BY JAY ADKINS

Melissa Cookston wanted. I’m from Mississippi, and everything is so flavorful and colorful and rich in the Delta. This is what I wanted my barbecue to emanate.” As for her husband, Cookston says, “It’s all his fault. He cursed the day he ever took me to that barbecue contest.” And, yes, you do get to eat barbecue during the Legends of BBQ Cooking Class. “Absolutely. There’s plenty of take-home as well. We will cook a lot of meat, so if they want to bag some up and take some home, they’re welcome. “And I feed you well,” she says. “This is the hospitality state. I think everyone should have food around at all times. I’m that Southern belle that will feed you to death if you’re around.” Tickets are $899 and are available to purchase at bit.ly/CookstonStoneBBQClass. Memphis Barbecue Company is at 709 Desoto Cove in Horn Lake, Mississippi.


S P I R ITS By Richard Murff

French Scotch? Burgundian caves create a cozy marriage of scotch and brandy.

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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I

t seems a little off-brand, but the shipped to France as what we might French are a scotch-drinking nacall Scottish moonshine (if not white tion. And now they’re making the lightning, at least plaid lightning) and stuff themselves. When you look at “ennobled” in sherry casks in France. national trends, this is no real surprise: Traditionally, scotch is aged in recycled The British could float a navy on the American white oak bourbon barrels. amount of French brandy they drink. With plenty of producers using sherry Further south, despite Italian wines becasks these days, what makes the Michel ing very fashionable in this country, the Couvreur different is that they forgo the Italians themselves are shifting dramatitraditional rack-houses and lay the casks cally from wine to beer for the simplest up in the Burgundian caves of Bouze les reason of them all — their parents drank Beaune. They swear that this makes a wine. While the French can be a pretty difference. pedantic lot, that cuts both ways. You I’m not sure what, exactly, those Burmay not want to talk existentialism with gundian caves are adding to the party, them, but when it comes to food and but something made this whisky what it drink they rarely go in halfway. is — a strange, cozy marriage of scotch Over the holidays, my father-in-law and brandy. Sticking your nose in the gave me a bottle of snifter, there is a faintMichel Couvreur Overly musty, medicinal aged Malt Whisky. He vapor that is actually gives both his sons-innot terribly inviting. law a bottle of scotch On the palate, howevery year, and since ever, things improve I’m the weird one, I dramatically. There is usually get a bottle little-to-no smoke or of something slightly that peatiness of the Isoff-kilter — like French lay or Highland malts, scotch. To be clear, if it’s but with a few drops not made in Scotland, of water, the taste of it’s not scotch, but malt malt whisky comes whiskies have been through. Like the child cropping up all over of immigrants still the planet in what we’re using the phrases his now calling “World parents brought over Whiskies,” with some from the old country impressive results. in a local accent. The Michel CouvAgain, the palate reur bottle is a thing of here is very big — at beauty on its own, and the time I think I used RICHARD MURFF what’s inside looks more the word “intense.” like cognac or bourbon. Which is not someWhat surprises you, thing that the French if you are a fan of French wines, is how generally go in for, unless they are “big” the flavor is. Their wines, like the talking politics or sex. But it doesn’t stay food, are often the result of a mastery that that way. On the back end, you get some makes the complex seem subtle. There solid notes I can describe only as “very is nothing subtle here. It is in the same old brandy.” sandbox with what we know as scotch, How to drink it? I can’t imagine using but don’t go thinking you are diving it as a mixer in a cocktail, but on the into a bottle of Highland malt. Michel other hand, a little water or an ice cube Couvreur resides on the other side of the or two will open up the hidden gems in spectrum from those impressive and very this beautifully peculiar malt whisky. light Japanese whiskies. And it is peculiar because, in my experiThis is an exercise in just how much ence “intense” and “interesting” aren’t the cask imparts to the flavor profile mutually exclusive, but they do tend to of what is sitting in it. The product is travel in opposite directions. This bottle actually distilled in Scotland and then is the exception to that rule.

25


FILM By Chris McCoy

The Best Our Hearts Can Do Ballet Memphis shines in A Ballet Season on WKNO.

