The whirlwind of the holiday season is behind us and now January is here in its quiet, winter glory. It’s a month to make plans, a month to catch up, a month to hit the gym to peddle off those inevitable December pounds. It’s not really a month to load up the calendar with social events, right? Wrong! Loads of great Memphis events are on tap this month, and we’re here with the definitive list to help you continue the party right on into 2016. Happy New Year!
January 2, 2016: AutoZone Liberty Bowl
January is prime time for post-season football, so head to the center of town for the 57th Annual AutoZone Liberty Bowl Football Classic, where Arkansas faces off against Kansas State. Kickoff is 2:20 p.m. CST. The game will be televised on ESPN and broadcast by ESPN Radio. Tickets are on sale now. For more info, call (901) 795-7700 or visit autozonelibertybowl.org.
January 7-10, 2016: Elvis’ Birthday Celebration at Graceland
Kicking off with the debut of a new VIP exhibit, “Elvis in Hollywood: From Teen Idol to Leading Man,” the week commemorating the King’s birthday is action-packed, this year and every year. Join locals and tourists from across the globe at Graceland for events ranging from an Elvis artifact auction to a “Club Elvis” dance party on Thursday, January 7 to birthday cake and coffee following the Elvis Birthday Proclamation Ceremony at 9:30 a.m. Friday, January 8. For ticket information and a full schedule, visit graceland.com.
January 9, 2016: Larry Gatlin with Jason D. Williams at GPAC
Head to the Germantown Performing Arts Center to catch a rare solo, acoustic set by country music legend Larry Gatlin. Hitting the stage with Gatlin is rockabilly sensation Jason D. Williams. If you’re a country fan, it’s a night you won’t want to miss! Tickets start at $28.50. Learn more at gpacweb.com.
January 12-17, 2016: Matilda at The Orpheum
It’s a high-flying great time with smart-as-a-whip Matilda and her company of talented friends. This is a great one for the kids, with colorful costumes, onstage magic and over-the-top comic performances. So don’t wait … buy your tickets now for this four-time Tony award-winning, TIME Magazine No. 1 show of the year! Ticket prices range from $25 to $125. Learn more at orpheum-memphis.com.
January 15, 2016: The Science of Beer
Learn all you ever wanted to know about beer, and have some while you’re at it! The Science of Beer, which runs from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the Pink Palace, features tastings from professional and home brewers, as well as activities, mini-lectures and a chance to interact with expert brewers. Tickets are $30 for museum members, $35 for non-members and $15 for designated drivers. Note that this event is 21 and up. For tickets, call (901) 636-2632 or visit memphismuseums.org.
January 17, 2016: Thomas Cole’s “Voyage of Life” at the Dixon
In 1839, artist Thomas Cole painted four large, allegorical works titled “The Voyage of Life,” and they’re on view beginning Sunday, January 17, at Dixon Gallery & Gardens. The exhibition is free with museum admission. An opening lecture by Dr. Paul D. Schweizer of Munson-Williams-Proctor Art Institute takes place from 2-3 p.m. Learn more at dixon.org.
January 22-February 14, 2016: Green Day’s American Idiot at POTS
This hard-hitting, s0-right-now show follows the journey of a new generation of Americans, led by Johnny, Tunny and Will as they struggle to find meaning in a post 9/11 world. It’s set to a backdrop of Green Day’s album of the same name, along with several songs from the follow-up release “21st Century Breakdown.” Note that the show includes adult situations and language. Tickets are $42 for adults, $17 for kids and $24 for seniors, military and students; showtimes vary. For more info, call (901) 726-4656 or visit playhouseonthesquare.org.
January 23, 2016: “Simplicity” with Nancy Braithwaite
Join the Decorative Arts Trust and the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art from 10:30-11:30 a.m. for this talk with interior designer and author Nancy Braithwaite. Nancy, whose work has been featured in publications including Veranda, Elle Decor, House Beautiful and more, believes a designer must not merely look, but actually see in an educated, principled and disciplined way. Following the talk, Nancy will sign her book, “Simplicity.” All proceeds of the event benefit the Decorative Arts Trust and the museum. Cost for the talk is included in museum admission. Learn more at brooksmuseum.org.
January 26-30, 2016: International Blues Challenge
The 32nd annual International Blues Challenge features blues musicians from around the world who are gathering in Memphis to compete for cash, prizes and industry recognition. Presented by The Blues Foundation, this yearly event kicks off Tuesday, January 26, with a meet-and-greet hosted by the Beale Street Merchants Association at the New Daisy Theatre, followed by an International Showcase. The competition runs throughout the week, concluding with the competition’s Finals at the Orpheum Theater. A basic pass costs $100. For more information and a full lineup of events, visit blues.org.
January 28, 2016: Literacy Is Key Luncheon
Join literary-minded friends for the sixth-annual Literacy Is Key: A Book and Author Event Luncheon, which runs from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn-University of Memphis (doors open at 10 a.m.). Featured authors include Dorothea Benton Frank, Laura Lane McNeal and Mark Greaney. Presented by the Memphis Alumnae Association of Kappa Kappa Gamma, this year’s event benefits First Book Mid-South. Individual tickets cost $55, and tables start at $500. For details, visit memphis.kappa.org.
January 29, 2016: Incognito Silent Art Auction & Gala
Join guest host Kacky Walton of WKNO’s “Checking on the Arts” for an evening of art, drinks, hors d’oeuvres and entertainment by guitarist Ian Shapiro … all while you bid on original, anonymous works of art! The annual event, sponsored by SunTrust, runs from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Memphis Botanic Garden. Art in this year’s auction is inspired by natural places in the Mid-South, and artists’ names will be revealed at the close of the auction. Proceeds from tickets and art sales benefit Memphis Botanic Garden’s programming. Learn more at memphisbotanicgarden.com/incognito.
January 30, 2016: Folk Art in America Community Day
Head to the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art with your entire family to explore the exhibition “Wonder, Whimsy, Wild: Folk Art in America” and peruse an interactive gallery. The event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., features live music, full access to the exhibition and free admission. Don’t miss it! Get details at brooksmuseum.org.
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