Minutes – January 11, 2013

Rosenwald Project Planning Committee Meeting

January 11, 2013

Mt. Olive Baptist Church


The Rosenwald Project Planning Committee held its meeting of January 11, 2013, in the basement fellowship hall of Mt. Olive Baptist Church.

Attending were:  Scott Donald, David and Willa Wyatt, Charity Ray, Sandra Tolley, Ray and Dorothy Rapp, Paul Smith, Bob Zink, Theresa Phillips and Richard Dillingham

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

Theresa reported that her company, Legacy Films, Ltd. had created a video using footage from an interview with Charity Ray, interspersed with photos relevant to the Anderson School and the Long Ridge Community.  Theresa said she plans to continue working with students at Mars Hill College to interview alumni and gather footage until the group knows what kinds of video productions would be helpful to use in the educational center.

The group discussed different options for future uses for video productions.  One suggestion was that Theresa produce a short video for the website that would invite alumni to contact the group and share their memories.  She said she would plan on doing this.

Fatima is interested in a newsletter related to the Anderson Rosenwald committee, and Willa passed around a sample.  Several committee members said this was a good idea.

Richard said he believed one goal for the committee should be transcribing census records from early in the 20th century in Madison County.  This information would be an asset to finding alums of the ARC we may have missed, he said.

Because the local cultural center will focus on the history of rural black culture in the region, NC Farm census records might be helpful too.  It would be interesting to find out what kinds of products and how much were produced by black farmers in the area, Richard said.

Willa said she has not heard anything from the block grant yet, but she is still hopeful that our project will be funded.  Our goal is that the renovation will be complete (or near complete) by the time of the Mt. Olive homecoming in September of 2013.

Scott Donald said that construction is in a holding pattern while we wait on word about the grant.  Assuming the committee does receive the grant, there will be very specific procedures for putting the project out for bids.  This is because the project will have to adhere so closely to historic standards.

According to Richard, Taylor Barnhill did interviews with several people in Madison County about 30 years ago. Our committee needs to see those interviews to determine if he interviewed any of the alums of the Rosenwald School, or community members like Manuel Brisco.  If so, those interviews could make interesting reading for the cultural center.

Willa said she would like to plan a future meeting at the western office of the NC Dept of Cultural Resources, so that we can “update” Kaye Myers and Jennifer Kathy on the group’s progress. She will call Jennifer Kathy to plan such a meeting.

Willa said she has also talked with the curriculum folks at Madison County Schools.  She has told them that we need programming related to the black history cultural center by next year around this time.

For the remainder of the meeting, Paul Smith worked with the group on the formation of the Strategic Plan.  The exercises for this meeting were to elicit the members’ thoughts about the committee’s vision for the committee.  At the next meeting, he said, the group will work on the guiding principles of the project.

The next meeting of the Anderson Rosenwald Planning Committee was planned for February 8 at 10 am at Mt. Olive Church.