Beginning in 2019, the Americus-Sumter County Movement Remembered Committee, received the first of two $500,000.00 grants from the National Park Service (NPS) African American Civil Rights Preservation Fund, to rehabilitate and preserve the Historic Americus Colored Hospital building.
Upon complete rehabilitation of the building, it will become the Americus-Sumter County Civil Rights and Cultural Center and will house all documentation of the history of the Americus Colored Hospital (1923-1953), and the Americus-Sumter County Civil Rights Movement (1962-1966). Included in this collection are photographs, letters, affidavits from jailed local activists, newspaper and magazine articles, memorabilia, and field reports from civil rights workers representing the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). The center’s archives will also focus on the enormous role and contributions of African American families throughout Sumter County prior to, and during the Americus Movement. Some of these materials will be prominently displayed for viewing in a spacious Permanent Collection Gallery within the facility, while others may be accessed online. An additional gallery will support temporary traveling exhibitions on loan from other institutions, and provide a space for the work of local, regional, and national artists. The works by these artists will showcase a broad spectrum of disciplines that includes painting, drawing, mixed-media, sculpture, and photography. This will be a living, breathing space designed to exude and promote community pride and ownership in the gallery, while inspiring community thought and conversation through the visual arts.
In keeping with the spirit and legacy of the Colored Hospital’s original mission of providing vital healthcare for disenfranchised African Americans, the Center will feature a Community Health Clinic. The clinic will perform essential health screening services for Sumter County residents. In addition, a community vegetable garden will be planted on the grounds behind the facility. Both initiatives will be part of an on-going partnership with the local Phoebe-Putney Hospital Authority.
Having already secured $1,500,000.00 from the National Park Service Fund, the ASCMRC recognizes that additional funding is needed to complete the rehabilitation project, equip and facilitate services it intends to provide to the community. While continued grant funding will be essential to our success, community support remains a vital necessity, and donors are encouraged to visit our “Support Us” page to see how you may contribute to this historic legacy.