Maison Freetown, Lafayette’s First African-American Neighborhood Museum and Cultural Center Coming Soon to Freetown – Developing Lafayette

Lafayette’s first African-American neighborhood museum and cultural center, called House Freetown—built is coming soon to 800 E Vermillion St. in the historic Freetown district of Lafayette.

The neighborhood museum and cultural center aims to document and preserve some of Lafayette’s lesser-known history regarding Creole storefronts, black entrepreneurs, jazz music, Mardi Gras, and more.

“The museum will be a repository of the past contributions of people of color to the community and demonstrate how that history has influenced Lafayette today.”

The neighborhood organization, True Friends Society of Lafayette is a group founded in Freetown (circa 1880s) that was created to protect citizens from vigilante groups, thwart violent attacks on black residents, provide civic support and act as a beacon of hope for their neighbours. Recently reactivated, the historic organization will continue the legacy of supporting residents and promoting neighborhood growth.

While touring the old house, built in the 1929s, we learned that the structure has been used for many different things over the years and has stood the test of time. The structure has many unique aspects, including small, almost hidden parts.

The Freetown House will fulfill its mission of documenting and preserving Freetown’s history as well as providing education and space for neighborhood engagement through its many other purposes including exhibition galleries, artist lofts , classrooms, gift shops and coworking spaces.

Tentatively, Maison Freetown is scheduled to open mid-June 2022 (Juneteenth Weekend).

For more information about Maison Freetown, visit their website at www.maisonfreetown.org.


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