TALLADEGA -- The Rev. Patrick Washington and DYNAMIC Ministries will be hosting a special two-day event in the former Braswell’s Furniture Building on the south side of the square to coincide with Black History Month.
In announcing the event, Washington says, “Being that DYNAMIC is a diverse ministry, we don’t only focus on one racial group but on a colorless body of Christ. With that being said, DYNAMIC has now been blessed with a space for us to look at not only African-American history but history as a whole. This ministry has been blessed with a space in the form of a museum to celebrate our roots.”
There will be a grand opening ceremony Friday, Feb. 23, from 3 to 7 p.m. There will be tours from 3 to 6, and an open market from 6 to 7. There will be a red carpet event the following day, featuring live music and other entertainment.
Washington said the February events will feature displays using “live mannequins” of celebrities and famous people with ties to Alabama as well as prominent African-Americans. He hopes to make the museum permanent at some point, providing after-school programs and counseling for young people in the community as well.
“We want to make this a long-term project and we are working on and praying for the proper sponsorships and donations to make that happen,” he said. “We’ve still got a lot of cleaning up to do for just a two-day event, but we have high hopes.”
At least one of the exhibits will focus on one of the black women who worked as a NASA engineer portrayed in the movie “Hidden Figures” who also graduated from Talladega College. In keeping with the multicultural, regional theme, there will also be displays honoring Jim Nabors and Hank Williams.
A poster accompanying the announcement of the event portrays Queen Charlotte, Albert Einstein, Michelle Obama and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Kevin Smith, who owns the Braswell’s Building and several others around the square, said the museum would be temporary.
“It will be a two-day event,” he said. “We’ll have all the space cleared and ready, the restrooms will be ready and we’ll have the outlets set up to bring in trade show booths,” Smith said. “Teams from Allen Architectural Metals and Xtreme Buildings have already made tremendous progress inside the space.”
Eventually, Smith said, he plans to have an Artisans Alley outside and to fill part of the interior of the building with the Talladega Bottling Works and Brewery. Upstairs will be the DeForest Plaza Hotel, named in honor of inventor Lee DeForest, whose father was president of Talladega College.
Next door, in the old Standard Furniture Building, Smith is planning to remodel the interior as a performance space based on the Chambers Opera House, he said.