Art Works Podcast

Art Works Podcast


The National Endowment for the Arts podcast that goes behind the scenes with some of the nation’s great artists to explore how art works.

Early last year the NEA’s magazine *American Artscape*published an article by Paulette Beete entitled, “Let Black Voices Ring Again” about the Mount Zion Baptist Church Preservation Society’s participation in the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design (CIRD) to rehabilitate a vacant but historically-significant Black church. In this podcast, we’re following up to trace the continuing impact of CIRD’s work with the Athens, Ohio project and how these efforts have continued to progress. We’re joined by the Director of Communications for the Mount Zion Baptist Church Preservation Society, Dr. Tee Ford-Ahmed who shares the history of the Mount Zion Baptist Church, of the vibrant Black community that once existed in Athens, Ohio, and the Mount Zion Baptist Church Preservation Society’s determination to preserve that history and repurpose the church as a Black cultural center while retaining its stunning architectural features. Ford-Ahmed talks about bringing in students enrolled in various programs in Ohio University—another Athens’ institution— to work as interns and help the preservation society develop strategies and plans. Dr Ford-Ahmed discusses CIRD’s work with the Mount Zion Baptist Church Preservation Society, CIRD’s outreach to the greater Athens’ community, how the preservation society’s participation with CIRD led to other opportunities—including additional grants, greater community involvement in the project, and the creation of a docu-series called “Black Wall Street Athens County.” She also discusses how the plans for the church have grown and evolved, the current state of the project, and where she sees it going in the next couple of years.

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