Performing the Peace

Playback bridges the gap between police officers and the community

Playback Memphis seeks to create social change through Performing the Peace, a train the trainer model that brings police and individuals who have been incarcerated together in a safe and open setting in which the participants examine and explore the barriers and the solutions to positive community-police relations.

Across the multi-session workshops, a dialog grows, allowing each side to see the human qualities of the other, offering valuable insight into what motivates their behavior and how each group’s behavior affects the other. The goal is to create an open dialogue between participants to build an authentic and positive relationship between the two groups so, together, they can find ways to tend the wounds of the historical collective trauma of racism and effectively address the underlying systemic and structural issues that prevent better relations.

Beyond this communal growth, individuals from both groups who complete this training have the opportunity to continue training with the Playback Memphis Professional Ensemble and become members of our Apprentice Ensemble and citizen artists in their own right.

Performing the Peace is an expansion and refinement of a successful partnership between the Memphis Police Department and Playback Memphis, and a collaboration with LifeLine to Success, an organization dedicated to assisting formerly incarcerated individuals reenter society with a support system that enables them to become productive citizens.

As part of this work, we are now offering Cultural Humility Trainings for Memphis Police Department officers.


Tennessee Arts Commission
Arts Memphis

Playback Memphis is proud to be supported by Arts Memphis, the Tennessee Arts Commission, the First Tennessee Foundation, the Plough Foundation, the Thomas W. Briggs Foundation, and the Assisi Foundation of Memphis
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