Moving on Up: A Brooks Employee Graduates!

The Brooks Museum wants to congratulate Susan, our On-Call Admissions Coordinator, on her recent graduation!


The Brooks Gets Props from the UK!

When the London bar, The Nightingale, requested Who Shot Rock & Roll posters to celebrate Elvis week, we were like, um yeah! Check out their spot here.

Education Department: Art Therapy

Through the Art Therapy Access Program, the Brooks recently partnered with the Shelby County Relative Caregiver Program (SCRCP), a program of the Department of Child Services at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. SCRP supports children who are not living with their parents by providing therapeutic activities, family advocacy, educational workshops, and caregiver respite. The Brooks’ collaboration included sessions with a registered art therapist, Karen Peacock, as well as interactive gallery tours of the museum’s permanent collection. A selection of the resulting artworks is featured in an exhibition now on view, MeTV: The Identity Channel.

The Brooks is one of only a few museums in the country that is integrating Art Therapy with the museum experience. Art Therapy is a mental health profession that uses the creative process of art-making to improve and enhance the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of individuals of all ages. It is based on the belief that the process involved in artistic self-expression helps people resolve conflicts and problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, increase self-esteem and self-awareness, and achieve insight. Utilizing the creative process of art making and interactive gallery discussions as a forum for self-exploration and self-expression, this collaborative provided a supportive environment in which participants could develop and explore their personal narratives and increase their self-confidence.

MeTV: The Identity Channel
Inspired by Vide-O-belisk by Nam June Paik, located in the rotunda of the Brooks, each participant was asked to create his or her own television, and to choose a scene to display on the screen. The scenes were selected by the participants from one of several art directives: paint a scene from your past, present, or future; paint a time when you were happy or sad; and paint a picture of you and your caregiver. Each television is also adorned with unique hieroglyphs or symbols that communicate an aspect of the participant’s identity.

Allowing the participant to be the creator and “director” in this manner helped form a personal narrative in a creative way, which supported the formation of a positive self-image and increased self-confidence.

Self-Advertisement Billboard
Each participant was asked to describe him or herself with one adjective with the idea that together these adjectives would help “advertise” and “promote” the MeTV Channel. Working as a group to create the billboard helped improve social skills. By being more conscious of how they present themselves to others, participants’ self-awareness grew and developed.

For more information about this program or other educational programs at the Brooks, click here.

FILM: No One Knows About Persian Cats

Thursday, August 12 | 7 PM

In his third film, director and writer Bahman Ghobadi tells the story of two 20-somethings trying to inspire others through music. What makes this film different from others is not only its characters, but itz location.

Negar and Ashkan, two possible lovers but definitely bandmates, are bohemian musicians who want to spread their sound and meet others like them from around the globe. They decide to get visas and passports and out of Tehran, Iran — where free speech and music are condemned and illegal.

Sought by the Iranian police, the two search for a safe practice space, venue and loyal friends. Based on true accounts, No One Knows About Persian Cats is an inspiring and unique must-see.

Persian with English subtitles.

For more information about this and other films at the Brooks, click here.

FILM:M for Mississippi: A Road Trip Through the Birthplace of the Blues

August 5 | 7pm

A documentary about Mississippi and its famous Delta blues, M for Mississippi tells the story of several artists and their cultural influences on music from the South. This film takes the viewer from one place to the next ranging from the fields and farms to the bars and juke joints to demonstrate the deep range of Mississippi music. A Q & A with the fillmakers will follow the movie.

Easily one of the best documentary films made about the blues in years.
– Blues & Rhythm Magazine

For more information about this film, or other films at the Brooks, click here.

Global Lens Film Series: The Shaft

Thursday, July 22 | 7 pm
Thursday, July 29 | 2 pm

The Shaft (China, 2008)
, is a film about the personal struggles and hardships of living in Western China. As a father constantly searches for the wife who left him years before, his two children find that reality happens quickly and dreams linger on.

A daughter is accused of an affair, left by her love and forced into a marriage she doesn’t want. Her brother has many goals, but is left to work by the side of his father in the coal mines. This film is an emotional account of growing up and surviving in an arduous world.

Runtime: 98 minutes.

For more information about this film or other films at the Brooks, click here.

Live in the Galleries: Bryan Hartley

Thursday, July 15 | 5-7pm

Come check out the new exhibition, Who Shot Rock and Roll and enjoy live music played by local musician Bryan Hartley.

Born in Memphis, Hartley began playing music and writing songs early on. After moving to Nashville a couple of years back, he returned to Memphis with a new lineup. His new band doesn’t officially have a name, but they sure have a following. Their folk-country-rock sound is beloved by old and young alike.

Bryan will be playing an acoustic set this Thursday with a second guitarist. Visitors can expect to hear original songs written by Hartley and his band, and some tribute covers to honor the photographs in the exhibition. Catch them play as a band on August 13 | 10pm at the Buccaneer.

For more information about this event, or to learn more about other Live in the Galleries performers, click here.

Flipside Memphis 2010: Free Short Films!

