Rock & Roll Hall of Fame | It’s Been Said All Along: Voices of Rage, Hope & Empowerment

One of the newest exhibits at Cleveland’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, It’s Been Said All Along: Voices of Rage, Hope & Empowermentshowcases musical and visual artists that have created art as a response to unspeakable tragedy and to promote social justice. Artifacts include Aretha Franklin’s Valentino dress worn during her first appearance at Radio City Music Hall, a jumpsuit worn by James Brown and Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” lyrics. Director of Curatorial Affairs Nwaka Onwusa explained, “we want to show what the power of rock ‘n’ roll looks like in the face of segregation and racism. These artists have stood above all that and done it elegantly.” Visitors can also experience the exhibit online with a virtual exhibit walk-through and an official Spotify playlist.  Virtual exhibit walk-through: https://www.rockhall.com/its-been-said-all-along

Celebrating Black Life in Las Vegas: Honoring the Past, Shaping the Future

The Mob Museum, The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, announces a special program Celebrating Black Life in Las Vegas: Honoring the Past, Shaping the Future to take placeWednesday, Feb. 17 from 7 to 8:30 p.m inside the Historic Courtroom on the second floor. To watch a livestream of this event, click on the “Watch” button here. African Americans have played an integral role in the development of Las Vegas since at least the 1940s. It is a rich story of painful challenges and hard-earned triumphs. This panel discussion features individuals who have lived through the highs and lows of the African-American experience in Las Vegas, as well as those who document and preserve that history for future generations. The panel also will discuss the HUNDRED (Historic Urban Neighborhood Design Redevelopment) Plan, the city initiative to redevelop the historic West Las Vegas neighborhood. Cost: Free for Museum Members or with Museum admission. Reservations are required. Click here to RSVP. For more information, please call (702) 229-2734 or visit themobmuseum.org. ABOUT THE MOB MUSEUM: The Mob Museum, the National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, provides a world-class journey through true stories—from the birth of the Mob to today’s headlines. The Mob Museum offers a provocative, contemporary look at these topics through hundreds of artifacts and immersive storylines. Numerous interactive exhibits include a Crime Lab, Firearm Training Simulator and Organized Crime Today exhibit. The Museum is also home to The Underground, a Prohibition history exhibition featuring a speakeasy and distillery sponsored by Zappos. For more information and to register, visit www.themobmuseum.org/events/.

Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce Named Lorne Steedley Vice President, Diversity and Inclusive Growth

The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce named Lorne Steedley, M.S., M.A., as Vice President, Diversity and Inclusive Growth. “Lorne Steedley brings a depth of experience in economic and community development, urban studies and equity-focused collaboration in the business and philanthropic sectors to our talented Chattanooga Chamber team. Lorne will help us move our community closer to the Velocity2040 and Chattanooga Climbs vision of an inclusive economy and collaborative leadership – a community where every resident is thriving,” said Christy Gillenwater, President & CEO, Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce. Velocity2040 is a community-wide visioning process that included a survey to which some 5,000 Hamilton County residents responded, expressing their dreams for the future of Chattanooga. Chattanooga Climbs is a 5-year economic and talent development strategic plan. www.chattanoogachamber.com

Supporting and Celebrating Black Culture in St. Louis

St. Louis doesn’t just promote, but celebrates its Black-owned businesses and heritage, offering travelers more than a few experiences to support local Black entrepreneurs. Culinary experiences are an easy  one. Gourmet Soul Restaurant is reinventing traditional soul food in fun, innovative ways, while places like Turn are putting a healthy spin on comfort food. Pharaohs Donuts and La Patisserie Chouquette bring the sweetness with both local favorites and fancier pastries, offering curbside orders and – in Pharohs case – the occasional free afternoon giveaway! It’s not just culinary discoveries. Hospitality icons like Central West End Bed and Breakfast allow visitors to support Black-owned accommodations. A bit of yoga The Collective or art-based mindfulness at Shine In All Shades provide unique escapes all run by Black locals. Retail therapy is still a thing, supporting local businesses like the jewelry makers on display at Diversity Gallery or the authors sold at EyeSeeMe Bookstore. And while so much talk has erupted about tearing down and defacing statues, St. Louis is proud of its statues celebrating Black history, including Frankie Muse Freeman (Kiener Plaza), Harriett and Dred Scott (Old Courthouse), George Washington Carver (Missouri Botanical Gardens), and Ozzie Smith, Bob Gibson, Lou Brock and James Cool Papa Bell (Busch Stadium). Visits to the Scott Joplin House or the National Blues Museum will bring the sounds of some of the nation’s most iconic Black musicians to life. For more information and resources to plan your trip, visit: https://explorestlouis.com/

Chickasaw Country: Discover the “First American Culture” Destination

First Nation tourism is the antidote to cultural discovery as the pandemic continues. International borders are shut but within North America, destinations like Chickasaw Country offer glimpses into the pre-colonial cultures that first inhabited the United States. Americans can travel to their backyards, looking no further than Oklahoma, to experience this indigenous culture firsthand in respectful, responsible ways. The Chickasaw Cultural Center is the hub for demonstrations and experiences related to First American history and present-day culture, joining places like Chickasaw White House, Chickasaw National Capitol, Chickasaw Bank Museum, Chickasaw Council House Museum, and the Chokma’si Gallery in showcasing First American culture. And it’s not all old artefacts and traditional ways of life Exhibit C Native Gallery & Gifts, Oklahoma City’s premier First American art gallery, is located in Bricktown. The gallery displays works of numerous artists from the Chickasaw and southeastern tribes, as well as artists from across Indian Country. People can currently even visit and shop at the gallery with a personalized virtual tour. Exhibit C continues the vision of raising awareness of the many cultural experiences in Oklahoma, showcasing contemporary versions of these First Nation cultures. If getting outdoor is more your speed, Chickasaw Country boasts one of only three Oklahoma parks affiliated with National Park Service, the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. This beautiful oasis of water, foliage and wildlife is the perfect backdrop for all your favorite outdoor activities while keeping safe, social distance. A park favorite, amongst spotting wild Buffalo, is fishing! Year round, the various areas of the park offer fishing of all kinds for enthusiast. For more information and resources to plan your trip, visit: https://chickasawcountry.com/

