Natchez, Mississippi, the oldest settlement on the Mississippi River, announces a multi-day celebration happening this Juneteenth to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved Americans and embrace African American history, culture, creativity and liberty. This year’s featured event is the third annual Soul Food Fusion Festival, a culinary and cultural experience that highlights the aroma of traditional soul food cooking, fused with historic folklore, cultural arts and music from the diverse background of Natchez. “These programs in honor of Juneteenth are a wonderful way for our city to relish in the present moment, while remembering the work and sacrifices before us that made this celebration possible,” says Devin Heath, executive director of Visit Natchez. “We are going beyond commemorating the anniversary of emancipation by celebrating African American culture with events open to visitors and locals of all backgrounds who would like to honor those who fought for the rights and privileges held today in the United States.”Continue reading
From annual events to amazing entertainment, Las Vegas proudly celebrates the LGBTQ+ community and empowers travelers to embrace who they are year-round. The destination recently launched a digital content series, How to Be 🌈 (in Vegas), which explores queer identity, self-acceptance, and everything a fabulously inclusive environment like Las Vegas can inspire. With the first trans woman to ever compete in the Miss USA pageant and the current Miss Nevada Kataluna Enriquez acting as host, this series allows Las Vegas to expand on the destination’s hard-fought inclusivity efforts, opening the city up to people around the world as a safe place to embrace their authentic selves. The first episode is now available on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and VisitLasVegas.com. The destination also boasts several venues where LGBTQ+ visitors can celebrate their pride with Only Vegas experiences. The Nevada Gay Rodeo Association’s most anticipated event of the year, the BigHorn Rodeo, will take place Friday, Sept. 16 to Sunday, Sept. 18. The Henderson Pride Festival returns for a second year at Lake Las Vegas Thursday, May 19 to Sunday, May 22, featuring a series of events focused on celebrating diversity, self-awareness, promoting health and wellness in all its forms. RuPaul’s Drag Race favorite Alyssa Edwards will bring her fierce looks and fabulous personality to House of Blues Las Vegas inside Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on June 13. The NGLCC International Business & Leadership Conference will take place Tuesday, Aug. 2 to Friday, Aug. 5, at Bellagio Resort & Casino. The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce is the only advocacy organization for the LGBT business community. The International Gay Bowling Organization’s Las Vegas Showgirl Invitational Bowling Tournament is set for Saturday, Sept. 3 to Monday, Sept. 5, 2022. The biggest LGBTQ+ event of the year, Las Vegas PRIDE, returns for a weekend of fabulous fun celebrating the vibrant community in Las Vegas. Completely centered around pride and diversity, the annual event features a night parade through Downtown Las Vegas, Friday, Oct. 7. Out & Equal Workplace Advocates presents its Workplace Summit Monday, Oct. 17 to Thursday, Oct. 20 at The Mirage. Out & Equal is the premier organization advocating for LGBTQ+ workplace equality. For more information, go to www.lvcva.com, www.visitlasvegas.com or www.vegasmeansbusiness.com.
Visit Lauderdale, the destination marketing organization for Greater Fort Lauderdale, Fla., launched a new campaign to celebrate and support the area’s diverse population and spread the message that inclusion and acceptance are embraced across the area’s 31 neighborhoods. The “We Are” campaign includes video and social media as an extension of the destination’s “Everyone Under the Sun” campaign, which was created to welcome all populations and communities. “Visitors to Greater Fort Lauderdale can be assured they are in a place where diversity, inclusion and acceptance is actively championed as an established way of life that is fully ingrained throughout our community,” says Stacy Ritter, president and CEO of Visit Lauderdale. “The Visit Lauderdale slogan, ‘Everyone Under the Sun,’ reflects the open and welcoming nature of our community, and when we say, ‘Everyone Under the Sun’, we mean it.” Greater Fort Lauderdale includes 31 diverse municipalities. People from 170 countries, speaking more than 147 languages call Greater Fort Lauderdale home. It is home to the largest percentage of same-sex couple households in the U.S. and is recognized as Florida’s LGBT+ capital. It is also a majority minority county with a large Hispanic and Caribbean-American population and is recognized as one of the most progressive destinations in the U.S. for its authentic and welcoming vibe. Find more information at visitlauderdale.com and follow @VisitLauderdale on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. #EveryoneUnderTheSun and #WeAreVL.
