A center of learning, arts, and culture
By Rhonda Gaye Woolsey
COLUMBIA, 4/18/13 (Op Ed) -- The Blind Boone Home-less Shelter?
"What the hey?" writes local art history/education professional Rhonda Gaye Woolsey
, about former City Councilman Gary Kespohl's unusual idea
. "Was he saying all black people are homeless?"
"We need homeless shelters, but we need cultural centers, too. The Blind Boone Home should be a place of learning, arts, science, music, history. It is meant to be a museum, a monument, and a center to teach and guide youth.
"I pushed for a cultural center for black history and children's fine arts in Douglass Park. Why are city leaders so resistant? Would it be so horrible to showcase black culture, and perhaps start a New Harlem Renaissance right here, in Columbia, Missouri?
"We can be a center of Black cultural growth. We can be the new Harlem, as it was during that great period of African-American cultural rebirth.
"If City Hall would quit fighting the idea, a Blind Boone Black Cultural Center would benefit all residents, Columbia's diversity, and the growth of the city in more ways than one."