GRAND REPIDS, Michigan – The African-American Cultural Center may arrive in Grand Rapids. Organizers for NIA Center working to create a modern home for their vision.
“This is what our center does. We unite people, ”Robert Upton Jr., chairman of the NIA board, told FOX 17.
The current NIA Center Grand Rapids home is on Commerce Avenue.
“We really liked this space because it gave us access to people who are not served in our colored communities,” he said.
Their house may now be small, but they dream of more.
“We will either build an African-American cultural center or find a space where we can place our efforts,” Uptan said.
He wants to bring a unique experience to Western Michigan.
“We don’t have an African-American cultural center in Grand Rapids; we have an African-American museum located in Grand Rapids; the difference is that we will focus on uniting people around culture, ”Uptan said.
They always hold events in different places in Grand Rapids. In October, FOX 17 introduced you to one of its exhibitions “My Story”.
Nationally renowned artist John MacDonald showcases paintings by strong African-Americans. This art is still on display in their current home.
“Just to see it beautiful … this amazing African-American woman hanging on our walls, we are honored to be a place that can present such works of art at the highest level,” he added.
People at the heart of the NIA are always looking to raise cultural awareness. Their latest project is a room where they produce and broadcast podcasts.
“So it will be a great way for young people to learn about the stories of their seniors and see how they can become successful, as well as some people with whom they will have the opportunity to be interviewed,” Uptan said.
Uptan hopes that with this awareness they will have bigger things to do.
“We are here for the community. And I think we have a wonderful space for the community to enjoy. We know it is … we understand that it will be a prototype for something even bigger that will be, ”he said.
At the moment, they are not raising funds for a new building. They are looking for donations for programs that benefit the community.