—New Brooklyn Travel Guide Showcases Borough’s Multicultural Appeal and Authentic Experiences with Information on Hotels, Attractions, Dining, Arts and Culture, and Neighborhoods—
NYC & Company, New York City’s official destination marketing organization and convention and visitors bureau for the five boroughs of New York City, announced a new Get Local NYC campaign. The new initiative kicks off with a new Brooklyn travel guide, inviting visitors to Brooklyn Like a New Yorker. Subsequent travel guides covering exploration in the Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island and Queens will follow, with one borough featured per month. As more visitors return, NYC & Company remains committed to five-borough storytelling, ensuring that all communities across New York City benefit from the return of tourism. For further details, visit nycgo.com/getlocal. “Brooklyn’s energy is unmatched and Brooklynites are the heart of the city,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “Whether you catch a show at BAM, see the street art in Bushwick or grab some ‘rasta pasta’ at Footprints, Brooklyn has unlimited possibilities to keep you busy. We are thrilled to launch Brooklyn Like A New Yorker, offering hidden gems all over the borough. You won’t fuhgeddaboudit!” “A visit to Brooklyn is a special experience, whether strolling under the cherry blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden or eating a Nathan’s Famous hot dog on the boardwalk at Coney Island,” said NYC & Company President and CEO Fred Dixon. “From world-class art at the Brooklyn Museum to Black-owned businesses in Little Caribbean and Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn is a spectacular place to sightsee, dine, shop and experience life in New York City just the way New Yorkers do. We welcome the world to Brooklyn Like a New Yorker.” Just a subway, taxi or ferry ride from Manhattan, Brooklyn offers everything from world-famous sites like Coney Island and the Brooklyn Bridge to welcoming neighborhoods where visitors can learn about Black history, enjoy authentic ethnic food and marvel at beautifully preserved architecture from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Brooklyn is also the City’s most populous borough, home to 2.7 million people, including the City’s new mayor, Eric Adams, who owns a home in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Brooklyn has thousands of restaurants, from Michelin-starred spots like Aska to hipster cafés like the vegan Vspot to family-owned ethnic food eateries, including Asian and Latin food in Sunset Park, Polish food in Greenpoint and Caribbean delights in Flatbush (aka Little Caribbean). Brooklyn has long been a welcoming place for LGBTQ+ New Yorkers, whether they’re walking down the street holding hands, marching in a Pride parade or raising families. Venues include C’mon Everybody, a music and live arts space in Bed-Stuy; Ginger’s Bar, a friendly lesbian bar in Park Slope; Xstasy Bar & Lounge, which gets a Latino crowd in Sunset Park. For further information on exploring Brooklyn, visit nycgo.com/brooklyn.
