News Column

Memphis Area Association of Governments Receives National Association of Development Organizations 2014 Innovation Award

July 21, 2014



WASHINGTON, July 21 -- The Memphis Area Association of Governments issued the following news release:

The Memphis Area Association of Governments (MAAG), based in Cordova, Tennessee, receiveda 2014 Innovation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Research Foundation for the West Tennessee Heritage and "Roots" Day Trippin' Tour project.

The West Tennessee Heritage and "Roots" Day Trippin' Tour was a pilot bus tour held every Tuesday in the month of February for Black History Month. Developed through a partnership between MAAG, Heritage Tours, National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis), Alex Haley Museum and Interpretive Center (Henning), and chambers of commerce (Tipton and Lauderdale County) these tours took tourists and locals to important sites in African American history throughout West Tennessee. The tour began in Downtown Memphis, highlighting Slave Haven Underground Railroad, National Civil Rights Museum, W.C. Handy Memphis Home & Museum, Historic Beale Street, before traveling to Henning to visit the Alex Haley Museum & Interpretive Center. The tour then stopped at the Black History Month exhibit in Downtown Ripley and stopped in Downtown Covington to visit historic African American sites. During the month of February, the Alex Haley Museum and Interpretive Center saw a 70% increase in visitation and continue to see a rise after.

Memphis Area Association of Governments is an organization designed to facilitate and support activities that stimulate economic and community development. In 2011, MAAG received funding from the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development to implement a regional tourism promotion plan to foster community and economic development in Fayette, Lauderdale, Shelby, and Tipton counties. The MAAG Tourism Advisory Board (MAAG TAB), made up of county representatives, created the West Tennessee Day Trippin' campaign, encouraging tourists and locals of Memphis to take a Day Trip away from Memphis to explore the history, culture, and attractions of the surrounding rural communities.

"For 28 years, NADO's Innovation Awards have recognized regional development organizations for their hard work and commitment to promoting economic development in rural and small metropolitan communities across the country. Award recipients have created innovative solutions that build on the unique strengths and challenges of their regions, all while continuing to promote sustainable economic growth not only now, but for many years to come," said NADO President Peter Gregory, Executive Director of the Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission in Woodstock, VT.

NADO is a Washington, DC-based association that promotes programs and policies that strengthen local governments, communities, and economies through regional cooperation, program delivery, and comprehensive strategies. The association's Innovation Awards program recognizes regional development organizations and partnering organizations for improving the economic and community competitiveness of our nation's regions and local communities. Award winners will be showcased during NADO's 2014 Annual Training Conference, August 23 - 26 in Denver, Colorado.

For more information about the award-winning project, contact the Memphis Area Association of Governments at (901)729-2871.

[Category: Government/Public Administration]

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