Community Matters Partnership Program

Centering the voices and building institutional well-being with local nonprofits

Each year Playback Memphis partners with six nonprofit organizations to catalyze growth, healing, and flourishing through our special listening and story sharing theatre. We invite organizations committed to strengthening community well-being and centering the voices, stories, and wisdom of  marginalized peoples in Memphis to apply for a Community Matters partnership.  

2024 Community Matters Partners

  • BridgeUP GiddyUP
  • Knowledge Quest
  • Memphis Rise Academy
  • Memphis Child Advocacy Center
  • First Congregational Church
  • Halls of Ivy

Program Details

Selected partners receive a tailored workshop/performance valued at $3,000 by Playback Memphis at a deeply discounted price and also receive six complimentary tickets to attend a Memphis Matters public performance where the Community Matters partner’s work is highlighted.

Past partners have included nonprofits working with refugees, survivors of domestic violence,  justice impacted youth, seniors, and veterans. 

Our Memphis Matters performances also create a unique opportunity for advocacy around the issues that matter most to our partners, and allow us to highlight and promote the good work of partners to our audiences through their collateral material, social media and word of mouth. 

We seek to collaborate and share the practice of Playback theatre as a resource to foster awareness, dialogue, and collective purpose and agency.

What’s included with the workshop/performance?

We bring a team of professional artists to the location of your choosing. Generally, 4 performers, 1 facilitator, and — when needed — 1 Playback staff member are present for your workshop/performance.

We lead your constituents through mindfulness and restorative exercises, to be determined by our facilitation team using your needs and intended outcomes. These exercises build trust and communication in the group.

After the exercises, we set up a mini theatre and host a short Playback Theatre performance. During this experience, your constituents are invited to share stories, moments, and reflections from their own lives. Then, our performers play that story back, reenacting the story with care, creativity, and compassion. Through words, movement, and music, the sharing and witnessing of these stories builds connection and dialogue within your organization.

How do I know if a Community Matters partnership is right for my organization? 

  • You are part of a nonprofit organization 
  • You have not been selected as a Community Matters partner in the past 5 years  
  • You are seeking community-based, culturally responsive, transformative tools for engaging those you serve
  • You regularly engage groups or have the capacity to easily convene a group
  • You are seeking to increase connectivity, meaning making, and trust within your organization through listening practices and story sharing
  • Your organization would benefit from capturing stories that illuminate the impact of a key advocacy issue 
  • Commitment from leadership to engage in the partnership
  • Capacity to secure space for the workshop
  • Capacity to pay in accordance with sliding scale
What Community Partners Receive
  • Each Community Partner receives a customized workshop/performance. The engagement lasts approximately 1 hour, 15 minutes and can accommodate as many as 20 people.
  • Each partner also receives six complimentary tickets to attend a Memphis Matters public performance where the Community Matters partner’s work is highlighted. Partners also receive a discount code to share with their audiences so more people from their network can attend.
  • Each partner receives a toolkit with material to promote the workshop and Memphis Matters performance to their audiences. Playback’s events manager will also facilitate the logistics for both events.
  • Both the workshop/performance and featured Memphis Matters show would take place between January 2024 and December 2024.
What Community Partners Provide
  • Each Community Partner fills out a questionnaire providing Playback Memphis with information on the needs they would like addressed within their organization and the outcomes they would like to achieve. This information helps us customize the experience for each organization.
  • Each partner coordinates the constituents who will be participating. This might mean identifying and securing a specific group within an organization or promoting the opportunity to encourage general sign-ups.
  • Each partner coordinates which six individuals will attend their highlighted Memphis Matters performance. Partners also promote their featured show and share the discount code with their network.
  • Each partner shares the link to a short survey with constituents who attended the engagement. Paper surveys are also available during the experience.

Cost of Community Matters Partnership

Based on Organization’s Budget ($3,000 value)

Organizations with budgets of $500,000 or lessOrganizations with budgets from $500,000-$1,000,000Organizations with budget over 1 million

A 90% discount


An 80% discount


A 60% discount

Playback Memphis values partnering across sectors with organizations at every stage of growth and development. Our Community Matters partnerships allow your organization a deeply discounted price for a Playback engagement, while also supporting local artists, driving meaningful work and revenue to Playback Memphis paid professional ensemble members.

When nonprofits partner with arts organizations to catalyze growth and healing we build a flourishing Memphis. When your organization invests in a Community Matters partnership, good things grow in Memphis. 

Community Matters experiences are gratefully supported through ticket proceeds from our Memphis Matters public performances, Tennessee Arts Commission grant funding, and the generosity of corporate sponsors and individual donors like YOU. 

Please contact [email protected]  for questions about the program. 


Tennessee Arts Commission
Arts Memphis

Playback Memphis is proud to be supported by ArtsMemphis and the Tennessee Arts Commission.
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