Q3 2020 Newsletter

Celebrate with us 10 years of Art for Jobs as well as a rise in permanent employment with our Work Life graduates.




2019 Year End Newsletter

Please enjoy reading about the building of a strong city through Advance Memphis.  Read here.


Q3 2019 Newsletter- Art for Jobs and 20th Anniversary Celebration

Q3 2019 NL adv


Q2 2019 Newsletter

Celebrate with us our 20 years of bringing hope to urban community.  


1,000 Pardons – The heart behind the art of Christopher Nadaskay

We believe that glorifying God in all we do is important, and are always delighted to work with others as they pursue their God-given talents and abilities.

So of course, we were thrilled to be approached by professor and artist Christopher Nadaskay about a project he had in mind, and his desire to use his gifts to benefit our work at Advance Memphis.

Last year, Prof. Nadaskay was an artist featured in our annual Art For Jobs fundraiser. He approached us shortly after about a solo installation and sale that he wanted to put together in support of us. In the span of just a few short months, he has created 1,000 individual pieces of art in the form of hand-made crosses.

In his artist’s statement, Nadaskay explains:

“The overarching principle behind the exhibit is the idea that an individual artist can and should produce work for the benefit of others. It is my intention that this exhibit is used for the betterment of anyone who sees it – emotionally, spiritually and intellectually. The crosses are to be sold with the proceeds going directly to Advance Memphis.  It places art into the hands of a public who may never appreciate it as such and beauty into those same hands. It allows for the exploration of a huge number of creative visual problems and then helps to provide substance for those in need.

The idea for this exhibit/sale came from my desire to promulgate the concept of the social responsibility of the artist to the people that surround them in their particular segment of culture. The art world has become a place where political activism, influential social connections, and monetary gain direct the career paths of artists, to the detriment of the more positive influences that art can have on a culture. With this show, it is my intention to make art that is accessible to the average person, has a positive, hopeful message and from which the proceeds will directly be used to constructively impact society.  Each cross, in a sense, represents a pardon. This brought to mind a relatively common phrase in our culture ‘A thousand pardons,’ meaning ‘I beg your pardon;’ it is a quote that comes from a 1931 movie starring Charlie Chan (Black Camel).  It really has nothing to do with the movie, but as it was a little catchy and seemed appropriate to the message, the title was born.

The crosses are made in the same manner that I pursue my normal studio work, color and texture playing a huge role in their perception. It is only natural that influences from that artwork show up in a variety of ways in them.”

The artist would like to thank: Union University for its very generous support of the project through a teaching sabbatical grant, studio space, materials and kiln/firing time; Kathryn Pelley and Ragan Williamson, his studio assistants for the project – without whom much of this would not have been possible; and additional thanks should go to Crosstown Arts, Advance Memphis for their wonderful support and assistance in making the project a reality

We hope you will join us for the reception and sale of this monumental work on Thursday, March 30th, at Crosstown Arts. The event will be held from 4pm-9pm, pieces will be available for purchase for $15, and Chris Nadaskay will give a brief artist’s lecture. RSVP on Facebook

For more information, or to volunteer, please contact Bethany Stout at

About the Artist:
Christopher Nadaskay is an artist and Professor of Art at Union University where he has served for 24 years. He is a graduate of Southern Arkansas University and Texas A&M Commerce where he received his B.A. and M.F.A. in Painting/ Mixed Media respectively.  His mediums have included watercolor, oils, acrylics, mixed media and various sculpture mediums.  Working at the moment in mixed media/ceramic wall relief, he is interested in the relationship between technology and the human condition. He has works in several collections, including the Tennessee State Museum.


Work Life Facilitator Training


Over the past 12 years, Advance Memphis has utilized soft-skills job training to help people get to work. From 2005 to 2015, we used a curriculum from an organization called Jobs for Life. Two years ago, Advance Memphis and the Chalmers Center for Economic Development  worked with Jobs for Life to co-publish a new jobs-training curriculum called Work Life, specifically designed for communities suffering from the effects of multi-generational poverty.  Since the completion of the curriculum, Advance Memphis and the Chalmers Center have partnered to train churches and ministries in Work Life, and Advance now runs an annual training for new Work Life Facilitators. Advance Memphis is deeply grateful for this partnership with Jobs for Life and the Chalmers Center that has spanned many years. We are also grateful for the many churches and organizations that are engaged in this work around our nation.

