Art for Jobs 2016 Sponsor: ER2

ER2 logoER2, a Picasso level sponsor of Art for Jobs, is a socially and environmentally responsible recycling company that provides industry leading recycling and asset management services to its partners, simultaneously acting as a conduit to make a positive impact on its team members, community, and environment.


Sherri is employed at ER2 and, because of that job, qualified to open an IDA — a matched savings account for the purchase of an asset. Sherri is saving for a home.

ER2’s services include secure data destruction, zero-landfill recycling, asset management and decommission, asset recovery and purchase, liquidation and closeout, and commodity purchase. ER2’s newest facility, located in South Memphis, has already partnered with and supported Advance Memphis in a number of ways–including hiring grads like Sherri, pictured at right. We are very grateful for ER2’s support of Advance Memphis and Art for Jobs.

To find out more about ER2, visit their website here.

We are grateful to businesses like ER2, who allow us to continue our work in the 38126 community!

To learn more about Art for Jobs, please click here. All the event details can be found on our Facebook event page – let us know if you’ll be there!



Art for Jobs 2016 Sponsor: Patriot Bank


Alisa Huddleston, AVP, Assistant Branch Manager, and Loan Officer for Patriot Bank in Millington, and Erica, one of the ladies she mentored through the Work Life jobs training class.

Patriot Bank LogoA Picasso level sponsor for Art for Jobs, Patriot Bank is a full-service bank with a focus on community service. It serves the growing markets of north and east Shelby County, Tipton County, and west Fayette County, offering a wide range of consumer and commercial accounts as well as a mortgage division. Patriot Bank opened in Millington in October 2001 and has grown to six full service banks since its inception. Not only is Patriot Bank equipped to help you manage a wide array of financial needs, they also seek to provide personalized and professional customer service that will ensure complete customer satisfaction. We are grateful to Patriot Bank for their generous support of Advance Memphis.

To learn more about Patriot Bank, visit their website here.

Thanks to businesses like Patriot Bank, we are able to continue our work in the 38126 community!

To learn more about Art for Jobs at Advance Memphis, visit here.



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 Sponsor: Triumph Bank

Listen to Traci Strickland interview Advance Memphis Executive Director Steve Nash about Art for Jobs!

Triumph Bank, a Van Gogh level sponsor of Art for Jobs, is a local community bank serving the greater Memphis area through their offices in East Memphis, Germantown, Collierville, and Arlington. Triumph Bank was founded in 2006 by a group of respected local bankers and business leaders who desired to see hometown banking return to the Memphis area.

Triumph Bank takes pride in being owned and managed in town, which allows it to serve customers in its four locations with excellence and friendliness. Because it is locally run, Triumph Bank is also able to provide flexibility to its customers, granting them with both control and confidence. Triumph Bank is proud to support the people and businesses that make up this great community.


Volunteers from Triumph Bank spent a day in our garden! Volunteers from the bank have served in various ways–from mentoring to serving lunch–and Advance is grateful for the way Triumph invests in the community.

As a way to honor their Memphis roots, Triumph is making significant investments in local neighborhoods like ours, involving their outstanding employees every step of the way. Volunteers from the bank make a difference at Advance, and we are grateful for their involvement!

To find out more about Triumph Bank, visit their website here. Triumph has a great radio show, and recently interviewed our Executive Director, Steve Nash. Check that out, here.

Thanks to organizations like Triumph Bank, we are able to continue our work in the 38126 community!

To learn more about Art for Jobs, please click here.



Art for Jobs 2016 Sponsor: SouthernSun Asset Management


Stuart Harris, Senior Associate with SouthernSun, is pictured here with Marcus, an Advance Memphis program participant whom Stuart mentored through a car purchase.

Our 2016 Rembrandt level sponsor of Art for Jobs is SouthernSun Asset Management. Supporting Art for Jobs from its beginning in 2011, SouthernSun is an important partner to the work at Advance. Over the years, they’ve supported Advance in numerous ways: they have hired graduates as interns, donated lunch for class, and made gifts that have sustained programs at Advance. In addition, individual staff members have served Advance with creativity and passion. The generous support of businesses like SouthernSun Asset Management empowers our graduates to pursue their educational and professional goals and move toward financial stability.

SouthernSun AM LogoSouthernSun Asset Management, established in 1989, is a research-driven investment management firm, implementing SMID Cap, Small Cap and Global Equity investment strategies. Their name reflects a commitment to shed light on investment opportunities both at home and around the globe—a commitment that has driven the company’s work throughout their history. Although their roots are proudly established in Memphis, SouthernSun travels worldwide to seek out information they need to make sound financial decisions.

To learn more about SouthernSun Asset Management, view their website here.

To learn more about Art for Jobs, please click here.



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 advancememphis.org/afj2016 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!


Advance Memphis Electives: Anger Management

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this:
Everyone should be quick to listen,
slow to speak and slow to become angry.”
James 1:19

The Advance Memphis Anger Management class focuses on the acceptance of an ever-present reality: The reality that people make us angry sometimes. The reality that things don’t always go the way we want them to. The reality that life can and will throw some serious curve balls. It’s not the emotion that we should worry about, it’s the way we handle it. In class, we learn that our body responses come from the way we perceive the “unjust.” Were we wronged? Were we threatened? Were we disrespected, or lied to? These are just some of the things that can make us anywhere from irritated to enraged. By learning what “ticks” us off, we can combat these outbursts. We can learn that there are options. We can learn to handle anger through appropriate responses.

15506240716_d86e8eacac_z (1)

Cindy, 3rd from right, with a group of Anger Management participants.

