Black Meetings and Tourism

Nov/Dec 2011

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Page 18 of 96

the Needs of Your Meeting Meeting By DARLENE DONLOE MEETING THE NEEDS It's time to decide which destination and venue to book for your next event, conference, convention or board meet- ing. Back in the day, organizing those occasions was more of a routine task - make some phone calls, prepare an agenda, assemble the minutes, reports and documents and put them all in a neat little binder. That was then, this is now. Meetings have taken on a life of their own.A lot more details are involved in making them a success. Bells and whis- tles aside, what meeting planners need to be armed with is information, infor- mation and more information. This column aids meeting planners in their decision-making process by pro- viding vital information on specific desti- nations. Highlighted in this column are Miami, the U.S.Virgin Islands,Windsor, Canada and Macon-Bibb,Georgia. MIAMI My, oh,Miami! If you want it, Miami, known as the "Magic City," has it. "Miami has a WILLIAM D. TALBERT III proud history of welcoming cultur- ally diverse travel- ers to the destina- tion and offers unique experiences for our visitors and residents alike to embrace our vibrant multi-cul- tural community," saysWilliam D.Talbert, III, CDME, president & CEO Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB). 18 If you need information at your finger- tips,Talbert says there is something avail- able. "The Greater Miami and the Beaches Black Visitor Guide, which was recently updated and re-launched, helps visitors enjoy and experience the diverse sounds, tastes and sights of our diverse multi-cul- tural community that has contributed so robustly to the rich culture that makes Miami one of the world's premier destina- tions," he says. The Black Visitor Guide is available online at www.miamiblackvisitorguide- .com. Whether you use the guide or not, you'll find there is no lack of things to do in Miami. For instance:Check out the Little Haiti Cultural Center, the Haitian Heritage Museum, the World Erotic Art Museum, the DiasporaVibe Gallery orThe FrostArt Museumat Florida International University. Go to Virginia Key Beach Park, the city's first colored-only beach. LibertyCity is the home of theAfrican Heritage CulturalArts Center, which has a 300-seat music hall. Adjacent to Liberty City is the Brownville area, which hosts the Hampton House Motel, which boasts a banquet hall and a Miami Haitian Museum jazz club. Visit Coconut Grove, the city's oldest Black community settled in the 1890s by Bahamian immigrants. Overtown is Miami's second oldest African-American settlement. The Black Archives History and Research Foundations serves as a manuscript and photographic repository. The Black Archives own the historic Lyric Theater, built in 1973.Overtown historic highlights also include the Greater Bethel AME Church, D.A. Dorsey House (home of Miami's first Black millionaire), the Cola- Nip Building, the Chapman House and the Mt.Zion Baptist Church. The Arscht Center has free Gospel Sundays. It hosts 'AileyCamp,' a six-week camp to bring at risk youth for dance,cre- ative communication and personal devel- opment classes.This year's season includ- ed the hit 'Dreamgirls,' the six-part Jazz Roots series and 'In the Heights.' In Little Havana stop and browse at Little Havana to Go, a souvenir, clothing, jewelry and art shop. Curb your hunger at Chef Creole, which specializes in Haitian seafood. For a great dinner, try the Mahogany Grille, an upscaleNeo-Soul Food restaurant or Sawa Restaurant & Lounge. If you want a meal Black Meetings & Tourism November/December 2011:

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