VOL. 132 | NO. 39 | Thursday, February 23, 2017
City, UrbanArt to Build ‘I Am A Man Plaza’
The UrbanArt Commission, in partnership with the city of Memphis, has announced a call for artists to design and fabricate an art installation in conjunction with the development of an I Am A Man Plaza.
The plaza and accompanying art installation will be built adjacent to Clayborn Temple, a key sanctuary for many Memphians during the civil rights movement. The plaza will serve as a focal point of a citywide commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Memphis sanitation workers strike and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in April 1968.
The selected artist will work closely with a landscape architect in coordinating the plaza design with the art installation.
Requirements of the artwork include that it acknowledges the historical significance of Memphis, the sanitation workers strike and King in the civil rights movement, particularly involving the phrase “I Am A Man”; provides visitors with the ability to interact with the art through tactile or technological elements or other methods; creates an experience that residents and tourists will want to revisit; creates a space for peaceful protest and positive change; and inspires future generations to stand up for social justice and positive change.
– Andy Meek
Beale Street Music Fest Lineup Revealed
The 2017 Beale Street Music Festival lineup has arrived.
Headliners for the three-day festival, scheduled for May 5-7, include Soundgarden, Wiz Khalifa, Sturgill Simpson, Widespread Panic, Snoop Dogg, Jill Scott, Kings of Leon, Death Cab for Cutie and MGMT.
The three-day opening weekend of the Memphis in May International Festival features 65 performers across three stages and a blues tent in Tom Lee Park. Among those making their debut at BSMF this year are Jimmy Eat World, Silversun Pickups, Ani DiFranco and Machine Gun Kelly. Returning performers include Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals, Bush, Ludacris, Sum 41, Dawes and Drive-By Truckers.
With the Memphis in May festival honoring Colombia this year, Colombian bluesman Carlos Elliot Jr. will perform Saturday in the blues tent.
A complete list of performers is posted at memphisdailynews.com.
– Bill Dries
EDGE, U of M Partner On Regional Economic Database
The University of Memphis’ Sparks Bureau of Business and Economic Research and the Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County are partnering to develop a data warehouse, web portal and associated editorial content.
“Our partnership with the University of Memphis will create new understanding and ultimately, new opportunity,” said EDGE president and CEO Reid Dulberger. “As economic developers, we need to understand the forces that impact our economy and how we are performing over time and as compared to peer communities.”
The goal of the research gathered and analyzed by Sparks Bureau will be to “provide a broader perspective of the Memphis and Shelby County economy relative to the region and its impact on the community.”
“The purpose of this endeavor is to provide curated data that describes the Memphis and Shelby County MSA’s economic condition and provides comparisons to peer metros throughout the country,” said Sparks Bureau director John Gnuschke.
Their economic findings will be published and shared quarterly at thememphiseconomy.com.
The Sparks Bureau, which was founded in 1963 and renamed after Willard R. Sparks in 2003, is the largest research center at the University of Memphis. It conducts an array of applied research activities; provides faculty, graduate and undergraduate research opportunities; and delivers technical assistance and training services for units of state and local government.
EDGE was founded in 2011 to strengthen and streamline economic development efforts in the city and county through a variety of programs to enhance local economic prosperity.
– Patrick Lantrip
Council Approves First Reading of Impasse Changes
As opponents of the City Hall escort list protested outside Tuesday, Feb. 21, a different protest was taking place inside the Memphis City Council chambers.
City employees opposed to proposed changes in the city’s impasse ordinance carried signs in the chambers reading “You Think Crime is High Now, Repeal Impasse.”
The council approved the measure on the first of three readings as part of a consent agenda with no debate.
The changes would send all contract impasses between the city administration and employee groups to a single committee of three council members. It also would require unions at impasse with the administration to outline how accepting their proposal would specifically change the city budget.
All of the unions representing city employees are opposed to the changes proposed by councilman Kemp Conrad.
The council also approved on the first of three readings an ordinance that would change how the city responds to false burglar alarms.
In planning and development items, the council voted down a Raleigh clubhouse for the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Club at 2729 Walnut Road at James Road. Neighbors objected to it being in a residential area on property zoned for single family residential use. Leaders of the club cited its nonprofit status and the community projects it is involved in.
The council approved a restaurant-bar at 2166 Central Ave. east of South Cooper Street that was originally an ice house. The business will feature live entertainment, and the council amended the condition to permit pinball machines and foosball, which were to be forbidden under the original plan.
“What’s wrong with having pinball machines?” councilman Frank Colvett asked before proposing the amendment, which was approved.
– Bill Dries
Wilson Honored With Clarence Day Award
Kemmons Wilson Cos. chairman Spence Wilson has been selected as the recipient of the Clarence Day Legacy Award at Youth Villages.
Wilson led Youth Villages’ first capital campaign in 1984, and has been actively volunteering in the community since then.
The award – which is named for Memphis philanthropist Clarence Day, who died in 2010 – is given each year to a person who not only shares Day’s vision and spirit but also has shown a lifetime dedication to helping children.
“He has been our faithful friend for 32 years now,” said Youth Villages CEO Patrick Lawler in a statement.
Wilson served on the Youth Villages board of directors for nine years, and created the Investment Committee. His help with the 1984 campaign, called the “New Beginning Capital Campaign,” raised enough money to help with the development at Youth Villages.
“They raised $1.5 million – enough to build a school, gym, pool, administrative building and two more cottages for children,” Lawler said.
Day enhanced the lives of thousands of young people in Tennessee and across the nation through his grants to Youth Villages and other Mid-South nonprofits.
A challenge grant from The Day Foundation for $42 million, announced in August 2011, is the single largest donation ever made to Youth Villages. The funds supported the YVLifeSet program, which helps children who age out of foster care or state custody become successful adults, and aided in the organization’s growth. Day also supported the construction of the Girls Center for Intensive Residential Treatment and the Youth Villages Operations Center in Bartlett.
– Don Wade
MLGW Warns of Gas Smell on Piperton Job
Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division crews are working on a gas main at the Piperton Gate Station, 455 Mann Drive, which could result in the release of the odorant mercaptan into the air. Mercaptan is the additive that gives natural gas its smell.
The work involves cutting out a section of a 24-inch gas main that is in close proximity to the area where mercaptan is injected into the gas main.
As a result, some mercaptan could be released and, depending on the wind flow, residents could smell gas and suspect gas leaks.
If a gas leak is suspected, customers should call 901-528-4465 to report it.
This sectional cutting work was expected to be completed by the afternoon of Wednesday, Feb. 22. The work at Piperton Gate will be ongoing until about the middle of March.
– Daily News staff