Federal, state and city representatives today gathered in West Louisville to pledge their support to a new cultural institution. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer reports.
Gov. Steve Beshear and other leaders say they will help the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage find some of the funding needed to finish the majority of its construction by the end of the year.
Construction stopped in late 2005 after Gov. Ernie Fletcher’s administration did not release federal aid earmarked for the project because of questions about its debt.
At the construction site, Gov. Beshear announced that the state would release that money.
“Five and half million dollars will be turned loose to help build this center,” Beshear said. “And at the same time, as we all wanted to do, create a system of oversight to make sure that the money is spent wisely and efficiently.”
State Senator Gerald Neal stood with Gov. Beshear at the site of the center in the West Louisville neighborhood of Russell. He talked about the state’s support and the center’s mission to tell the story of African Americans in Kentucky.
“This is a grand opportunity, it’s an opportunity to educate — educate Kentuckians and, in fact, the world as to what’s happened in Kentucky; where we come from; what are our possibilities for the future,” he said.
The center plans to open next year and tell the story of African-American history in Kentucky.