January 9, 2007
Kansas City, Mo. — Attorney General Jay Nixon today announced that the Black Archives of Mid-America now has a reconstituted board of directors to provide leadership for one of the country's premier collections of documents and artifacts chronicling African-American history. Over the past few years, the Archives struggled with finances, maintenance, board membership and other issues.
Nixon accepted the recommendations of an advisory committee in adding 12 new members to the board to begin the rebuilding process of the Black Archives, located in Kansas City's historic 18th and Vine District. Nixon's office has filed the paperwork with the Missouri Secretary of State to appoint the new board members.
“This is a new board with the experience, the knowledge and the proven community leadership to help the Black Archives reach its full potential as a historical resource,” Nixon said. “I am pleased that these leaders stepped forward when help was needed the most.”
The new board members are:
Nixon said the first meeting of the reconstituted board is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Jan. 25 in the Gem Theater meeting room, 1615 E. 18th St. The 12 new members join current board members Anthony Arnold and Warren Watkins.
“After a difficult period, the Black Archives now has exactly what it needs - a complete board of directors with expertise in business, history, museum management, urban affairs and many other areas,” Nixon said. “This group will bring fresh ideas and integrity to save this resource, which is a gem for Kansas City, our state and indeed, the whole country.”
Nixon held two public hearings last summer in Kansas City as part of the effort to help preserve the Black Archives. More than 400 people attended the hearings, which was indicative of the community support to keep the Archives intact, Nixon said. The advisory committee was formed shortly after the meetings to review the applications of 100 people who expressed interest in serving on the board.
“The new board of directors will need the same kind of support that was shown by the high level of community interest at the hearings and in the number of qualified applications that were received,” Nixon said.
The Archives had been dissolved earlier in 2006 as a nonprofit corporation for failing to comply with state laws. Nixon said the new management will work to keep the Archives in compliance with the law, secure adequate funding and appropriately preserve the artifacts and document contained in the collection.
“Historians, scholars and anyone else interested in learning about or studying the experiences of African Americans in the Midwest should have the opportunity to use this resource, now and for years to come,” Nixon said.