The Charlotte Museum of History will receive $160,000 from Mecklenburg County and the City of Charlotte to support the Save Siloam School Project. The county will donate $15,000 each year for the next 10 years while the City of Charlotte will donate $10,000. The county money is viewed as an investment in arts and culture targeted to reduce racial disparities. The new city and county funds are in addition to municipal funds provided to support the project in 2019 – $125,000 from the county and $50,000 from the city in the fiscal year 2019.
According to the Charlotte Museum of History’s website, the Siloam School is one of Mecklenburg County’s oldest remaining African American schoolhouses. While it is on the National Register of Historic Places it is currently in a state of disrepair. The school was built around 1920 by members of the community. The school was named after Siloam Presbyterian Church, located just north of the school, and served the Black students who lived in the rural Mallard Creek neighborhood.
“On behalf of the community-based Save Siloam School Project, I’m so pleased to receive this vote of confidence from the county and city for the work we are doing to preserve and share Charlotte’s full and complex history,” said Adria Focht, president and CEO of The Charlotte Museum of History. “That means lifting up stories that have often gone untold, including the story of the Siloam School – built and paid for by a rural African American community that was determined to provide a quality education for their children despite segregation. We at the museum look forward to continuing to broaden the lens of Charlotte’s history by shining a light on stories like that of the Siloam School.”
To date, the Save Siloam School Project has raised $660,000 in cash, pledges, and in-kind donations toward a $1 million fundraising goal needed to save the historic school. Once preserved, the Siloam School will become a permanent community resource devoted to history education and programming, including exhibits about racial justice and equity. It will be the only preserved Rosenwald school in Mecklenburg County devoted to history education and history programming.
How to support the Save Siloam School Project
People can support the Save Siloam School Project with a tax-deductible donation at charlottemuseum.org/siloam.