New Connections When ground was broken to begin work on the FedEx Forum, crewmen began uncovering history at an amazing rate. The Forum’s spot in Downtown Memphis has been populated almost since the city was founded, changing much over the decades. At one point, the area was an elite neighborhood with the city’s finest homes. At another time, it was a working class nightlife destination, with brothels, saloons, and creaky hotels. Many artifacts were uncovered at this accidental archeological site, and New Connections, a new exhibit that explores African-American history at the Pink Palace Museum through Oct. 23, features some of them, along with hundreds of other artifacts that come from all points along Memphis’s 200-year timeline, telling small parts of our big story. For more information, call 320-6362 or visit memphismuseums.org. Walking in Memphis Step out into 16 self-guided walking tours throughout the city with a book that begins by defining the different types of walkers: Downtown tourists, no-car tourists, the with-a-car walkers, the walk-at-your-own-pace walkers, and the bus walkers. Walking tips, safety advice, and information about Memphis get readers ready to roll. Each tour comes with a detailed map, photo documentation, and a comprehensive history notes and points of interest along the way — including lunch and break stops. The tours are divided into sections: Touring Downtown, Going Downtown to Cooper-Young, The Midtown Tour, The East Memphis Tour, Scenic Paths, The Urban Tour, and The Park Tour. Written by Memphian Ron McDonald, a pastoral counselor, writer, folksinger, and storyteller, Walking in Memphis: 16 Historic Tours combines McDonald’s knowledge of the city with his understanding of psychology, theology, and history — not to mention his knack for telling a good story! For more information, visit schifferbooks.com, local booksellers, and online retailers. 25 african aprils Special are the people who believe in their dreams strongly enough to keep the momentum rolling when energy starts to flag and heady enthusiasm gives way to the gritty day-to-day reality that living the dream is often hard, thankless work. Within that league stand David and Yvonne Acey, founders of Africa in April, an annual cultural festival celebrating a quarter century of introducing Memphis to the sights, sounds, and tastes of Africa. This four-day festival that showcases an honored African country each year began 25 years ago with a smattering of people wearing traditional African dress, beating drums on Main Street, and spreading the word about African culture. This year’s festival honors the Republic of Senegal, and takes place April 14–17 at Robert R. Church Park, with tens of thousands of visitors. A variety of activities throughout the four days include trade lunches, a parade, international vendors’ market, health and wellness awareness, fashion showcase, music performances, and authentic cuisine. David and Yvonne, both professional educators, are still chasing their dream, because for their mission to succeed, the dream must continually evolve. “Thanks for traveling with us for several decades of exciting, innovating, stimulating, educational, and cultural experiences,” says Yvonne. “Dr.Patricia Russell-McCloud, author of A Is for Attitude, summarizes this journey of African experiences for us: ‘Life is an escalator: You can move forward or backward; you cannot remain still.’” ClimBrIDGeS Climb for a cause! BRIDGES, at 477 N. Fifth, relaunches its fundraising rock climbs April 7 and 15 with a 1,400-square-foot climbing wall and 11 top rope belays. The fun, family atmosphere offers routes easy enough for youth combined with routes hard enough for experienced climbers. Newly installed belay bars and routes are ready for the adventerous, 6–9pm, at least twice monthly. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for youth 17 and under. All revenue goes to support BRIDGES, which works to build a community of leaders to advance racial, economic, educational, and environmental justice. For more information, call 452-5600 or visit bridgesusa.org. Music Launch Memphis Music Launch, a community project spearheaded by the Memphis Music Foundation, joins music creatives in a process of developing fresh ideas for new songs, music styles, and more. The three-tiered program, spread out across the spring and summer, provides participants with valuable music community networking, creation opportunities with other top industry personnel, individualized continuing education, and a public showcase piece — plus prizes. Anyone interested in contributing to the greater Memphis music community is welcome to participate. Memphis Music Launch begins with an evening of pitches April 2, 4–6 p.m., at the Emerge Memphis building, 516 Tennessee. Four ideas will be chosen for the focus of a two-day, 24-houraccess workshop (including meals) the following weekend. Ultimately, those four projects battle it out for top prizes. Tickets are $30 (early-bird) and $40. For more information and to reserve a spot, call 527-1029 or visit memphismusiclaunch. Eventbrite.com and memphismeansmusic.Com/mml. Call their Bluff! On the grounds of one of the most scenic venues in Memphis, overlooking the vast Mississippi River as it rolls beneath a settling sun, Spring Arts on the Bluff sets their stage for an afternoon of artistic fun while raising funds for the National Ornamental Metal Museum, the only museum in the U.S. dedicated exclusively to the exhibition and preservation of fine metalwork. Held April 17, noon–5 p.m., Spring Arts on the Bluff includes performances by local arts groups, family fun activities, demonstrating blacksmiths, and the perfect setting to mingle with nature and meet new friends.Food and beverages are sold separately. Bring blankets, lawn chairs, and