Since 2012, Rhodes College students have been booking, filming, editing, producing and promoting a live music web series called “An Evening at Elvis’” shot in one of Memphis’ hidden treasures – Elvis Presley’s first purchased home at 1034 Audubon Drive. The students involved in this project are a part of The Mike Curb Institute for Music, which was founded by Nashville record executive Mike Curb at Rhodes College in 2006 to give Rhodes students opportunities to research, preserve, and promote the music of Memphis. Elvis’ house on Audubon is one of many resources available to students as part of the Curb Institute.
Since its launch, the series has since hosted a diverse array of musicians from rising Memphis artists such as Valerie June, Marcella Simien, and PreauXX to Grammy-award winning and nationally renowned artists like Rosanne Cash, Bill Frisell, Charles Lloyd, and Bobby Rush. The series has also gained significant local and national recognition.
The most exciting part of the series is that students are responsible for the production and strategic development, working alongside professionals, faculty, and community members. Students who want to get involved in the series and the Curb Institute may enroll in a class called “Music & Community in Memphis,” taught by Curb director Dr. John Bass. The experience is not limited to students from any particular major, as they come from many different backgrounds, but contribute to the show based on their own academic and professional interests. Areas of focus include: audio/video production, public relations/marketing, community outreach/education, and research/writing. After completing this course students have the opportunity to continue their work with the series by becoming Curb Fellows
Curb Institute alumni have used the skills and networks they developed while working for the institute to obtain jobs and post-graduate opportunities in a variety of fields. Curb alumni work for non-profit organizations, schools, and businesses across the country; have received prestigious awards such as the Watson Fellowship, have been admitted to graduate schools in a myriad of fields, and have produced award-winning documentaries.