by Calvin Anderson, Special to The New Tri-State Defender
Since 1976, Memphis in May International has during the month of May promoted economic, cultural and educational exchange with an honored country. The Czech Republic gets this year’s salute.
As a part of the month-long celebration, a civic leadership trip has been a part of the festival agenda. This year’s trip by a Memphis delegation to Prague, the capital, had 36 prominent leaders led by 2018 MIM Chairman Kristen Wright, executive vice president of AutoZone. The delegation included Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell Jr., Shelby County Commissioner Willie Brooks, Memphis City Council Chairman Berlin Boyd and Calvin Anderson, president of The New Tri-State Defender’s parent company, Best Media Properties, Inc.
A highlight of the trip included the Chamber of Commerce breakfast and briefing with Memphis and Czech officials. Another was the diplomatic reception at the residence of US Ambassador to Czech Republic Stephen King, with the Czech ambassador to the US in attendance.
The delegation helped to pay tribute to the history of a nation celebrating 100 years of independence. Delegates were treated to visits and tours in Cesky Krumlov of castles, the Moser Glass Museum in Karlovy Vary and the Pilsen Urquell Brewery.
The Charles Bridge, which crosses the Vitava river in Prague, the Easter markets (on three of Prague´s most famous squares), along with restaurants, music and artworks provided exposure to the history and cultural aspects of the Czech Republic. Many of these aspects will grace Memphis during the month of May.
The MIM festival wants the Memphis community to take in the history, culture and economic offerings of the Czech Republic and examine the synergy with Memphis.