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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 15, 2012

MEDIA CONTACT: Issac Morgan, Communications Coordinator Work: 850-681-7881 imorgan@rileymuseum.org

John G Riley Center and Museum Takes a Leap into the Future with New Facility WHAT: The Leap Year 2012 celebration will feature live entertainment, delicious food from the best vendors in town and an oral history presentation about the many memorable landmarks in the Tallahassee community! WHEN: This year’s Leap Year affair will take place on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 from 11am to 2pm WHO: The John Riley Center and Museum WHERE: The Riley Museum is located in the heart of downtown at 419 East Jefferson (just 3 blocks from the Leon County Courthouse on the corner of Meridian & East Jefferson Streets) HOW: Presently, the museum is just $19,000 short of the $300,000 construction cost needed to complete the new center; the Riley Museum Board of Directors would like to break ground in early spring of 2012. A raffle will give purchasers the chance to win a variety of art pieces by renowned artist Eluster Richardson and also a variety of other gifts from the center! To correspond with Leap Day, donations in increments of $29, $129 or $229 are strongly recommended. WHY: The purpose of the Leap Year event is not only to celebrate the additional day on the calendar with the local community, which only happens every 4 years, but also to encourage donations to close the Riley public campaign. The funds will go towards the construction of the innovative Riley Visitor Center/Annex that will be located on the Riley House property in anticipation of an increase in tourists to Florida’s capital For more information regarding the event and/or our organization please visit www.rileymuseum.org Call a staff member at (850) 681-7881 ###


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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 29, 2012

MEDIA CONTACT: Issac Morgan Cell: (850) 339-2757 E-Mail: imorgan@rileymuseum.org

John Riley Museum and friends paint the town during Annual Pioneers Gala Celebration Enlightening, inspirational and compelling are just a few words used to describe the 8th annual Pioneers Gala which took place at the Goodwood museum. Dressed in the most fashionable outfits worthy of the red carpet, hundreds indulged in fine dining and danced the night away following a tribute to lay midwife honorees of the late 19th and 20th century. Executive Director Althemese Barnes, Honorary Chairpersons Dr. A.J. Brickler and Dr. A.D. Brickler (local physicians and long-time family medical icons) along with Dr. Jim Murdaugh (President of Tallahassee Community College), recognized the honorees by paying tribute to the legacy of each pioneer. Descendants of the midwives traveled from as far away as New Jersey just to attend this special engagement and each family representative received a token in honor of their late family members. During the closing of the program, Chairman and Board Member Dr. David Jackson, announced the placement of a permanent marker in the Riley Museum Pioneer Garden of Remembrance. "I hope what people will take away from tonight's event is a rich part of our history that has been in obscurity for quite a few years. And that's the history and contributions of lay mid-wives," said Althemese Barnes, Founding Director of the Riley Museum. The purpose of the Pioneers Gala was to pay tribute to individuals who by a tangible act or creation have been community trailblazers, going before, preparing the way for others and leaving a legacy in the development of Tallahassee’s history. All proceeds from the event were used in support of the John G. Riley Scholarship Fund. The 2012 Gala Committee chose to pay tribute, posthumously, to the legacy of late 19th to mid 20th century African American midwives. These women can be credited with the beginning of life for many of today’s productive and notable African American residents, as well as some among the white race. Of those, the organization honored: Georgia Parrmore Long, Gertrude Hill Williams, Henrietta "Granny" Atkins, Lucy Davis, Martha Sutton Bryant, Rebecca Shepherd and Sarah Johnson Hill. Other midwives known to the Riley Museum are Eliza Baker (of the historic Smokey Hollow community), Savannah Brown (of the Hickory Hill and Miccosukee/Centerville area), and Eva Chandler (former resident of Havana who also birthed babies throughout Leon County) of whom little information is known but whose contributions were also recognized during the event.


Despite challenging and sometimes dangerous conditions, these women were still able to carry out their duties and maintain a commitment to the best possible care for both mother and baby. To this day, their names and influence remain in obscurity to many people, which is why the Riley Museum is dedicated to honoring their momentous contributions. For more information about the past event or our organization please contact us at 850-681-7881 or email

###


John G Riley Center and Museum Takes a Leap into the Future with New Facility The John G Riley House is set to host its upcoming Leap Year affair on Wednesday, February 29th from 11am to 2pm at the museum, which is located in the heart of downtown at 419 East Jefferson (just 3 blocks from the Leon County Courthouse on the corner of Meridian & East Jefferson Streets). Attendees will indulge in delicious food from some of the best food-truck vendors in town; enjoy live music and an oral history experience with community elders during the event. Additionally, the organization encourages the community to recognize this every four-year oneday calendar extension by making donations in increments of $29, $129 or $229. The funds will be used to close the Riley public campaign for construction of a Visitor/Conference Center annex on the historic Riley House property. Donors will also be eligible to win a variety of giveaways and an official art piece by renowned artist Eluster Richardson. Donations of all sizes are very much welcomed and appreciated. Presently, the museum is just $19,000 short of the $300,000 construction cost needed to complete the new center; the Riley Museum Board of Directors would like to break ground in early Spring of 2012. Please help us make the Leap next Wednesday, Feb. 29th! This facility will be a community-purpose project designed to serve visitors of nearby Cascades Park as well as enable the Riley Museum to host community events and meetings at this very special property. A gallery displaying the history of Smokey Hollow, a community that was once home to many local African American residents, is just one of many planned unique features of the new center. Smokey Hollow was demolished in the 1950s-70s, however, the organization has partnered with the present Blueprint 2000 Committee to work with former residents of the Smokey Hollow Community to ensure the preservation of this historical landmark. For more information contact Issac Morgan at (850) 681-7881 or by email at imorgan@rileymuseum.org

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 15, 2012

MEDIA CONTACT: Issac Morgan, Communications Coordinator Work: 850-681-7881 imorgan@rileymuseum.org