What is Work Life?

Work Life is a biblically integrated job and life-skills curriculum designed specifically for low-income adults. Through Work Life, churches and non-profits can assist the materially poor in developing crucial skills for flourishing in their careers and communities. While Work Life covers typical jobs-readiness topics like interviewing skills and understanding what employers want, the curriculum goes deeper and engages participants in God’s grand story for their lives. Participants, Allies, and Instructors walk together in relationships, uncovering how to live all of life, including work, in light of that story. Naming gifts, developing communication skills, healing from the past, and overcoming difficult roadblocks are all topics addressed in interactive, participatory ways throughout the curriculum. The $350 training package equips you to walk with your low-income neighbors over time, leading to lasting transformation. Register here.

Why Work Life?

Becoming a Work Life facilitator prepares you to:

  • Move your church or ministry from giving things to the poor to building
    relationships with the poor, leading to long term change.
  • Apply the poverty alleviation principles described in When Helping Hurts to your context.
  • Create a concrete jobs preparedness ministry plan tailored to your community.
  • Train low-income people in concrete job and life skills, such as smart communication, knowing and applying their gifts on the job, interviewing techniques, and more.
  • Mobilize church members to serve as allies alongside participants, engaging your broader ministry circles in empowering low-income workers.

Get Trained

Start Work Life classes in your community by:

  • Completing four weeks of online training, unpacking the principles of effective poverty alleviation and adult education.
  • Attending the live training event, practicing facilitation with other ministry leaders and staff from Advance Memphis and Chalmers Center.

The Work Life Facilitator Training costs $350 at the early bird rate and $400 after May 21st. The training will take place in two stages. The online portion will begin June 5; live training will take place July 14th and 15th at Advance MemphisRegister here.

Interested in auditing? If you’re considering whether Work Life is right for your group or you have team members who would benefit from some training (though they won’t be facilitating), consider auditing. Participants may audit the online portion of training for $25. This does not include the live training and will not result in certification. Email Bryce Stout at with questions about auditing.


Wondering if Work Life is a fit for your organization? Have other questions?

Visit our FAQ page for more information, Or email Bryce Stout at

View sample materials here: Work Life Intro and Course Map | Session 08 | Session 10


Artist’s Walls Bring New Perspective to Art for Jobs

The sixth annual Art for Jobs event will be held in the (new!) Advance Memphis Warehouse on September 15th, from 5-8pm. Moving the event from the classrooms and offices of Advance Memphis to a 24,000 square foot warehouse opens up all kinds of possibilities for the event and organizers are working on several new additions to the party.

First up? Artist’s Walls. These 8′ x 8′ false walls are being created by 25633672684_6eb1bb68d5_zAdvance Memphis Work Life participants who have chosen the “Building Connections” elective. Students of the class practice planning projects, following directions, measuring, using power tools, and working as a team to complete projects.

After the walls are built, selected artists are given the opportunity to design their “gallery” space in any way they choose. For some of our artists, this will mean murals the size of the wall itself, for others, it will be a classic gallery experience with white walls and canvases hung on the wall.


Meredith Olinger, who will be creating an Artist’s Wall, frequently works in patterns and on fabric.

We’re excited to share more about the artists who will be applying their creativity to this project, each of whom have unique connections to the community and to the work at Advance. Keep up with Advance here and on social media as we share about all of our talented and generous artists (Facebook and Twitter links at the top of the page, follow us on Instagram at @advancememphis).

27925446184_34761450fe_zJamin Carter, seen working on his wall at right, will also be contributing a Wall – learn more about his work, here. Learn more about other artists creating Artist’s Walls: Meredith Olinger, Lacey Craig, Darlene Newman, Rachel Rieves, J.E.Gillentine, David Bunk, and Jack Chambers.

Make plans to be at Art for Jobs on September 15th to see Artists’s Walls as well as hundreds of pieces by local artists and prints from nationally known artists. Learn more about the event here.


Art for Jobs 2016 Artist: JAMIN CARTER


Jamin is seen here working on an Artist’s Wall for Art for Jobs at Advance Memphis. This 8′ x 8′ mural will be available for purchase at the event.


Art for Jobs 2016 will be held in a new location: The Advance Memphis Warehouse. With more space, comes more opportunity for creativity, and this year we’re introducing Artist’s Walls.