Saturday, July 10 | 1pm

Enjoy a hot summer Saturday indoors with a cold drink and a movie! Join us as we celebrate Live from Memphis and the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau as they partner to create Flipside Memphis! Featuring short films about the underground Memphis scene that ranges from Molly Fontaine Lounge to Jerry Lawler, Flipside is sure to warm any Memphian’s soul.

Enjoy refreshments and art activities before the film at 1pm, and stay for the movies! For more information, click here.

Who Shot Rock & Roll! It’s Almost Here! 

There’s been a strong buzz inside and outside of the Brooks with the museum’s newest exhibition, Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present, and now we finally get to see it!

Working at the museum has its obvious benefits. I am allowed to express myself through my clothing, which is oftentimes vintage and weird. I get to talk about art all day, be creative and imaginative, and walk the halls of our beautiful galleries at my leisure.

However, whenever a new exhibition is being set up, no one can venture into the gallery space. I found this out the hard way when I wandered into a closed exhibition, only to be caught by our Exhibitions Director! She was very nice while I was very apologetic (and embarrassed)! Apparently, only exhibitions staff is allowed inside, leaving the rest of the museum staff just as anxious to see the new art as our visitors.

As the Brooks’ Visitor Services Manager, I am excited to welcome each guest with the same giddiness as they have when they come to see this exhibition. I love all of the exhibitions we’ve had here since I’ve started, but Who Shot Rock & Roll takes the cake for me. As a born and raised Memphian, I love and truly appreciate music — especially the history. I’ve gone on late night bicycle rides to Graceland with friends, driven to Mississippi at 2 a.m. to experience Graceland Too (my boyfriend, an honorary member, has been there four times), and gleefully taken my Nashville friends to eat Dyer’s burgers. Now when our friends visit us, I can bring them to the Brooks to learn and feel the Memphis music experience.

To learn more about the Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present exhibition, click here.

To schedule a group tour or to learn about docent-led tours, email Brenda Burgess at

To find out about all of the events scheduled during this exhibition, email or click here.

Pregnancy and Bonnaroo: Reflections on Sponsorship

Meet Diane Jalfon, Director of Development, and one of the coolest and nicest people I know. Read her perspective on life inside the Brooks, and sometimes, outside of it as well.

You know how when you’re pregnant you notice all the other pregnant people? Well, when you’re in development you can’t go to anywhere without noticing sponsors. Attending a concert at the Botanic Garden? Gotta find out who the sponsor is. Seeing an exhibition at a museum in Nashville? Gotta see who sponsored it. We even notice whose logo appears on the ads for parties in RSVP. Last night I was watching Dave Matthews live stream from Bonnaroo on YouTube and I can tell you that Ford Fiesta sponsored that stream. I know, obsessive, right?

So why the obsession with sponsors? Well, sponsors are our lifeblood. We can’t have an exhibition, an event, or a program without a sponsor. They give us funding and we give them exposure. We put their logo on our website, invitations, and advertisements. Sometimes we give them tickets to events. And we give them the satisfaction of knowing that their money went to a good cause.

We’re constantly looking at who is sponsoring what so we can see how our benefits stack up. We know we’ve got a great product. I mean, how many other 96 year old art institutions are there in town? We know we’ve got a great marketing team that creates killer posters and bus shelters (see Who Shot Rock & Roll). And we know we will bend over backwards to make sure a sponsor is happy with their choice to support the Brooks.

But we can’t be complacent. We don’t want to miss an opportunity to match up a great company with the perfect sponsorship. And so we look at what everyone else is doing. Not in a “oh, we’re better than you” kind of way. More like a “good for you – that’s a perfect fit. I’ll have to remember that company supports the arts.”

We’re lucky to have a lot of very generous corporate supporters in Memphis. Next time you’re at an event make it a point to notice who the sponsor is. And then thank them.

To find out more about Brooks’ sponsors and events, call 544.6200.

Reel to Real: Eric Jambor Presents

Thursday, June 17 | 7 pm

Come to the Brooks this Thursday for two great films: Leo’s Room, the next Global Lens installment, at 2pm and Reel to Real: Eric Jambor at 7pm!

Jambor, executive director for Indie Memphis and local filmmaker, will be showing his 1996 short film, “Gamalost,” which premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival and was awarded the Gold Award for best original dramatic short at WorldFest Charleston. Afterwards, Jambor will screen his choice for the feature presentation, Hard Core Logo (1996). A film about a band’s last chance attempt at success, Hard Core Logo delves into the lives of a punk rock group whose issues and personalities rise to the surface and fill the viewer’s eye with a behind-the-scenes look at life on the road.

The Reel to Real film series will surely whet your appetite for the new Who Shot Rock and Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present exhibition opening on June 26th. C.Scott McCoy and Laura Jean Hocking are currently working on a documentary about the infamous Antenna Club and will be featured in the next R2R, Sunday, July 25th at 2pm. Then, we’ll have two more music-themed Reel to Reals with Scott Bomar who composed the music for Hustle and Flow and Black Snake Moan in August and Robert Gordon, author of It Came from Memphis and the Muddy Water bio, Can’t be Satisfied.