John G Riley Center and Museum Takes a Leap into the Future with New Facility WHAT: The Leap Year 2012 celebration will feature live entertainment, delicious food from the best vendors in town and an oral history presentation about the many memorable landmarks in the Tallahassee community! WHEN: This year’s Leap Year affair will take place on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 from 11am to 2pm WHO: The John Riley Center and Museum WHERE: The Riley Museum is located in the heart of downtown at 419 East Jefferson (just 3 blocks from the Leon County Courthouse on the corner of Meridian & East Jefferson Streets) HOW: Presently, the museum is just $19,000 short of the $300,000 construction cost needed to complete the new center; the Riley Museum Board of Directors would like to break ground in early spring of 2012. A raffle will give purchasers the chance to win a variety of art pieces by renowned artist Eluster Richardson and also a variety of other gifts from the center! To correspond with Leap Day, donations in increments of $29, $129 or $229 are strongly recommended. WHY: The purpose of the Leap Year event is not only to celebrate the additional day on the calendar with the local community, which only happens every 4 years, but also to encourage donations to close the Riley public campaign. The funds will go towards the construction of the innovative Riley Visitor Center/Annex that will be located on the Riley House property in anticipation of an increase in tourists to Florida’s capital For more information regarding the event and/or our organization please visit www.rileymuseum.org Call a staff member at (850) 681-7881 ###


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 24, 2012 Cell: (850) 339-2757 E-Mail: imorgan@rileymuseum.org

MEDIA CONTACT: Issac Morgan

John Riley Center/Museum and Partners Celebrate Contributions of Nineteenth and Mid-Twentieth Century Midwives during upcoming Pioneers Gala Honorary Chairpersons Dr. A.J. Brickler and Dr. A.D. Brickler (local physicians and long-time family medical icons) along with Dr. Jim Murdaugh (President of Tallahassee Community College) and Dr. Alma Littles, Florida State University College of Medicine invite the community to join in supporting the Riley Museum’s 8th Annual Cufflinks and Pearls Applause for the Pioneers Gala. This year’s Gala will take place on Friday, February 24, 2012 from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 pm at the Carriage House, Goodwood Museum and Gardens, 1600 Miccosukee Road, Tallahassee, Florida. The purpose of the Pioneers Gala is to pay tribute to individuals who by a tangible act or creation have been community trailblazers, going before, preparing the way for others and have left a legacy in the development of Tallahassee’s history. All proceeds from the event are used in support of the John G. Riley Scholarship Fund. The 2012 Gala Committee has chosen to pay tribute, posthumously, to the legacy of late 19th to mid 20th century African American midwives. These women can be credited with the beginning of life for many of today’s productive and notable African American residents, as well as some among the white race. Of those, we are excited to honor: Georgia Parrmore Long, Gertrude Hill Williams, Henretta "Granny" Atkins, Lucy Davis, Martha Sutton Bryant, Rebecca Shepherd and Sarah Johnson Hill. Other midwives known to the Riley Museum are Eliza Baker (of the historic Smokey Hollow community), Savannah Brown (of the Hickory Hill and Miccosukee/Centerville area), and Eva Chandler (former resident of Havana who also birthed babies throughout Leon County) of whom little information is known but whose contributions will also be recognized during the event. Despite conditions that caused the midwives to carry out their duties under very challenging and sometimes dangerous conditions, they maintained a commitment to the best possible care for both mother and baby. To this day, their names and influence remain in obscurity to many people, which is why the Riley Museum is dedicated to honoring their momentous contributions.


Individuals, businesses and organizations are encouraged to support these pioneers and fundraising efforts of the Annual Gala by purchasing tables or individual tickets as follows: $1,000 for a full table (seats 8); $500 for a half table (seats 4); $150 for couples and single tickets are $100 each. For more information about the midwives, or to purchase tickets, contact Marion McGee at 850-491-3202 or send an email to imorgan@rileymuseum.org. ###


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 24, 2012 Cell: (850) 339-2757 E-Mail: imorgan@rileymuseum.org

MEDIA CONTACT: Issac Morgan

John Riley Center/Museum and Partners Celebrate Contributions of Nineteenth and Mid-Twentieth Century Midwives during upcoming Pioneers Gala Honorary Chairpersons Dr. A.J. Brickler and Dr. A.D. Brickler (local physicians and long-time family medical icons) along with Dr. Jim Murdaugh (President of Tallahassee Community College) and Dr. Alma Littles, Florida State University College of Medicine invite the community to join in supporting the Riley Museum’s 8th Annual Cufflinks and Pearls Applause for the Pioneers Gala. This year’s Gala will take place on Friday, February 24, 2012 from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 pm at the Carriage House, Goodwood Museum and Gardens, 1600 Miccosukee Road, Tallahassee, Florida. The purpose of the Pioneers Gala is to pay tribute to individuals who by a tangible act or creation have been community trailblazers, going before, preparing the way for others and have left a legacy in the development of Tallahassee’s history. All proceeds from the event are used in support of the John G. Riley Scholarship Fund. The 2012 Gala Committee has chosen to pay tribute, posthumously, to the legacy of late 19th to mid 20th century African American midwives. These women can be credited with the beginning of life for many of today’s productive and notable African American residents, as well as some among the white race. Of those, we are excited to honor: Georgia Parrmore Long, Gertrude Hill Williams, Henretta "Granny" Atkins, Lucy Davis, Martha Sutton Bryant, Rebecca Shepherd and Sarah Johnson Hill. Other midwives known to the Riley Museum are Eliza Baker (of the historic Smokey Hollow community), Savannah Brown (of the Hickory Hill and Miccosukee/Centerville area), and Eva Chandler (former resident of Havana who also birthed babies throughout Leon County) of whom little information is known but whose contributions will also be recognized during the event. Despite conditions that caused the midwives to carry out their duties under very challenging and sometimes dangerous conditions, they maintained a commitment to the best possible care for both mother and baby. To this day, their names and influence remain in obscurity to many people, which is why the Riley Museum is dedicated to honoring their momentous contributions.


