Envisioning the Future of Nina Simone’s Childhood Home

May 17, 2019 by Erica Stewart

The National Trust convened a two-day strategic visioning session in Nina’s hometown of Tryon, N.C. on May 15-16 for local artists, project partners, and preservation experts to craft a strategy for integrating arts and culture programming into all future plans for the home.

Held at the Tryon Fine Arts Center, and steered by Janeen Bryant of Facilitate Movement, the group explored the life and legacy of Nina Simone as an artist, a woman, an African American and an activist and how her childhood home can be a place to engage with her extraordinary creative spirit and her humble beginnings.

We are grateful to many local partners for enabling and enriching the visioning session, including the Nina Simone Project; the Tryon Fine Arts Center; the Town of Tryon; Janeen Bryant; jazz artist Nnenna Freelon; musician Daryle Rice; Tryon businesses, and project partners including the World Monuments Fund and Fund II Foundation.

The visioning session builds upon the momentum generated by the recent HOPE Crew project at the house, which completed important stabilization work on the property, and by the online survey created by the Trust to for the local community to voice their ideas for the home’s future. More than 125 responses were recorded and show a strong degree of interest in the home and enthusiasm for adapting it as a museum or interpreted space and as an artist in residence facility.

Next steps include finishing the stabilization work and the development of a business plan and a scope of work to guide the total rehabilitation and reuse of the property.

Participants in visioning session for Nina Simone Childhood Home, Tyron, North Carolina, May 2019

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