African American Cultural Center plans reopening, develops local scene

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Though it shut down after being vandalized last summer, Albany’s African American Cultural Center announced that it’s reopening. The community mainstay is reopening after a break in on June 3. Jackson says the community support totalled over $35,000, and funded:

  • New floors and ceilings
  • State-of-the-art digital infrastructure including camera equipment for streaming
  • Lighting fixtures for everyday and event use
  • Expanded artist residency programs

The African American Cultural Center is set to reopen Wednesday, May 5, with by-appointment hours from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday to Friday. New donors—primarily local women of color—rallied around the nonprofit located on the corner of Madison Avenue and South Pearl Street.

Like it did last year, the African American Cultural center is holding a hybrid 2021 Juneteenth Celebration from noon to 5 p.m. on June 19.

Travon T. Jackson—the Executive Director of the African American Cultural Center of the Capital Region—announced the reopening was made possible by extensive renovations backed by a 300% increase in new individual donors.

“We are incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support we received from the community,” said Jackson. “This groundswell of donations and volunteers assisting in cleanup efforts is awe-inspiring, and reflective of the community we know, respect, love, and serve. Following the hateful acts directed at our space, our dedication was not deterred, nor our mission manipulated.”

“In fact,” Jackons said, “they further blossomed as we welcomed over 730 new members who share in, and invested in, our goal to educate, empower, and enrich the Capital Region community.”

The African American Cultural Center is also a vital component in efforts to expand grocery store options in Albany’s South End. It is part of a coalition that formed to buy and redevelop 106 South Pearl Street.

Jackson is spearheading that joint effort with the county, El Pilón Market, the Downtown Albany BID, and BlueLight Development Group. The grocery will expand offerings of fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, dairy, products for specialty diets, kitchen supplies, and hygiene essentials to the area.

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