We’re working with a few local artists who will adopt an 8′ x 8′ wall and make it their own. You can learn more about Artist’s Walls, here. We are honored to have Jamin Carter joining us for this opportunity; he’s pictured at left beginning work on his piece.

Jamin Carter is a visual artist, educator, and activist. He holds a BFA in sculpture and painting and a Masters of Arts in Teaching in visual art education. He lives in Memphis, TN with his wife and two children.

Playful Bout, ink and acrylic on paper, is representative of some of Jamin's recent work. See more of his work on his site.

Playful Bout, ink and acrylic on paper, is representative of some of Jamin’s recent work. See more of his work on his site.

He has worked on a variety of projects both public and private such as serving as a volunteer consultant for public works, facilitating panel discussions and painting mural signs. Working out of his studio in Memphis he participants in exhibitions, and occasionally curates shows. Jamin is also a consultant with Focus 5 Inc., a group providing professional learning opportunities and program consulting focused on aligning arts integration, best instructional practices, and current thinking in the field of arts and education

Learn more about Jamin and see more of his work here, and make plans to join us on September 15th at Art for Jobs!

Art for Jobs 2016: Jobs for Memphians, Art for You!

Logo AfJ 2016Make plans now to join us for the 6th annual Art for Jobs event. This year the party’s in the new Advance Memphis Warehouse – more room for the art, music, and food!

Thursday | September 15 | 2016


The Advance Memphis Warehouse | 575 Suzette | 38126


Art for Jobs exists, first, to support Memphians in 38126 who are pursuing their educational and professional goals despite the significant roadblocks presented by material poverty. The second mission of Art for Jobs is to honor the artists who make the event possible! The event will be a celebration of art, beauty, courage, and dignity. We invite you to join us on Thursday, September 15, but we also encourage you to get involved now! Visit for all the latest event news; get started below!

The Blue | Donated by artist Emery Franklin for Art for Jobs 2014

The Blues | Donated by artist Emery Franklin for Art for Jobs 2014

  • ARTISTS: We offer a split of up to 50% and work hard to promote each artist through our blog and social media. Artists can register here. Contact Kate with questions
  • VOLUNTEERS: Support Advance and our participants by volunteering in one of the many roles we have available. There are ways to volunteer as we prepare for the event, and during the event itself. Contact Amanda to learn more. We need photographers, runners, sales assistants, party planners, and more!
  • SPONSORS: Businesses that sponsor Art for Jobs are promoted through our website and social media and at the event. There are sponsorship levels beginning at $500. View sponsorship info here and contact Steve with questions.
  • PATRONS & PROMOTERS: If you’re an art lover, plan to be there! We’ll have a wide range of prices and styles. If you want to go one step further and help us spread the word about the event, please get in touch and we’ll get you posters and Save the Date cards to hang in your business or pass out to friends!

Join us in supporting your fellow Memphians and some outstanding artists –
get involved today!


Forming Now: Art for Jobs 2016 Volunteer Committee

Art for Jobs 2016 simple imageGet involved in Art for Jobs—join our Art for Jobs Volunteer Committee!

There are many ways to contribute, and every option helps to support the incredible 38126 committee as our neighbors pursue education, employment, and financial security. 

Our committee helps Advance staff do the following:

  • MARKET THE EVENT: Help promote through print, social media, neighborhood and professional newsletters and more.
  • RECRUIT ARTISTS: Each year about 70 hobby and professional artists donate art to the event. We offer the option of a 50% split and our goal is to honor our artists in every phase of this event. 
  • RECRUIT SPONSORS: Invite businesses to support the event and honor our hardworking grads with a sponsorship.
  • ORGANIZE VOLUNTEERS: We’ll need dozens of volunteers to prepare for this event and about 50 the day of the party. Help us recruit and organize their efforts.
  • CELEBRATE! Do you love planning the details of a great party? Help us put together an event that celebrates the incredible work of our grads and volunteers–and, of course, the work of our talented artists! Planning this year will have an exciting new twist: we’ll host the event in our new warehouse! 

To find out more about the committee, email Kate. The amount of time you contribute is up to you, but we can work around the schedules of our committee members. We’ll meet as needed, probably just about 5 times between now and the event, using email for check-ins and decisions as necessary. Get involved—we would love to have you!