Street paper The Bridge will hold a Memphis-style cookout this Saturday (17 September) to celebrate vendors and raise funds.
The Bridge is entirely run by students from local university Rhodes College. Up to sixty students are involved in the paper – and all have been needed to organise the ‘Under One Roof’ event.
“It really takes a village,” said the paper’s Summer Director Emily Faber, who’s an English major at Rhodes. “It’s a big group process between all the different departments on the paper to make it all happen.”
The community event takes place on 17 September. It will feature a range of musical performances from a cappella groups to rock bands, and will showcase local talent from students and vendors.
“The music is a community wide effort and we’re really keen to give it a local feel, with something for everyone!” said Emily.
The Bridge vendor Katmandu Jack will have a starring role, with his spoken word performance.
“One of our vendors wanted to share the poetry he writes about his experiences, so we’re really looking forward to that, it’s great to able to give vendors who want to a chance to share their talents,” Emily added.
The event will help publicise what street papers are trying to do in communities, which is especially important for The Bridge as it has only been running for three years.
“What we’re trying to do here is invite the Memphis community to engage not only in this event but with The Bridge outside of Under One Roof,” said Emily.
“We’re trying to reach out to people who may not know what the aims of the paper are and the work we’ve been doing. So hopefully if they see a vendor on the street they’re willing to stop and contribute to this purpose.”
The money raised at Under One Roof will go towards the paper’s printing costs, and incentives for vendors.
Ultimately, though, Emily said Under One Roof is about celebrating The Bridge vendors.
“We really wanted to invite all our vendors as part of this community. We’re all in this together and we want to say to our vendors – ‘The Bridge is here to support and uplift you, and thank you for everything you do’.”
Tickets are available here.