City Celebrates Completion of the Augusta Savage Social Services and Cultural Complex and Announces Plans for Programming

May 3, 2021 – City of Green Cove Springs, along with Clay County, Green Cove Springs Food Pantry, and additional community partners, celebrated the newly renamed Augusta Savage Social Services and Cultural Complex on Monday, May 3, 2021.

Work to the complex includes new parking lot and paving on the west side of the complex and circular driveway and portico at the Green Cove Springs Food Pantry entrance. The two biggest changes to the complex are the newly constructed Augusta Savage Museum and Mentoring Building and a complete interior renovation of the Green Cove Springs Food Pantry—which includes new A/C and heating, electric, ceiling, walls to create dedicated waiting room, office space and bathroom, and lockable storage areas. The Augusta Savage Museum and Mentoring Building, built on the foundation of the former Dunbar High School library building, holds classroom space for a computer lab and individual and group tutoring, a dance studio, a music studio, and a permanent art museum space dedicated to the work of Augusta Savage and other artists.

Total cost of construction and renovation work is $952,926.00, which includes $250,000 of CARES Act funding for work on the GCS Food Pantry and $300,000 from Clay County for construction of the Augusta Savage Museum and Mentoring Building.

“The City is proud to make these additions to the complex that not only support the community and the nonprofit organizations that serve them, but also foster community partnerships to guide our youth to opportunities for a better future,” said City of Green Cove Springs City Manager Steve Kennedy. “Augusta Savage has been an inspiration to generations of artists, and we want to honor her legacy by making this museum and mentoring building a place where children and teens find their passion for the arts.”

Clay County Chairman of the Board Mike Cella said, “County Commissioners wanted to contribute to this local community enhancement project and have long supported the efforts of the City of Green Cove Springs to provide this resource for its residents. The county committed $300,000 in funding for this Capital Improvement Project designed to improve the existing facility and provide a cultural arts center that will be valued and enjoyed by the community for many generations.”      

Kennedy said that the City has already received a few works or art and memorabilia of Augusta Savage to add to the museum area of the building, and continues to ask the community to donate pieces to add to the museum. The City is also looking for anyone with experience in archiving art to curate the museum space on a volunteer basis.

The City is currently working with community partners to implement programming at the museum and mentoring building through a working group which includes Chair of the City Planning & Zoning Board and member of the City Citizens Advisory Committee Henrietta Frances, Green Cove Junior High Principal Jen Halter, Charles E Bennett Elementary Assistant Principal Marcia Mainer, former City of Green Cove Springs mayor and council member Felecia Hampshire, and himself. This group is crucial in creating sustainable programs in the arts and education and selecting individuals who can offer their skills on a volunteer basis as teachers or mentors. The group is open to others who can contribute to implementing programs or working as a volunteer.

The City is continuing to work on furnishing the museum and mentoring building with remaining budgeted funds for the building. It anticipates announcing programming by the end of the year.

Anyone interested in donating instruments, computers, artwork, any supplies for music, dance, or art, or becoming a volunteer can contact Executive Assistant to the City Manager Kimberly Thomas at 904-297-7054 or kthomas@greencovesprings.com.

Contact City of Green Cove Springs Public Information Officer Tiffanie Kelly with any questions or interview requests at 9-4-297-7046 or tkelly@greencovesprings.com.

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