Franklin School

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CAPE MAY - Each year, the Center for Community Arts (CCA) presents an exhibit that highlights and illuminates African American life and history in Cape May and the surrounding region.

From its opening in 1928, the Franklin Street School was a symbol of segregation and separation. It stood as a reminder of a racial divide, even after school integration in 1948. For two decades, CCA has worked to preserve, stabilize and restore the school. Now a collaborative effort by CCA and the City of Cape May aims to renew the school as a community center.

“Franklin Street School: From Segregation to Unification” is presented by CCA in association with the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC). The exhibit opens Jan. 13 and is open to the public through April 15, at the Carroll Gallery of the Carriage House, on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St., Cape May. Admission is free.

The exhibit will include photographs, artifacts and recorded oral and video histories to chronical the history of the school, the initial efforts to preserve and rehabilitate the building, and plans for the building’s expansion and completion.

The public is invited to an exhibit opening celebration Jan. 15 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) at 4 p.m. at the Carroll Gallery in the Carriage House on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St., Cape May.

The exhibit is open to the public as follows: Saturdays, Jan. 13- Feb. 10, noon-3 p.m.; Feb. 17, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Feb. 18, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Feb. 19, 1 p.m.-3 p.m.; Saturdays, Feb. 24-March 17, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; March 18, 1 p.m.-3 p.m. The exhibit is open daily, March 19-April 15; hours vary.

CCA is a multicultural educational non-profit organization whose arts and humanities programs foster creativity, community building, and appreciation for the rich diversity of our world. The Center’s Community History Program is dedicated to preserving, interpreting and celebrating Cape May’s African-American heritage through exhibits, tours, and its John and Janet Nash African American History Archive. The Center is currently rehabilitating the Franklin Street School, a Cape May African-American Historic Site, to house a community cultural center, runs youth arts programs and operates WCFA-LP 11.5 FM, a community radio station. For further information, call 609-884-7525 or access CCA’s web site at www.CenterforCommunityArts.org.

MAC is a multifaceted not-for-profit organization committed to promoting the preservation, interpretation, and cultural enrichment of the Cape May region for its residents and visitors. MAC membership is open to all. For information about the exhibit schedule, or MAC’s year-round schedule of tours, festivals, and special events, call 609-884-5404 or 800-275-4278, or visit MAC’s Web site at www.capemaymac.org.