River Arts Fest
"Our mission is to cultivate, promote, encourage and develop public appreciation and support of the visual, performing, literary and culinary arts for the benefit, education and enjoyment of the citizens of Memphis and surrounding communities in the Mid South."
In 1984, Arts in the Park began in Overton Park as a program of Art Today, an organization of the Brooks Museum under the leadership of Richard Wilson Sr. The objective was to bring together the visual and performing arts for a weekend of dance, music, sculpture, song, paintings, fine eating and participation; a fine arts exhibition. The success of the program led to the formation of a 501(c)3 corporation which came to be the Memphis Arts Festival. In 2003, the name was changed to Experience Art in Memphis to reflect an expanded mission to include literary and culinary arts. The invitation is to experience the art, to understand how it came to be, to enjoy all aspects of its creation, and to celebrate its existence. Since 1984, Memphis Arts Festival, through Arts in the Park, RiverArtsFest and related events has involved over 1,000,000 citizens of the community in all its programs.