In May 2018, Kyle Warmack, the Preserve WV AmeriCorps member serving with the Clio Foundation, organized a Civic Service Project at the DuBois on Main Museum in Mt. Hope (Fayette County). The DuBois on Main Museum presents the history and contributions of DuBois High School (1919-1956). The outstanding teachers, accomplished graduates, scholars, athletes and dedicated families created a remarkable environment little seen today, and the museum informs, educates and provides opportunities for inter-generational and interracial gatherings and workshops through exhibits of pictorial, biographical and historical artifacts.
One community volunteer and six AmeriCorps members joined together to clean out the DuBois community garden, dust and clean the museum exhibition, create a collections list of museum items, catalog over 230 museum items, lay the foundation for a future collection's database and even install a printer. The AmeriCorps members' service prepared DuBois on Main Museum for more community interaction, such as community garden planting and the summer tourism season to the museum. Most importantly, the Museum has a template for cataloging its collection and a huge head-start on the total number of items in the museum.
"I am ever so grateful to Kyle Warmack for choosing to get AmeriCorps [out here]." - Jean Evansmore, Museum Director
The project served the residents of Mt. Hope (population approximately 1,350), for whom the Museum serves as both a vessel of community memory and gathering place. The Museum's community room recently hosted 11 candidates for the upcoming local elections, allowing residents of Mt. Hope to stay informed on their future city and county officials--as such, the physical upkeep of the Museum is important, and with Director Jean Evansmore having recently been through two shoulder surgeries, volunteers play an important role. Heavy work like gardening and lawnmowing helps preserve the visual integrity of this important Main Street landmark and the pride of Mt. Hope.
Additionally, our project served the 150+ remaining DuBois alumni who meet every two years to commemorate their school and its important chapter in African American and West Virginia history. This museum is the only comprehensive repository of DuBois knowledge. A digital collections database is not only essential to the long-term preservation of the Museum's materials, it is the first step in preparing the Museum's original documents for high-res scanning. Our project was essential to this process.
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