Community Rallies To Fund Weeksville Heritage Center

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CROWN HEIGHTS — Elected officials rallied Thursday to make the historic Weeksville Heritage Center part of the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs after lack of private funding threatened the Crown Heights house museum’s existence.

Weeksville Heritage Center by Nic Lehoux

The city agency currently provides funding to more than 1000 cultural facilities throughout the city through direct subsidies and capital funding for renovations.

Calls for city funding comes after the cultural center announced a crowdfunding drive to raise at least $200,000 to save the 51-year-old house museum from closing. Within days, the museum, located at 158 Buffalo Avenue, surpassed its original goal by more than $55,000.

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“We are a community that must hold on to our treasures so we can tell our children the full story of who we are and our strength,” said Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo.

Among the 1000-plus cultural facilities receiving funds from the city agency, 33 are part of the Cultural Institutions Group (CIG) – a collection of city-owned cultural institutions. The 150-year-old private-partnership began with the creation of the American Museum of Natural History. The program has since expanded throughout the five boroughs, incorporating institutions which include Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the Brooklyn Museum.

“We will not allow our history to be erased,” added Cumbo. “There is a dearth of Cultural Institutions Groups (CIGs) in the borough of Brooklyn. Brooklyn deserves a more cultural focus. Weeksville needs to be supported in the budget.”

Follow the link to make donations to the cultural center.

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