Individuals, businesses and organizations are encouraged to support these pioneers and fundraising efforts of the Annual Gala by purchasing tables or individual tickets as follows: $1,000 for a full table (seats 8); $500 for a half table (seats 4); $150 for couples and single tickets are $100 each. For more information about the midwives, or to purchase tickets, contact Marion McGee at 850-491-3202 or send an email to imorgan@rileymuseum.org. ###


MEDIA RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 31, 2012

MEDIA CONTACT: Marion McGee Cell: (850) 339-2757 E-Mail: mmcgee@rileymuseum.org

John G. Riley Museum introduces New Exhibit: “The Route to Our Roots” Eluster Richardson's first exhibition of the year, "The Route to Our Roots" began Monday, January 30th through May 11th, 2012 at the historic John G. Riley House Museum. The living history exhibit is a part of the Riley Center's VIVA Florida 500 efforts, which honors the legacy of African American contributions to the Tallahassee community and throughout the State of Florida during the Reconstruction Era, a period of time spanning from 1862 to 1954. "The Route to Our Roots" traces the paths of the African Diaspora ("the movement, migration, or scattering of people away from an established or ancestral homeland") within the context of Florida’s 500-year historic timeline. The Riley Museum’s current exhibit reveals the significant impact of late 19th Century & mid 20th Century lay midwives, many of whom can be credited with the beginning of life for most African Americans born in the south between the 1860’s and early 1950’s during a time when legal segregation prohibited the use of hospitals by African Americans. The exhibit also highlights the role of education during the Reconstruction Era and its impact on the creation of a black middle class. By highlighting the myriad experiences that enriched the fabric of Florida’s history and established many of the thriving communities that are in existence today, "The Route to Our Roots" demonstrates the rich heritage and innovative abilities of persons of African descent to triumph over adversity and remain rooted in the strength of a greater vision. Viva Florida 500 is the year-long commemoration of Florida's 500-year history, dating back to Ponce de Leon’s landing on Florida Shores in 1513. Florida has a unique relationship and history with African descendants unlike any other state in the nation. Since its inception, Florida has been a safe haven and center for Africans and African descendants who fought against slavery and oppression. Recorded evidence of Blacks in Florida dates back to 1513 involving the Spanish exploration and settlement of Hispaniola.


MEDIA RELEASE The commemoration is intended to bring local, national and international awareness to Florida's rich and diverse history. As a proud member of the Florida African American Heritage Preservation Network (FAAHPN), the John G. Riley Center & Museum will help to ensure that the African Diaspora is well-represented through exhibits, lectures and other cultural heritage events that underscore the significant events, people and customs that have contributed to Florida’s rich black heritage. FAAHPN has partnered with the Florida Department of State and the Florida Humanities Council to provide representation of persons of African descent throughout the statewide 2013 VIVA Florida Commemoration. Riley Museum hours are Monday through Thursday 10:00 am until 4:00 pm and Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. (Admission: $2 Adults $1 Children). For more information on the exhibit or to schedule a group tour, please contact the Riley Museum at (850) 681-7881 or info@rileymuseum.org. For more information about Viva Florida 500, please visit www.vivaflorida.org.

###


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 15, 2012

MEDIA CONTACT: Issac Morgan, Communications Coordinator Work: 850-681-7881 imorgan@rileymuseum.org

John G Riley Center and Museum Takes a Leap into the Future with New Facility WHAT: The Leap Year 2012 celebration will feature live entertainment, delicious food from the best vendors in town and an oral history presentation about the many memorable landmarks in the Tallahassee community! WHEN: This year’s Leap Year affair will take place on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 from 11am to 2pm WHO: The John Riley Center and Museum WHERE: The Riley Museum is located in the heart of downtown at 419 East Jefferson (just 3 blocks from the Leon County Courthouse on the corner of Meridian & East Jefferson Streets) HOW: Presently, the museum is just $19,000 short of the $300,000 construction cost needed to complete the new center; the Riley Museum Board of Directors would like to break ground in early spring of 2012. A raffle will give purchasers the chance to win a variety of art pieces by renowned artist Eluster Richardson and also a variety of other gifts from the center! To correspond with Leap Day, donations in increments of $29, $129 or $229 are strongly recommended. WHY: The purpose of the Leap Year event is not only to celebrate the additional day on the calendar with the local community, which only happens every 4 years, but also to encourage donations to close the Riley public campaign. The funds will go towards the construction of the innovative Riley Visitor Center/Annex that will be located on the Riley House property in anticipation of an increase in tourists to Florida’s capital For more information regarding the event and/or our organization please visit www.rileymuseum.org Call a staff member at (850) 681-7881 ###


