Broad Avenue Water Tower Pavilion

Binghampton Development Corporation/Historic Broad Avenue Art Alliance

Funding Received: 2013
Memphis, TN
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
January 20, 2014

Broad Avenue didn't let the holidays affect our momentum. We spent December and early January working on three important focuses of the performance space; sound and lighting, the courtyard and connectivity from Broad to the performance space. Developing sound and lighting for the outdoor performance space is obviously important. We want to be able to offer the best we can to our performers while staying on budget and being able to properly run and staff equipment.  We also want to ensure that the courtyard and area off of Broad keep true to the art-based community on the street as well as create a dynamic space for community.

Our team also decided on an official name of the space: Water Tower Pavilion. The Water Tower Pavilion will provide a vibrant place for artists, businesses and the community to congregate, connect, cultivate, contribute and create. The Pavilion will be a catalyst for economic development and community engagement.

Our mission for the space is an incubator for the arts--provide community-based performing groups (dance, music, theatre, etc.) the opportunity to gain performance expertise while cultivating and expanding audiences to enjoy and engage with the arts.

Recent Wins
Activity has been happening around our vacant properties on Broad. A local restaurateur has announced the opening of a farm to table restaurant in a vacant property on the street; a meat market will operate out of the space as well. This will open in spring of this year and be a great addition.

Broad Avenue was fortunate enough to be part of series of meetings with an out of town consultant brought into to help stakeholders think through ways to activate two large warehouses on the street. There is interested around utilizing Broad warehouse for a food hub, commercial kitchen and incubator. It is not only exciting to have buzz around vacant property on Broad but also getting to sharing our great street to visitors.

What does it mean to build something from scratch? We are beginning to be able to answer that question and see all the aspects involved in really building a space from the ground up.

The team around the build-out of the Water Tower Pavilion has great placemaking, marketing and community development experience, but building a space that will be used for all kinds of performances is not one of them. Our team has had to learn all of the components that go into building a performance space have had to be fast. We are lucky to have such great and willing partners who have helped us navigate the world of sound, lighting, and construction.

This can be an overwhelming task at times but the process has really shown the power of community and how it never hurts to reach out and ask for help. Groups that could see our space as a competitor have been so gracious in sharing their struggles, successes, and best practices.