The City of Memphis is accepting ideas for the future of the Memphis College of Art and Brooks Museum buildings. See the finalists invited to reimagine the inclusive and accessible future of these two iconic spaces. 


The Memphis College of Art and Brooks buildings are both located in Overton Park, a 342-acre urban park in the heart of Memphis. Together, they comprise 160,000 square feet of flexible, functional space. See the buildings’ location here, and more info about each space below.


The call for ideas for these buildings was open through May 10, 2019. A selection committee will then request full proposals from the most compelling ideas. See the finalists here.


We want to hear all ideas. Big ideas and small ideas. Your ideas. Individuals, organizations, and teams — from inside and outside of Memphis — are all encouraged to submit concepts that will uplift these spaces, the surrounding area, and the city as a whole.

See our Frequently Asked Questions for more details on the background and process of this project.




Memphis College of Art

Rust Hall, currently home to the Memphis College of Art, was built in 1959. The College will be ending operations after the 2019-2020 school year.

  • Available for re-use in 2020

  • 74,678 square feet of space over four stories

  • Mix of studios, classrooms, gallery space, auditorium, and administrative offices


Brooks Museum

Originally built in 1916, the Brooks Museum building has undergone three expansions over the years. In 2024, the museum will be relocating downtown to the riverfront.

  • Available for re-use in 2024

  • 86,090 square feet of space over three stories

  • Mix of galleries, storage, amenities (auditorium, restaurant, shop, lounge), and administrative offices


See floor plans, images, and more for both buildings.

Get inspiration from similar projects in other cities.

Use this as a reference for your idea submission.


Get hands-on help

If you need help solidifying your idea, thinking through a business model, or finalizing financials, the entrepreneurial experts at Epicenter are here to assist. To schedule an in-person session, email info@createyourspace.com


Guiding Principles

With the help of the Memphis community, we've identified five guiding principles to ensure the selected ideas respond to the city's most vital needs. Review the submission info sheet for more details around these principles.

Principle 1: Become a resource that strengthens the Memphis community.

Principle 2: Represent the diverse tapestry of the Memphis community, intentionally and thoughtfully ensuring accessibility.

Principle 3: Enhance Overton Park & connect to the surrounding communities.

Principle 4: Enrich Rust Hall & Brooks Buildings with creative and respectful re-use concepts.

Principle 5: Ensure long-term financial sustainability.