September 12, 2001
Story by Ken Woodley, courtesy of the Farmville Herald
FARMVILLE-The Robert Russa Moton Museum has won a $200,000 matching grant from the federal Save America’s Treasures program.
“This comes at a time when it’s critically needed,” said museum board president Samuel V. Wilson, “and is an example of the response of thinking people who recognize the validity of the Moton Museum’s mission to help build a future where there is no room for racial prejudice.”
The National Park Service administers the grant in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and is meant to “preserve nationally significant threatened intellectual and cultural artifacts,” according to a statement released by the United States Department of the Interior.
The prestigious grant is viewed as lending important leverage to the museum’s solicitation of donations from foundations and other sources of funding.
“No question about it,” said Fifth District Congressman Virgil Goode, who actively supported the application and mentioned First Lady Laura Bush’s keen advocacy of the Save America’s Treasures program. “This will enhance private donations from other sources significantly in my opinion.”
Rep. Goode, who recently toured the museum with U.S. Senator George Allen and State Senator Frank Ruff, said he was “pleased with the programs and displays and exhibits they have there already.”
The museum board’s assistant secretary, Sarah Terry, said, “I don’t think I even even considered that the Robert Russa Museum would not be funded by the Save America’s Treasures grant program. A site such as the Moton School, that is virtually unchanged from the day it became part of the Brown V. Board of Education Supreme Court decision has treasure worth saving written all over it.”
Ms. Terry was one of the two museum board members who, in a frenzy of effort, performed the necessary photographic documentation and written justification for the grant, just beating the application deadline.
The funds will be used to restore portions of the building, including a new roof, which threaten the integrity of the National Historic Landmark and its ability to survive structurally as a museum.