In the News

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Memphis named No. 1 city for musicians

Memphis' affordable rent and openness to independent music shot it to the top of Sonic Bids' list of the most livable cities to build a music career.

The article names Memphis a hot spot for everything from Goner Records' punk and garage music to hip hop and rap careers like the successful Yo Gotti. 

Average rent prices fall between $700 and $800 for a single bedroom, which is about 14 percent lower than the national average. All of these factors point to "prime conditions for up-and-coming artists who'd rather focus on their music making than concerns about high cost of living."

Read the rest of the article here

Clayborn Temple renovation secures $400K federal grant

The National Park Service has awarded the City of Memphis' Division of Housing and Community Development a $400,000 federal grant to support the revitalization of Clayborn Temple, a important site in African-American and history and the Civil Rights movement.

The grant is secured through the African American Civil Rights Grant Program for the Clayborn Temple Preservation Project. The Memphis church is one of 39 projects in 20 states to receive funding for preserving and highlighting sites associated with the Civil Rights movement.

“The Clayborn Temple has held a prominent role in our city’s and nation’s history, serving as the organizing location and starting point for the Memphis Sanitation Workers strike lead by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968," said Congressman Steve Cohen in a release. "Clayborn Temple focuses to again become a spiritual and cultural hub for the city, as it is the gateway between Downtown, the Central Business District, Beale Street, the FedEx Forum and South City.”

Congressman Cohen’s recommendation letter can be found here.

"I Love Memphis" blogger named a Southerner of the Year

Holly Whitfield, purveyor of the popular I Love Memphis blog, has been named a Southerner of the Year by Southern Living Magazine. She is one of 50 visionaries moving the south forward, according to Southern Living.

For more details, visit here

Memphis nonprofit leader named to top Forbes list

Mendell Grinter, founder an executive director of nonprofit Campaign for School Equality, has been named to to Forbes' 30 Under 30 Education 2017 list. 

With the recognition, Grinter is a leader dedicated to“opening minds and access to quality education for all and increasing opportunities and new pathways to learning, especially for previously overlooked or undervalued populations," according to Forbes.

Grinter launched Memphis-based Campaign for School Equality in July 2016. The nonprofit works to ensure that all children, especially those of color, and families of Tennessee have access to high quality education choices through uniting communities of clergy, parents and students to advocate for legislative change. 

For more details, see here

Latino Memphis launches youth mentorship program

Latino Memphis has launched Caminos to connect community youth with mentors. 

Caminos, which means pathways in Spanish, empowers high college and career goals by connecting them with positive adult role models who help to cultivate their talents so students can become civically engaged and achieve success in their day-to-day lives.

Memphians can volunteer to become a mentor at and register as a mentor referred by Latino Memphis.

GiVE 365 opens grants to benefit youth opportunity programs

GiVE 365, the philanthropy initiative of the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, is accepting grant applications from area nonprofits to expand youth opportunities. 

In an effort to address some of the many causes of poverty in Memphis, grants will support programs
that help youth meet their potential.

Grants will fund programs or projects offer opportunities for youth to learn and develop in areas including: education, vocation, recreation, mentoring, behavioral health & support groups, entrepreneurship, the arts, and technology. All grant applications must respond to this theme.

Grant applications are due Feb. 6. More details are available here

Travel blog highlights Shelby Farms, South Main

A travel writer who attended college in Memphis writes about the city's renaissance from Shelby Farms Park, Broad Avenue Arts District, South Main Arts District and Victorian Village and asks, "Is Memphis the next hot city?"

Read more here

Brooks, Facing History host free upstanders film series

Education nonprofit Facing History and Ourselves has partnered with the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art to present the upstanders film series in January 2017.

Every Wednesday night at 7 p.m., the museum will screen a film that celebrates stories of individuals that have embraced the challenge to speak out, stand up for others, and make decisions that help create positive change in our world.

Following each free screening, Facing History and Ourselves will facilitate a discussion with the audience about how the stories can speak to present day challenges. 
The titles include:

At the River I Stand - Jan 4, 2017
Watchers of the Sky - Jan 11, 2017
The Interrupters - Jan 18, 2017
What Tomorrow Brings - Jan 25, 2017

Logistics accelerator opens for applications

Applications are open for the third year of the EPIcenter Logistics Innovation Accelerator. 

Sponsored by FedEx Corp., the accelerator is an intensive 15-week program for startups working in the transportation and logistics sector. 

The logistics accelerator seeks companies working in first-mile/last-mile delivery, 
data-driven supply chain management, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, smart packaging, robotics, location and contextual-based services and additive manufacturing. 

Up to six companies will be selected for the 2017 cohort and will receive $50,000 in seed capital. 

