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Alesia Parson-McBean: Progress made at Doleman museum

August 11, 2012|By ALESIA PARSON-McBEAN

On behalf of the Friends of the Doleman Black Heritage Museum and the DBHM Board of Directors, we proudly say thank you to the following for making our first Chocolate Garden Tea Party a success: Snavley’s Garden Corner-Hagerstown for supplying the garden greenery;  Applause Catering, Rhonda Strickland and staff who worked tirelessly to make the event flow seamlessly; to the community that so graciously donated cups, saucers and goodies for our gift baskets to our table; and ticket sponsors, AC&T, Washington County Commissioners, and Gregory C. Bannon, Rosemary Doleman-Lucas, and Janice Kelsh.

Special thanks to our program participants: Elder Darlene Cooper, Judy Larkin the Tea Lady, and pianist/composer Professor Latonya Wrenn of Bowie State University, Councilman Lewis Metzner, Commissioner William McKinley, and Julianna Albowicz, Representative for U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, who also brought forth continued support from U.S. Sen. Benjamin Cardin’s office.

As we move forward in the production of our next fundraising event for fall 2012, it is important for DBHM to reflect on its progress since its inception in 2008, to share these moments with the public and to proclaim greater successes for our future.

• In 2008: Establishment of the Doleman Black Heritage Museum, Inc. as a Federal 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization; unveiling of the DBHM logo at its first annual fundraiser.

• In 2009: Assessment and feasibility study of the Doleman collection; $15,000 from the Maryland Heritage Authority, with a $15,000 matching grant from the City of Hagerstown, and a $5,000 endowment from Beth Ann Stouffer through Community Foundation of Washington County, Inc. 

• In 2009: General Assembly Bond Bill award for $25,000. In addition, matching funds just before the approval of an extension request in 2011 from the Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Foundation with a $10,000 donation from Adna Fulton of AC&T. These are designated funds for capital and or acquisitions.  

• In 2010-2011: $2,099 grants from Washington County Gaming Commission.

• In 2012: $2,000 Mary K. Bowman Historical and Fine Arts Fund.

• From 2010 to 2012, DBHM received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services for $150,000 designated to achieve the following goals: (The IMLS grant is administered by the City of Hagerstown). Preservation, conservation, exhibits and exhibit panels; identification of most threatened artifacts within the collection, creation of a new mission/vision and statement of purpose, a collections management policy, research/design/fabrication of eight exhibits and six mobile exhibits with companion brochures, educational exhibits for K-5 grades, scanning and preservation/conservation of the most threatened precious documents within the collection; website upgrades and additions; addition of the “Curators Corner” to the website, creation of a web-based archive from those scanned documents that are now available for researchers on the museum website; and the purchasing of office equipment to maximize the organization’s capacity for outreach and networking.

In addition, the IMLS project allowed the museum to hire a project director, curator and local vendors to design, fabricate and print  the exhibit panels, educational flash cards, worksheets and stories, as well as printing of companion posters and brochures for exhibits.

DBHM has maintained three annual fundraisers that serves to accomplish the goals of the organization’s mission, vision and statement of purpose to collect, preserve, exhibit and interpret historical and cultural artifacts of African Americans in Washington County. In addition to protecting and expanding the legacy of the Doleman family, it provides insight and enlightenment to the public as a resource for historical information about African-American history and culture locally, statewide and nationally.

Be on the lookout for forthcoming information about our fall fundraiser, where the museum will be unveiling the final exhibits of this phase, which speaks to the families that have contributed artifacts to the museum and the local business of Jonathan Street. Please help the museum honor and preserve its past while embracing its future.

Thank you to The Herald-Mail for keeping the community abreast of the events sponsored by the museum and continued great coverage.


Alesia Parson-McBean is project director and administrator of the Doleman Black Heritage Museum.

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