Minutes for May 10, 2013

Anderson Rosenwald Project Planning Committee Meeting
Minutes for May 10, 2013


The Anderson Rosenwald Project Planning Committee held its meeting of May 10, 2013, in the basement fellowship hall of Mt. Olive Baptist Church..

Attending were: Dan Slagle, Scott Donald, David and Willa Wyatt, Ryan Phillips, Charity Ray, Sandra Tolley, Richard Dillingham, and Simone Bouyer.

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

The Anderson Rosenwald Project Planning meeting in April was held at the Department of Cultural Resources in Asheville. A memorandum of understanding was signed by the Madison County Board of Education.

Dan Slagle, History Committee: The NC State Archives has records from the NC school system. The archives are kept in Raleigh. Can they loan records to the western office? Doubtful; records are kept on-site for research. Can they make copies? On microfilm; available at Western and NC State. Could cost thousands of dollars to obtain copies. Dan will continue dialog with the state office. He can compose a list of documents sought. Richard Dillingham: Harley Jolley was instrumental in bringing archives to our area. He might be able to help with this request.

Ryan Phillips, videographer: Oral interviews will include Richard. Phillip Irvin, and David L. Briscoe are on the list. Ryan will videotape these in July.

Madison County did work with Yancey County in the past.Willa and Dan will visit the Yancey County Board of Education to study their minutes. Part of the mission of the committee is to tell the history of our area.

Willa traveled to Columbia to attend a two-day workshop. The group visited the New Hope School and the Piney Grove school. The New Hope School is owned by a group. The state helped fund the school. They spent 1 1/2 days visiting. The school is beautifully restored; the inside is painted institutional green.

Annie McDonald was instrumental. She provided an action planning worksheet. Copies were distributed. The plan includes three objectives, and the overall vision, which is to develop a non-profit organization with a plan for fundraising and board development. Objective 1: Develop 501c3 status. Objective 2: Plan a homecoming fundraiser. Objective 3: Plan for developing a regional advisory board.

The committee has been assigned to set-up interview times and plan a community event. The event is planned for the Labor Day weekend. An event task force was established; Charity, Fatima, Joy, Dorothy, Alonzo, Melissa, Omar, Teresa P., Bob. An advisory board is needed. Reach out to community for members, marketing, and planning. Can David Briscoe serve?

The committee needs an action plan to cover six months of work. 501c3 status is needed. National Historic Trust; establishing non-profit for historical purposes. Mars Hill Rosenwald School is on the study list. Dr. Wilcox may be able to use the legal services of the school to help with the non-profit status. Could take up to one year.

The name of the school project will need to be changed on the video to Mars Hill Rosenwald School. No news on the Block Grant. Willa did speak with Karen Kenna and Ben. The federal grant is under review. Possibility of talking to Dwight Smathers to invite Michelle Presnell to show her the school. She may have closer ties to Raleigh. Ray Rapp has valuable connections in Raleigh.

Claudia Brown toured the Mars Hill Rosenwald School two weeks ago. She noted that the building needed to be secured. She took photos and provided insight.

The official name of the school is the Mars Hill Rosenwald School. This is how the name appears on the National Registry’s state list of historic sites. Regarding the school name; the word colored was replaced with Rosenwald. The name was changed within the last five years that the school was in operation. Joe Anderson was Manuel’s wife’s grandfather.

A new domain name for the website is needed, MarsHillRosenwaldSchool.com.

School board records, leather bound, are in the collection at Mars Hill College. Records cover 1886 through 1940. Minutes from the board are in the collection. Going through these records for any mention of the Mars Hill Rosenwald School (1905-1912) would be a massive effort.

Regional Advisory Board; 25 western counties of the Blue Ridge Heritage Area. Not that many schools were located in our area (about 7 according to the list from the NC State Historic Preservation Office). Our area needs to include the Blue Ridge Mountains and surrounding area.

Betty Reid, Transylvania County, has written a book about the Rosenwald Schools. A large part of the book includes the Mars Hill Rosenwald School. Printed materials distributed at the meeting included the list of schools from the NC State Historic Preservation Office. Also building plans, historical information, and historical photos from www.ncmuseumofhistory.org/workshops/civilrights1/rosenwald.htm

Scrapbook: Photos of the school are on flickr.com. Interested in printing photos in order to build a scrapbook. Scrapbook would include the minutes, photos, plans and other information pertaining to the Mars Hill Rosenwald School. The Delta sorority, on the campus of MHC, can help manage this project. This would be a public service project for the group. Ask alumni, and other groups such as outward bound, if they have photos from past events. Charity has photos of the inside of the school. The committee is interested in working with the Rural Life Museum. By 2014 the Mars Hill Rosenwald School should be included in the Make Madison Memories pamphlet published by the News Record & Sentinel.

The cost to join the Historic Registry is $250. A fundraiser is needed. Contributions could be accepted from alumni, friends, and the board if the organization is set-up as the Friends of the Mars Hill Rosenwald School. The Board of Education could help with this fee. Board development is needed within the next six months. Members are needed to fun the project, or to help find funding. The topic of the June meeting will be building the board.

A sheet detailing the Gathering Place Project was distributed. Should the committee participate? The project is focused on training and sustaining NC’s African American Museums.

The Saturday before Labor Day, August 31, the committee wants to host a Community Awareness Fair. The event could include story telling, an auction, art display, music, and gospel singing. This is the weekend of the Mt. Olive Church homecoming. The fair could be held outdoors at the Mars Hill Rosenwald School. College groups could be invited to participate. The event should be promoted via facebook, and flyers; outreach needed! Donations needed. A sign or banner would be great. Could serve hot dogs, chips, and candy. Historical interviews could be taken on Sunday. Please ask those planning to attend to bring memorabilia. Richard Dillingham offered to give tours of the school during the fair.

A plan is needed for partners of the project; colleges, churches, town, and other groups. What do we want from them? The Ramsey Center could house the collection and archives. A college archivist could supervise the Delta scrapbook project. Good for research. Materials would not leave the premises.

Annie McDonald has contributed 24 hours to help the project. A summer intern is also available. Can Teresa submit an article each month to the Sentinel? Can the FFA band perform at a fundraiser, or at the Fair?

Upcoming project expenses include windows, HVAC, additional land for parking, road trip to visit nearby schools.

The next meeting of the Rosenwald Project Planning Committee was planned for Friday, June 14, at 10 am at Mt. Olive Church.


Respectfully submitted,

Simone Bouyer, filling in for Teresa Buckner, Secretary