BY: BLAIR NEWBY
As future museum and heritage professionals, we all know that funding for culture can be precarious. Grants may not be given, donations and sponsorships can decrease and admission and gift shop sales can decline. I know firsthand how difficult it can be to procure funds for a museum. As the Director of the Chatham-Kent Black Mecca Museum, I had to go before Council and ask that our Community Development Grant be granted year after year. In our case, I am thankful that the Council saw the value in our museum. But I know that this is not always case, as I saw in 2013 other cultural institutions lose their funding as the budget for cultural initiatives decreased. I have also seen community activists and supporters band together to prevent the closing or the demolition of historic buildings and museums. One such initiative includes what many have referred to as the “Little Chapel that Could”.
|London's first Black Church, the African Methodist Episcopal Church.|
The FSCPP estimated that stage one and two of the project would cost $165,000.00. Receiving a $60,000.00 grant from the City of London, the FSCPP raised the rest of the funds through a public donation drive and by hosting events, such as plays and concerts. Although, the FSCPP has not raised the entire $165,000.00, the project team had successfully raised $133,621,88. And this past Wednesday, November 12, the Fugitive Slave Chapel was finally moved.
|Its new home.|