I ask the class, “what are some good reasons you should learn to handle anger appropriately?” The number one response is “to keep my job.” So what can we do differently? If habits are a repetitive behavior that begins to occur automatically, how do we overcome them? Habits are overcome only by establishing new habits that oppose the old ones. The person that argues all the time has established a habit that can be overcome by developing a habit of listening to others. We have to learn to listen to others, even when we don’t want to hear what they have to say. It’s important because we can learn from others. Developing these new habits is a key objective of the class.

One thing I share with the participants is that I once got in trouble on a job for disagreeing with my supervisor and not wanting to listen. It could very well have cost me my job. I also hear responses of others who have walked off a job because of the wrong way a conversation was going. We have to learn alternative behaviors. “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.” Hebrews 13:17. This is scripture that we learn and mediate on in Anger Management.

It seems as if submitting to authority is harder for some than others, especially on the  job. Lucretia, a recent class participant, stated that taking a time-out when she is angry is working for her. She uses the time to evaluate why she is angry and ask herself about the root cause of her anger. Then, after she meditates on this for a few minutes, her anger subsides.

I enjoy facilitating the Anger Management class because I get to encourage people to let God reconcile relationships that they have damaged due to their anger. We pray about these relationships and we role-play speaking and listening skills. We also write letters to those we have hurt because of our anger and this teaches humility.

Because many of our participants have experienced trauma, emotions can be raw and feelings can run deep. Our prayer is that by understanding where anger comes from, how our bodies and minds respond, and developing alternative habits, our participants can be empowered to manage anger in healthy ways and have lives that are more stable and more fulfilling as a result.


2016 Involvement Guide: Join Us!

2016 Involvement Guide ImageAs you plan and dream for ways to learn, grow, and serve in 2016, please consider using our 2016 Involvement Guide as a resource. Those who pray, give, and serve at Advance Memphis are the lifeblood of this work. The Guide contains class schedules, contact information, and volunteer roles–everything you need to make a plan to share your gifts in a way that blesses others and fits your life. We created this guide because we need roughly 240 volunteers every year, many of them in the highly relational roles that are essential to our programs. These volunteers are truly the body of Christ at work in Memphis. We thank you for considering ways you can get involved this year. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE 2016 ADVANCE MEMPHIS INVOLVEMENT GUIDE.


2015 Advance Memphis Outcomes


Advance Memphis program grads and employees of the Staffing Program are seen here completing an Outsourcing project in the new Advance Memphis Warehouse, just blocks from our offices and classrooms on Vance.

In 2015, Advance Memphis, powered by 240 volunteers, 15 staff members, dozens of donors, and an incredible community of participants, operated programs that empowered the people of 38126 to move into financial security.

Below, you’ll see just a few of the tangible outcomes of the work this community did this year. There are many more life changes that are less easily measured: the 40 year old who opens his first bank account, the woman who stopped drinking, the man who proudly supports his children, the woman who earned her GED, the man with a drivers license and a new job.

THIS is how our Lord will “undo the straps of the yoke to let the oppressed go free.”


  • 80 participants will complete job readiness training through Work Life.
  • 61 participants received 12+ hours of GED/HSE instruction and 6 participants received their GED/HSE. The new, more difficult test is causing a nationwide decrease in pass rates. More info about this change: bit.do/gedchanges.
  • 18 students received higher-ed counseling. 10 enrolled in courses or training.


  • 165 counseling sessions were held, with 17 clients attending 3 or more sessions.
  • 15 crisis counseling sessions were provided.
  • 72 graduates attended 3 or more addiction recovery meetings this year.
  • 40 participants will complete Anger Management training.


  • 73 graduates have been hired into temporary positions. 25 graduates have been hired into temp-to-hire positions. The average starting wage was $9.01, almost 25% above Tennessee’s minimum wage and 20 cents above our 2014 average starting wage.
  • YTD, graduate employees of our Staffing Program have earned gross wages of $1,236,000.
  • 199 graduates have been rehired after a period of unemployment.
  • 13 graduates have received fork lift certification


  • 18 participants completed Faith & Finances training and 10 new matched saving accounts (IDAs) were opened. 12 people have been saving in their IDAs consistently for 6+ months. 3 participants purchased an asset using their IDAs.
  • 12 participants completed LAUNCH entrepreneurial training. 64% of LAUNCH alumni are still operating businesses; 2 new businesses were registered  in ‘15.


  • The new Advance Memphis Warehouse (pictured above) is already providing job coaching and employment right here in the neighborhood. There is much more to come next year. Support this work through prayer and business referrals.
  • Relationships are the key to the work we do. Mentors in most of our core programs provide relational support that changes lives. Support this work by volunteering as a Champion (day, Work Life), Ally (evening, Faith & Finances), or entrepreneurial mentor (evening, LAUNCH). Support this work by volunteering. Email: acoop@advancememphis.org.

 Volunteer hours, donations, and prayers are essential.  Get involved using the information below.

JOIN THE PRAYER LETTER TEAM: kate@advancememphis.org
VOLUNTEER: acoop@advancememphis.org
GIVE: Mail to  PO Box 2201, Memphis, 38101 or go to advancememphis.org/give.



News from the LAUNCH Class for Entrepreneurs


LAUNCH grad Quincy Foster was hired to photograph the Art for Jobs event this year. He took this photo of board member Sydney Ashby and LAUNCH Coordinator, Bryce Stout.

LAUNCH grad Quincy Foster spent 13 weeks building his photography business through Advance Memphis’s program for entrepreneurs.

He shared the following thoughts on the program: “There has been tremendous benefit as far as focusing on the task at hand, a reasonable level of accountability, completing important steps in the process toward getting the business legal, and good record keeping.”

LAUNCH Coordinator Bryce Stout has put together a newsletter with more information about this years’ graduates, their businesses, and the program outcomes. To read the LAUNCH Newsletter, please click here.