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 15, 2012

MEDIA CONTACT: Issac Morgan Work: 850-681-7881 imorgan@rileymuseum.org

John Riley Center/Museum and Partners Celebrate Contributions of Nineteenth and Mid-Twentieth Century Midwives during upcoming Pioneers Gala WHAT: The 2012 Gala Committee has chosen to pay tribute, posthumously, to the legacy of late 19th to mid 20th century African American midwives. These women can be credited with the beginning of life for many of today’s productive and notable African American residents, as well as some among the white race. Of those, we are excited to honor: Georgia Parrmore Long, Gertrude Hill Williams, Henretta "Granny" Atkins, Lucy Davis, Martha Sutton Bryant, Rebecca Shepherd and Sarah Johnson Hill. WHEN: This year’s Gala will take place on Friday, February 24, 2012 from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 pm WHO: Honorary Chairpersons Dr. A.J. Brickler and Dr. A.D. Brickler (local physicians and long-time family medical icons) along with Dr. Jim Murdaugh (President of Tallahassee Community College) and Dr. Alma Littles, Florida State University College of Medicine has partnered with the John Riley Museum WHERE: The Carriage House, Goodwood Museum and Gardens, 1600 Miccosukee Road, Tallahassee, Florida HOW: Individuals, businesses and organizations are encouraged to support these pioneers and fundraising efforts of the Annual Gala by purchasing tables or individual tickets as follows: $1,000 for a full table (seats 8); $500 for a half table (seats 4); $150 for couples and single tickets are $100 each WHY: The purpose of the Pioneers Gala is to pay tribute to individuals who by a tangible act or creation have been community trailblazers, going before, preparing the way for others and have left a legacy in the development of Tallahassee’s history. All proceeds from the event are used in support of the John G. Riley Scholarship Fund. For more information regarding the event and/or our organization please visit www.rileymuseum.org I can be reached on my cell at (850) 339-2757 ###


Blend Lives kicks off Black History Month | Tallahassee Democrat | tallahassee.com E-EDITION

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Blend Lives kicks off Black History Month 12:05 AM, Jan. 30, 2012  |  

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A roundtable discussion about Reconstruction on Tuesday helps open the 11th annual Blended Lives program. The Blended Lives program, which annually kicks off Black History Month, is a joint, weeklong program of the Riley House museum of black history and Goodwood Museum and Gardens. Today through Friday, Leon County fourth-graders will attend events at both facilities, aimed at introducing them to local history involving blacks and whites. This year's theme is Reconstruction. The program was begun in 2001 by Althemese Barnes, executive director of the Riley House, and Larry Paarlberg, former director of Goodwood. "I think it's important at the grade level we tap that young people begin to experience and know about history and what came before them," Barnes said. "The blended history (of whites and blacks) is an important piece. It is the sharing of history and the resources and all that it takes to make it happen." The event annually also includes an adult symposium such as Tuesday's roundtable discussion about numerous issues connected with Reconstruction. The panelists will be Titus Brown, a Florida A&M history professor; Pete Cowdrey, educator in residence at the Museum of Florida History; Reginald Ellis, FAMU professor of history and Jonathan Grandage, historian at the Florida State Archives. The discussion will include input from the audience. The discussion begins at 6 p.m. at Goodwood, which is at 1600 Miccosukee Road. For more information, call Andy McLeod at 850877-4202, ext. 227 or 850-443-4966.

http://www.tallahassee.com/article/20120130/NEWS01/201300310/Blend-Lives-kicks-off-Black-History-Month[2/15/2012 2:39:13 PM]


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 30, 2012 Cell: (850) 339-2757 E-Mail: imorgan@rileymuseum.org

MEDIA CONTACT: Issac Morgan

Riley House and Museum Partners with Leon County Schools to Launch Nationally Recognized Blended Lives Event WHAT: The Riley Museum/s Blended Lives event will enrich the lives of youth throughout the greater Tallahassee community through a walk-through-time which encompasses a walking tour of the Goodwood Museum & Gardens as well as the historic Riley House Museum WHEN: 2012 Program will run for 4 days beginning Tuesday, Jan. 31st thru Friday, Feb. 3rd WHO: John G. Riley Center/Museum (JGRCM) has partnered with the Leon County School District for the past eleven (11) years. WHERE: Historic John G. Riley Center Museum located at 419 East Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, FL and the Goodwood Museum & Gardens HOW: Program was begun in 2001 by Althemese Barnes, Executive Director of the Riley Museum and Larry Paarlberg, former Director of the Goodwood Museum & Gardens. Blended Lives is a significant partnership that demonstrates how museums, schools, and other community organizations can put racial and cultural harmony into practice through programs that reflect diversity, broaden understanding, and build meaningful connections to shared history. WHY: This program educates and provides cultural experiences for up to 2,000 students annually over a four-day period. Whether re-enacting childhood games or introducing African instruments, Blended Lives has consistently conducted an informative and entertaining program for all ages For more information regarding the event and/or our organization please visit www.rileymuseum.org I can be reached on my cell at (850) 339-2757 ###


January 12, 2012

Contact Information Issac Morgan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Communications Coordinator

John G Riley House and Museum Presents Nationally Recognized Blended Lives Week The John G Riley House, along with the Leon County Schools will launch its annual Blended Lives Week of events beginning Tuesday, January 31st with a walking tour of the Goodwood and Riley House museums. Students and teachers from all Leon County Schools will learn of the blended history that occurred between the Native, European and African American cultures in the late 1800s to the early 1900s by participating in cultural enrichment activities. Education, cultural diversity along with entertainment is displayed through these innovative programs geared for individuals of all ages; collaboration with several local organizations will help to put racial harmony into practice and build meaningful connections to history. The theme for this year’s program will be the Reconstruction Era and participants will receive educational material about the rich history that existed during the time period. Blended Lives is a significant partnership that demonstrates how museums, schools, and other community organizations can put racial and culture harmony into practice through programs that reflect diversity, broaden understanding, and build meaningful connections to shared history. This program has been acclaimed nationally as a stellar example of a school and community model of successful collaboration. For more information contact Issac Morgan at 850-339-2757 or by email at imorgan@rileymuseum.org.

###


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT: Issac Morgan Communications Coordinator Mobile: (850) 491-3202 imorgan@rileymuseum.org

Local museum director receives national award

Althemese Barnes, founding director of the John Riley Center/Museum, recently received the Twelfth Annual APEX Distinguished Service Award from the Black Meetings and Tourism Magazine for her numerous years of unstinting service to the travel industry and outstanding contributions to the community. During the 2012 Travel Professionals of Color (TPOC) 10th Annual Conference, held at the Double Tree hotel in Denver, Colo., Mrs. Barnes proudly accepted her glass trophy in honor of her positive impact on heritage tourism and added a few remarks expressing her appreciation for the distinguished award in front of hundreds.

