Memphis Festival to Honor Israel

The month-long Memphis in May International Festival which, in each of its six years has honored a foreign country, will honor Israel this year, Tom Hutton, Jr., president has announced. The event will be held from April 30 to May 29.

The celebration of culture, art, music and cuisine, which consists of five free weekend events, as well as art exhibits, is expected to attract nearly one million visitors this year, Hutton said. Last year, Memphis in May, which simultaneously honors the cultural heritage of this southern city, honored The Netherlands and 750,000 came to the event.

A variety of performing groups and artists will come from Israel to Memphis to appear at the festival. They include “Shalom ’83,” a 36-member singing and dancing group; “Natural Gathering,” a top Israel jazz group; Doron Gazit, an Israeli artist who creates balloon sculptures; and “Kol Demama Dance company.” a modern dance troupe of 16 performers, half of whom are deaf, Hutton said.

He said May I will be Israel day, sponsored by Holiday Inns. Memphis will be host to 22 Israeli art exhibitions in conjunction with the festival. “Treasures from the Holy Land: Israel in Antiquity,” in survey of religious, political and cultural life in ancient Israel featuring a collection of archaeological objects will be displayed at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.

“Israel Past and Present,” a world premiere exhibition designed especially for the festival through the Israeli government will be on view at Hickory Ridge Mall, sponsored by Seessel’s in celebration of their 125 th anniversary in Memphis. Also at Hickory Ridge Mall will be “Another Israel,” a 16-projector audiovisual spectacular created for Memphis in May sponsored by Lunar Productions.

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