Remembering George Riley at MLK50
During the final years of his life, attorney and civil rights advocate George Riley was sustained by the idea of producing a cultural arts festival in his beloved hometown of Memphis. In particular, he wanted to celebrate the writing of James Agee, an American poet and novelist from Knoxville, Tennessee, and the music of composer Samuel Barber. Sadly, George was not able to see this project through, but you can help his family bring his vision to fruition. They have established the Remembering George Riley at MLK50 Fund to create an enduring legacy in George’s honor, one that supports those institutions in the city that are dedicated to his passion for the arts and his life's work -- the causes of justice and civil rights.
To that end, George’s program ideas have been expanded and merged with the events planned for spring 2018 in Memphis to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The following seven organizations have pledged to include recognition of George in their MLK50 programs and, where appropriate, to highlight the works of Agee and Barber, which intersect so powerfully with the MLK50 themes:
- Indie Memphis, which connects and inspires indie filmmakers and film-lovers
- Memphis Brooks Museum of Art
- University of Memphis Department of English
- University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law
- National Civil Rights Museum
- PRIZM Ensemble, which engages youth through classical music
- Clayborn Temple, a historically significant site for the civil rights movement in Memphis
Click here to read George Riley's obituary and learn more about his commitment to social justice.
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.