A Los Angeles theater built in a Moorish Revival style, a shoe repair kiosk in a historic plaza, and a number of churches and buildings at HBCUs, are among the 40 buildings, landscapes, and sites that will receive funding through the latest round of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund.
Since its launch in 2017 has received an unprecedented total of 5,638 funding proposals and a total request of $655 million for the restoration, repair, and operational costs of the sites. The fund has been able to support 242 grantee projects so far with its investment of $20 million. It is the largest resource dedicated to the protection and preservation of African American historic places. In this round of grants the National Trust is dolling out a total of $3.8 million.
The 2023 Action Fund grants are separated in four categories to best support preservation efforts: Building Capital, which supports fixing up the culturally significant assets; Increasing Organizational Capacity, which allows for the hiring of staff at nonprofits; Project Planning and Development, which funds developing preservation plans, feasibility studies, and fundraising; and Programming and Education, which stewards public education and other programming at these sites.
This year’s set of grantees includes two additional categories to the grant announcement apart from the typical group of national grants. The first is the Conserving Black Modernism partnership that will also be supported by the Getty Foundation. There are eight modernist projects slated for preservation through his program, including Morgan State University’s Jenkins Hall, designed by Louis Edwin Fry, the first African American to receive a master’s degree in architecture from Harvard.
The second addition is an increased focus on support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). This will be done through the Action Fund’s HBCU Cultural Heritage Stewardship Initiative, in which six HBCUs will receive around $700,000 to protect their cultural assets. Among the schools receiving funds are Talladega College, the first private, historically Black liberal arts college in Alabama.
“The Action Fund and the local preservationists it supports across the nation are leading crucial work to protect and promote undervalued places and stories that are an essential part of our shared American history,” said Justin Garrett Moore, program officer for the Humanities in Place program at the Mellon Foundation, in a press release. “Grants supporting projects designed by Black architects and at HBCUs will better acknowledge the power and creativity of those who have shaped and stewarded spaces and experiences that build more just communities. By elevating these places through much-needed organizational capacity, technical assistance, capital funding, and programming, these projects will help tell a fuller American story.”
The full list of grantees can be seen below while additional information can be found here.
Action Fund National Grants
Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire | Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire, Inc. | Project Planning | Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Freedom Quilting Bee Manufacturing Building | Freedom Quilting Bee Legacy | Project Planning | Alberta, Alabama
Lincoln Theatre | Coalition for Responsible Community Development | Project Planning | Los Angeles
Elktonia Beach Heritage Park | Blacks of the Chesapeake Foundation | Project Planning | Annapolis, Maryland
Peter Bug Shoe Academy | DC Historic Preservation Office | Project Planning | Washington D.C.
Morgan School | The Cherry Community Organization | Project Planning | Charlotte, North Carolina
Sites of Alonzo Robinson | University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee | Project Planning | Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Idlewild’s Hotel Casa Blanca | Capital Project | 1st Neighbor | Idlewild, Michigan
Cape Charles Rosenwald School | Cape Charles Rosenwald School Restoration Initiative | Capital Project | Cape Charles, Virginia
Neosho Colored School | Carver Birthplace Association | Capital Project | Diamond, Missouri
Casa Cortijo at El Ancón de Loiza | Colectivo El Ancón de Loíza | Capital Project | San Juan, Puerto Rico
Southgate Street School | Historic Preservation Office of Newport | Capital Project | Newport, Kentucky
Henry Ossawa Tanner House | The Friends of the Tanner House and Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia | Capital Project | Philadelphia
Nantucket’s African Meeting House | Museum of African American History | Capital Project | Nantucket, Massachusetts
Menifee Gymnasium | Town of Menifee | Capital Project | Menifee, Arkansas
YMI Cultural Center | YMI Cultural Center, Inc. | Capital Project | Asheville, North Carolina
United Order of Tents Eastern District #3 | United Order of Tents Eastern District #3 | Capital Project | Brooklyn, New York
L.V. Hull Home & Studio | Keysmith Foundation | Capital Project | Kosciusko, Mississippi
The Slave Dwelling Project | The Slave Dwelling Project | Programming & Interpretation | Ladson, South Carolina
Dew Drop Inn | Level Ground | Programming & Interpretation | New Orleans
St. John’s County African American Heritage Trail | St. John’s County Cultural Council, Inc. | Programming & Interpretation | Saint Augustine, Florida
Sheridan County Iron Riders Historic Trail | Sheridan Community Land Trust | Programming & Interpretation | Sheridan, Wyoming
(Un)Known Project Augmented Reality App | IDEAS xLab | Programming & Interpretation | Louisville, Kentucky
Calfee Training School | Calfee Community & Cultural Center, Inc. | Programming & Interpretation | Pulaski, Virginia
Mount Zion Cemetery and Female Union Band Society Cemetery | Black Georgetown Foundation | Organizational Capacity Building | Washington, D.C.
Independence Heights | Independence Heights Conservancy | Organizational Capacity Building | Houston
Conserving Black Modernism
Charles McAfee Swimming Pool and Pool House | City of Wichita | Project Planning with Limited Capital Repairs | Wichita, Kansas
Watts Happening Cultural Center | City of Los Angeles | Project Planning | Los Angeles
Carson City Hall Building | City of Carson | Project Planning | Carson, California
First Baptist Church-West | First Baptist Church-West Community Services Association | Project Planning with Limited Capital Repairs | Charlotte, North Carolina
Fourth Baptist Church’s Educational Wing | Fourth Baptist Church | Project Planning with Limited Capital Repairs | Richmond, Virginia
Morgan State University’s Jenkins Hall | Morgan State University | Project Planning | Baltimore
Second Baptist Church of Detroit’s Education Building | Second Baptist Church of Detroit | Project Planning with Limited Capital Repairs | Detroit
Zion Baptist Church | Zion Baptist Church | Project Planning with Limited Capital Repairs | Philadelphia
Historically Black Colleges & Universities Cultural Heritage Stewardship Initiative
Morris College | Morris College | Project Planning | Sumter, South Carolina
Talladega College | Talladega College | Project Planning | Talladega, Alabama
Dillard University | Dillard University | Project Planning | New Orleans
Tuskegee University | Tuskegee University’s Department of Architecture | Project Planning | Tuskegee, Alabama
Hampton University’s Historic Landscape | Hampton University | Project Planning | Hampton, Virginia
Jarvis Christian University’s Florence Robinson Cottage | Jarvis Christian University | Project Planning | Hawkins, Texas