Remembering George Riley at MLK50

George's brother and sister-in-law have established the Remembering George Riley at MLK50 Fund to support Memphis institutions dedicated to his passion—the arts—and his life’s work: the causes of justice and civil rights.

During the spring of 2018, the city of Memphis will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a variety of events. Your tax-deductible gift to the Remembering George Riley at MLK50 Fund will help these organizations and make their MLK50 programs possible.

Hotel accommodations

If you plan to travel to attend any of these events: Rooms are being held at the Madison Hotel. To make reservations, please contact the hotel at (901) 333-1200 and reference the Remembering George Riley at MLK 50 Group in order to receive the special group rates.

Memphis Brooks Museum of Art

  • Black Resistance: Ernest C. Withers and the Civil Rights Movement 
    February 3- August 19

    Exhibit features the work of the Civil Rights era’s preeminent photo documentarian who photographed Black resistance in Memphis—from pickets and sit-ins to court room scenes—and the tumultuous events from March 27 to April 8, 1968. In addition to a film, a Home School Day, Cocktails with the Curator, and Gallery Talks, related events include:

  • Café Conversation, February 21
    Programmed by The Collective, an arts organization that provides a platform for African American artists, this event will inspire thought, action and change.
  • Seeing Civil Rights Symposium and Reception, March 28 and 29 
    Featuring Keynote Speakers Dr. Deborah Willis and Teju Cole
    Explore how Withers and his contemporaries saw photography as both art form and tool for political change. Co-presented with the University of Memphis’ Department of English, this event brings scholars, writers and artists together to address how photographs shaped the immediate reception of the civil rights movement and continue to impact how we remember it. 

UofM Department of English

  • Seeing Civil Rights Symposium at Brooks Museum, March 28-29
    See Brooks listing above

  • “The Public Humanities in the 21st Century” Symposium Endowment

Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at UofM

  • “Where Do We Go from Here?” Symposium, Day 1: April 2
    Presented with the National Civil Rights Museum to explore the legal aspects of social justice

  • Symposium Endowment to hold a social justice symposium annually.

  • Chair Endowment to create a Visiting Chair on Civil Rights and Social Justice position named in honor of George Riley.

National Civil Rights Museum (NCRM)

PRIZM Ensemble

PRIZM Ensemble provides chamber music education and performance opportunities for youth in underserved communities.

Clayborn Temple

"Ground Zero" of the 1960s Civil Rights movement, Clayborn Temple remains one of the most historically significant sites in Memphis and seeks funds for building and pipe organ restoration.

Indie Memphis

One of the city’s core arts institutions, Indie Memphis will focus on civil rights and social justice by offering short film grants and featuring documentary films.

Your tax-deductible contribution to the Remembering George Riley at MLK50 Fund will help promote social justice and the advancement of the arts in Memphis.

Learn more about George Riley and his commitment to social justice here. This fund was created by George's brother and sister-in-law, John and Maryellen Riley. As advisors to the fund, they make final recommendations for grants based on the criteria above.