Saturday, July 3, 2010

International Civil Rights Museum

I travelled to Greensboro, NC last Wednesday to have a meeting with Ann Simpson from UNC's School of Government and two members of the Weaver Foundation, Shirley Frye and Richard Moore. The purpose of the get together was to solicit their support for the unveiling of the painting and see how we could collaborate and use the event to create greater exposure for the International Civil Rights Center & Museum and vice versa. They were incredibly receptive to the idea, so much so that Richard started ripping off a slew of ideas off the top of his head so fast than Ann could scarcely write them down. Pending coordination, there may be a chance that they could transport an actual section of the original lunch counter along with seats for the unveiling (that would be an amazing coup). We would place flyers about the museum next to the biographical menu's that viewers will be urged to take when looking at the painting, and they wanted to sell posters of the painting at their store in Greensboro as well as possibly loan out the painting and place it on display at the Museum. That would be difficult due the size of the piece (it is a unsegmented 50' painting). We decided that after the photographer comes in on Tuesday to shoot the piece that we could have it digitally reproduced and stretched in segments for display and possible touring. He also mentioned developing educational material around the piece since the Museum hosts many school kids. I'm telling you, the ideas were flowing. Ms. Frye remarked that she liked the concept of making the Greensboro 4 chefs in the diner (to which I breathed a huge sigh of relief!). Life would have been easier for me if I had jumped out the third floor window head first had she said that she thought my take on the event disrespectful in any way. 

Shirley Frye                                                                      Richard Moore
Afterwards, Ann and I went to the Museum and met with the Executive Director, Bamidele Demerson, an equally gracious man who had a few ideas of his own, after which, he personally gave us a tour of the facilities. Needless to say, the experience was moving and we were duly impressed with everything we saw and heard. I urge everyone to make it a point to see the facilities. The next time I am there, I will make it a point to travel to the NCA&T campus to see the sculpture of the Greensboro Four. 

Bamidele Demerson

International Civil Rights Center & Museum, Greensboro, NC

For more information on the museum and to schedule a tour, click here:

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