2021 End of Year Appeal
Dear Friend of SSAAM,
We hope that you and your family are healthy and well. As we bid adieu to 2021, we move forward with gratitude to 2022 and the promise of better days for our entire community.
In 2021 many in our community had to make tough but necessary choices to nurture and protect the health of our families, friendships, and community institutions. We also continued upon a path of supporting cultural organizations that express our many human qualities, honor our different ancestries and points of view, and reflect the commonality of our uniquely American experiences. These vital organizations underscore what can be accomplished when we do the challenging work of reckoning with our shared past, while building a common future with renewed energy.
This year, we began restoration on the Mt. Zion AME Church, SSAAM’s current home, which has been recognized on the National Register of Historic Places AND is central New Jersey’s only African American museum. We are also pleased to have received a Somerset Historic Preservation Grant, a Somerset County Partnership Program Grant, a New Jersey Historic Trust Grant, and a grant from the Bunbury Fund of the Princeton Area Community Foundation. We are also excited about pending applications with the Dodge and Mellon Foundations.
The SSAAM community looks upon the year 2022 with great enthusiasm. We ask that you—our neighbors and friends—join us as we start the work of building Central New Jersey’s only African American museum; to tell the stories of the African American presence in our region, persevering from enslavement to liberation and the many struggles that followed, from the Revolutionary War to the present day, and their economic and cultural contributions to the Sourland and Hopewell Valley region.
We are not only excited but also empowered by the partnership of SSAAM and our partner organization, the Sourland Conservancy, whose mission is to educate, preserve, and protect the future of the Sourlands. Together, combining two brilliant and critically necessary missions, we are thrilled to announce that we have engaged the renowned Compass Group to design a strategy to embark upon a joint $5.5 million capital campaign to create the Sourland Education and Exhibit Center. This center will enrich the experience of living in Central New Jersey by showcasing our amazing history, culture, ecology, and plans to preserve the diverse and beautiful natural landscape unique to this region. Together, we will build an incredible legacy for current and future generations. By exploring and uncovering our shared past, and building and preserving a brilliant and unique future, we will elevate the lives of everyone in our community.
Please join us by donating generously and then calling all of your friends and telling them about the exciting cultural innovations that are taking place in Central New Jersey. Please ask them to join you in helping us create this future brick-by-brick.
Kindly indicate on your check if you’d like your donation to be placed into the SSAAM programming fund or into the Education & Exhibit Center fund.
President | Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum