(LITTLE ROCK) - The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center (MTCC) today announced it received $250,000 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The funding will support Phase Two of the museum’s renovation project. Specifically, it will be used in the redesign of the permanent exhibition interpreting the African American experience in Arkansas and the development of new educational and outreach programming and community partnerships.
“The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center is vital to telling the story of Arkansas’s African American history and culture,” said Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. “The grant award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services will help the Center reach more people with Phase Two of its renovation project, furthering the Center’s outreach and education endeavors.”
Phase One of the renovation project was completed in September of 2021, culminating in the grand opening of the Children’s Gallery and a 360-degree theatre that provides context for the museum’s permanent exhibit.
The MTCC gets its name from the Mosaic Templars of America, a Black fraternal organization founded in Little Rock in 1883. Its headquarters sat on the prominent West Ninth and Broadway location that MTCC now occupies.
“In 2023, the Mosaic Templars of America marks its 140th anniversary,” Jimmy Bryant, Arkansas Heritage director said. “This grant award will help the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center preserve its legacy, continuing to educate and inform Arkansans about the history of our state's African American community.”
The second phase of the renovation plan is expected to be completed in spring 2023. The renovation will update the space to engage with audiences, focusing on how the African American experience is woven into the fabric of past, present and future Arkansas, and establish MTCC as an intergenerational institution.
MTCC Director Quantia ‘Key’ Fletcher said, “This generous grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services will be instrumental in our mission to further the story of Black history in Arkansas. We are so thankful for their support as we write the next chapter in the story of the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center.”
Photo: (left to right) Curtis Smith, Ti'Yana Jackson, Emily Kearns, Brian Rodgers, Quantia "Key" Fletcher, Sabrina Taylor, Whitney Holman, Courtney Bradford, Matthew Johnson.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
"As pillars of our communities, libraries and museums bring people together by providing important programs, services, and collections. These institutions are trusted spaces where people can learn, explore and grow,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “IMLS is proud to support their initiatives through our grants as they educate and enhance their communities."
Mosaic Templars Cultural Center
As part of the Division of Arkansas Heritage, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, a museum of Arkansas Heritage, is dedicated to preserving, interpreting and celebrating African American history and culture in Arkansas.
Arkansas Heritage was created in 1975. There are eight agencies with unique heritage focuses under the umbrella of this division: Arkansas Arts Council, Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, the Old State House Museum, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, the Historic Arkansas Museum and the Arkansas State Archives. Arkansas Heritage is a division of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. Jimmy Bryant serves as director of the division.
Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism
The Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism protects and promotes our state’s natural, cultural and historic assets, contributing to a thriving economy and high quality of life. It is made up of three divisions: Arkansas State Parks, Arkansas Heritage and Arkansas Tourism. Stacy Hurst serves as the cabinet secretary for the department.