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RiverArtsFest embraces new era in Memphis

(Bob Mehr, GoMemphis)  Art is everywhere in Memphis this week: on the streets of Downtown, in the city’s schools, and on the minds of the more than 100,000 people who are expected to attend the annual RiverArtsFest on South Main.

The roots of RiverArts, which runs Saturday and Sunday, stretch back to the late ’80s, when it was known as the Arts in the Park festival at Overton Park. Eventually, the event moved to the Memphis Botanic Garden for several years in the mid-’90s. But after a poor showing following a move to the Christian Brothers University campus in 2004, the festival reached a dead end.

The following year it was renamed and relaunched in Downtown’s burgeoning gallery district along South Main. Since then, the festival — which now stretches from Huling to Webster — has consistently evolved in size and popularity.