Stax Museum 20th Anniversary Events

The Stax Museum is planning the following events in 2023 to celebrate its 20th Anniversary. This is a working list and some events and dates are subject to change.

Among the Stax Museum 20th Anniversary events, highlights include:

  • A year of free field trips to the Stax Museum for all school students attending Title 1 Schools, which are all schools in Shelby County. This is to help familiarize more young people with the history of Stax Records.
  • An April 29 “Night Train” Gala fundraiser for guests to walk through the history of Black music reminiscent of when people traveled predominantly by rail around the turn of the century;
  • The May activation of a Stax Soul Mobile Pop-Up vehicle that will begin taking Stax music, merchandise, contests, parties, and more around the country to locations like Austin’s SXSW, Nashville’s Americana Fest, and New Orleans’ Essence Festival;
  • A  “Live In Studio A” concert series featuring intimate performances by nationally touring acts;
  • A special salute to the Stax Museum’s 20th Anniversary at the 35th Annual Porretta Soul Festival July 20-23, 2023 there in Rufus Thomas Park;
  • A monthly series of free and open-to-the-public events to give more fans and community residents more access to celebrating the Stax Museum’s 20th

That monthly series, will include:

  • February – Grand reopening of the Stax Museum’s newly renovated lobby and gift shop;
  • February – The launch of our Black History Month 2023 Virtual Film celebrating the 20th anniversary;
  • February 11 – Family Day with free admission for every 1-4 pm featuring live music, games, arts & crafts, snacks, and more for kids of all ages; This will be held on the second Saturday of each month;
  • February 23 – Book and author event with Nabil Ayers, who will discuss My Life in the Sunshine: Searching for my Father and Discovering my Family.
  • March 7 – Lecture and book signing for Black Country Music: Listening for Revolutions – Francesca Royster, first Black author to write a book about country music and racism;
  • May 2 – A Birthday Party to celebrate the official 20th Anniversary of the Stax Museum
  • June 6 – July 25 – The Stax Music Academy Alumni Band, 926, live in Studio A Every Tuesday in June & July
  • June 23: WRITTEN IN THEIR SOUL: Album Release Party featuring a panel discussion narrated by Robert Gordon and Stax songwriters William Bell, Eddie Floyd, Deanie Parker, Bobby Manuel, and Henderson Thigpen.
  • July 21: Soul Sessions: An Evening with David Porter: The famed Stax recording artist and songwriter will be interviewed by WDIA’s Bev John and will sign albums of his previously never released songs as reimagined in 2022.
  • August – Wax & Wine. First-of-its-kind event in Memphis pairing wines selected by a local sommelier with appetizers and a soundtrack featuring rare soul recordings from the Stax Museum’s Bob Abrahamian Collection. Ticketed event, limited seating.
  • September – Southwest of Memphis: A Celebration of Chicano Soul: Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with the Stax Museum’s first examination of the Chicano Soul Movement;
  • October – Back to School: From Professor W.T. McDaniel to Jimmie Lunceford, the teachers who taught the basics of blues and improvisation of jazz were the true inspiration behind the Memphis music sound. Todays’ music educators discuss teaching a new generation of Memphis musicians. DATE TBD
  • The Whole Damn World Is Going Crazy: A celebration of the song’s author John Gary Williams of the Mad Lads, plus a film screening of the 2016 documentary The Invaders about a Memphis 1960s Black Power youth group of which Williams was a member, plus a sneak peek at John Hubbell’s upcoming film about Williams’ life. DATE TBD
  • November – Wax and Wine: Wine tastings paired with appetizers and listening party with the Stax Museum’s Bob Abrahamian Collection. Ticketed event. DATE TBD
  • December – In the Christmas Spirit annual Stax Museum holiday bash with food, cocktails, live music by Booker T. & the M.G.’s cover band The MD’s, and more.