Photo: Jake Sutherlin (JTorpedo)


We start with development—fundraising—because, well, we have to pay for all of the exciting exhibitions and programs you’re going to read about in the following pages. When the Museum looks at development, we think in terms of both earned and contributed revenues. Earned revenue comes from admission fees, program tuition, sales of concert tickets, Museum Store merchandise sales, and facility rentals. Contributed revenue comes from benefit events, the annual giving campaign, individual donors, grants, sponsorships, in-kind support, and membership dues.

We don’t usually like to play favorites, but... we have to admit, our 2016 Play It Forward Gala Event, Soul, STAX, and Memphis Tracks! was something else indeed! The star-studded—and sold out—event took place on the evening of September 17 as a host of Memphis music legends filled the Museum with some amazing sounds. The audience, 150 strong, danced to performances from the legendary “I Forgot to Be Your Lover” hit-maker, William Bell; producer and longtime member of the groundbreaking band Talking Heads, Jerry Harrison; Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell, award-winning audio engineer, producer and owner of Royal Studios; Memphis rappers, Frayser Boy and Al Kapone; STAX’s Hi Rhythm Section; and The Memphis Horns. Auctions (both silent and live) added to the excitement of the event, and we want to send a special thanks to City of Poway Councilmember and Deputy Mayor, Jim Cunningham, for being the auctioneer. It was an evening of great music and fabulous fun and energy, and most importantly, the event raised more than $50,000 for the Museum’s education and outreach programs.

Alisa Arkinzadeh, our Development Officer, is at the center of all these fundraising initiatives, and she receives a great deal of help from our volunteers and tremendous support from our donors, sponsors, in-kind contributors, and Museum members. Here are just some of the numbers for 2016 that Alisa and the Museum are most proud of: