Historic Clayborn Temple Welcomes Amal to a Culture of Love
We invite you to join Historic Clayborn Temple in bringing the international production of The Walk With Amal to Memphis. Little Amal is the 12-foot puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee child at the heart of The Walk. She has become a global symbol of human rights, especially those of refugees.
Between September 7 and November 5, Amal will journey 6,000 miles across the United States. 35 towns and cities from Boston to San Diego and 1,000+ artists and arts organizations will create 100+ events to welcome her. Her journeys are festivals of art and she carries a message of hope for displaced people everywhere, especially children who have been separated from their families. Her urgent message to the world is “Don’t forget about us.” We are honored for Memphis to be included in this international event, lifting the voices and experiences of Amal and our youth.
When the Amal team reached out to Clayborn, we immediately connected with Amal’s story and her message as it is reflected in the experiences of our children, bringing possibilities and not just problems in our city. Anasa Troutman, Executive Director of Historic Clayborn Temple, and her TED Talk, "From Justice to Joy", became the springboard to curate our welcoming event. We are welcoming Amal into a culture of love.
We certainly can’t be or build a culture of love alone, so Clayborn’s creative team is partnering with organizations across the city to create engagement experiences for Memphis youth and families to build small puppets celebrating their own image to amplify their story, led by nationally acclaimed puppeteer Jeghetto. He will also lead a team of Memphis-based artists who will build an 8-foot-tall puppet representing a Memphis Girl with the same messaging as Amal, “don’t forget about us” and “we bring possibilities to communities”. Youth will be invited to explore Amal’s story, share their Memphis story, and co-create the narrative of Amal's welcome event. The community and youth engagement is taking place throughout September, reaching zip codes across this city through a myriad of partnerships.
On October 4, 2023, Little Amal, the Memphis Girl puppet, 1000 Memphis youth, and their puppets will walk alongside one another from Historic Clayborn Temple to Memphis Riverside at Tom Lee Park, spreading the word about Amal's journey and the journey of Memphis youth.
We are certain that by placing Amal, along with our youth, in a powerful place with high visibility, we will challenge the notion that vulnerable, marginalized individuals and communities are to be feared and instead invite communities to embrace and honor them and their possibilities. We hope that Amal’s journeys might encourage advocacy and strengthen awareness, empathy, and conversation and invite our city to re-evaluate the narrative of Memphis youth. It is time to stop seeing our youth as a burden and begin recognizing that all youth in our city, no matter what zip code they are from, are full of possibilities and brilliance. We hope this project amplifies the unique contributions and stories young people bring to our community and create more opportunities of welcome and a culture of love after Amal’s visit.
Amazing organizations are already partnering with us! Bridges USA, YAG (Young Actors Guild), Jack Robinson Gallery, Hyde Family Foundation, ARTSMemphis, Tennessee Arts Commission, Native RITES, Brooks Museum, The Orpheum Theatre, Refugee Empowerment Program, Harriet Performing Arts Center, Princeton James’ Kooler Kids Arts Enrichment Program, Memphis River Parks Partnership, Shelby County Schools, Ash Love LLC, Emily Marks, and Douglass Community Center.
Partner with us and give today!
Amal Walks Across America is produced by The Walk Productions in association with the Handspring Puppet Company. Amal Walks Across America was made possible with an inaugural investment from the Doris Duke Foundation, as well as leadership support from the Bezos Family Foundation. Additional generous support was provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies, Choose Love, The Conrad Prebys Foundation, the Donald A. Pels Charitable Trust, the McMillan Stewart Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, The Shapiro Foundation, and Students Rebuild. U.S. Producing Partner THE OFFICE performing arts+film. Impact + Outreach The Soze Agency. Marketing Cause Lab. PR + Communications DKC.