“I was surprised and honored to receive this prestigious award,” said Mrs. Barnes. “Receiving it at the national conference of The Travel Professionals of Color, with 300 plus in attendance, means that the Riley Museum and Florida African American Heritage Preservation Network are now known by many more individuals. This award is a tribute to our and my work in Tallahassee, Leon County and State of Florida. Thanks to BM&T for the recognition.” According to TPOC, an award recipient must have a proven track record of at least two years; represent a national level of prominence and provide long-term benefits for the travel industry and the AfricanAmerican market segment.

Travel Professionals of Color is an international organization that promotes education, networking and support of minority travel professionals. This organization provides quality training to help travel specialists effectively reach the multicultural minority travel community. Publishing since 1994, the Black Meetings and Tourism is a 9th year media sponsor for the TPOC Annual Conference. TOPC hosts an annual conference in Denver for minority travel professionals to network with industry leaders and provides comprehensive training in the strategic marketing of travel businesses. The three day event consists of activities and workshops designed to create awareness within the travel community of the professional services offered by qualified TPOC agents. The John G. Riley Center/Museum of African American History & Culture is a 501(c) (3) tax-exempt organization whose mission is to discover, archive and illuminate the blended interrelationship of African American, Native American and European history and preserve African American landmarks and legacies throughout the State of Florida as an enduring public resource through tourism and education.


Althemese Barnes is credited with producing the Florida Black Heritage Trail guide in partnership with Visit Florida and the Florida Department of State. In 2001, Mrs. Barnes assembled the Florida African American Heritage Preservation Network, which serves as an informational and technical assistance resource in response to a growing interest in African American preservation. For more information about the John Riley Center/Museum please contact a staff member at 850-6817881 or by email at info@rileymuseum.org.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT:

Issac Morgan Work: (850) 681-7881 E-Mail: imorgan@rileymuseum.org

The John Riley Center/Museum celebrates freedom with Emancipation Weekend 2012

The John G Riley Center/Museum will celebrate the 2012 Emancipation Day of Observance through a series of events designed to commemorate the freeing of slaves in the state of Florida, which took place on May 20th 1865. The weekend of events will open with an art exhibit of Florida’s first black elected officials followed by a panel discussion titled, “A Route in Search of Roots: The Power of a Greater Vision” on Saturday, May 19th at the St. John’s Episcopal Church Fellowship Hall beginning at 5:30 p.m. The weekend will culminate with a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation on Sunday, May 20th on the steps of the Knott House Museum. Saturday’s panel will feature scholars discussing topics related to African American legacies and their contributions to Florida’s history from 1513 to present. Topics covered during the panel discussion include how Africans migrated into the Americas and significantly contributed to the foundation of Florida’s history from the first and second Spanish periods through the British Occupation of Florida and beyond. This dynamic dialogue will help to build a public understanding of the impact African Americans made on the fabric of Florida’s development whether economic, political, educational, or social. The Celebration of Freedom will continue on Sunday, May 20th with a grave decorating ceremony at 1:00 p.m., in honor of African American soldiers who bravely fought for freedom through service in the American Civil War. The ceremony will be followed by a historic reenactment of the first reading of the presidential proclamation at 2:00 p.m. Subsequently, the general public is welcome to enjoy free lunch in Lewis Park and receive an exclusive tour of the historic Riley House, which will offer extended hours that afternoon from 3:00 until 5:00 p.m. The distinguished speakers include: Dr. Anthony Dixon (Professor/Historian/Archivist of the Riley Museum Archives at Tallahassee Community College); Dr. David Jackson (Chair of the Florida A&M University History & Political Science department); Dr. Titus Brown (History Professor at Florida A&M University); Dr. Tameka Hobbs (Professor of History at Florida Memorial University); Jarvis Rosier (Sergeant Major (Retired) and Lead Coordinator of the Florida United States Colored Troops (USCT) 2ND Infantry Regiment Reenactment Unit); and Dr. Will Guzman (Project Scholar and Director of the Office of Black Diaspora Culture at Florida A&M). The free to the public events are being hosted in conjunction with Tallahassee’s Annual Emancipation Day of Observance. Free food and refreshments will be provided through the courtesy of the organization and its sponsors. The themed lecture is made possible through a grant from the Florida Humanities Council. For more information, including a detailed event schedule, please refer to the attached flyer or contact the Riley Museum at (850) 681-7881 or log on to info@rileymuseum.org. ### P R E S E R V I N G

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT:

March 20, 2012

Issac Morgan Work: (850) 681-7881 E-Mail: imorgan@rileymuseum.org

2nd Infantry Regiment United States Colored Troops Present Second Annual Emancipation Ball The 2nd Infantry Regiment United States Colored Troops (USCT) Reenactment Unit is preparing to host its second annual Emancipation/Abolitionist Ball on Saturday, May 26th held at the Florida National Guard Armory from 8pm to 12am. The local infantry in partnership with the John G Riley Center/Museum have promised a joyous night of entertainment, tasteful food, great music and a memorable educational experience. In honor of the 150-year anniversary of the American Civil War and the first reading of the Emancipation Proclamation, attendees are encouraged to wear Civil War period attire and will be served an old-fashioned yet delicious cuisine. During the introduction of the event, the unit will preview their debut film entitled “Slavery to Emancipation a Moment in History,” a documentary about the life of Civil War African-American Union soldiers who fought in battles throughout the state and locally at the Battle of Natural Bridge. Following the film, Jarvis Rosier, Sergeant Major U.S. Army Retired and coordinator of the 2 nd Infantry Regiment USCT, will give a brief presentation about the many dedicated African American soldiers who fought in the Civil War battles and the importance of preserving this rich history. Another major highlight during the occasion will be the announcement of the 2012 Althemese Barnes Historic Preservation Service Award recipient for outstanding contributions to the preservation of history, presented by Sgt. Major Rosier. The night will conclude with the rhythmic sounds of Tallahassee’s Leon Anderson band, featuring Avis Berry; participants are invited to learn a nineteenth-century minuet dance led by the troops. The 2nd Inf. Regt USCT Reenactment and Living History Association is an affiliate of the John G. Riley House Museum. The mission of the Association is to Protect, Preserve, Promote, Educate and Interpret the contributions of those who fought not only to unite the country but also fought and struggled to end the tyranny of slavery and the freedom of Americans of African descent. The Unit meets the first Thursday of every month at 7:15pm at the Walker Ford Community Center in which the public is invited to join. For more information about the event or to purchase a ticket, please contact Jarvis Rosier at 850-509-0295 or Jackie Johnson at 850-933-1940. ###

