Minutes – June 2012

Rosenwald Project Planning Committee Meeting
June 8, 2012
Mt. Olive Baptist Church

The Rosenwald Project Planning Committee held its meeting of June 8, 2012 in the Basement Fellowship Hall of Mt. Olive Baptist Church.

Attending were:  Kaye Myers, Richard Dillingham, Eugene Jones, David & Willa Wyatt, Steve Garrison, Phillip Michael Ervin, Dorothy Coone, Charity Ray, Scott Donald and Teresa Buckner

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

There was some discussion about possible future fundraisers.  Willa said there has been some discussion that our committee could join with the arts council for a gospel singing fundraiser.

Steve Garrison said that Mark Pruett and his bluegrass band have produced a cd of music which relates to the history of Haywood County. There has been some discussion about doing one for Madison County. Steve said he would like to see at least one of those songs relate to the Anderson-Rosenwald School.  There was some discussion about possibilities, including one or more songs that were sung by the Mt. Olive Singers in years past.

Another fundraising possibility might be a cd or a dvd focusing exclusively on the Mt. Olive Singers.  Richard Dillingham said that the group always sang at the Lunsford Festival in years past, and that those Festivals were always taped.  That film still exists and could be edited into a DVD featuring years of performances by the Mt. Olive Singers.

The timing for such a cd or dvd might be especially relevant, since next year’s theme for the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area will involve music of the area.

The history committee continues to need quality recorders for oral histories.  According to Kaye Myers, Friends of Mountain History are planning to purchase a high-quality recorder that would be available for the Rosenwald committee’s use.

An ongoing question for the history committee is when the school was actually named the Anderson School.  This is because people in the community always referred to the school as the Long Ridge School.  The history committee will need to find out when, or if, the name was officially changed to the Anderson School.

There was some discussion of doing a display in the Wells Fargo Bank to create local community interest in the project.  ___________ [who????] volunteered to go speak to Bank Manager Robbie Russell about such a possibility.

We need someone who can devote more time to writing grant proposals.  Teresa will go speak to Donna Kull, who writes grants for Mars Hill College, to see if she would be interested in working on the committee.

Teresa will also do a draft brochure about the Anderson-Rosenwald project, to use for fundraising opportunities.

The school project needs to be a community partnership, Richard said.  But because the school was such an integral part of the Long Ridge Community, and because it is so centrally located in the community, the committee needs to make sure that the church and community don’t lose control of the project.  He said he would work on an agreement that would ensure the community would always have a say in how the center is used.  Once an agreement is finalized, he said he would be willing to meet with the Board of Education to encourage them to sign it.

Scott reiterated that there are three different models of how the school could eventually look.  The school could be renovated to look like it would have around 1930, when it was built.  It could include the additions of the 40s or 50s, or it could be a new model, which has everything on one level (which is the model toward which the group is currently working.)

Willa passed out a profit and loss statement for funds related to the school from the Madison County Education Foundation, Inc.  According to the statement (incorporated herein) the project has raised $5,270 through donations and grants.  All of that has been spent on the website and capital outlay expenses.

Steve Garrison brought up that we need to get estimates of in-kind donations.  These would include work from the Solid Waste Dept in Madison County, Roy J. Young, Lawrence Ponder and others.

According to Scott, there is still approximately $150,000 worth of work to be done on the building.

There was a discussion about planning a summer work day, possibly on July 21 or 28.  The discussion included using student labor at the school.  Willa will talk to attorney Chris Campbell about the legalities of using students, and what, if any releases are needed.

The next meeting of the Anderson Rosenwald Planning Committee will be at 10 am on July 13 at Mt. Olive Church.

Teresa Buckner