Weeksville Heritage Center needs you, and we need you now.
What We Do
We are a unique historic house museum located in Crown Heights and our work preserves the history of one of the largest free black communities in pre-Civil War America. For 50 years, we’ve used arts, culture, education, and historic preservation to make this history relevant and resonant for contemporary audiences.
But all of this work is in jeopardy. We’ll be forced to shut Weeksville’s doors by July if we are not able to close a budget gap.
Where does our money go? We oversee a 23,000 square foot Visitor and Education Center. We also preserve and maintain our Historic Hunterfly Road Houses, landmarked buildings from the mid-19th and early 20th centuries that are each over 100 years old. Maintenance on all of these structures is expensive, and while costs are rising, our traditional funding sources have not kept pace. Overall, it’s an extremely difficult funding environment for black cultural institutions.
What would be lost
As those who love Weeksville know, the loss to Central Brooklyn--and to New York City--would be devastating. We’re asking for your help to protect and preserve the Houses and the dreams of our founding executive director, Dr. Joan Maynard, and all the working people who came together to save the evidence of historic Weeksville in the 1960s. Also, it’s to ensure that we don’t lose:
- Our ability to inspire over 6,000 NYC schoolchildren who tour our grounds annually
- The means to preserve and make available collections that document and interpret historic Weeksville, its rediscovery, and our unique grassroots institutional history
- The training and workshops that educate and empower the community to be the custodians of their own memories and history
- Our ability to bring high-quality arts & culture programming to an underserved Central Brooklyn community.
We need your help to raise at least $200,000. Please donate and help us reach our $200,000 funding goal by June 30. This will enable us to remain open through September and give us time to plan for the future: We will use that time to engage in a critical, much-needed strategic planning process to develop an operational and funding model that’s much more appropriate for the non-profit landscape we find ourselves in now. Our goal is to come out of this planning with a clear path to sustainability and to ensure that we never find ourselves in this financially vulnerable position again.
Please know that the number above is a minimum. Exceeding that amount would help us in additional ways. For example:
-- At $250,000, we could expedite much-needed repairs to the Historic Hunterfly Road Houses.
-- At $300,000, we could begin building an emergency cash reserve.
The Bottom Line
With your help, we can get through this challenging moment. Please donate to save Weeksville and save Brooklyn’s black history.
Weeksville Heritage Center, legally known as the Society for the Preservation of Weeksville & Bedford-Stuyvesant History, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.