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MEDIA CONTACT: Issac Morgan Work: (850) 681-7881 E-Mail: imorgan@rileymuseum.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Emancipation Ball honors the arrival of freedom in Florida through annual commemorative event Despite being in high demand during the entire month of May with a series of events dedicated to commemorating the official end of slavery in Florida on May 20, 1865 and honoring this day as a momentous event in U.S. history; members of the 2nd Infantry Regiment U. S. Colored Troops (USCT) Reenactment Unit and Living History Association ended the month with a bang during their 2nd Annual Emancipation Ball. The formal affair, held at the National Guard Armory on Saturday, May 26th, concluded Tallahassee’s weeklong Emancipation celebration and was a memorable experience for many in attendance. Sergeant Major Jarvis Rosier, U.S. Army Retired and coordinator of the 2nd Infantry Regiment USCT, opened with a brief history presentation about the presence of African Americans in Civil War battles and their significant involvement in the fight for freedom. He also gave insight into the unit’s active role of increasing awareness about black soldier’s involvement in the American Civil War as well as to commemorate one of our country’s most impactful events in history- emancipation of enslaved persons and abolition of colonial slavery. Through reenactments of historic events, such as Florida’s first reading of President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation at the local Knott House museum, the organization demonstrates its ability to significantly preserve black history and culture. “The ball puts in perspective the true time for celebration for people of color and of African descent,” Rosier said. “Our true independence day came with the Emancipation Proclamation January 1, 1863. The event is a culmination of the week of activities leading up to the actual May 20 th reading of the Emancipation Proclamation here in Tallahassee more than two years after President Lincoln issued the order. This is in reality the day all African Americans should be celebrating with fireworks, cookouts, family reunions and the works as we do on the 4th of July.” The mouthwatering southern-style dinner served during the event was just one of many highlights of the evening; in addition to the Leon Anderson Band, featuring a soulful performance by Avis Berry. Those in attendance were also treated to a traditional minuet led by USCT participants, known as the “Quadrille,” a formal contemporary dance during the Civil War orchestrated by disc jockeys from 96.1 Jamz.

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Another major highlight of the event was the debut of the USCTs documentary film, “Slavery to Emancipation the Fight for Freedom,” which details life during the civil war era from the perspective of African-American Union soldiers who fought locally in the Battle of Natural Bridge as well as in battles throughout the nation. As the night progressed, anticipation was finally over when Sgt. Major Jarvis Rosier announced the winner of the 2012 Althemese Barnes Service Award, Mr. Grant Capelouto. Mr. Capelouto was selected as the recipient of this prestigious award for his outstanding contributions to the community and continued efforts to preserve and protect Tallahassee history. Numerous local residents including Althemese Barnes, founder & executive director of the John G. Riley Center/Museum, felt Mr. Capelouto was well deserving of the honor and could attest to his commitment to serving the museum and the greater Tallahassee community. He even showed his appreciation by adding a few words of his own: “Thank you for letting me be a part of this extraordinary ceremony and I am fascinated by the history of this area,” said Capelouto.

Other awardees included: Sgt. Jackie Johnson, who was selected as the 2012 Outstanding Service Award recipient and Mrs. Tonja Webb, recognized as the 2012 USCT Member of the Year. These honorees were delighted to be selected for their contributions and look forward to more years of serving the organization. The 2nd Infantry Regiment U. S. Colored Troops (USCT) Reenactment Unit and Living History Association is an affiliate of the John G. Riley Center/Museum. The mission of the Association is to protect, preserve, promote, educate and interpret the contributions of those who fought to unite the country and struggled to end the tyranny of slavery thereby ensuring the freedom of Americans of African descent. The USCT unit meets the first Thursday of every month at 7:15pm at the Walker Ford Community and they welcome the public to attend. For more information please contact Jarvis Rosier at 850-509-0295 or Jackie Johnson at 850-933-1940. ###

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Riley Museum launches new interactive website The John Riley Center and Museum recently launched their brand new interactive website to help bring awareness to the organization’s mission to discover, archive and preserve African American landmarks and legacies throughout the State of Florida as an enduring public resource through tourism and education. Additionally, the Riley Museum has also incorporated several social media platforms to instill an appreciation for the educational and social contributions of African Americans to Florida’s rich history. The revamped website is very user-friendly, simplifies navigation and allows users to stay updated about the museum’s continued path of preserving black history and culture through its many nationally recognized programs. Visitors to the site will first notice the eye-catching background image of the historic Riley House and a slide show of photos taken from recent events. The organization has also added many new features to the site such as a news page showing proof of the organization’s positive impact on the community, an online shopping tool for users to conveniently purchase items, a podcasting option, an interactive map to provide directions to the museum from any starting point and even a streaming video option for upcoming lectures. Up-to-date information regarding current art exhibits, special events, and the museum‘s distinctive Landmarks & Legacies Black Heritage Tour of Tallahassee are also be available on the newly designed website. Another exclusive feature of the site is the quick links section located at the bottom of the page, which is intended to provide quick and easy navigation from any page within the website. A fascinating story about the community surrounding the Riley Museum, Tallahassee’s historic Smokey Hollow community, which began in the late 19th Century Reconstruction Era and remained in existence through the mid-20th Century (in what is now downtown Tallahassee) can be found under the “Learn” drop-down menu by simply clicking on “Life and Legacy of John G. Riley.” The decision to refurbish the site was mainly to attract more visitors and to provide a onestop destination for the community to learn more about the organization. Website design company, Sirius Web Solutions, took a modern-day approach when developing the various components of the website and added cutting edge features not commonly used for designing historical museum websites. For more information about the organization feel free to contact a staff member by phone at 850-681-7881. ###