“Insights and Perspectives on the Black Traveler” webinar, Dec 8th, 1 pm EST

Black U.S. leisure travelers spent $109.4 billion on travel in 2019 according to a report by MMGY Global “The Black Traveler: Insights, Opportunities & Priorities” and a December 8th webinar will present findings from Phase I of the study. The “Insights and Perspectives on the Black Traveler” webinar will be presented at 1 pm EST on December 8th by the DEAI (Diversity, Equity, Accessibility & Inclusion) Committee of The Society of American Travel Writers (SATW).  

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Mexico’s International Festival of Santa Lucía goes Digital and offers the opportunity to enjoy lineup from the comfort of home

The Santa Lucia International Festival, which started on the 11th of October in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, has reaffirmed its position as one of the largest cultural events in Latin America with a 27-day program that brought over 300 artists to the homes of spectators across the globe.

“The Festival, which has championed access to culture as a universal right, due to the positive effect it represents on people’s mental and emotional health,” said Lorenia Canavati von Borstel, President of the Festival.

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GROUNDBREAKING PARTNERSHIP TO DOCUMENT AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORIC SITES IN CHESAPEAKE BAY WATERSHED

With a common goal of telling a fuller American story, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay; the states of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia; and the Chesapeake Conservation Partnership will collaborate to map and identify sites and landscapes in the Chesapeake Bay watershed region significant to African American history and culture. The project will map African American cultural sites in an effort to support their conservation and to enable the three states and their localities to fully consider them in their land use and development plans. This multi-state partnership will undertake unique pilot projects in each of the three states to identify sites and landscapes of relevance to African American history and culture. The project will also be guided by an advisory committee of professionals dedicated to preserving African American history. Katherine Malone-France, Chief Preservation Officer of the National Trust, says, “Mapping African American historic places within the Chesapeake watershed is a critical first step in making sure that these places are protected and that their stories are told. As home to some of America’s first colonies, the Chesapeake Bay watershed region is already known to have a significant meaning to African American culture. Many major tobacco plantations were located there, as were many stops on the Underground Railroad. It was the place where Harriet Tubman and both Frederick Douglass and his first wife were enslaved. It includes many battlegrounds of the Civil War, as well as places of notable activism in the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. Generations of Black Americans have made their living from the waters of the Bay and have also used special places along the Bay and throughout the region for recreation. Historic sites and landscapes important to people of color are widely underrepresented in documentation and conservation priorities. This work will take one small step towards addressing that deficit. The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places. SavingPlaces.org | @savingplaces

KCK CVB LAUNCHED ‘KCK TACO TRAIL’ OCT. 1 HIGHLIGHTING NEARLY 50 TAQUERIAS IN KANSAS CITY, KANSAS

The Kansas City Kansas Convention and Visitors Bureau launched the launch of the ‘KCK Taco Trail‘, a mapped-out trail of nearly 50 local taquerias. Within the last decade, the taco scene has exploded with taquerias all over town, making Kansas City, Kansas the go-to destination for authentic tacos. The KCK Taco Trail gives the community a flavor-filled experience of culture and history through food. Starting Oct. 1, locals and visitors alike can visit www.kcktacotrail.com to sign up for the KCK Taco Trail. The trail not only maps out where to find the most authentic tacos, but also gives diners the chance to win prizes. The KCK Taco Trail is ongoing however, consumers have until Oct. 31, 2021 to complete the trail and win prizes. To view a full list of the nearly 50 restaurants on the KCK Taco Trail, visit www.kcktacotrail.com. For more information, follow the KCK CVB on Facebook at www.facebook.com/VisitKansasCityKS and Instagram at @visitkansascityks.

STATE OF YUCATÁN: TWO YEARS OF SUSTAINED GROWTH IN TOURISM

Increases in air connectivity and visitor arrivals, support for tourism infrastructure and product development, the creation of health and safety protocols, and several accolades and recognitions — all are the direct result of the first two years of Governor Mauricio Vila Dosal and his administration, working with the Ministry of Tourism of Yucatán to develop, strengthen and promote the state’s tourism industry, using a sustainable approach. “Facing the global challenges in the tourism activity, the State of Yucatán has not stopped for a single moment,” said Michelle Fridman Hirsch, head of the Ministry of Tourism of Yucatán. “Efforts have even been redoubled to move after the effects of the pandemic, towards a gradual and safe reactivation to contribute, in the first instance, to the economic recovery of the Yucatecan population and the state.” One of the main goals of the Ministry of Tourism of Yucatán ongoing efforts is innovation with a sustainable vision. More than 60 new tourism products have been developed and integrated in the state’s six tourism regions, covering market segments such as nature, culture, gastronomy, beach, adventure and “urban premium,” among others. With this effort, it was possible to highlight — and bring tourism products to — places like Tekax, which saw a new tourism surge, increasing its visitor numbers by 300%. Today, the historical city — briefly the state capital, in 1845 — has new investments and more qualified personnel.