to complete the African-American Cultural Garden BECOME PART OF HISTORY

BECOME PART OF HISTORY

to complete the African-American Cultural Garden

The Association of African American Cultural Gardens provides unique educational experiences in a beautiful, inclusive atmosphere where individuals of all ages and backgrounds can interact in a space relevant to African American history.
The Association of African American Cultural Gardens is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the completion and maintenance of the African American Cultural Garden which is located within the Cleveland Cultural Garden Federation. Our mission also includes hosting events that promote knowledge of African American history and celebrate African American culture.
The Association of African American Cultural Gardens was recognized by the Cleveland Cultural Garden Federation after the dedication of The African American Cultural Garden on October 23, 1977.

History

In 1969, Cuyahoga Community College Professor Booker Tall started on an eight-year journey to claim a site for the African American Cultural Garden, within the Cleveland Cultural Garden Federation grounds.
Mr. Tall enlisted the support of Clarence Fitch, Carol Bugg, Bob Render, Glen Brackens and the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life & History. They waged a campaign in the media, the community and throughout the city of Cleveland.

Their efforts results in the dedication, by County Commissioner George Voinovich, who was the keynote speaker and Mayor Ralph Perk.

Shortly after, Mr. Tall passed away. The momentum died and the Association African American Cultural Gardens (AAACG) remained dormant for many years, decades. It was not until 2002 that Cordell Edge, a longtime Glenville resident, was appointed to engage a committee to cultivate and renew interest in this endeavor. With research, commitment and education, Edge set the path to celebrate the development and installation of the current AAACG site.

Under new leadership, this journey continues…

In 2012, Carl S. Ewing became the president of The Association of African American Cultural Gardens and secured its current non-profit status. Mr. Ewing worked with Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson, who established a task force. The task force commissioned architect W. Daniel Bickerstaff II, of Ubiquitous Design, LTD, to design a structure for “The Garden” and raise the initial funds for the completion of Phase 1.
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Carl S. Ewing, President

The Association of The African American Cultural Gardens

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W. Daniel Bickerstaff II

The Association of The African American Cultural Gardens

PHASE 1: THE PAST PAVILION (COMPLETE)

Dedicated in 2016, The Past Pavilion translates the experience of the initial aspects of the “Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade’ through an reinterpretation of the corridors, dungeons and ultimately the “Doorway of No Return” of the slave castles located along the western coast of Africa. The Garden reflects these brutal conditions and despair with its polished black granite sculptural walls, which creates a sensation of compression, tension and apprehension. The “Doorway of No Return” is the sandstone portal which personifies fear of the unknown transition. The passive infinity fountain echoes the illusionary tranquility of the Atlantic Ocean as seen through the actual “Doorway of No Return.” The Middle Passage of the Past Pavilion alludes to the sense of going down into the bowels of the slave ships.
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THE ARCHITECTURAL FEATURE OF THE AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURAL GARDEN WILL REPRESENT THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE OF THE AFRICAN AMERICAN EXPERIENCE

PHASE 1 HAS BEEN CONSTRUCTED. THE ASSOCIATION OF AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURAL GARDENS IS NOW WORKING TO SECURE

$2.6 MILLION

FOR THE COMPLETION OF PHASES 2 AND 3.

PHASE 2: THE FUTURE PAVILION

The Future Pavilion responds to our need and desire for reflection and hope through the re-introduction of a fountain which counterbalances and pays respect to the passive symbolism of the past pavilion. The geyser effect of the fountain speaks to possessing a sense of pride and power and that of setting our own path and agenda while defying all odds.
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PHASE 3: The Completed African American Cultural Garden

Phase 3 will connect the water features from the Past Pavilion to the Present Pavilion and the water feature from the Present to the Future Pavilion. You learn from your Past as you live in the Present to secure your Future. This is what the African American Cultural Garden represents.  The Present Pavilion evokes the sense of emergence. The sculptural form emerges from the site echoing our emergence as a people in this country despite the myriad of challenges past, present and future and a spirit that could not be broken. African Americans have risen as leaders in education, science, medicine, sports, even President of this great country and much more. The black granite platform of The Present Pavilion will have a multipurpose use, amenable to special events, weddings, lectures, educational and social events. 

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OUR FUTURE GARDEN

THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROUS SUPPORT

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