An initiative of the Center for Cultural Innovation


Photo credit Dawn Celeste Ross.

TONE/Orange Mound

 TONE is an organization based in Memphis, Tennessee, whose mission is to elevate Black artists as innovative thought leaders, courageous storytellers, and risk-taking problem solvers through intentional exhibitions, conversations, concerts, and artist development. In partnership with Producer and CEO of record label Unapologetic, James Dukes, TONE purchased the former United Equipment building site on Lamar Avenue (a major thoroughfare) to turn it into a hub of Black creativity and innovation. They are working with community members to reimagine it as a multi-use, community-owned, and governed asset that meets the needs and dreams of Black Memphis. It is a 10-acre industrial site comprising a group of buildings once used as a grain operation, including a grain elevator known by neighborhood residents as the “Tower.” The site has been vacant since 2010. It is located in the historic Orange Mound neighborhood, the first neighborhood built by and for Black people in the United States, just a few minutes’ drive from downtown Memphis. The plan for the Orange Mound Tower site includes redeveloping the existing warehouse and tower, including art-making spaces, galleries, artists’ residencies, studios, commercial market space, multifamily housing, office and live-work space, a recording and performance venue, and a courtyard. AmbitioUS is providing renewed support for one year with a $50,000 project grant for TONE’s work on Orange Mound Tower.









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