Black Meetings and Tourism

March / April 2021

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7 B M & T ••• March/April 2021 ••• ance by Las Vegas headliners, Tenors of Rock. "We are looking forward to welcoming PCMA CL'22," concluded Messina. "The entire Caesars Entertainment family is ready to extend signature hospitality and deliver a safe and healthy meeting experience." CAESARS FORUM has implemented Caesars Entertainment's new health and safety protocols, which enhance its existing plans and practices in these areas. All Caesars Entertainment properties are focused on the wellbeing of team members, guests and the community, and continue to work to create an environment with high standards of sanitization and physical distancing practices. Among the enhanced health and safety protocols include more frequent cleaning and sanitization. Caesars Entertainment has also implemented a health screening program for all employees. Team members and guests are required to wear masks, which the Company makes available, at all Caesars Entertainment properties. RENOVATIONS FOR HISTORIC BESSIE SMITH CULTURAL CENTER Currently undergoing renovations with an opening set for spring 2021, the Bessie Smith Cultural CenterBSCC is reimagining itself to embrace its African-American heritage to better tell the story of Blacks in Chattanooga throughout history. The center is developing immersive educational pro- grams that will benefit the community, an endeavor that will seek to teach and enlighten not only local Chattanoogans but all who visit the center. Having fostered several partnerships with groups and businesses, the center is currently underway in the first phase including a revitalization of the Chattanooga African American Museum that will better provide each visitor a thorough glimpse of African-American history in Chattanooga. This includes telling the story from the beginning of slavery and the successful rise of the Big 9 (now the MLK District) to today's current events and what the future may hold. The renovations to the museum will provide new artifacts, virtual kiosks, and a children's education corner. BSCC wants visitors of all ages to be engaged while learning, and these developments are the next steps in ensur- ing that. The second phase, one which is based on future funding, will focus on renovations for the Vilma Fields Atrium to enhance the current Bessie Smith (Empress of the Blues) exhibit. These developments will be complemented by newly installed exhibits of other renowned African American entertainers from Chattanooga like Usher, Samuel L. Jackson, Russell Goode, and many others. A DDITIONAL HAPPENINGS TO HONOR BLACK HISTORY A new mural project called "The Soul of MLK" is in the works and will add to the revital- ization of the MLK District, and across town at the southern entrance of the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge, the Ed Johnson Memoral will be com- pleted this spring as well. The memorial is a permanent public site that strives to promote racial healing and reconciliation by acknowledging the lynching of Ed Johnson, honoring the courageous work of his attorneys, and recognizing the resulting U.S. Supreme Court case that established fed- eral oversight of state-level civil rights issues.

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