Reminder: “The Hampton Years” at Theater J in Washington D.C.

As part of the D.C. JCC’s “Locally Grown” art festival, a production called “The Hampton Years,” about black artists and featuring portrayals of two Rosenwald fellows, had its premiere last night and will play throughout the month of June. There are perfomances on weekday and weekend evenings and matinees on weekends. Tickets are $10 – for more on the Locally Grown festival, click here.

Restoration funds awarded to 7 Rosenwald Schools

The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Rosenwald School Centennial Fund, made possible through a grant by the Righteous Persons Foundation, has released its inaugural list of grants to Rosenwald Schools currently undergoing restoration, including:

•$10,000 to the Chattahoochee County Historic Preservation Society in Cusseta, GA, for the restoration of the Cusseta Industrial High School
•$8,000 to the Castalia Community Development Corporation in Castalia, NC, for the Castalia Rosenwald School
•$20,000 to CrossRoads Corporation for Affordable Housing and Community Development, Inc., for the Billingsville School in Charlotte, NC
•$13,150 to West Rowan Neighborhood of Cleveland, NC, for the R.A. Clement Rosenwald School
•$20,000 to Lincoln County for the Oaklawn Rosenwald School in Lincolnton, NC
•$20,000 to Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Westminster, SC, for the Retreat Rosenwald School
•$5,000 to the Shady Grove School in Gum Spring, VA

For more info, click here.

Preservation Virginia lists Rosenwald Schools among state’s most endangered sites

Preservation Virginia has released its yearly list of endangered historical sites (read more at the Washington Post). This year, the list includes the Rosenwald Schools of Virginia.

According to Preservation Virginia’s website, “Rosenwald Schools often are overlooked as symbols of the 20th century advancements in African American education that they poignantly represent.” Compared to the more high profile sites that Preservation Virginia lists as endangered, such as Arlington National Cemetery, the Rosenwald Schools are much less well-known. Restoration of the small rural buildings, while modest in scope compared to other preservation projects, is typically the work of a small group of alumni and rarely finds much support from outside its immediate community. The National Trust for Historic Preservation has taken a leadership role in supporting these small scale, community-driven restoration projects, but even within the challenging field of historic preservation, these projects are uniquely difficult.

Let’s hope that Preservation Virginia’s press release leads to more success stories like the Scrabble School, a Rosenwald School in Rappahannock County, Virginia that was restored and reopened in 2009.

By Michael Rose