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas announces its partnership with KultureCity, a nonprofit dedicated to raising acceptance and assisting individuals of all ages who have sensory needs. Launched on April 1 to align with Autism Acceptance Month, the resort’s 40,000 square-foot concert venue and performance space, The Chelsea, will be officially certified as a sensory-inclusive venue. As a licensed sensory-inclusive venue, employees of The Chelsea received training on the needs of adults and children with sensory sensitivities, including autism, PTSD, ADHD, dementia and more. Additionally, the venue is now equipped with sensory bags featuring noise-reducing headphones, fidget tools, KultureCity VIP access passes and Feeling Zone thermometers, a tool which provide individuals an additional means of communication. The Chelsea also offers an onsite quiet room providing a space to decompress for those who may be overwhelmed by sensory elements during an entertainment event. “Offering a safe and comfortable environment for all guests to enjoy entertainment is a top priority,” said Fedor Banuchi, Vice President of Entertainment at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. “We are thrilled to partner with KultureCity at The Chelsea to ensure we are sensory inclusive as we pride ourselves on the diversity of our guests.” “Sensory needs (autism, dementia, PTSD and similar conditions) are present in one in four individuals; due to this, those with sensory needs often times feel socially isolated. When a group of friends or families visit Las Vegas, those with sensitivities might not participate in certain activities; by ensuring that The Chelsea is certified, autistic individuals along with those with sensory needs can enjoy a concert or performance. We are honored to partner with The Cosmopolitan to ensure inclusion for all!” said Uma Srivastava, Executive Director of KultureCity. About The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas : The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is a unique luxury resort and casino that offers a decidedly different perspective. Located in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip, The Cosmopolitan’s distinct vertical multi-tower design features more than 3,000 guestrooms with residential living spaces, private terraces and breathtaking views of the city skyline. For more information visit: www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com and on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. About KultureCity: KultureCity is a leading non-profit recognized nationwide for using its resources to revolutionize and effect change in the community for those with sensory needs, not just those with autism. Since the program’s inception, KultureCity has created over 900 sensory-inclusive venues in 5 countries: this includes special events such as the NFL Pro-Bowl, NFL Super Bowl, MLB World Series, and MLB All Star Weekend. KultureCity has won many awards for its efforts, including the NASCAR Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award in 2017 and the 2018 Clio Sports Silver for social good in partnership with Cleveland Cavaliers/Quicken Loans Arena.
Tourism Diversity Matters (TDM) launched in February 2021 and has spent the past year introducing its collective impact model and working to inspire authenticity and inclusive leadership throughout the tourism and events industry. TDM’s mission is to be a resource to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion practices that will educate, advocate, engage and empower in collaboration and cooperation with all industry initiatives. The team, led by Executive Director Greg DeShields, is committed to eliminating disparities through advocacy and education. TDM has accomplished many milestones in the first year, including more than 25 DEI-focused presentations with notable organizations, successful apprenticeship programs, workforce development strategies, and the establishment of strategic industry partnerships. New members to the Board of Directors: Adam Burke, President and CEO of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board; Fred Dixon, President and CEO of NYC & Company; Shelly Cruz, CMP, Vice President of Global Sales at MGM Resort’s International. The new board members will join under the leadership of Elliott Ferguson, TDM’s Chairman of the Board and President and CEO, Destination DC, and Mike Gamble, TDM’s Founder and President and CEO of SearchWide Global.
The Destination Celebrates Chinese New Year with Special Experiences, Décor, and Culinary Offerings
Chinese New Year and the Year of the Tiger will be celebrated in spectacular fashion this February in Las Vegas. Resorts throughout the destination commemorate the occasion with an array of festive décor, vibrant and authentic experiences, and decadent culinary offerings and will present vibrant lion dances, inviting visitors to be a part of the festive experience. ARIA Resort & Casino celebrates the Lunar New Year with a main lobby that has been embellished with festive décor to honor the Year of the Tiger, including a hand-sculpted solid chocolate tiger and a 196-foot dragon that weaves its way around a money tree made of 88 golden coins symbolizing wealth and good fortune. Bellagio Resort & Casino presents a festive Lunar New Year display at the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. On display through Saturday, March 5, the “Eye of the Tiger” installation was designed to bring prosperity and luck to all who visit, using the ancient practice of Feng Shui to create a serene environment. Made of more than 5,700 plants, the display is complete with lotus flowers, gold coins, silk-lantern chandeliers, and an 8,000-pound golden representation of the Tiger. Wynn Las Vegas commemorates the Year of the Tiger with festive décor throughout the resort, including gold-leafed tiger sculptures and hanging grand silk dragons in the Wynn Atrium. Beijing Noodle No. 9 at Caesars Palace, offering Northern Chinese in an elegant atmosphere, will offer Lunar New Year specials in addition to its extensive and authentic menu of noodles, soups, and handmade dumplings. Several MGM Resorts International restaurants are celebrating the Year of the Tiger with festive menus and specials, including a prix-fixe menu at Hakkasan Restaurant at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino. Other dining highlights include a traditional Dim Sum brunch at Jasmine inside Bellagio Resort & Casino, Hainanese Style Half Chicken at Lemongrass inside ARIA Resort & Casino, Fresh Abalone with Sea Cucumber at Blossom inside ARIA Resort & Casino, and Japanese Uni Sashimi at Morimoto inside MGM Grand Hotel & Casino. Wing Lei at Wynn Las Vegas, the only Chinese restaurant in North America to hold a Forbes Five-Star rating, brings back its Chinese New Year Brunch from Friday, Feb. 4 through Sunday, Feb. 6 and Friday, Feb. 11 to Saturday, Feb. 12.
