Black Metropolis Convention & Tourism Council
The Black Metropolis Convention & Tourism Council (BMC&TC) is an Illinois not-for-profit 501(c)3, tax exempt, Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), formed to provide Illinois travel and tourism professionals/entrepreneurs with ongoing technical, marketing and research support to create new, competitive African American heritage tourism products.
BMC&TC’s Mission: Facilitate the development of and market African American heritage tourism districts throughout Illinois preserving the unique character of those neighborhoods. It improves the socioeconomic and physical conditions of these communities, builds resident pride and self-esteem and improves race relations.
BMC&TC’s Vision: Illinois is a premiere African American heritage tourism destination and the number one destination of African American convention, business and leisure travelers.
BMC&TC’s Focus Areas:
1. Historic Preservation
2. Cultural Heritage Tourism
3. Information Technology
4. Hospitality Services & Training
Visitor Information Center
The Bronzeville Visitor Information Center (BVIC), located in the historic Supreme/Liberty Life Building (enter through our Gift Shop, 411 E. 35th Street), is an African American Heritage Tourism attraction and cornerstone in Bronzevilles development as a premier international travel destination. The BVIC is a point of orientation and information for residents, visitors, guests, students, investors and researchers discovering Bronzeville. The 2005 restoration of the landmark located at 3501 S. Martin Luther King Dr. anchors the Gateway to the ‘Black Metropolis Historic District’.
The BVIC houses an exhibit gallery featuring a perminant installation, "Bronzeville to Harlem" by Preston Jackson, a bronze and steel interpretation of the 'Renaissance' periods of both communities during the 1920's and 1930's.
The gallery has been the temporary home of visiting exhibits such as: -Provident Hospital -Javett Kimble photography -Robert Sengstacke photography -Project Onward: A studio for artists with special needs* Artists' works and -Ancestral Images. Our current displays are: -Black Cowboys in 21st Century Chicago and Ancestral Images and -Chicago Tribute Markers
The Supreme/Liberty Life Building was the longtime headquarters of the first African American owned and operated insurance company in the northern United States. Founded in 1919 by Frank L. Gillespie (as the Liberty Life Insurance Company), the firm moved, in 1921 into the second floor. The building, originally constructed by the Roosevelt State Bank, was bought by Liberty Life in 1925 and in 1929 merged with two out-of-state firms to form the Supreme Life Insurance Company of America.