Newport News Public Library receives $7K grant for exhibit honoring Southeast Community

Newport News

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — The Newport News Public Library announced on Wednesday that it has received a $7,000 grant to develop an exhibit honoring the residents of the Southeast Community.

The exhibit is called, “Say It Loud: A Salute to the Heroes of the Southeast Community” and is part of a multi-phase project the library launched in an effort to preserve the legacy behind the city’s history. It will be the third installment in the series honoring Newport News residents and is set to debut during winter 2021 at the Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center.

Following the debut, the exhibit will be available remotely when it travels to different locations throughout Newport News and will be available virtually on the library website.

“The Southeast Community of Newport News has a strong African American heritage, rich in culture, business and opportunity,” says Sonia Alcantara-Antoine, director of Newport News Public Library.

“While the city and our partners are investing significant resources to transform this area, we must also reflect on the history of this neighborhood and residents. The ‘Say it Loud: A Salute to the Heroes of the Southeast Community’ exhibit celebrates our city’s diverse cultural narrative and reignites the pride of this community’s storied past.”

The funds were awarded by Virginia Humanities to create a multimedia display that will showcase the achievements of the community. Library officials said that the exhibit is being created with input from a Citizen’s Advisory Committee.

Criteria for the honorees include those who have made a significant long-term contribution to the Southeast Community, improved the community, or helped civil rights move forward in Virginia. 

“There was unanimous support for the ‘Say It Loud: A Salute to the Heroes of the Southeast Community project,’” said Carolyn Cades, associate director of Grants and Community Programs for Virginia Humanities. “We believe this is an important story that needs to be told for years to come.”

For more information on the Say It Loud project or to view the current exhibit, call the Virginiana Room at the Main Street Library at 757-591-4858.

More information on the Newport News Public Library can be found here.

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