On Wednesday, March 16, 2022, the ASCMRC held the official Groundbreaking Ceremony at the Historic Americus Colored hospital at 133 J.R. Campbell Street. Upon complete rehabilitation of the structure, it will become the home of the Americus-Sumter County Civil Rights Museum and Cultural Center.
The rehabilitation of the facility is supported through an African American Civil Rights grant, provided by the Historic Preservation Fund, as administered by the National Park Service, Department of Interior.
On Monday, April 18, 2022, workers began construction which consists of interior demolition within the building to open parts of the structure so that the existing space can be re-designed for future use as a Museum and Cultural Center.
Prior to the groundbreaking, the ASCMRC had received two funding grants of $500,000 each for FY2019 and FY2020. The ASCMRC is pleased to report that on May 5, the organization received word that the National Park Service had approved a phase 3 grant for FY2022 for $500,000, bringing the total to $1,500.000.
It goes without saying, that additional funds will be necessary to complete construction and the ASCMRC will continue applying for funding from the NPS. However, grant funds can only be used for restoring the building. They cannot be used for furnishings, outdoor amphitheater, computer lab, audio visual systems, gallery lighting/displays, utilities, maintenance, management, staff, etc. Your contributions will go a long way toward acquiring these necessities.
That said, the ASCMRC has launched a campaign to engage the community to assist in raising much needed additional funding that will bring this project to fruition. It will truly “take a village” to accomplish this. One local foundation has already taken the challenge. Recently, the ASCMRC received a $25,000 grant from the Charles L. Mix Memorial Fund. Their generous offering came without solicitation, and only the desire to contribute to the positive, cultural, and progressive growth of Americus and Sumter County. The ASCMRC needs your support as well and invites you to visit “Support Us” to see how you can help.
More support for the Americus Museum Project:
Local entrepreneurs Tripp Pomeroy and Matthew Early, owners of Café Campesino have launched a creative fund-raising initiative to support the Americus Sumter County Museum project. Their company has produced a special blend coffee called “Historic Grounds” with a label that incorporates an image of the Colored Hospital on the package front, and a brief history of the facility on the back. Purchasers of the coffee will be supporting the museum project as well as farmers in Ethiopia, Sumatra, and Columbia. The coffee can be purchased at the Sweet Georgia Bakery, 134 W. Lamar Street in downtown Americus or online at https://www.cafecampesino.com/historic-grounds/.