Daily Briefs

By Updated: February 19, 2019 8:56 AM CT | Published: February 18, 2019 2:14 PM CT
  • Ballet Memphis announces inaugural New American Dance Residency participants
  • University of Memphis to hold session on middle school 
  • Visible Music College receives ArtsZone grant 
  • Daily Memphian photo editor wins press photography honor
  • Methodist South Hospital names new president
  • Bella Vita Gifts & Interiors moving to Germantown

Ballet Memphis announces inaugural New American Dance Residency participants

Ballet Memphis’ new residency is geared towards dance-makers interested in fusing art and community. The participants will visit Memphis cultural institutions and speak with experts, learning about the city and its contributions. 

“Through this Memphis-centric dance residency, historically underrepresented dance artists with a strong curiosity for disrupting the status quo of traditional dance will explore the unique aspects of Memphis’ historical, political and global reach in conjunction with Ballet Memphis’ method of creating art that impacts communities,” said Amelia Thompson, Ballet Memphis’ director of development and strategic advancement.

The residency will run April 15-26, with a community presentation at Ballet Memphis during the final weekend.

The residents are Michael Medcalf of Memphis, Valerie D. Alpert of Chicago, Tommie-Waheed Evans of Philadelphia and Crystal Michelle Perkins of Dayton, Ohio.

Medcalf is an assistant professor of dance at the University of Memphis and has more than 30 years of arts-related leadership and performance experience. He was the founder/artistic director of Cleveland Contemporary Dance Theatre in Ohio and the Greene/Medcalf Movement Project, also in Cleveland, Ohio. Medcalf received an MFA in dance from the University of Iowa.

Alpert is the artistic director of VADCO/Valerie Alpert Dance Company and received a Ph.D in dance from Texas Women’s University and an MFA in choreography and technology from Ohio State University.

Evans is a visiting assistant professor in dance at The University of the Arts. Evans received an MFA in choreography from Jacksonville University.

Perkins serves as the associate artistic director of Dayton Contemporary Dance Company in Dayton, Ohio, as well as an assistant professor of dance at Ohio State University, from which she received an MFA in dance.

-Elle Perry

University of Memphis to hold session on middle school

The University of Memphis is holding a public informational session on Saturday, Feb. 23, to reveal more details about its plans to open University Middle in the former St. Anne Catholic School on Highland Street.

The sixth- through eighth-grade middle school would be a partnership between the U of M and Shelby County Schools, pending approval by the school board at its meeting Feb. 26.  

On Saturday at 1 p.m. at Bethel Labelle Community Center, 2698 Larose Ave., the middle school steering committee will share the vision for University Middle with the community, including curriculum, student culture, facility planning and hiring as well as go over the application process and enrollment priorities.

The middle school builds on the university’s existing Barbara K. Lipman Early Learning and Research Center and Campus School.

Campus School is the U of M’s elementary school partnership with SCS, serving about 330 students in grades 1-5.

Both schools are laboratory schools overseen by the U of M College of Education that integrate education research into their programs and provide classroom experience for student-teachers.

The goal of University Middle is to expand the idea of what a laboratory school can be, U of M President M. David Rudd said in a prepared statement, through research partnerships that span the disciplines of the university, from education and engineering to philosophy and theatre, to public health and cognitive psychology.    

The addition of University Middle continues the university’s efforts to enhance the south side of campus. It is also intended to serve as a bridge between the university and the diverse neighborhoods surrounding its campus.

Last month, the U of M Board of Trustees approved an agreement to purchase the Gather on Southern private student housing facility just south of the railroad tracks.

Applications are set to open Feb. 27, if the U of M secures approval by the school board the day prior. University Middle aims to enroll 60 sixth-grade students to begin in the fall of 2019 with subsequent grades to follow. Projected enrollment is 90 students per class.  

- Michelle Corbet  

Visible Music College receives ArtsZone grant

Visible Music College, founded in Memphis in 2000, will be able to create opportunities for Memphis-area elementary, middle and high school students with support from an ArtsZone grant, awarded by AutoZone Inc. in partnership with ArtsMemphis.

The grant is “specifically earmarked” for support for greater Memphis residents in the Visible Community Music School, or VCMS program, including public school and home-schooled students and families looking for affordable, accessible music education, according to a release.

Visible Music College awards college students with scholarships annually for teaching children through the VCMS program. 

In addition to its Memphis campus Downtown, Visible Music College has locations across the country, drawing students from around the world to experience its "unique blend of practical music industry education, hands-on experience and spiritual development.”

For more information on the VCMS program, e-mail VCMS@VISIBLE.EDU.

- Natalie Martin

Daily Memphian photo editor wins press photography honor

Daily Memphian photo editor Jim Weber has been named the 2018 National Press Photographers Association Midwest Region Photographer of the Year.

Weber holds a bachelor's degree from the Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and attended graduate school at Syracuse University. He has spent the last 18 years covering news in Memphis.

The NPPA’s Midwest Region includes photographers working in Memphis, Jackson, Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tennessee; Cincinnati, Ohio; Flint, Michigan; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Paducah and Lexington, Kentucky.

With the mission of advancing visual journalism in news media, the nonprofit professional organization has more than 6,500 members.

- Elle Perry 

Methodist South Hospital names new president

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare has named Jessie Tucker III the new president of Methodist South Hospital following an 18-month search.

Tucker, a 32-year veteran of the health care industry, comes to Methodist after serving as chief operating officer of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, a 610-bed facility in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Before that, he held positions as chief administrator of Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital and as an executive vice president for Harris Health System, both in Houston, Texas.

Tucker is a U.S. Army veteran who served for 24 years in health leadership, policy and education roles around the world before retiring with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Tucker earned his doctorate in health services administration from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Troy State University, a Master of Arts from Bowie State University, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of South Carolina.

Methodist Olive Branch Hospital president David Baytos had also been serving as Methodist South’s interim president during the 18-month search. He’ll now return his full-time focus to Methodist Olive Branch.

- Kate Crawford

Bella Vita Gifts & Interiors moving to Germantown

Bella Vita Gifts & Interiors, a local gifts and interiors retailer that has been located in Collierville at 3670 S. Houston Levee Road for 17 years, will move to Germantown March 2.

The shop's new home will be in the Thornwood mixed-used development at South Germantown Road and Neshoba Road. That location was chosen because the retailer seeks to “refresh its brand identity,” and “be more centrally located to reach a larger market of customers living in East Memphis, Midtown and Cordova while also catering to their current customer base in Germantown and Collierville,” according to a release.

In addition, the shop's move to Germantown will bring it closer to The Back Room at 7846 Trinity Road in Cordova. The Back Room serves as an extension of Bella Vita for inventory, shipping, receiving, home styling consultations and large furniture and accessory items.

The Germantown space is approximately triple the size of the space in Collierville, moving from 2,000 square feet to 5,471 square feet, and will allow more room for product lines such as bedding, kitchen and dinnerware, jewelry, local art and seasonal items.

Bella Vita will also be able to introduce new product lines and offerings in Germantown that are not available at its current Collierville location.

The grand opening for the store's new location in Germantown will be Saturday, March 2, from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Door prizes will be handed out to the first 100 customers along with trunk shows, sips and sweets.

For more information, click here.

- Natalie Martin


Visible Music College Bella Vita Gifts & Interiors Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare

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