Kentucky Historical Society
Kentucky Historical Society showcases 17-year-old’s exhibit on Rosenwald schools
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 11, 2013) — A 17-year-old junior at Kentucky Country Day School in Louisville has curated an insightful exhibit on the African-American education experience, now on display at the Kentucky Historical Society’s Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History.
Julia Bache assembled “Lessons from Rosenwald Schools” for her Girl Scouts of America Gold Award project. The exhibit illustrates the story of the Rosenwald schools in Kentucky through text, images, artifacts and comments from former students. It will hang in the Center’s Keeneland Gallery through Dec. 14.
The Rosenwald rural school building program was a major effort to improve the quality of public education for African-Americans in the early 20th century. The initiative dates to 1912, when Sears president Julius Rosenwald gave Booker T. Washington permission to use some of the money he had donated to Tuskegee Institute to construct six small schools in rural Alabama. In 1917, Rosenwald set up the Julius Rosenwald Fund to help fund construction of similar schools throughout the South, including many in Kentucky.
Bache says she was inspired by the Buck Creek Rosenwald School in Shelby County. In addition to the exhibit, Bache’s project included a successful nomination to place Buck Creek Rosenwald School on the National Register of Historic Places.
Several free events at the Center will expand upon the information already presented in the exhibit. The Kentucky Historical Society will host “Piecing Together History: The Rosenwald School of Frankfort” on Sept. 14, 2:30-4:30 p.m., and again on Sept. 26, 6-8 p.m. Historians, neighbors, genealogists and other community members are encouraged to come share their memories of and experiences at the Rosenwald Schools in Franklin County.
In another free event, also at the Center, Bache will speak at a National History Day workshop about the development of her Girl Scouts’ project on the Rosenwald schools. She also will answer questions her fellow students may have about how she turned it into a National History Day paper that went to the national contest in Washington, D.C. That event takes place Oct. 19 from 1-4 p.m.
This fall the Kentucky Historical Society will release a new tour of the Rosenwald Schools and other historic African-American schools as part of its historical marker smartphone app program, Explore KY History.
An agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet and accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Kentucky Historical Society, established in 1836, is committed to helping people understand, cherish and share Kentucky's history by providing connections to the past, perspective on the present and inspiration for the future. The KHS history campus includes the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, the Old State Capitol and the Kentucky Military History Museum at the State Arsenal. For more information about the Kentucky Historical Society and its programs, visit www.history.ky.gov.