Celebrate Memphis: A New Century of Soul highlights future of Memphis in its bicentennial year

Local News

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – As Memphis and Shelby County celebrate their 200th birthday this year, bicentennial organizers are looking back but also focusing forward with the A New Century of Soul campaign. Local 24 is a proud supporting partner of the campaign.

City and county leaders, the Greater Memphis Chamber and other groups are working with the non-profit Memphis Brand Initiative to develop a plan to celebrate and highlight Memphis’ future.

“This all feels like a dream, a blessing,” Jonathan Mosley said.

Mosley is an event planner by day, an actor by night and one of several people selected by Memphis Brand Initiative as a Next Century Memphian.

“I get the email from the Memphis Brand Initiative and I’m like, oh, wow, like this is huge,” Mosley said.

The spotlight on Memphians making moves is a small piece of the non-profit’s larger, yearlong A New Century of Soul campaign.

“This is our opportunity to shine a spotlight on them and where they want to take this city and I think that is incredible unique,” David French with the Memphis Brand Initiative said.

The campaign will include close to 60 events – designed to educate and entertain – between Memphis’ 200th birthday this month to Shelby County’s bicentennial in November.

A New Century of Soul will also include daylong service projects May 22nd and a focus on Memphis places – like Crosstown Concourse – reborn and revived for the next 100 years.

“People really believe in this concept of soul, soul more than music or food, it’s about heart, it’s about change, it’s about making a difference in your community,” French said.

“There’s a grand consortium of people coming together to say ‘Memphis, we are happy to celebrate you and we are ready to welcome the next 100 years,'” French said.

As for the Next Century Memphians, Mosley and others will also be featured in these pop-up murals shined on Memphis buildings in the weeks ahead.     

“Memphis is a music, art, creative town so I think we all have that vein in us to do something creative and artistic,” Mosley said.

Memphis In May leaders also promoted A New Century of Soul by honoring the Bluff City instead of a country during this month’s festivities.

Join us Saturday May 25th for a live two-hour prime-time special “Celebrate Memphis” in association with Memphis In May. That special begins at 8 p.m.

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