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Activation & Event Grants

The Current Grant Funding Period is for July through December Activations 

  • Applications for Activations occurring July 2024 – Dec 2024
  • Applications received by August 15, 2024 will be prioritized

Engage Downtown Activation Grant Offered for Community-Building, Creative, Fun, and Artistic Ideas in Downtown Memphis!

The DMC’s Engage Downtown Grant offers funding for events/activations that recruit people into Downtown; utilize public, outdoor, or highly visible space; and provide unique or uniquely joyful experiences in Downtown Memphis

There are no restrictions on the type of activations/events we are looking to fund. Activations can be music, art, fashion, fitness, community-related, etc. All we require is that the proposed activations enhance our Downtown experience. We want to find new ways to bring more people into Downtown and support events that showcase Downtown Memphis’ true community spirit and soul.

Our grants are both promotional and cash grants. Promotional grants will receive mention and promotion via our social and digital channels. Cash grants are eligible for amounts between $150 and $1000 depending on scope, concept, and engagement opportunity*. We give extra points for free, inclusive, large-scale, and unexpected events. We also give preference to activations that utilize Downtown businesses as partners. Our goal is to increase repeat visits and extend the length of stay in Downtown. (*Larger funding amounts might be possible in some cases. $2500 maximum funding for any single activator per year.)

We want to help fuel the event- not pay for entire activation; other streams of revenue are an important factor..

We believe in building a Downtown for everyone and want to empower creative people with inspiring ideas, even if the idea is for a first-time event! We want to partner with you to make our collective Downtown more vibrant, engaging, and fun.

Remember – at least a portion of your event/activation has to take place outdoors or be highly visible to be eligible for the Engage Downtown Grant. Downtown outdoor space includes parks, plazas, streets, alleys, riverfront spaces, and retail spaces with open doors and activated sidewalks.

Evaluation factors:

  • Location – outdoor events and events that can be seen from street level are given preference
  • Inclusivity – events open to all ages are given preference
  • Cost to patrons – events that are free or low cost are given preference
  • Collaboration – events that support other Downtown organizations, or are produced with Downtown partners are given preference
  • Scope – only grants with total costs less than  $15K will be considered – this grant is designed to assist smaller activators realize their events. Proof of other revenue and support is required.

Application Deadline is Aug 15, 2024 for July 2024 – Dec 2024 Activations

Want to do something really different? We are open! Want to gather people in a truly unexpected place? We want to know more! Have a great idea, but not sure how to make it happen? Share it with us – we might be able to pair you with another organizer who can help make your dream a reality!

If you have questions about the activation grant – please email howery@downtownmemphis.com and use the subject line: ACTIVATION GRANT QUESTION.


If you are looking to host a larger-scale event, or your expenses are expected to be more than $15,000 total – please reach out to our VP of Marketing – Milton Howery, at howery@downtownmemphis.com to discuss other partnership opportunities!

Grant Application

Activation in Downtown Memphis - Learn More!

Past Event Grant Recipients:

Parks in Downtown

Parks in Memphis

Parks In Downtown Memphis

Army Park – Ashburn-Coppock Park – Barking Lot – Bickford Community Center – Big River Crossing – Butler Park – Central Bark Dog Park – Chickasaw Heritage Park – Church Park – Court Square – Crump Park – Fourth Bluff – Greenbelt Park – Fourth Ruff Dog Park – Jefferson St – Handy Park – Health Sciences Park – Madison Ave Park – Martyr’s Park – MLK Riverside Park – Morris Park – Mud Island – Mud Island Dog Park – Navy Park – Ravine – River Garden – Tom Lee Park – Vance park – Wolf River Greenway

DOWNTOWN MEMPHIS/CBID BOUNDARIES

Memphis River Parks

Downtown Parks & Mobility Map