African-American Cultural Heritage Action Fund awards $ 3 million to black historic monuments
The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, a grant program overseen by the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) in Washington, DC, has announced grants totaling $ 3 million to help preserve 40 historic monuments little known but “demonstrating centuries of American resilience, activism and achievement,” says Brent Leggs, executive director of the fund.
From recipients, the Fort Monroe Foundation in Virginia, will commission a public memorial in honor of the first African slaves taken to the British colonies in 1619, while the National Marian Anderson Historical Society and Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, will renovate the home of the late singer of opera, known for its performance in 1939 in Constitution Hall then separated from the American capital, which the Daughters of the American Revolution attempted to cancel.
“Some of their stories are known, and some are yet to be told,” says Leggs. “Together, they help document the true and complex history of our nation.”
The fundraising program was launched in 2017 following the murderous Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., Centered on a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, which was removed from public view last week. It was envisioned to “take the national narrative beyond Confederate heritage, make a bold commitment to celebrate the unrecognized contributions of the African American community and make a significant and lasting contribution to the cultural landscape,” according to one. declaration by the NTHP.
Since its inception, the program has raised approximately $ 50 million and has supported over 100 historic places, with a total investment of $ 7.3 million. It was primarily funded by the Ford Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the JPB Foundation, but doubled in size this year with a $ 20 million donation from philanthropists MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett.