Weeksville Heritage Center – NonProfit Spotlight June 2011

(Cheryl McCourtie, Dir of Development, Weeksville Heritage Center)

Who is Weeksville Heritage Center?

Weeksville Heritage Center in Brooklyn comprises a museum with three historic houses and a 19,000 square foot Education and Cultural Arts green building that will open in 2012.  Using the narrative of the houses and their residents as the context for community development and creativity, the Education and Cultural Arts building—the first full-fledged center of its type in Central Brooklyn—will provide a wide range of programs that make culture, fine and theater arts and environmental activism come to life.  Weeksville Heritage Center will more than triple its service population and existing programs that include arts and education activities for schoolchildren, an emerging artists summer concert series, family day festival and farmer’s market.

What is your mission?

Weeksville Heritage Center documents, preserves and interprets the history of the free and intentional 19th century African American community of Weeksville in what is now Crown Heights, Brooklyn, through tours of the historic site, educational activities with schools, symposia and arts, cultural and environmental programs.

What is your organization up to at the moment?

Weeksville Heritage Center offers a variety of summer programs, and invites individuals from all age groups and families to tour its site and partake in its many offerings.  The summer program schedule is as follows:

EMANCIPATION DAY
July 2—Lecture by Teju Cole at 4 p.m.; Concert featuring Pharoahe Monch & Baloji at 6 p.m.

GARDEN PARTY MUSIC PERFORMANCES
July 9—Meshell Ndegeocello at 6 p.m.
July 16—Keziah Jones & Sophia Urista at 6 p.m.
July 23—Theophilus London & Phony Ppl at 6 p.m.

VAUDEVILLE FAMILY DAY
August 6—Family Day featuring the Black Cowboys Federation from noon until 5 p.m.

FARMER’S MARKET
July 9 to October 29—Every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

What makes your organization unique in the nonprofit sector?

Weeksville Heritage Center is one of few African American historic sites on its original location.  The lawn and garden behind the historic houses constitute an oasis of green in the middle of a community abutted by public housing and apartment buildings.

How can CUP members be involved?

In preparation for the opening of its Education and Cultural Arts Building in 2012, Weeksville is seeking transformative board members who are willing to make personally significant gifts and to connect the institution with leaders from key industries.  Weeksville Heritage Center is seeking board leaders in the areas of:

- Financial Services
- Multi-Use Building Management
- Law
- Philanthropic Management
- Banking

Weeksville Heritage Center is also seeking emerging leaders for its young professionals committee from the areas of expertise listed above.  These individuals will work together to do local fund-raisers for Weeksville.

For more information on Weeksville, visit their website here. You can also contact Cheryl McCourtie, Dir of Dvpt at 756-5250 ext. 312 or email cheryl@weeksvillesociety.org.