W

March 18-24, 2021

hen Ballet Memphis ended its 2019 season with A Midsummer Night’s Dream, everyone involved knew it was a moment of change. It was the last show for dancer Crystal Brothers, a 23-year veteran of the stage, and for Dorothy Gunther Pugh, the CEO and artistic director who founded the company 30 years ago. But little did they know how much things were about to change. The coronavirus pandemic shuttered Ballet Memphis and other performing arts organizations all over the country, and consigned them to an uncertain future. That’s why it was lucky that Steve J. Ross and David Goodman decided to film their documentary, A Ballet Season, when they did. The University of Memphis faculty members have created an invaluable portrait of artistic camaraderie and struggle, and a reminder of what we have lost in the past year. “When we pitched it to Ballet Memphis, neither one of us really knew Dorothy Gunther Pugh very well,” Ross says. “It was her company, but she had a strong group of people surrounding her. The idea was, look, we admire you. We’re not doing some sort of horrific tell-all about the royal family or anything. But at the

same time, this would be our film. We want to make a film about a year in the life of a company, and what it means to be a ballet company in all aspects of the word. That they agreed to it was a great act of trust on their part and her part.” If you go into A Ballet Season looking for diva behavior or backstage drama, you won’t find it. These artists compose a group of disciplined professionals working to make the best shows they can under the constraints of time and budget. Before the company takes to the stage to perform Gisele for a half-full house, Pugh tells the dancers that though there may not be as many people in the audience as they would like, “The ones that bought their tickets, by God, we’re going to give them the best our hearts can do.” David Goodman says this generosity of spirit is the essence of the company. In the board meeting that opens the film, it is pointed out that Ballet Memphis is the most diverse company in the country. “Something that also drew us to Ballet Memphis was they have a real connection to this city. They put that on the stage, and they’re very intentional in how they do that. They don’t want to feel like, in their own

words, a palace dropped into the middle of the city that’s inaccessible.” Goodman was behind the camera for more than 80 hours as a fly on the wall in the rehearsal hall and meeting rooms, even accompanying the dancers to their annual physicals. “David is a really great observational documentary cinematographer,” Ross says. “Some of the dancers were a little hesitant about this whole process, but after a couple of months, they didn’t even notice.” “Repeat visits are really the key,” Goodman says. “It was particularly important to be there at the beginning.” The earned trust pays off with intimate scenes of the dancers and choreographers working on their moves. Revealing the repetition and pain of their process was a big leap for the dancers. “That’s the key to ballet, right? It has to look effortless,” says Ross. “A big part of this film was trying to be with the company for a whole year. Can we grasp this creative process? And I think that’s one of the things about dance is if you’re filming the same thing several times over, you can see that process.”

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Steve J. Ross and David Goodman’s A Ballet Season spends — you guessed it — a whole season getting to know the dancers of Ballet Memphis.

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This is particularly striking late in the film, when Ross and Goodman intercut between rehearsals and performance footage. You can hear Brothers groan in pain as she does a particularly bendy move, then see her repeat the same

move onstage with a broad smile on her face. Injury constantly stalks the dancers. By February, everyone is fighting through some kind of pain. But the show, as always, must go on. The performance sequences are beautiful and compelling. They highlight just how much we have missed in the last year as live performances have been curtailed by the coronavirus. A Ballet Season reminds us of what we had and took for granted — and what can be again. A Ballet Season airs on WKNO-TV on Friday, March 26th, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 28th, at 4 p.m.

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TH E LAST WO R D By Deborah Fisher

Call-in Government?