Become a Docent at the Brooks!

Brooks is looking for a few good guides!

Would you like to learn more about art and share your knowledge with others? If yes, please read on!

Founded in 1965, the Brooks Docent Program was established by the Brooks Museum League. Serving thousands of visitors each year, Brooks docents engage their audiences with the artwork on view and foster the development of visual and creative thinking skills, often providing the first contact many children and adults have with the visual arts. We strive to provide a positive, meaningful, and relevant experience with art.

What is a Docent? A docent is a museum-trained volunteer who conducts tours of the permanent collection and special exhibitions for children or adults. The word docent is derived from the Latin word docere, meaning to teach. Volunteers receive a six-month training course in the museum’s permanent collection, art history, and touring techniques. The Brooks Education department is actively recruiting new docents for the next training program this fall beginning September, 2010.

Training consists of two half days per week during the six month program. Once the initial training is complete, each docent is asked to make a two-year commitment and select one day per week, from September through May, to conduct scheduled tours. In addition, attendance at monthly training meetings is required. Qualified candidates are interviewed and selected based on their ability to communicate information knowledgeably and enthusiastically.

Prior experience or an art background is not required. Anyone who has an interest in art and lifelong learning can be a docent. Though Brooks docents are as diverse as the artwork they present, they share the following:

• A love of art
• A passion for learning and teaching
• An ability to communicate effectively
• Enthusiasm, Creativity, and Flexibility


• Opportunities for continuing education and personal growth
• Support of an enthusiastic and dedicated docent peer group
• Ongoing training in teaching and learning theory, art and art history, and special exhibitions
• Art lectures, gallery talks, and curator tours
• Discounts on Museum membership, the Museum Store, and the Brushmark Restaurant
• An opportunity to serve the community—enriching lives and transforming others through the power of art

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a volunteer docent, call 901-544-6215, email or visit the Brooks website and download a docent application today!

Bicycle Film Festival: Memphis!!!

Friday, May 21 | 7pm
Friday, May 21 | 9pm
Saturday, May 22 | 1pm

Spanning across 37 cities all over the world, the Bicycle Film Festival is coming to Memphis for round two! Last year’s festival was amazing and memorable as we ushered in guests from all over the south! People from Nashville to New Orleans crashed couches just to see these hand-picked films, and this year’s festival promises to have something for everyone!

Did you know that May is officially National Bike Month? The Brooks, BFF and the Memphis Center City Commission collaborated with the League of American Bicyclists for a National Bike to Work Day weekend program! Starting with routes to take you to work via bicycle, and ending with a ride from downtown to the Brooks, you’ll arrive at the museum just in time for a cash bar and complimentary bicycle valet-oh yea, and the films! But wait, there’s more! After Friday’s films, hop on two wheels and head to Murphy’s for the Bikes Rock Afterparty-free with your BFF ticket stub.

Try to get to bed for some shut-eye because Saturday’s schedule is action packed! Head to the Brooks for another feature at 1pm. After the film, head over to First Congo Church for a family-friendly block party! Enjoy art activities, BMX demos, artist sales and the infamous bicycle polo!

We know this a lot of information, but have no fear, we have laid out links below!

For more information about how Memphis is participating in National Bike to Work Day click here.

For the complete Bicycle Film Festival schedule with names of films and more, click here.

Call 544-6208 or email for more information!

To volunteer for this event or others, contact!

Exhibitions: An Intern’s Perspective;Part Two

Learn more about Matthew Tamason here!

With the Gallery Management course, our principal assignment was to curate an art show at a location in Memphis. My classmate and I partnered up and, after months of preparation, put together Break Me Up; Build Me Down, an art show consisting of three young artists in a space on South Main. Having a limited budget for the show, we managed to find a space for free and spend our money mostly on hanging supplies and food/drinks for the event. Everything turned out surprisingly well: the work flowed together beautifully and we had a great crowd. It was really exciting to put together something so professional.

The show ran for one night only (March 27th) on 546 S Main Street.

My time at the Brooks Museum has been a truly wonderful and special experience as well. I am once again seeing the more professional and business side of the art world, but with inevitable eclectic and exciting energy that the art scene brings. My favorite aspect about interning at the Brooks has been the people. Everyone I have had interactions with has been extremely helpful, knowledgeable, and interesting. There is such a community among the employees there. I have also enjoyed my job of making “checklists” for prospective exhibitions in the museum – getting to research an artist and making a list of all his/her work and where the pieces are located.

Students examining Joel Parsons’ modern piece, What Goes Around Comes Around – a nude self-portrait facing the wall and propped up on cowboy boots.

My junior year has been a period of great reflection and many realizations for me. I have cemented the need for art in my life and career. I have witnessed the inner-workings of art institutions and the vast amount of time and energy that goes into art exhibitions. I have also enjoyed the social and dynamic aspects of this energetic world, such as going to gallery openings. While I am still uncertain what I will be doing post-college, I am really grateful to have had these experiences and be where I am now.

Want to intern for the Brooks? Learn more here.