Living in Memphis

While a student at MCA, you’ll be living in the cultural crossroads of America—Memphis. The city that spawned rock and roll along with soul still harbors a creative vibe unlike any other city in the world. Maybe that’s why there are so many venues available to experience an outpouring of this aura.

There are literally dozens of museum and art galleries within fifteen minutes of campus. Their exhibitions range from the most recent alternative local art to the intricate beauty of ornamental metalwork.

If performance is more your bag, dig on any of the live theater shows found around town, including the historic Orpheum Theatre — home to touring Broadway productions and  Playhouse on the Square — Memphis’ professional theatre troupe with an all-new performance venue scheduled to open in 2010.

Or soak in some of the Memphis sound. It seems there’s a live band on every street, but the highest concentration exists on and around world-famous Beale Street, where the blues makes its permanent residence and the parties last until the early hours of dawn.

If you’re just looking to get your kicks and have a good time, there’s always Graceland, the just-the-way-he-left-it home of Elvis. Or Sun Studios, the site where rock and roll was brought to life by Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and Mr. Presley. Tour the equally-significant Stax Records, the launching pad of Otis Redding, Issac Hayes, Booker T. and the MGs, Al Green, Rufus and Carla Thomas, and the Bar-Kays. Throw in a little dash of B.B. King, Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Justin Timberlake, Three 6 Mafia and the fathers of alternative rock, Big Star, and you’ve got a who’s who of American music all from right here in Memphis.

Two independent film festivals give us a refreshing reminder of what movies can be. You can pick up a Faulker novel and get his impression of our fair city. And if you’re lucky, maybe John Grisham will be in town kicking off another book signing tour of his latest work based on Memphis.