An expansion plan worth millions of dollars may transform a Florida museum into the state's first landmark museum for Black history and culture, FOX 13 reports.
The Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum and the Pinellas Community Foundation announced that $27 million will go towards moving the St. Petersburg museum into a new facility nearly eight times its current size. For the last 15 years, the museum occupied a 4,000-square foot former community center.
Not only will the museum expand into a 30,5000-square-foot building, but it's getting a name change: the Woodson African American Museum of Florida.
"I love to reference it as the Smithsonian of the South. We are looking to be that space in Florida’s history," Terri Lipsey Scott says, the executive director of the Woodson Museum. "There’s not one properly constructed African American museum in the state of Florida, and we’re looking to fill that void."
Fundraising efforts are underway for the new project, and the city is backing the expansion, according to the chief executive officer of PCF, Duggan Cooley.
"I think there’s no doubt about the city of St. Petersburg's buy-in to the project already having provided land to the museum and a significant contribution to get started in the campaign," he says. "It signals the early trust that the city has and its commitment to wanting to see this happen in the community."
The museum will be moving down a few blocks to 22th Street South and still remain in the historically Black neighborhood The Deuces. Museum leaders are hoping to reach their fundraising goal within the next year and a half.