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 8, 2012

MEDIA CONTACT: Issac Morgan Communications Specialist

John Riley Center and Museum Awarded Grant to Fund Statewide VIVA Florida Commemorative Series The John G Riley Center and Museum was recently awarded a major grant of $15,000 from the Florida Humanities Council for a themed lecture series titled, “A Route in Search of Roots: The Power of a Greater Vision.” The museum plans to launch the free lecture series in conjunction with the annual May 20th Emancipation Proclamation Day of Observance. Five historians will participate in the lectures to help the public develop a comprehensive understanding of how Africans migrated into the Americas and significantly contributed to the foundation of Florida’s history from the first and second Spanish periods through the British Occupation of Florida and beyond. The distinguished speakers include: Dr. Anthony Dixon, Professor/Historian/Archivist of the Riley Museum Archives at Tallahassee Community College; Dr. David Jackson, chair of the Florida A&M University History & Political Science department; Dr. Titus Brown, history professor at Florida A&M University; Dr. Tameka Hobbs, professor of history at Florida Memorial University; Jarvis Rosier, sergeant major (Retired) and lead coordinator of the Florida United States Colored Troops (USCT) 2ND Infantry Regiment Reenactment Unit; and Dr. Will Guzman, director of the Office of Black Diaspora Culture at Florida A&M will serve as the scholar on the project. A historical brochure featuring timelines, summary of topic areas and a resource guide of related readings will be distributed during these lecture series. In addition, seven traveling exhibit banner stands, which illustrate each historic period, will be displayed at each lecture site. The series of lectures will span from March 2012 to August of 2013 in targeted cities throughout the state of Florida. Florida has a unique relationship and history with African American descendants, unlike any other state. Since inception it has been a safe haven for African descendants who first fought against slavery, then against oppression and later for their civil rights. The historians will use their research and publications to present on how a culturally diverse group of people – speaking different languages in a foreign land, forged a path that is a living testament to their resilience and went on to make remarkable contributions


to Florida’s development from 1513 to 2013. The earliest documented evidence of Blacks in Florida dates back to 1513 when the Spanish exploration and settlement of Hispaniola took place. The FHC provides financial support for the planning and implementation of large-scale humanities projects that occur over a timeframe of up to 18 months. Special consideration for major grants is given to projects that address FHCs “Viva Florida 500” initiative commemorating Ponce De Leon’s 1513 arrival in Florida. For more information about the upcoming project or the organization contact a staff member at 850 681 7881 or by email at imorgan@rileymuseum.org. ###


CHRONICLE » TALLAHASSEE DEMOCRAT » THURSDAY, JUNE 28, 2012 »

Sue McCreary Scholarships presented to local high school anchor club members United States, Japan and the Bahamas. The members serve because they want to make a difference. Anchors learn and develop the rewarding skills of service and leadership, a keen awareness of opportunities to invest in the lives of those in their communities. Their projects are as diverse as the schools and communities in which they are found. Through the leadership of the Club Advi-

By Claire Mikko Special to the Chronicle

The Pilot Club of Tallahassee presented three scholarships to members of three local Anchor Clubs. Anchor Clubs are over 50 years old and are made up of more than 9,000 young people — both male and female students — in more than 250 clubs. Anchor Clubs are found throughout the

sors and/or the Pilot Club Coordinators and members, these young people mature into dynamic leaders of tomorrow. Morgan Jane (Janie) Jansen, Leon High School; Ricardo (Ricky) Romero, Chiles High School; and Melanie Brewster, Maclay School each received a scholarship based on their scholastic accomplishments, leadership abilities, volunteer hours, and involvement with the

Anchor and Pilot Clubs. Sue McCreary, after whom the scholarship is named, was a past Tallahassee Pilot Club President (1971-72) and wrote the Pilot International Anchor Creed in 1959. To learn more about the Pilot Club of Tallahassee, please go to www.tallahasseepilot.org. Information about Anchor Clubs may be found at www.pilotinternational.org, Anchor link.

Janie Jansen and Claire Mikko. SPECIAL TO THE

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Charlotte Edenfield and Claire Mikko, Pilots and Melanie Brewster. SPECIAL TO

CHRONICLE

THE CHRONICLE

Emancipation Ball honors first reading of the Proclamation By Issac Morgan Special to the Chronicle

Despite being overwhelmed with a series of events dedicated to remembering the May 20 date officially ending slavery in Florida and honoring this day as a momentous event in US history, soldiers from the 2nd Infantry Regiment United States Colored Troops (USCT) Re-enactment Unit and Living History Association were still able to entertain all who were present during their 2nd annual Emancipation/Abolitionist Ball. The ceremony, held at the National Guard Armory on Saturday, May 26, concluded Tallahassee’s weeklong Emancipation celebration and was a memorable experience for many in attendance. Jarvis Rosier, Sergeant Major U.S. Army Retired and coordinator of the 2nd Infantry Regiment USCT, opened with a brief history presentation about African American involvement in the Civil War battles and the purpose of the events celebrating the first reading of the Emancipation Proclamation at the Knott House museum located in Tallahassee. “The ball puts in prospective the true time for celebration for people of color and of African American descent,” Rosier said. “Our true independence day came with the Emancipation Proclamation January 1, 1863. The event this evening is a culmination of the week of activities leading up to the actual May 20 reading of the Proclamation here in Tallahassee more than two years after Pres. Lincoln issued the order. This is in reality the day all African Americans should be celebrating with fireworks, cookouts, family reunions and the works as we do on the 4th of July.” The mouthwatering old fashioned style dinner served during the event was just one of many luxuries of the evening; The Leon Anderson band featuring Avis Berry graced the stage with a soulful performance and radio station disc jockeys from 96.1 Jamz provided music during the ball. Another major highlight of the event was the debut of the unit’s film, “Slavery to Emancipation the Fight for Freedom,” a documentary about the civil war life for the African-American union soldiers who fought in battles throughout the nation, state and

