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Join the Blue Notes

Friends and supporters of the Cotton Club Museum and Cultural Center, Inc. are invited to join The Blue Notes. Membership in The Blue Notes is open to persons who maintain a yearly contribution (see form linked below). Join the Blue Notes and enjoy the opportunity to follow the restoration of the historic Cotton Club building and the establishment of a museum and cultural center on the site, which is located at 837 SE 7th Avenue in Gainesville, FL.

To join, download the PDF here, complete it, and mail it back to us at the address listed along with your payment. To make things easier, you may also pay with your credit or debit card using the secure form below. Thank you in advance for your support!

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Patches of History and Culture

Habari Gani (What’s the News?) – Patches of History and Culture

By Deloris Rentz

Part of the mission of the Cotton Club Museum and Cultural Center (CCMCC) is to be a promulgator of African American art in all forms.  The homepage for this website includes two marvelous works of art by outstanding African American artists, one of which is the focus of this post.

In 2007, the CCMCC produced its first Juneteenth Festival & Juried Art Show.  A renowned artist, Dr. Patricia Hilliard-Nunn, graciously agreed to create the festival poster.  It is featured in the top, middle patch on our homepage.

The “patches” on the painting represent different aspects of African-American cultural history from Africa to enslavement, to freedom.  There are patches that represent our African origins, which is our foundation.  Another patch represents faith, which has been a bedrock of survival for African Americans.  Other patches depict samples of the arts, including storytelling, drumming, dancing, painting, quilting, and more.  The empty patches represent the stories yet to be told and the creative possibilities present in all people.  The Sankofa Bird, an Adinkra symbol from Ghana, figures prominently in the painting.  Sankofa means “Go back to fetch it” and symbolizes the belief that in order to move forward, you must first know and understand the past.  The bird, with its head turned toward its tail, emphasizes the role historical and cultural memory play in collective growth.

Dr. Patricia Hilliard-Nunn, the artist, is a self-taught artist, writer, publisher, media producer, dancer and dance instructor, and community leader.  Dr. Hilliard-Nunn works with beads, wires, ropes, shells, African fabrics, and old jewelry donated by family and friends to create bright, primary-colored mixed media paintings on canvas, acrylics on canvas, quilts, and more.  She calls her work “canvas quilts” because of her use of painted mixed media squares and other shapes.  Each “patch” represents a different aspect of the stories she tells.  Her creations touch on themes related to history, culture, the creator, ancestors, family, and community.  She is as comfortable painting a shotgun house as she is painting an abstract pattern with an Adinkra symbol in the center.

I paint and quilt because it makes me happy and allows me to freely express my feelings about beauty, power, injustice, balance, and spirituality.  I’m thankful for each opportunity to create and to share my work.  –Dr. Patricia Hilliard-Nunn

Dr. Hilliard-Nunn is a professor of African American Studies at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida.

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Thanks for Stopping By!

Thanks for visiting us here at the Cotton Club! On this page, you will find great information about our upcoming events, the preservation of our history, and unique cultural perspectives. Be sure to come again for updates!

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CONTACT US

Looking for ways to connect with our organization, provide financial support, or simply learn more about who we are and what we do?  Here’s how.

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SUPPORT

Without generous supporters like you, we could not continue to preserve a piece of our heritage and raise awareness of our cultural gems.

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HABARI GANI

“Habari Gani” is Swahili for “What’s the news?” Check back here for any updates related to CCMCC, including project progression, events, and more.

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GALLERY

We have some great photos that depict the history of CCMCC and the cultural heritage that we promote.  Enjoy our gallery with a selection of these works.

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ABOUT US

CCMCC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that has been established to preserve the historic Cotton Club building and develop a cultural center and museum on the site.