The City of Grambling officials of will hold a meeting in the Community Center and City Hall today at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will introduce the community to two consultants offering their assistance to the Black Towns and Settlements Alliance, Inc.
Two years ago, the mayors of five historic Black towns formed the Black Towns and Settlements Alliance, Inc. that will increase their towns’ national and regional visibility, highlight the historical and cultural importance of each town, and serve as an engine for economic growth for each of the towns. The five towns are Grambling, Louisiana, Tuskegee, Alabama, Hobson City, Alabama, Mound Bayou, Mississippi, and Eatonville, Florida. The towns are collaborating with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to secure a grant to create a Five-State Heritage Corridor.
“The consultants’ visit to Grambling this week focuses on the link between cultural heritage and tourism, cultural heritage as a potential driver of economic development, and the ways that preserving our cultural heritage can enrich the quality of our lives now and that of future generations,” said Phyllis Miller, city of Grambling’s special projects coordinator.
The consultants were introduced during a 11 a.m. press conference held by the city today in the Eddie G. Robinson Museum on the campus of Grambling State University.
Dr. N.Y. Nathiri and Deborah Guglielmo will be in the Grambling community until Friday observing and taking notes.
Dr. Nathiri serves as the executive director of the Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community, Inc., overseeing the daily operations of the organization and its programs.
Guglielmo said she is volunteering her time to the project, becoming involved through Nathiri.
Guglielmo has 30 years of professional experiences specific to the field of museum administration, operations, planning, exhibition, program development and marketing. Her strength is writing grants.
The real reason she said she is involved is that she is engaged with the idea of the five oldest communities coming together to save thier history and culture.
“This is not a one time project, it is a program creating a legacy for these communities,” said Guglielmo.
Dr. Nathiri serves as the executive director of the Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community, Inc., overseeing the daily operations of the organization and its programs. Specifically, she serves as Festival Director for the nationally recognized annual Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities and the Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts. She is also on the Board of the Historic Black Towns and Settlements Alliance, Inc. Dr. Nathiri assists the Board in planning, researching activities of interest to the Five towns and generally helps carry out the vision of the Alliance.
Participating in the project will be Mayor Edward R. Jones, Dr. N. Y. Nathiri, Secretary, Historic Black Towns and Settlements Alliance, Inc. and Project Consultant, Deborah Guglielmo of Guglielmo & Associates Museum and Exhibition Designers, Planners and Consultants and Project Consultant.
City of Grambling Historic Preservation Study Committee Members include State Senator Rick Gallot, State Representative Patrick Jefferson, Attorney John Belton, chair, and Eddie Robinson Museum Commission.