Brooklyn

Actor Michael K. Williams Helps Raise Money to Keep Historic Black Museum in Brooklyn Open

There’s a museum in Brooklyn that has preserved the history of one of the largest free black communities in pre-Civil War America. It’s called Weeksville Heritage Center and it’s in danger of closing. 

The historic house museum is located in the Crown Heights neighborhood and actor Michael K. Williams, a Brooklyn native, is encouraging people to donate so they can continue their arts, culture, education and preservation efforts. “It’s an institution we can’t afford to lose,” Williams said in the fundraising video that seeks to raise $200,000 by June 30, 2019.

“Our funding for operations has not kept pace with the expenses associated with running a 23,000-square foot building and maintaining our Historic Hunterfly Road Houses, three landmarked buildings, each of which is over 100 years old,” said Rob Fields, Weeksville’s president and executive director. 

According to the museum’s press release, a recent DeVos Institute report states lack of broad support is common for black cultural institutions across the sector. “Weeksville needs time to develop a more robust individual donor base,” says Field adding that most of their programming is free. “We have to come up with ways to diversify our sources of revenue.”

Almost $100,000 has been committed prior to the start of the campaign from a consortium of individuals, foundations, and corporations. The funds raised will keep the institution afloat through September 2019 as they develop a sustainability plan that better aligns the institution with the current non-profit landscape. 

Go to https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/save-weeksville2019 to donate to help save Weeksville Heritage Center. To learn more about Weeksville Heritage Center, visit https://www.weeksvillesociety.org/

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