Governor's Office of Minority Empowerment
Kentucky Center for African-American Heritage is back on track

Press Release Date:  Friday, August 15, 2008  
Contact Information:  Jay Blanton

Governor Beshear and Mayor Abramson Work Together to Advance Project

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (August 14, 2008) – Gov. Steve Beshear and Mayor Jerry Abramson, joined by Senator Gerald Neal and Congressman John Yarmuth, today announced construction will again be underway on the Kentucky Center for African-American Heritage.

“We must recognize that African-American history is our history. It is as much a part of who we are as any other historical date or event,” said Gov. Beshear. “Not only is the center a much-needed facility for its own sake, but it also represents a continued investment in this west Louisville neighborhood.”

The museum will host programs, exhibits and activities that celebrate the cultural, historical, political and artistic contributions African-Americans have made to the region. In addition, classrooms and lecture halls will be incorporated to promote research and continued education.

“I’m thrilled to have been able to play a part in getting this important project back on track,” said the governor. “I congratulate all involved who put their heads together to find a way to unstall this project.”

Gov. Beshear worked with Mayor Abramson, Sen. Neal, other city and state officials and the African-American Heritage Foundation to find a way to release the $5.5 million in federal money needed for the center.

“It’s great to see contractors working here again and to see the project moving forward at long last,” Abramson said. “I hope this center will be teeming with activity as grandparents bring their grandchildren…and parents bring their children here… to learn about great African-Americans from our state.”

The African-American Heritage Foundation will begin fundraising efforts to pay what is owed to contractors and to raise money to equip and run the center.

“The board’s goal is to raise $5 million,” said Christie McCravy, chair of the foundation board. “This would be used for operational purposes, exhibits and to retire the existing debt.”

The project is now scheduled to be completed on time, and the center should be open by mid-2009.