By Tia Lynn Lecorchick

The Morgan County African American Museum (MCAAM) held their annual Concert in the Park on Saturday, Jun. 14, to raise funds for the museum and expose the community to local musical talent. The concert featured two local musical groups, 3x Jazz Bands and Second to None. “It’s important to us to highlight local musicians who are a part of our community,” said Kisha Jones, director of the MCAAM. According to Jones, about 170 people attended and the event yielded about $2700 for MCAAM. Tickets were $15 in advance and $20 at the gate. Any funds raised from the concert will go toward building new exhibits at the MCAAM. According to Jones, the central theme of the museum is local history, but tracing the local history back to African-American roots is vital to understanding the local history.

“Our local history begins with African roots. We are going to build exhibits that will flow within that theme: from the motherland to the modern day,” explained Jones. Jones also noted that the MCAAM will be hosting future events the community can look forward to enjoying. The MCAAM will be hosting the first ever “Living Legacy Gala” on Sept. 20 at which four local people will be honored for playing a vital role within the community. Each person will represent a different role: religion, education, community/civil leadership, and corporate.

“We want to recognize people who are still living and are continuing to add a tremendous piece to our community,” said Jones. The names of the winners will be released later this summer. The MCAAM plans to make this a annual event. In future years, the museum plans to recognize a “rising legacy” from the local youth and award them with a scholarship around high school graduation time.

“We will even hold workshops during the year for the youth, so they can become familiar with the various components necessary to become a rising legacy so they can actively work towards becoming one,” said Jones. “In our community, there is a real sense of hopelessness and helplessness. I think it is important to focus and highlight people in this community who are making a tremendous impact and really put the spotlight on them,” said Jones. “People who have overcome so much in the face of tremendous odds, we need to recognize that to inspire others in our community.”