The deadline for submitting applications is March 1 with a targeted cohort start date of May 1. The accelerator concludes with a public Demo Day on Aug. 10, 2017. Post-acceleration programs will be available thereafter to help the entrepreneurs continue to develop and grow their businesses.

More information can be found here

VIDEO: Newly-released trailer for CMT's "Sun Records"

For over two months, Memphians made space for vintage cars and hordes of mid-century extras during the filming on Sun Records, the CMT Network's upcoming TV show about the birth of rock and roll. 

The $6 million production, formerly known as Million Dollar Quarter, filmed in and around Memphis earlier this year. A newly-released trailer gives a first look at the show which will premier at 9 p.m. CT on Feb. 23. 

Sun Records stars Chad Michael Murray as Sun Records founder Sam Phillips, Billy Gardell as Elvis Presley's manager Colonel Tom Parker, Drake Milligan as Presley, Kevin Fonteyne as Johnny Cash, Christian Lees as Jerry Lee Lewis and Kerry Holliday as Ike Turner. 


Literacy Mid-South names new executive director

Knox Shelton has been named executive director of Literacy Mid-South. Shelton previously served as interim director after Kevin Dean stepped down from the position in July. Prior, Shelton was the organization’s community relations manager.  

Shelton will be responsible for developing and implementing a five-year strategic plan for the nonprofit. In the long-term, Shelton’s duties will include increasing funding as well as continued collaboration with Memphis-area nonprofits and city and county agencies.

"His leadership has been evident in the successful implementation and continued momentum of Literacy Mid-South’s services and programs," said Amanda Clarkson, Literacy Mid-South board chair. "The Summer Reading Initiative expanded its reach from 1,000 students last summer to 2,500 this summer, providing 1,400 minutes of reading intervention. We are confident that under Knox’s guidance, Literacy Mid-South will continue to make a significant difference in the lives of Mid-Southerners through literacy resources and education.”

For more details, visit Literacy Mid-South.

New online tool launched for job seekers and employers

The Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce has launched a new website and app to better connect job seekers, educators and employers.

MemphisWorks can educate the workforce about high demand jobs and provide access to the information needed to obtain the skills required for those jobs. The program includes videos of employees in actual job settings, a job-seekers portfolio and resume that employees can easily access, a comprehensive job posting board, an applicant tracking system and the ability for employers to market their organization and jobs as well as post online training and videos. 

In its initial rollout, the MemphisWorks platform will feature career pathways for advanced manufacturing, construction and engineering, health sciences, distribution and logistics, information technology and transportation. Further expansions of the tool could include hospitality and retail pathways. 
"The platform's data-driven connections will match recommended job opportunities to an individual's career pathway interest, assessments and skills gaps. The system will recommend skilled individuals to employers and provide better information to educators, job seekers and employers- by tracking skills acquisition, assessments and gaps against available training programs and job opportunities," stated the Greater Memphis Chamber in a release.

Rhodes College names first woman president

Rhodes College has named Marjorie Hass as its 20th president. Hass is the first woman to lead the institution in its 168-year history. 

She currently serves as president of Austin College in Sherman, Tex. and the chair of the Board of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. She assumes the Memphis position in July following the retirement of President William Troutt.

“As Rhodes College approaches its bicentennial, the board strongly believes that Dr. Hass brings the right mix of passion, experience, and student-centeredness that will enable her to position Rhodes as a leader in the liberal arts and sciences, expand on our relationship with the City of Memphis, work closely with the board to manage the College effectively and develop a strategic plan for its continued growth; and continue to foster a diverse, welcoming, and inclusive environment,” said board of trustees chair William Michaelcheck.

Read more here

International again: Memphis adds nonstop flight to Canada

Next May, Air Canada will resume direct flights from Memphis International Airport to Toronto Pearson International Airport. The service marks the first daily international flights at MEM since 2012.

Air Canada previously operated at MEM between 2010 and 2012. 

“This route is more than a connection between Memphis and Toronto – it opens up many, many international connections for Memphis travelers as well," said Pace Cooper, chairman of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority board of commissioners.

In addition to opening a direct connection between Memphis and Toronto, this route will offer a gateway to more than 160 international destinations due to Air Canada’s worldwide presence. Memphis passengers will have one-stop connectivity that was previously unavailable to 41 international destinations including Budapest, Copenhagen, Dubai, Vienna, Warsaw and many Canadian cities.
The airline will use a 50-seat Bombardier CRJ200 for the route. 

Memphis weighs in division over charter schools

The Memphis LiftMemphis Shelby County Education AssociationFreedom Preparatory AcademyVision Preparatory Charter SchoolNAACP are all featured in a PBS News Hour report on how feels views the future of public education after Donald Trump's election. 
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