MISSION: To document, preserve and interpret the history of free African American communities in Weeksville, Brooklyn and beyond and to create and inspire innovative, contemporary uses of African American history through education, the arts, and civic engagement.
Weeksville Heritage Center (WHC), Brooklyn’s largest African-American cultural institution, is a multidimensional museum dedicated to preserving the history of the 19th century African American community of Weeksville, Brooklyn - one of America’s first free black communities. Using a contemporary lens, we activate this unique history through the presentation of innovative, vanguard and experimental programs. Weeksville advances its mission through history, preservation, visual and performing arts, ecology and the built environment.
During the 19th century the village of Weeksville was a vibrant and independent free African American community. The settlement is named for African American, James Weeks, who was among a group of African American investors who acquired the property in 1838 to create an intentional land-owning community. WHC is the steward for three remaining historic houses, which date to the 19th century and portray Weeksville during the eras of the 1860s, 1900s, and 1930s, and are located on historic Hunterfly Road representing the few remaining domestic structures of Weeksville. WHC emphasizes Weeksville’s history of sanctuary, refuge, independence, self-sufficiency, self-determination, activism and their contemporary relevance.
WHC will complete construction and open a new 19,000 square foot Certified LEED Gold Sustainable Education and Cultural Arts Building in 2014. This facility will include a resource center, classrooms and media lab, workshops, oral history studio, collection spaces, 700 sq. ft. gallery and 200-seat performance space. The 1.5 acre outdoor landscaped space will include a micro farm and heritage-based botanic collection.