ST. PETERSBURG — At a press conference Tues., March 10 at the Dr. Carter G. Woodson Museum, Mayor Rick Kriseman announced the City of St. Petersburg was initiating the first of many steps to ensure the viability of the museum.
Mayor Kriseman informed those in attendance the city will purchase the building from the St. Petersburg Housing Authority, which currently houses the museum and begin negotiations with the museum’s board of directors.
The mayor’s announcement followed an excellent introduction by Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin that detailed the history of the museum and its importance to the City of St. Petersburg. Mayor Kriseman’s leadership at the press conference is commendable.
I take this opportunity to thank the mayor, the deputy mayor and city council for stepping forward on this issue. A special thank you to City Council Chair Charlie Gerdes for his early leadership and suggesting the city purchase the building.
St. Petersburg Housing Authority CEO Darrell Irions should be commended as well. He did an excellent job explaining his and the housing authority’s commitment to history and the African-American museum, the efforts he made to ensure its start and the fiscal challenges facing the housing authority, which prompted the move to sell the building.
Goliath T. Davis, PhD
I encourage all involved to stay this new course. If the city administration decides to retain the current museum as a tenant, much has to be done to ensure its sustainability. Fundraising, board development, securing an endowment and exhibits that tell the St. Petersburg story are among the tasks to be completed.