National Historic Landmark to retain independence, flexibilityOn Wednesday, February 4, 2015, associate director for museum operations, Justin G. Reid, sat down to answer the six (6) most frequently asked questions regarding the “tarpaper shack” construction, executive director search, fundraising and proposed Longwood affiliation.
1. Is the proposed Moton-Longwood affiliation a “done deal”?
Absolutely not. Both sides are still doing their homework. All the final papers have not yet been signed or turned in.
Moton is represented by the Hirschler Fleischer law firm in Richmond. The Moton Council (the museum’s community board) and staff will retain decision-making authority over property usage, programs, hiring, community relations and fundraising (i.e., the “Family Challenge“).
We’ll retain our independent 501c3, tax-exempt, non-profit fundraising status, as established by Moton Museum founders, the Martha E. Forester Council of Women, in 1996.
2. Why is Moton interested in affiliating with Longwood?
Because they’re our next-door neighbor. And Longwood has a 176-year, teacher training track-record.
We also have faith and believe in President Reveley’s vision of Longwood becoming a leading small, state-supported, liberal arts university, that’s safe, and more inclusive and welcoming to the whole community.
Moton will continue to partner with other colleges and universities, especially our local institutions, Hampden-Sydney College and Southside Virginia Community College; and Virginia’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
3. Why is Longwood interested in affiliating with Moton?
Moton has a 76-year history of nurturing active, conscious citizenship.
Because of the 1951 Moton Student Strike, the U.S. Department of the Interior declared Moton a National Historic Landmark (NHL) in 1998. NHL status is the highest federal protection the Interior Department can bestow. Moton is the first and only 1950s/60s Virginia civil rights site to have such strong federal protection.
The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, at the University of Virginia, has called Moton “the Monticello of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.”
4. How much money does Moton have?
Enough to keep our doors open and teach the school children and families who currently visit every month.
Like churches and other community and charity organizations, we heavily rely on donations, grants, sponsors, and good-spirited friends and volunteers.
Moton is economically conservative (we strive to live below our means; we don’t spend it until we earn it). In the last year, we’ve become leaner and more efficient. Our highest paid employee makes a competitive Southside Virginia, beginning teacher’s salary.
5. Who will be Moton’s next executive director?
The formal search has not yet begun. Former director Lacy Ward Jr. isn’t interested.
6. When will the model “tar paper shack” construction be completed?
By the end of April, weather permitting.
The grant-funded project has been approved by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. It will house restrooms and multi-purpose work and outdoor education and dining space.