Cultural Center Board Responds to Accusations of Crisis

Over the past 64 years the African American Cultural Center (AACC) has been a beacon of hope, inspiration, and education for our community. Beginning with Malcolm Erni, through the passing of our beloved Agnes Bain last year, the center has been a gatekeeper for generations of our youth, developing their life skills and knowledge about the importance and impact of our culture in their development and success. 

Today the Board of Directors wants the community to know that its dedication and commitment to this mission is not in jeopardy considering the unfounded and unwarranted accusations that the AACC is in crisis. 

We are not in crisis and have been revaluating the Center’s needs and operations to strengthen and expand its programs, financial sustainability and develop a badly needed new building. In the past six months decisions have been made to finalize a strategic plan, seek additional funding, and improve administrative operations. Many of these decisions required re-evaluations of existing policies and staff especially at the managerial level.  As a result, the Board has decided to conduct a search for a new Executive Director that has the vision and expertise in the performing and cultural arts to take the Center to a new level. 

While the search is taking place Jackie Mines will serve as the Interim Executive Director. Ms. Mines has served on the AACC Board and has extensive experience in managing community-based organizations.

During the past year the void left by the passing of Agnes Bain coupled with the Covid 19 pandemic presented tremendous challenges for keeping the Center open. Although the transition has been difficult, we have come through these tough times this year with a successful, Pine Grill Reunion in August, reopening of the Paul Robeson Theater, and the restarting of our summer youth and afterschool programs. The drum and dance programs have been very active and key activities for this fall include Octoberfest, and the finalizing of the planning and development for the new cultural center.

Because many of you will continue to have questions about the AACC’s status, we will provide more information and reports about our new plan of action and progress over the coming months.

Please be reassured that the AACC is alive and well, moving forward and preparing for the future.

-The Board of Directors, African American Cultural Center