Souls Grown Deep Foundation and Community Partnership has made a $250,000 grant to the Freedom Quilting Bee Legacy, a historical women’s quilting cooperative in Alberta, Alabama. The Freedom Quilting Bee Legacy will use the funds to revitalize the Freedom Quilting Bee’s historic building—which was established in the 1960s and aligned with the Civil Rights and Voting Rights movements—and create the Freedom Quilting Bee Heritage Center and Museum.

The Freedom Quilting Bee Heritage Center and Museum will serve as a living museum celebrating the Bee’s artistic legacy and providing educational programming on this community. It will also act as a driver in alleviating the dire economic conditions of the area by delivering quilting and textile manufacturing jobs, as well as promoting tourism in the region.

The Freedom Quilting Bee Legacy grant is made in honor of Estelle Witherspoon, an artist in Souls Grown Deep’s collection and a founding member and long-time manager of the Freedom Quilting Bee. The grant is also accompanied by two additional Souls Grown Deep support grants to key organizations in Gee’s Bend: $10,000 to ABC Elementary School in Alberta, AL for technology and art supplies and $10,000 to Boykin Improvement Corporation for repairs to the Gee’s Bend Quilting Collective building.

These grants extend Souls Grown Deep’s commitment to advancing and fostering economic empowerment, racial and social justice, and educational advancement in the communities that gave rise to the Black artists of the Southern United States in the Foundation’s collection.

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