By Tia Lynn Lecorchick staff writer
In honor of Martin Luther King Day, the Morgan County African American Museum (MCAAM) debut a new documentary about the history of the museum entitled “A Dream and a Vision,” at Ricky D’s in downtown Madison on Monday, Jan. 19. The documentary can be purchased through the MCAAM.
The MCAAM board of directors also updated the public on the accomplishments of last year and the goals of the coming year. Local community leaders and museum supporters packed the seats of Ricky D’s theater for the event. “We wish every Monday was like this here,” said Richard Kibbey, owner of Ricky D’s. “We are proud to be hosting this.” The
MCAAM board announced a new project for the coming year, the Morgan County African-American Museum Garden Project, which will add an outdoor event site to the museum that people can rent out for parties, weddings, and family reunions. The MCAAM is hoping to raise $6500 this year to complete the project.
“That’s where all you lovely folks come in,” said Gary Walker, MCAAM board member. “We would love for you to partner with us on this because we want to create a venue in Morgan County that you can say you are proud of that we have for our citizens here.”
“We are growing our presence in the community and working hard to strengthen our events and let the community know we are here for you,” said Walker. “We want to offer this space for a fraction of the cost that it usually takes to rent a venue for such events in Morgan County these days.”
“Because of your commitment to us to see us through in the next year, we can do this. This is just the beginning, we have only just begun,” said Perriman, president of the MCAAM.
Sherry Terrell Alexander, treasurer for the MCAAM, reminded the crowd of the MCAAM’s aiming goal for the community. “Our mission is to research, collect, educate, and preserve the history and the art of the African-American culture,” said Alexander. “We want to engage our community and bring different people together.”
The documentary, made by Lamar Tyler, a relative of the Bass family, featured stunning images of the museum itself and interviews with key museum leaders, such as Fred Perriman, Sonya Hope and Gerri Williams. The documentary traced back the museum’s history and highlighted the positive impact the museum has on the community.
According to the documentary, the MCAAM is housed in the old Horace Moore House, which dates back to 1895. The house was donated to the museum by Rev. Alfred Murray and moved to its current location at 156 Academy Street in Historic Madison, Georgia. The museum was founded in November 1993 as a non-profit organization by the late Martin Bass and Fred Perriman, the current mayor of Madison. The Moses Bass, ancestor of Martin Bass, is one of the first African-Americans recorded to be allowed to purchase land in Morgan County after being freed from slavery.
“It makes me feel good to know that when you dream and have vision, it can come true with some dedication and hard work,” said Perriman, after viewing the documentary.
MCAAM leadership wants maintain an “intricate involvement” with the community.
“We want to make sure the museum is part of this community and part of your lives,” said Sonya Hope, board member of the MCAAM. “We want people to see what we have contributed to the landscape of this community.”
“It’s important for our youth to know that we have contributed a whole lot to this community…that it is possible to survive here in this community and we can show that by continuing to reinforce all the contributions we made thus far,” said Tyler.
To that purpose, The MCAAM has collaborated with many local organizations to provide cultural, educational and artistic opportunities for youth and adults alike. In the last year, the MCAAM has worked with The Madison-Morgan Boys and Girls Club, The Madison Artists Guild, The Historical Society and the Steffen Thomas Museum.
The MCAAM is now operating with new winter hours through February. The museum is closed on Mondays and open Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Saturdays, noon to 2 p.m. The next exhibit, entitled Back in the Day, will feature pieces from Artist Doris Head Sheppard, and will open on February 8 and run until April 25.
The opening reception will begin on Sunday, Feb. 8 at 2:30 p.m. For more information about the MCAAM, call: 706-342-9191