The Weeksville Heritage Center, in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, is a very special historic place which is now fundraising to survive. Weeksville was founded by former slaves in 1827, just 11 years after New York abolished slavery. The town was named after its founder, James Weeks, an African American longshoreman who purchased the property. James Weeks was a leader in the abolitionist movement.
Weeksville grew into a thriving community with a population of over 500 people, with their own churches, a school, and a newspaper.
Helping Weeksville to Survive
Unfortunately, Weeksville fell into disrepair during the 20th century. As a result of urban development much of the town was bull-dozed and replaced by modern housing. In 1968, a group of activists came together and created the Weeksville Heritage Center to preserve the historic site and serve as an educational resource to the community. The last remaining historic houses, the Hunterfly Road Houses, were given landmark status and are on the National Register of Historic Places.
Now, in 2019, the Weeksville Heritage Center is at risk of closing because of funding shortfalls and higher expenses. So, a crowdfunding campaign has been launched to raise $200,000 to cover growing operating expenses until September 2019 when grants provided by New York City will become available.
A Successful Fundraising Campaign
Now the latest news is really great! The crowdfunding initiative is exceeding goal and thus far raised over $261,000. Over 4,000 donations have been made by US donors and donors from seven countries, according to the President and Executive Director, Rob Fields.
“I’m very encouraged, I think Weeksville has a long, bright, and prosperous future ahead,” said Fields. “The question is how do we make that happen? We have to be smarter and more effective to make sure Weeksville has the resources it needs to survive and thrive.”
So, what can you do?…Visit and Donate
Click this link for Weeksville Heritage Center visitor information: https://www.weeksvillesociety.org/
Click this link to watch the Weeksville Heritage Center fundraising video which is hosted by renowned actor, Michael K. Williams: https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/save-weeksville2019
Weeksville Heritage Center 158 Buffalo Avenue Brooklyn NY 11213