EVENT DATE: May 21, 2016
SOCIETY FOR PRESERVATION OF WEEKSVILLE & BEDFORD-STUYVESANT HI wrote -
The historic village of Weeksville was an independent African American community during the 19th Century and named for James Weeks, who with a group of African American investors, acquired the property in 1838. The Society for the Preservation of Weeksville and Bedford-Stuyvesant History was incorporated in 1971 and is the steward for the three remaining historic houses, located on historic Hunterfly Road. Weeksville Heritage Center currently operates as a historic preservation site, museum, and cultural campus. It is one of few African American historic sites in the Northeast on its original property interpreting African American history through a contemporary lens. WHC offers a range of programming encompassing education, green practices, literacy and the arts, as well as civic engagement to engage all age groups and deepen knowledge of the African American experience in American history past and present. Specifically, WHC strives to achieve the following through its programming: 1) providing opportunities for the local community to interact with the history of the settlement and understand its contribution to present day Brooklyn; 2) acting as a resource for those studying historical preservation and engaged in research about free African American communities; 3) Animating the history of African Americans using live performance and the visual arts; and 4) maintaining Weeksville’s agricultural heritage and utilize 19th century agricultural history to contextualize environmental education for students and the greater Crown Heights and Bedford Stuyvesant community. Weeksville’s programs are largely geared towards its local community, schools, youth and adults in Brooklyn and is a resource to institutions and individuals nationally and internationally: • Educational programs: Historic house tours for adults and youth, as well as educational workshops for elementary and middle school students; • Green programs: Farmers market, environmental programs for students and workshops for youth as well as adults on nutrition, fresh food and other environmental topics; • Historic research: Archival and collections work, oral history, a digitization project and other research preserving Weeksville’s history and the history of African Americans and the African Diaspora in Brooklyn; • Public arts and culture: Visual art installations, dance and theater performances, lectures, and films.