Congrats, Artists Meet Fundraising Goal To Rent Langston Hughes’ Harlem Home (Video)

September 22, 2016

langston-hughes-houseA group of artists and writers have met a fundraising goal to rent and preserve a Harlem brownstone that was the home of Harlem Renaissance poet Langston Hughes. The poet lived in the house on East 127th Street for 20 years up until his death, and the building has gone largely untouched.

The I, Too Arts Collective has raised $130,000 and will sign a lease to rent out the brownstone and turn it into a cultural center, the group’s executive director Renée Watson told the Daily News. The group hopes to open the community space by February 1st, 2017 which was Hughes’ birthday, the Daily News reported.

A little more than $87,000 was raised on a crowdfunding site, and the rest of the money was contributed by private donors, according to the report.

The home was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. But despite the home’s cultural significance, its future was in doubt. The home had been listed for more than $3 million, with the listing encouraging prospective buyers to “Bring your architect and contractors!”

As uptown neighborhoods like Harlem become increasingly targeted areas for private development, the I, Too Arts Collective was in a race against time to raise money to save the home.

“Change is happening in Harlem and I believe it is important that in a place like Harlem, the historical and cultural spaces where African American pioneers lived and created be preserved,” Watson said on the project’s website.

Here’s a video about the campaign:

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Via Wikimedia image.

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