The Legacy Project was initially sponsored by the Lynchburg branch of the NAACP. It became incorporated with 501(c)(3) non-profit status in 1995. In keeping with its mission to provide educational exhibits and programs on the history and culture of African Americans in the area, the Legacy Project sponsored lectures and panel discussions and arranged exhibits of Ann van de Graaf’s painting. “Lord Plant My Feet on Higher Ground.” The painting, which now hangs in the stairwell of the museum, depicts local persons and places associated with Civil Rights events in the 1960s and 70s.

In 1997 the Legacy Project acquired a dilapidated but once beautiful house at 403 Monroe Street, Lynchburg. Architect Kelvin Moore was engaged to draw up plans to transform the 100-year-old house into a modern museum. A Capital Fundraising Committee was formed to raise $300,000, and a Collections Committee was formed to solicit and archive artifacts for the permanent collection.

In March of 1999, Gerdy Construction Co. began the huge task of reconstruction. That work was completed 15 months later. On June 25, 2000 a celebratory dedication and grand opening was held. Dr. Vivian Pinn, Director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health, gave the opening address. The ribbon was cut by civil rights pioneer Mrs. Drucilla Moultrie and historian Harry Ferguson, both in their 90s, and 6 year old Ashley Lewis.

See Also: Legacy Reflection 2005 by Ann van de Graaf

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