This morning, Memphis College of Art announced that it plans to end new student admissions in preparation for closing its doors after the existing students graduate. The loss of MCA will be felt deeply in Overton Park, where students have given and received inspiration for decades. Their presence, and the work they created here, has contributed strongly to the park’s identity as an artistic and cultural center of our city. We understand how difficult this decision was for the school’s administration, and we will continue to offer our support and partnership to the full MCA community.
It’s a time of big changes in Overton Park. MCA’s news comes shortly after the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art announced that it is exploring a move to the riverfront. In addition, the City of Memphis is planning to move its vehicle maintenance facility out of the southeast corner of the park, freeing up 16 acres to return to parkland. Added together, these three transitions will create an unprecedented opportunity to shape the future of Overton Park.
We want you to know that we are prepared to work hand in hand with the City of Memphis (and all the park’s institutions) to guide this process. The master planning work that we are launching in 2018 will explore the highest and best uses for these three spaces, with a focus on how Overton Park can better serve our Memphis community. We believe it’s important that the park continue its legacy of artistic and cultural programming, and we want to ensure that programming and all of the park’s assets remain as inclusive and accessible as possible.
Overton Park Conservancy remains committed to our goal of cultivating a place for our diverse community to gather. We look forward to hearing from you as we begin working with the City to determine how the park can best meet the needs of the people of Memphis.