Mahogany Black Arts and Cultural Center proposed for Racine County

RACINE – On Saturday, March 5, Scott Terry, along with other board members, announced the advent of the Mahogany Black Arts and Cultural Center, Inc. (MBACC) in Racine. The announcement was made from the temporary location of the museum and cultural center, Mahogany Gallery, 1422 Washington Ave.

Scott Terry, CEO of Mahogany Gallery, talks about Racine’s documented history that largely excludes black contributions, while simultaneously highlighting events such as the presence of Ku Klux Klan members in the city. – Credit: Racine County Eye

The need for such a facility was realized when a conversation arose regarding where someone could go to learn more about the history of the contributions of the black community in Racine County. Terry said he could have heard a pin drop.

Terry realized that it needed more than a typical “Black History Museum”. An arts and culture center is a vehicle for communicating the conditions of black America over the years. Such a place would help others see and understand – creatively and visually – what black people have experienced and how they have interpreted these issues and conditions.

“We have work to do to educate the community, educate our youth and use this as a way to close this gap,” said Terry, who is also the CEO of mahogany gallery. “It’s a problem we decided to solve with the Mahogany Black Arts and Cultural Center.”

Mahogany Black Arts and Cultural Center, Inc.

The MBACC is a tax-exempt nonprofit created as a grassroots initiative that began in 2021 with a mission to “preservation, exhibition, and research of local Black history in Racine County.”

The Center is not expected to be a typical museum, but rather, noted Terry, that it will be “a living, breathing and functioning arm of the community as a whole; a place you go every day to connect, learn, educate, have fun and have fun.

The Mahogany Gallery plans to reside, as a tenant, within the MBACC. Not only will it feature contemporary art, but the museum will also contain notable exhibits as well as artifacts from the historic Racine County Black Community House.

Also offered within the Center are a cafe/café, art programs, an artist-in-residence program, a music, spoken word and poetry performance hall, as well as a possible residential component with apartments. or condos.

A noble enterprise

Proposed building for Mahogany Black Arts and Cultural Center, Inc. – Credit: MBACC

The MBACC has set a fundraising goal of $500,000, much of which will fund the acquisition and renovation of a physical location for the center. Their first grant was received from Root Community Foundation in the amount of $12,000 for the documentation and preservation of oral histories.

Terry spoke about the importance of supporting Black-run institutions, especially historical and cultural centers. These places are able to preserve the history and works of art of a culture that not only was the backbone of this nation’s industry and wealth, but was also largely excluded from the books of history. story.

Terry acknowledged the high price attached to completing the center but said, “It’s an investment the community can make and it’s an investment the community should make.

Centers like the MBACC are the guardians of black history and culture. They tell the story of our nation and connect it to the present and the present time.

Community involvement

People can support the MBACC in different ways. First, Terry stressed the importance of sharing information as widely as possible. Those who wish to be of service can share this information and any other information regarding the MBACC with as many people as possible. Spreading the word in the community is crucial.

Appeal to local elected officials to support the MBACC. Advocating for the support of elected officials such as the mayor, city council, county council members, etc., can go a long way.

Then people are encouraged to give financially. MBACC memberships are available on a monthly or annual basis for students, individuals or families.

Monetary donations are also accepted at all levels and contributions are tax deductible.

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