Minutes – August 2011

Rosenwald Project Planning Committee Meeting
August 12, 2011
Peterson Conference Room, Mars Hill College

The Rosenwald Project Planning Committee held its meeting of August 12, 2011 in the Peterson Conference Room of Mars Hill College.

Attending were:  Charity Ray, David and Willa Wyatt, Scott Donald and Teresa Buckner

Willa Wyatt, committee chair, opened the meeting at approximately 10 am.

The September meeting of the Planning Committee will be at the school on September 9 at 10 am.  There was some initial discussion about changing the meeting to the previous Friday (Sept 2) to coincide with the weekend of the Mt. Olive Baptist Church homecoming.  However, it was decided that since that is also Labor Day weekend, many committee members would be out of town.

Willa said she and Richard Dillingham would create an information packet which will be available at the church on Homecoming Sunday (Sept 4).  The packet will include information about the renovation effort and opportunities to help.  It will also extend a special invitation to members and natives of the Mt. Olive community to attend the September 9 meeting at the school.

Willa said she will talk to Dr. Wilcox about making sure there is some clean-up done around the school before the September 4 homecoming.

Teresa will begin work on a brochure about the renovation effort which may or may not be completed in time to include in the packet.  She will contact Simone Bouyer to make sure that the brochure will look similar to the website.

Willa said she hopes to invite representatives from various community organizations to the meeting.  The agenda will then include presentations from these representatives about how the Anderson Rosenwald Black Cultural Center can be part of their mission.

Willa said she had spoken with attorney Dean Shatley, and he would like to meet with the group and discuss the “most economical and least binding” designation for the Rehabilitation Project.  Also at a later meeting, she would like for the committee members to meet with representatives from Community Development Travel and Tourism to discussion in more detail how the cultural center can be part of its mission.

Willa has also spoken with someone from Friends of Mountain History.  That group celebrates mountain history with themed exhibits from Hickory to the Tennessee line.  This year’s theme, for example, has to do with quilt patterns.  At Willa’s suggestion, there has been considerable interest from Friends of Mountain History in using a theme about the history of black education in the mountains in a couple of years.

Not much has happened with construction since the last meeting. However, Scott Donald said he planned to visit the school after the meeting to inspect the wood floor.  He believes it is possible that some of the original wood flooring can be restored and preserved.
Willa has spoken with Caroline Twiggs, the new LifeWorks Field Coordinator at Mars Hill College.  Caroline told Willa that August 27 will be the United Way Day of Caring and that the Rosenwald school will be among the sites for work again.

Willa plans to ask the school system attorney about the legality of allowing volunteers to help with the actual construction/renovation of the building once it begins.  She believes that many people will want to help, either financially or manually.

Willa would like to invite one of Steve Garrison’s contacts, the Director of the Rosenwald Project at the coast, to a future meeting to do a presentation. She would like to arrange for the woman to stay on the MHC campus and make presentations at a Rotary meeting as well as at a Rehabilitation Project Committee meeting.

Charity mentioned that the flag in front of the school is ragged.  Willa said she would speak to the VFW about getting a new flag out there.  Charity also said there has been some unwanted traffic in and through the cemetery.  The church is looking into getting a barrier put over the entrance to the cemetery so that only authorized church or family members could enter.

The next meeting of the Rosenwald Project Planning Committee is planned for Friday, September 9 at 10 am at the Anderson Rosenwald School.

Respectfully submitted,
Teresa Buckner