THE LAST WORD

Is Tennessee ready for the slippery slope of legislating by phone? During the pandemic, members of local and state governing bodies have been allowed to conduct meetings electronically per executive order by Governor Bill Lee. They have not had to hold physical meetings in a physical place. They can hold meetings on Zoom or even by telephone conference call, as long as they allow the public real-time live audio or video access and follow other rules. In some instances, this has meant that the governing body is on videoconference, and the public must show up physically at city hall to watch them through a government computer. It has not been ideal for citizens, who have lost the benefit of interaction with their representatives before and after meetings of county commissions, city councils, and zoning boards. But the minimum — the ability to follow the discussion, know who is speaking, and know how a person is voting — has been protected under provisions in the governor’s executive order. After the pandemic eases, the regular rules of Tennessee’s Sunshine Law will go back into effect. But some local elected officials, county commissioners around the state, specifically, want to continue to be able to patch into a meeting and vote by phone instead of physically DANIEL CONSTANTE | DREAMSTIME.COM attending. Problem is, this time around, the protections for the public that were carefully preserved in the governor’s executive order would disappear. House Bill 327 and Senate Bill 301, sponsored by two Knoxville lawmakers at the request of the Knox County Commission, would permit almost half of a county legislative body to participate and vote in a given meeting by calling in instead of appearing in person if they meet certain requirements. A healthy debate should take place on whether legislating by phone and not in front of constituents is a good idea. The Tennessee Constitution prevents state lawmakers from doing this. But if the General Assembly thinks it’s important to allow county commission members to call in and debate and vote by phone, then surely the public needs protections to ensure that citizens can hear and understand who is talking on the phone at any given time and how those members vote. How did such legislation emerge? The idea as presented by its sponsors is noble and kind. It would allow county commissioners who are having a family emergency or medical emergency to stay at home and still participate and vote in a meeting. However, it’s unclear what would constitute a “family emergency” or even “medical emergency.” The legislation gives authority for that determination to the county commission, raising questions about potential misuse or abuse. Another reason is more straightforward — the member is out of the county for work, but even that could be abused. The fourth reason is specific and seems unlikely to be abused — the member is called into military service. The bill requires that a quorum of the county legislative body be at the physical location of the meeting before other members are allowed to call in and vote by phone. For example, on a county commission with 25 members, only 12 members could call in for any given meeting. On the 40-member Metropolitan Council of Nashville and Davidson County, only 19 members could participate electronically at the same time. While it may seem an unlikely scenario for so many to call in, the bill permits it. And it would not be completely outside the imagination that with such large governing bodies, you might have six or seven people taking advantage of the electronic participation. Like with any slippery slope, we ease into new realities slowly. The legislation creates an exception to the entirety of the Open Meetings Act, not just the section that sets out rules on how electronic participation in meetings should take place — rules that have been developed largely for state boards. This means if the legislation became law, it would trump where it conflicts with any part of Tennessee’s open meetings law. The bill instead envisions that the county legislative bodies would come up with their own rules to protect the public’s interest in open meetings. This assumes that each of the state’s 95 county legislative bodies would impose stricter standards on themselves than what is required in the open meetings law — an idea that deserves more examination and thought. Finally, the bill’s sponsors point to a natural limitation in the legislation: An elected official could participate electronically in only two commission meetings a year. It’s a seemingly small hole in the open meetings law for the state’s 95 county legislative bodies. But if passed, it likely won’t be long before city councils, boards of aldermen, and other local governing bodies ask for the same. And the limits of twice a year? Why not three? And how about expanding it to county budget committee meetings, too? We should proceed cautiously and thoughtfully down this route of permanent exceptions to the open meetings law. The enthusiasm of an elected official for more personal convenience should be tempered with the duty of appearing before the public they represent and conducting business in the open. Deborah Fisher is the executive director of the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government.

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Legislating by phone and not in front of constituents is a questionable idea.

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We carry a variety of CBD products. Full Spectrum oil, sprays, skin care, and even CBD for Pets. Find us at Oothoon’s at 410 N Cleveland St or online at simplyhemp.shop 901-443-7157

Profile for Contemporary Media

Memphis Flyer - 3/18/2021  

INSIDE Coming 2 America - Craig Brewer Talks About Directing Eddie Murphy and Leading Hollywood's Pandemic Comeback. Tigers Season Recap B...

Memphis Flyer - 3/18/2021  

INSIDE Coming 2 America - Craig Brewer Talks About Directing Eddie Murphy and Leading Hollywood's Pandemic Comeback. Tigers Season Recap B...