Henry Fortunato, Kansas City Public Library (816) 701-3514; firstname.lastname@example.org
Joy Torchia, Kauffman Foundation: (816) 932-1045; email@example.com
Sarah Brewster, media representative: (816) 842-8111; firstname.lastname@example.org
Kauffman Legacy Fund grant will ensure completion of Archives' new quarters in 18th & Vine District
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (November. 12, 2008) — The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation will award a $1 million Legacy Fund grant to the Kansas City Public Library that will be used to support completion of the build-out and renovation of the new home of the Black Archives of Mid-America in the historic jazz district at 18th & Vine.
In recognition of this grant, the Archives will designate a major public space that will be used for research activities, exhibits, training, and/or presentations that will bear the name of Ewing Marion Kauffman. The entire renovation of the facility, a former administrative building for the Kansas City Department of Parks and Recreation, is expected to be completed by fall 2009. The Kansas City Public Library is partnering with the Black Archives on this project by providing technical assistance in managing the construction process.
"In cooperation with the Kansas City Public Library, the Black Archives of Mid-America is successfully reviving its role as the primary keeper of African-American heritage and history in Kansas City," said Carl Schramm, Kauffman Foundation president and CEO. "We are pleased to assist in that mission by enabling this educational resource to make its collections available for research, exhibition and publication."
"This grant from the Kauffman Foundation is the latest successful outcome of the long and fruitful partnership between the Black Archives of Mid-America and the Kansas City Public Library," said Barbara Peterson, chair of the board of the Black Archives. "By working together, we are reviving a resource that adds immeasurably to gaining a full understanding of African-American history and culture in Kansas City."
"We are grateful for this gift and the wonderful opportunity it offers to help fulfill the dream of the Archives' founder, Horace Peterson," added Crosby Kemper III, director of the Kansas City Public Library.
Additionally, a significant collection of Alvin Ailey's personal papers entrusted to Allan Gray, founder of the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey and a close friend of the choreographer, and currently a member of the Lee's Summit City Council, will be on long-term loan to the Black Archives following completion of the renovation.
"It is my vision and that of my family," said Gray, "that the Alvin Ailey Archival Collection be shared with the world and that through this collection, the Black Archives will become a destination and a great resource for dancers, historians, educators and all people who wish to achieve a greater understanding of Alvin Ailey and the richness of dance."
With this latest grant, the Kauffman Foundation has committed a total of $7.75 million in Legacy Fund grants in 2008. In October, a $4 million grant was awarded to the Kansas City Public Library to support and enhance its exceptional community education programs. In September, eight Kansas City institutions received a total of $2.75 million in Legacy Fund grants at a special ceremony in honor of what would have been Ewing Kauffman's 92nd birthday.
Established in 2004 by the Board of Trustees of the Kauffman Foundation, the Kauffman Legacy Fund selects innovative programs, initiatives and projects that hold promise for advancing the civic welfare in the community. The Kauffman Foundation has given more than $16 million to area organizations through the Legacy Fund since the Fund's inception.