THE HPAC CAMPAIGN:
RALLY THE RAILROAD TO FREEDOM
"CONDUCTORS OF ART, AGENTS OF FREEDOM"
With a median income of $38,230, and 26% of Mid-South residents living below the poverty line, the Harriet Performing Arts Center will offer Memphis students freedom from the lack of opportunities, limited education, and low esteem associated with systemic poverty.* In fact, low-income students who are highly engaged in the arts are two times more likely to graduate college as their peers with no arts education.**
An initiative of the Young Actors Guild, the Harriet Performing Arts Center will be a premiere regional theatre and dance studio located in the Orange Mound/ Bethel Grove communities of Memphis. The historic Orange Mound neighborhood continues to foster the long history of resilience, pride, and sense of identity that makes it an iconic civic and arts hub of Memphis. Blues legends B.B. King and Bukkah White played some of their earliest gigs in the community. Stax CEO Kirk Whalum first played in the Melrose Band.
A “WAY STATION” OF HOPE IN MEMPHIS
Young Actors Guild plans to operate the Harriet Performing Arts Center in a former fire station in Orange Mound/Bethel Grove when construction is completed in 2021. The site, located at 2788 Lamar Ave., could have become a gas station and convenience store. A business owner offered to purchase the site from the city of Memphis for $307,000 to do so. But local citizens – and the city – said no. Instead, Young Actors Guild (YAG) purchased the property from the city for $1 on May 21, 2019 and plans to renovate and expand the former fire station into a 175 seat performance theatre and dance studio. The Harriet Performing Arts Center has the capacity to:
Enrich civic connections and be a source of pride and entertainment for our community
Spark economic revitalization in an iconic and historic Memphis neighborhood
Provide arts education for students while developing communication, leadership, and teamwork skills
AN UNDERGROUND INITIATIVE WITH INTERNATIONAL IMPACT
The Young Actors Guild (YAG) has performed at hundreds of venues in the Mid-South and before prominent individuals since its inception over 28 years ago. The impact that YAG has had in the community has touched over 10,000 youth, and several YAG students have gone on to realize varying degrees of success. In 2006, Gideon McKinney made it as a semi-finalist in Season 5 of “American Idol” before he was eliminated. In 2013, Kris Thomas, also a singing phenom, competed in Season 4 of “The Voice.” And in 2018, Gideon’s younger sister, Evvie McKinney, won the first season of “The Four: Battle for Stardom.”
STOCKHOLDERS AND STATION MASTERS NEEDED
The planned renovation and expansion has a budget of $3.5 million and we need your help to achieve our goal. With your donation, you will help amplify underrepresented voices, foster a new generation of theatre artists and audiences, and create the next phase of artistic excellence at Harriet Performing Arts Center.
ALL ABOARD THIS FREEDOM TRAIN
We stand at a significant threshold, with a keen artistic reputation and secure financial footing. We need your help to restore an Orange Mound landmark and honor the legacy of an organization that has entertained, educated, and inspired generations. Your pledge of support will increase the capacity of our life-changing work. All contributions to the HPAC Campaign are fully tax-deductible. Donors have the opportunity to give their gifts in one lump sum or pay gifts over time. Naming opportunities start at $500,000 and significant long-term recognition will be available for gifts of $5,000 and above. Learn more about how to support the HPAC campaign.