Rebuild Foundation and Anthony Gallery announced a yearlong partnership to present a series of exhibitions spotlighting the importance of Black space, Black art and Black artists at the Stony Island Arts Bank in 2022. Run by Chicago native Isimeme “Easy” Otabor, Anthony Gallery, which is located in the Fulton River District of Chicago, will collaborate with artist Theaster Gates’ Rebuild Foundation to highlight emerging and established contemporary artists working in the field of African and Black American identity. Rebuild Foundation and Anthony Gallery kicked off the series on January 20th with ‘Is where it’s at!’, a special exhibition from Chicago-based Nigerian American artist Adeshola Makinde. ‘Is where it’s at!,’ a presentation of new and existing works drawing upon the celebrated EBONY and JET Magazines, pays homage to the Johnson Publishing Company’s reign in documenting, celebrating and amplifying all aspects of Black life in America. The exhibition’s title is a nod to musician Nina Simone’s “Young, Gifted and Black” performance at the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, marrying themes of Black empire, Black life and Black music found throughout the archives at the Arts Bank. Makinde, whose work is informed by a strong social justice and activism lens, has had his work featured in collaborations with notable brands Nike, Nordstrom, Soho House, and Notre, to name a few. ‘Is where it’s at!’ opened at 5pm on Thursday, January 20. The exhibition will be on view at the Stony Island Arts Bank Thursdays through Sundays from 12pm to 6pm from January 21, 2022, to February 27, 2022. Rebuild Foundation and Anthony Gallery will collaborate throughout the year to produce and present a number of exhibitions at the Arts Bank. For more information about this collaboration, please visit www.rebuild-foundation.org.
The new Sápmi Experience is an Arctic adventure that offers an immersion into the lifestyles of northern Sweden’s indigenous Sami people with glamping in a Sami lavvu (teepee), newly built and upgraded with the comfort of a luxury cabin. The three-night experience takes place in the Sápmi Nature Camp on the Sjavnja nature reserve in Laponia, a living culture and nature World Heritage Site. The new program, exclusively offered by Off the Map Travel, launches January 2022 and is available through May 2022. Based on timing, guests will have the opportunity to experience either the area’s Northern Lights or the Midnight Sun. Participants will join with the Sami to learn hands-on cooking, reindeer herding, fishing and foraging for berries and herbs. They can also join a wildlife safari to spot moose and don traditional wooden skis for a Sami-guided ski tour with a special Swedish fikaexperience around a bonfire on the ice of a frozen river. The upgraded lavvus attend to the needs of today’s traveler with a solid internal structure, allowing for increased coziness and warmth while maintaining the design, sustainability and culture characteristic of the region and the Sami. Each lavvu sleeps two people and has a double bed, stove, cozy furnishings and en suite bathroom. “This new travel experience offers a chance to get away from it all to experience another world and another culture while not compromising comfort or sustainability,” said Jonny Cooper, Off the Map Travel, designer of the experience. “It’s also perfect for socially distanced travel,” he added. The new accommodation has been created by the founders of the Sápmi Nature Camp in Swedish Lapland whose mission is to create sustainable, personal Sami experiences that celebrate the native Lapland culture, nature and wellness. For more information visit https://www.offthemap.travel/the-sapmi-experience/, call +44 (0) 800 566 8901 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.