(Diamond, MO) – The Carver Birthplace Association, a friend’s group and cooperating association of George Washington Carver National Monument in Diamond, Missouri, received a notification from the National Trust for Historic Perseveration that the nonprofit group will receive $70,000 in funding from the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund.
The funding will support rehabilitation of the interior of the 1872 Neosho Colored School located in Neosho, Missouri, the exterior of which has been nearly fully rehabilitated. George Washington Carver and scores of other formerly enslaved youths received their first taste of formal education there; thus, the school is a rare surviving example of a Reconstruction-era African American school.
“We are grateful to the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund for their support of the Carver Birthplace Association and our dedication to preserving this historic structure which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Continuing to build upon and promote the legacy of George Washington Carver, the 1872 Neosho Colored School is symbolic of ‘the golden door of freedom’ Carver experienced in Newton County, Missouri, as well as ‘the golden door of freedom’ promoted through his extraordinary life’s work at Tuskegee Institute,” said
Lana Henry, President of the Carver Birthplace Association.
“The Action Fund’s investment in and celebration of 40 historic African American places illustrates our belief that historic preservation plays an important role in American society,” said Brent Leggs, executive director, African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund and senior vice president, National Trust for Historic Preservation. “The history embodied in these places is emblematic of generational aspirations for freedom, the pursuit of education, a need for beauty and architecture, and joys of social life and community bonds. That’s why the Action Fund believes all Americans must see themselves and our shared history in this year’s grantee list if we are to create a culturally conscious nation.”
The Carver Birthplace Association is one of 40 sites to receive a total of $3.8 million in grant funding to advance ongoing preservation activities for historic places such as sites, museums, and landscapes that represent African American cultural heritage. With more than $91 million in funding, the Action Fund is the largest U.S. resource dedicated to the preservation of African American historic places.
Since 2017, the Action Fund has received an unprecedented total of 5,638 funding proposals requesting $655 million, and since 2018, the Action Fund has supported 242 grantee projects through its investment of $20 million.
To learn more about this program and this year’s grant recipients, click here.
About George Washington Carver National Monument:
Administered by the National Park Service, an agency of the Department of the Interior, George Washington Carver National Monument preserves the birthplace and childhood home of George Washington Carver – scientist, educator, and humanitarian. The park is located two miles west of Diamond, Missouri on Highway V, then ¼ mile south on Carver Road. For more information, please call the park at 417.325.4151 between 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 pm, visit the park website at www.nps.gov/gwca, or visit the park Facebook page.
Lana Henry, President
Carver Birthplace Association