• Birmingham's Bethel Baptist Parsonage Restored Through HOPE Crew Project

    August 16, 2019

    On July 26, 2019, the National Trust's HOPE Crew (Hands-On Preservation Experience) wrapped up a project at Bethel Baptist Church’s Parsonage in Birmingham, a site crucial to the Civil Rights Movement and the designated contact point in Alabama for the 1961 Freedom Ride from Washington, D.C. to Mississippi.

    Under the umbrella of the National Trust’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, HOPE Crew performed work on the property as part of its partnership with the Fund II Foundation to engage African American youth in learning preservation trades at sites tied to African American achievement and activism.

    The crew members were provided by Cornerstone Revitalization Foundation YouthBuild Program. Between July 15 and 26, 2019, the team carefully documented and restored the windows of the parsonage under the supervision of a local master craftsman, Jim Turner.

    Other past and upcoming HOPE Crew activities made possible with Fund II support include preservation projects at the Nina Simone Childhood Home in Tryon, North Carolina, the home of John and Alice Coltrane in Long Island, Atlanta’s Herndon Home Museum, and six-week intensive internships for architecture students enrolled at two HBCUs—part of Fund II Foundation’s commitment to diversifying STEM fields of education.

  • Restoration Work Begins at South Side Community Art Center in Chicago

    June 17, 2019

    On June 17, 2019, the National Trust announced a new HOPE Crew (Hands-On Preservation Experience) project at the South Side Community Art Center, a National Treasure. This groundbreaking institution was instrumental in launching the careers of renowned African American artists when many galleries would not exhibit their work, including poet Gwendolyn Brooks (the first black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize) and Life magazine photographer and filmmaker Gordon Parks.

    Thanks to a partnership between the Fund II Foundation and the National Trust’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund (AACHAF), a team of African American young people will gain valuable vocational experience while performing needed repairs at this iconic Chicago landmark.

    Over a period of several days, crew members will conduct masonry cleaning work on the Art Center’s front facade under the direction of Tom Vacala with Restore Masonry and with overall guidance from Ed Torrez, an architect, National Trust advisor, and principal at BauerLatoza Studio.

    Other past and upcoming HOPE Crew activities made possible with Fund II support include preservation projects at the Nina Simone Childhood Home in Tryon, North Carolina, the Pittsburgh home of author August Wilson, the home of John and Alice Coltrane in Long Island, Bethel Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, and six-week intensive internships for architecture students enrolled at two HBCUs—part of Fund II Foundation’s commitment to diversifying STEM fields of education.

  • Atlanta's Herndon Home Museum Restored Through HOPE Crew Project

    June 11, 2019

    On June 11, 2019, the National Trust's HOPE Crew (Hands-On Preservation Experience) wrapped up a project at The Alonzo Herndon Home Museum in Atlanta, the historic home of Atlanta's first black millionaire and founder of Atlanta Life Insurance Company.

    Under the umbrella of the National Trust’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, HOPE Crew performed work on the property as part of its partnership with the Fund II Foundation to engage African American youth in learning preservation trades at sites tied to African American achievement and activism.

    The crew members were provided by Greening Youth Foundation, a black-owned nonprofit youth corps based in Atlanta. Between May 30 and June 11, 2019, the all-African American team carefully repaired, scraped, and re-painted the back porch and elements of the home's front facade under the supervision of a local master crafstman.

    Other past and upcoming HOPE Crew activities made possible with Fund II support include preservation projects at the Nina Simone Childhood Home in Tryon, North Carolina, the Pittsburgh home of author August Wilson, the home of John and Alice Coltrane in Long Island, Bethel Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, and six-week intensive internships for architecture students enrolled at two HBCUs—part of Fund II Foundation’s commitment to diversifying STEM fields of education.

  • New Partnership Will Provide Support for HOPE Crew at Sites of African American History

    May 1, 2019

    On May 2, 2019, the National Trust announced that with support from the Fund II Foundation, it will broaden the scope of HOPE Crew (Hands-On Preservation Experience) during its five-year anniversary to focus on engaging African American youth in learning about preservation trades at sites tied to African American achievement and activism. The support from Fund II represents the largest investment in HOPE Crew's history.

    The first HOPE Crew project undertaken with Fund II support will be at the Nina Simone Childhood Home (a National Treasure of the National Trust) in Tryon, North Carolina. The seven HOPE Crew participants for the upcoming project, provided by the Schenck Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center of North Carolina, will be at the home for several days, repairing and repainting its exterior. The project is an important first step in preparing the home for extensive rehabilitation and reuse.

    Fund II's support of HOPE Crew in the upcoming year is tied to two of the foundation's key pillars: preserving African American cultural heritage and introducing young people to occupations in STEM-related fields. According to Linda Wilson, executive director of the Fund II Foundation, "The projects celebrate iconic figures, instill community pride, and also provide the opportunity to educate around them and their achievements for generations to come."

    Other HOPE Crew activities planned with Fund II support include preservation projects at the Pittsburgh home of author August Wilson, the John and Alice Coltrane Home and Chicago's South Side Community Art Center (both National Treasures of the National Trust), and six-week intensive internships for architecture students enrolled at Historically Black Colleges and Universities Morgan State University and Tuskegee University.

  • HOPE Crew Training Underway at 5 Washington, D.C., Sites

    April 25, 2019

    Three corpsmembers break apart soil at Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in Washington, D.C.

    photo by: Ruth McBain

    Youth corps work at Frederick Douglass National Historic Site.

    On April 22, 2019, HOPE Crew (Hands-On Preservation Experience) began a preservation training at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, D.C. The previous week, the five-person youth corps had their initial orientation and training at Fort Washington, and they will continue their work at Folger Park, Marshall Hall, and Harmony Hall through the beginning of May 2019.

    The project will continue through the beginning of May, in partnership with Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) and the National Park Service. The corps was organized by LAYC, which works to empower diverse young men and women through multicultural, comprehensive, and innovative programs like HOPE Crew.

    The work at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site (also known as Cedar Hill) includes maintaining the home's cultural landscape and viewshed. This former home of America's most renowned abolitionist has been a place of inspiration for over a century. In 1917, the National Association of Colored Women launched a national campaign to save the Douglass' home and inaugurated the black preservation movement.

    Following the viewshed restoration at Cedar Hill, the corps will begin work at Folger Park in Washington's Capitol Hill neighborhood.

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