your sense of exploration, but please leave pets and coolers at home. Museum admission is included in the ticket price of $6. For more information, call 774-6380 or visit metalmuseum.org. City Cheers Time to file federal income taxes — ick! The good news is 1) the tax return deadline is extended this year till April 18 and 2) an IRS FAQ website is available to help filers find answers to all those questions that pop up while trying to fill out tax return forms: irs.gov/faqs/. Theatre Memphis receives a national award from the American Association of Community Theatres in recognition of the theater’s “most outstanding service to community theater in the nation”: 682- 8323, theatrememphis.org. The Cotton Museum’s Exploration Hall, also known as “The Changing World of Cotton,” wins first place in the Exhibit Category, Region II, at the National AgriMarketing Association contest and will advance to the national competition: 65 Union, 531-7826, memphiscottonmuseum.org. Club 152 on Beale begins its 10th year in business with the honor of being listed in Nightclub & Bar Magazine’s 2011 Top 100 Bars and Nightclubs in the nation, the only nightclub to be honored in this region: 152 Beale, 544-7011, club152memphis.com. Hitting the Streets Midtown matriarch Paulette’s, the French restaurant housed in Overton Square’s quaint cottage since 1974, picks up her skirts and moves west to Mud Island, settling into the space formerly occupied by Currents at River Inn: 50 Harbor Town Square, 260-3300, riverinnmemphis.com. 477store, a new consignment store located in the new Memphis College of Art Graduate School on South Main, offers student, faculty, staff, and alumni artwork for sale, as well as serving as an accompaniment to changing exhibitions in the Hyde Gallery: 272-5100, 477store.com. Klein Fitness, which has helped people citywide achieve healthy lifestyles for almost two years, flexes its muscles at its new location on South Main, offering premier personal training and group fitness classes in a cool Downtown studio: 338 S. Main, 573-823-8753, kleinfitness.Com. SunTrust Bank opens a new branch in Uptown at 600 A.W. Willis, across from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital: 523- 1953, suntrust.com. On the Move The Children’s Museum of Memphis launches half-price Friday Family Nights, with extended hours of 5–7 p.m. and $5 admission: 2525 Central, 458-2678, cmom.com. Special Deliveries David Lynch, longtime Downtowner magazine resident artist, creates his decidedly most ambitious and challenging work of art to date: Paxton Buffett Lynch. At 0 months old, Paxton is the magazine’s most recent artist to enter training — with blessings from his mother, Amanda: davidlynchart.com. Alcenia’s restaurant owner, BJ Chester- Tamayo, publishes her first cookbook, Healing the Soul, an autobiographical journey about how BJ used cooking to come to terms with her son’s early, unexpected death. Photos, memories, humor, customer comments, and heartwarming sincerity are stirred into a big ol’ pot with Southern-style recipes made famous by this award-winning restaurant: 317 N. Main, 523-0200, alcenias.com. The official Tennessee Civil War 150th Anniversary license plate is now available, with proceeds helping preserve Tennessee Civil War battlefields and support the Tennessee Civil War Trails program. Order deadline is June 30: tcwpa.org. Memphis Music Mojo Memphis blues entertainer Eric Hughes celebrates one decade of performing in Beale Street clubs, beginning with his debut in 2001 playing solo/acoustic at Mr. Handy’s Blues Hall. Hughes has since performed at each of Beale’s clubs, logging in more than 2,000 performances while reaching the Top Twenty in the blues charts on several occasions: 857-1904, erichughesband.com. Downtown Departures George’s Coffee Shop, the out-of-the-way, homestyle-cooking diner at Third and Court, opened by George Vergos, the brother of the world-famous Rendezvous restaurant’s founder, ends 32 years of serving heaping, affordable plate lunches to a loyal Downtown clientele. Victoria’s Secret slips out of Peabody Place Retail and Entertainment Center. City of Good abode Help save the life of someone facing cancer by volunteering for as little as a few hours a month. Road to Recovery drivers transport cancer patients to their life-saving treatments: 725-8628, cancer.org. Wanted: photos, documents, and other memorabilia pertaining to the construction of the National Civil Rights Museum and its exhibits. The museum, celebrating its 20th anniversary, is planning a commemorative exhibit chronicling how it came into existence: 521-9699, civilrightsmuseum.org In Memoriam Jim Kyle, known throughout the Midsouth as Santa Claus, was a beloved face to Memphis children for more than 20 years. Jim shared his remarkable story in December’s “My 2 Cents” column, which can be read in the archive section of our website, memphisdowntowner.Com. Memorials may be sent to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Great Oaks Church of Christ, or Alzheimer’s Day Services. Cato Walker III, musician, historian, Beale Street brass note recipient, and former vice chair of the Memphis and Shelby County Film and Television Commission, also served as music director for B.B. King. John “Bad Dog” McCormack, longtime Rock 103 comedic radio personality, part of the original “Wakeup Crew” beginning in 1988, and originator of the “Twilight Phone” prank routine, not only brought laughter to the Midsouth for decades, but was also an avid supporter and fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House. Memorials may be made to the Ronald McDonald House: 529-4055, rmhmemphis.org.
Published by Downtowner Magazine. View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://bluetoad.com/article/City+Blocks+%26+Skyliners/685735/65204/article.html.