President and CEO Heather R. Mitchell , white skirt, along with staff from United Way of the Big Bend, greets commuters at Betton Road. SPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE

United Way gives supporters a big ‘Thank-a-Thon’ USCT members at the Emancipation/Abolitionist ball. SPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE

locally at the Battle of Natural Bridge. Led by the local troops, guests were invited to participate in an old school dance known as the “Quadrille,” a formal dance during the Civil War era. As the night progressed, anticipation was finally over when Sgt Jarvis Rosier announced the award for the 2012 Althemese Barnes Service Award. Grant Capelouto was the recipient of the prestigious award for his outstanding contributions to the community and continued efforts of preserving African American history. Numerous local residents including John Riley Center/Museum’s Founding Director, Althemese Barnes, felt Mr. Capelouto was well deserving of the honor and could attest to his commitment to serving the museum. Grant showed his appreciation by adding a few words of his own: “Thank you for letting me be a part of this extraordinary ceremony and I am fascinated by the history of this area,” said Capelouto. Other award recipients included: SGT Jackie Johnson, 2012 Outstanding Service Award and Lady Tonja Webb, 2012 2nd USCT Member of the Year honors. These honorees were delighted to be selected for their contributions and look forward to more years of serving the organization. The 2nd Inf. Regt USCT Reenactment and Living History Association is an affiliate of the John G. Riley House Museum. The mission of the Association is to Protect, Preserve, Promote, Educate and Interpret the contributions of those who fought not only to unite the country but also

Special to the Chronicle

2nd USCT Members Tonja Webb, Rosier and Mary Rosier. SPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE

fought and struggled to end the tyranny of slavery and the freedom of Americans of African descent. The Unit meets the first Thursday of every month at 7:15pm at the Walker

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Ford Community Center in which the public is invited to join. For more information please contact Jarvis Rosier at 850-5090295 or Jackie Johnson at 850-933-1940.

Morning commuters were greeted with signs, smiles and waves during United Way of the Big Bend’s 5th Annual Thank-a-Thon. UWBB staff and volunteers took time to simply say, “Thanks,” and express appreciation to supporters in the community for all they have done. “Putting care into action, that is what it means to LIVE UNTED,” said Heather Mitchell, the new President and CEO of UWBB. “So many of our friends, neighbors and family members did just that this past year for United Way’s 2011 Community Campaign. Because of their caring, more than $5.8 million was raised to help those in need. That deserves a huge thank you and that is

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what our “Thank-aThon” is all about … thanking those in our community that chose to LIVE UNITED.” The Thank-a-Thon is designed to reach out to donors, volunteers and partners to thank them for their support for the 2011 Community Campaign and outreach efforts. Funds raised from this campaign are invested back into the community to support health- and human-service programs from 42 certified agencies across the Big Bend. People throughout the Big Bend continue to do what they can to support their community even during tight times.Whether it’s giving $5 a pay period, being a Leadership Giver ($1,000 or more), speaking out in support of community issues, or volunteering United Way wants to say thank you.

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Increasing Awareness using Social Media By Issac Morgan

First of all, I would like to thank you for considering my diverse background and qualifications as a potential match with the organization’s needs at this time. As you all know, technology and the cyber world in terms of online communication continues to grow rapidly with the emergence of social media as a platform for connecting directly with your audience. Presently, just about every company uses some form of social media as a marketing tool. The benefits of utilizing these sites for your company can be very rewarding if used effectively. From my initial observation of the organization, I foresee social media as a forefront of the integrated marketing campaign for the Riley House and Museum. Specifically, Facebook can be used for increasing awareness of the organizations educational initiatives among college students. This demographic seems to use this networking site more frequently than any other age group. The museum should regularly update the page with thought provoking and conversational content; this will stimulate conversation among your followers which can escalate a particular discussion to a higher degree of responses. The commentary is a great way to research your target audience also; the results from the market research are invaluable to any organization seeking to better understand common trends. For example, this post may raise awareness about a significant event in black history-the Montgomery Bus Boycott: “Why do we prefer to sit in the back of the bus when our ancestors fought for equal rights?” I am confident that a simple post such as this one would stimulate some conversation. By simply posting this on the company’s page, the organization can receive feedback from the followers of the page and also encourage them to visit a particular site by merely providing a link to it. As always, events can be promoted using a combination of Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. I believe these are the best sites to use specifically for promotions; they seem to drive the most online traffic and also have user-friendly tools geared for promoting events. Twitter allows you to include hashtags (#Rock-A-Thon 2011) on every single tweet which can be linked to the event landing page. On the other hand, LinkedIn would be helpful in connecting with professional organizations, clubs and associations related to museums and other historical landmarks. I’m actually a member of an alumni network for interns and often use it to stay connected with former interns and associates. Without a doubt, Facebook is definitely a valuable tool because of the many instruments used for marketing such as event invitations, group and fan pages.


YouTube is a great way to provide a visual along with your message; the organization can benefit by filming short teaser videos and possibly create a virtual tour that can be posted on the website. The museum should make its presence known on all these social networking sites to gain publicity and attract more followers.

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