Barometer: Do you support the city taking over the Intl. Civil Rights Center & Museum?

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Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan offered for the city to run and maintain the private International Civil Rights Center & Museum that will receive $1.5 million total in support from the city. What do you think? Tell us in the comments.

We’ll print the results in next week’s paper.

  • Frank Slate Brooks

    The City is the most sensible entity to run it. Who else? If it continues along the same path and closes, it will be a huge embarrassment. We need to move beyond the infighting that has created the problem.

  • If you’re going to oppose the city initiative, then at least find a better reason than a museum board member’s belief that the takeover is motivated by ‘Jim Crow segregation.’

  • What is the mission of the Civil Rights Center and Museum? If it is just to commemorate the Feb 1 sit-ins any manager can run it. But how is it to sustain itself? I believe if it serves the public as an incubator where civil rights issues are actively pursued, then this serves a higher purpose: pursuit of equality and justice for all. Elon Law School is right around the corner. I suggest they should consider taking a part in this.

  • Irving Allen

    Given the information available what would warrant a takeover of the museum by the city? In a third of the allotted time they have raised a third of the money needed to repay the 1.5 million dollars loan, the museum is heading into its peek season for fund raising, and they are still in compliance with all conditions of the loan. With that information, speculation aside, you then must question the timing and motives of this public proposal and press conference by the Mayor. With little to no community conversation or support from the African American community this was clearly a premature and irresponsible move on the part of our Mayor when you look at the facts that are available.

    • Christina Yongue Hardy

      Good points!

    • DraShonta M. Brinson

      I agree…very irresponsible on the part of the mayor!

  • I wrote unsure b/c I support a “city-ish” takeover. My first and foremost support is to keep it as a non-profit. However, as seems to be the case, I support a city-appointed board of directors then. I’m not sure the city manager and staff need to be “worried” about running a museum. But the museum board of directors could be appointed by the city council, have city funding, but also have a “Friends of the Museum” organization to help with outside fundraising. I think there is room for a public-private partnership, in other words.

  • lia gaines

    a community-based museum will change the tradition of the static museum model; transfer power to the community to negotiate the representation of the memory and history of the community; create a space in the community for the community to be free to gain and explore self-knowledge and identity; engage and organize community for action in the present and future.

    • Christina Yongue Hardy

      I agree with you here!

  • Christina Yongue Hardy

    I voted “no” because who runs the city council changes (from election to election), and the voices of today could change with the next election. I would encourage involving NC A&T State University Alumni and the families of the Sit-In Four (their up-and-coming next generation of professionals) in the conversation of new directions for the ICRCM.

  • Walle, A.

    The City has ignored both clerics and academics for years concerning corruption in the Greensboro Police Department that benefits the few while affecting those less-off financially.

  • Lalanii

    I have a question & then comments

    Is the museum site a historically registered NC land mark ? should it be one, like the Charlotte Hawkins Museum ?
    endowed by the state/city and run by the community of trained and untrained members who know what a community needs in a museum/community center and knows the going on’s in the community on all levels.

    I do not know a lot about this subject of museum cost and upkeep, nor do I know much about how much debt is owed. But I will tell you from my personal experiences with my great love for museums, archives and history, that was nurtured by my mother at a early age. As a new comer to NC, it was horrible to see how Chapel Hill’s city council did not value housing it’s towns museum or history so that it was available transparently to visitors and new comers to the city, it reeks of wanting to not see the old and bring in the new shiny objects to sale & distract. To me this tells me about your heart, and how important you value your peoples stories, it is reflected in your politics & of what you value.

    My family lived for years down the street from the Los Angeles Exposition Park museums they were build into my weekly curriculum. my parents traveled often and every city we would visit we always made the effort to visit the museums of that city. As an adult I do the same, every country I visit, I allow the countries/cities library and museums tell me their story. then I go to their markets to feel & see daily life now.

    Ideas & Cost
    It has been a while since, I have been to the civil rights museum, so I am no remembering the amount of space there. I have seen the DC reenactment at the lunch counters.
    Todays non-profits have to have a sustainable outlet to bring in revenue, be community centers for events free and at cost. I agree with Lia’s above comments.

    Suggestions:
    – that you hire a committee of people to go visit other museums and ask how are they able to sustain them selves – find ones that have a community for profit and non profit model.
    – Change the mission and uphold a community model that reflects what the community needs.
    – make it a setting for restorative justice circles
    – community/college like TED Talks (community restoration, sustainability & a BUSINESS THINK TANK & speakers)
    – prek – 12 After school enrichment workshops …… college prep /letter writing sessions
    – DNA ….. ancestral searches (by appointment) university connection ?
    – gift shop…. north Carolina memorabilia, posters and T-shirts
    – serve light lunch counter food/salad bar or after church family night “soul food dinners”etc. what ever is not sold already in the neighborhood.
    – the African American Museum in LA’s exposition site has a Gallery room that they rent out for parties ……. our family’s plan for a funeral memorial later on … is to have a champagne memorial for our family members, with a MC, story telling/music, the walls decked with her art collection, her story on video, and favorite photos of her.

    I SEE A TREND OF BIG BUSINESS, POLITICS & ACADEMIA NOT REMEMBERING THAT COMMUNITY ON ALL LEVELS, EVERY ONES STORY, SMALL BUSINESS AND SKILLED TRADES ARE VALUABLE.

  • Granvel

    I echo the response of the writer above. People are always screaming about the use of tax dollars, so this is a great opportunity to help an organization become self-sustaining and possibly create increased employment opportunities. The next group of elected city leaders might not have any desire to support the museum or its agenda. Help the museum become self-sustaining:

    Hire a committee of people to go visit other museums and ask how are they able to sustain them selves – find ones that have a community for profit and non profit model.
    – Change the mission and uphold a community model that reflects what the community needs.
    – make it a setting for restorative justice circles
    – community/college like TED Talks (community restoration, sustainability & a BUSINESS THINK TANK & speakers)
    – spring street festival & film exhibition inside
    – prek – 12 After school enrichment workshops …… college prep /letter writing sessions
    – DNA ….. ancestral searches (by appointment) university connection ?
    – gift shop…. north Carolina memorabilia, posters and T-shirts
    – serve light lunch counter food/salad bar or after church family night “soul food dinners”etc. what ever is not sold already in the neighborhood.

    In our current, national, political environment everyone is screaming about “government take overs,” this is a fantastic opportunity for Greensboro to lead the way by highlighting a sustainable business model that saves a valued institution and creates additional employment. The city can have a hand in this without taking over.

  • I selected unsure because the spat has quickly turned into a battle between two elite cliques–the old money types and the east Greensboro power brokers. I remember when the city operated the Generals and how disastrous that was as said team folded one year after the takeover when nobody would step up to own the hockey team. I don’t know that a city takeover would be any better than what has happened for most of the museum’s existence.

    On the other hand, how many times was the ICRM’s opening delayed due to whatever excuse Skip & Earl came up with? It’s clear to me that what happened to Lacy Ward was akin to Pat Riley pushing Stan Van Gundy out of Miami: Ward was turning the ICRM’s fortunes around and the two cofounders were jealous about that.