AARCH Society News & Events!

Dear Friends,

Protean Gibril, President

What an amazing difference a year can make. As I reflect on 2022, I am so very grateful for the good works that the African American Resources Cultural and Heritage Society has achieved through our members and supporting organizations. AARCH Society made progress toward opening the Heritage Center and hiring the organization’s first Executive Director. Yet, as we plan for 2023, more support is needed to ensure our Mission will be sustained.

We ask that you please consider giving a gift of $50, $100 or more if you are able by December 31. You may click here to donate online or mail a check to the AARCH Society at P.O. Box 3903 Frederick, MD, 21705.

Your generous contribution will provide the critical funds needed to bring us closer to opening the Heritage Center and to advance our mission of offering educational programs and services to the community. Our work building community this year took many forms; AARCH Society unveiled a new oral history documentary on the Lincoln School, Frederick County’s only secondary school for Black students until integration. We partnered with Frederick Health to memorialize remains from an African American cemetery uncovered during the hospital’s most recent expansion.

Read Protean’s full End of Year letter here.

New Grants for AARCH Society

We are pleased to announce four grants that were received by AARCH Society in November and December 2023 from Ausherman Family Foundation, FirstEnergy Foundation, Maryland Heritage Areas Authority Financing Fund, and Maryland Humanities. For more information about our new grants click here.

Dec. 10: Museums by Candlelight Kwanzaa Celebration

Join AARCH Society Historian Michelle D. Wright at C. Burr Artz Library Community Room, Saturday, Dec. 10 from 1 PM to 4 PM. Learn about this annual celebration that celebrates family, history, values, community and culture. Drumming and crafts for kids!

Dec. 3: Documentary “Back to Our By-Gone Days”

Join AARCH Society for this oral history featuring the memories of former students from the Lincoln School, currently home to Lincoln Elementary School. Until integration, Lincoln School was Frederick’s only secondary school for African Americans. The film also includes a brief history of the school. Saturday, Dec. 3, 3 PM, 200 Madison St. This event was made possible with a grant from Maryland Humanities through support from the National Endowment of Humanities.

Workshop for Seventh Street Fountain Park Sculpture

On November 9 at the Bernard Brownarchitectural rendering of a green park with trees and a fountain and sculpture Community Center, AARCH Society and Frederick Downtown Partnership held a Public Art Design Workshop to discuss plans for a new sculptural landmark at the Seventh Street Fountain Park. Public art consultants William and Teresa Cochran described little-known aspects of the site’s history and engaged workshop participants in a conversation to shape the design approach and artist selection for a prominent new contemporary sculpture for the Seventh Street Fountain Park. The sculpture will honor our shared humanity and Frederick’s collective commitment to building a more sustainable and inclusive community. For more information, please visit the Partnership website.  

FCC launches Fall 2022 African American Lecture Series.
Get details and register (for free) here!


New Grants Fund AARCH Society Progress

With gratitude we announce a new $25,000 grant from Ausherman Family Foundation that will be used to help fund AARCH Society’s first-ever Executive Director position! “The AARCH Society is grateful for this opportunity from the Ausherman Family Foundation Board of Trustees,” said AARCH Society President Protean Gibril. “The Ausherman Family Foundation has understood our needs and supported our foundational goals from the beginning. We have begun the Executive Director search, which will put a solid structure in place to manage the African American Heritage Center when it opens. We thank them for their continued support.”

AARCH Society is also grateful to have received a Frederick County ANCHR Grant for $21,660. ANCHR grants support local non-profit organizations.

In May 2022, Ausherman Family Foundation awarded $25,000 to support ongoing operations of our work in the Frederick County community. We are honored and humbled by the encouragement we continue to receive from local citizens, Frederick City and County donor organizations and government, churches, and philanthropic organizations in our work to open the African American Heritage Center in 2023.


Amaze Design Selected for African American Heritage Center

AARCH Society is excited to announce that it has selected Amaze Design of Boston, Mass., for its exhibit planning and design. Amaze Design has worked with a prestigious client list that includes the National Park Service’s African Burial Ground in New York City, the August Wilson African American Culture Center in Pittsburgh, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American Culture, the Tubman Museum in Macon, Ga., and the National Children’s Museum in Washington, D.C.

The dream of establishing a permanent home for the African American Resources Cultural and Heritage Society (AARCH) is nearing fruition, with the goal of opening the AARCH Society Heritage Center in 2023. Two decades in the making, it fulfills former Alderman William O. Lee’s vision. The new Heritage Center will be a vibrant place to tell the important and under-represented story of Frederick’s African American community. 

The City of Frederick provided a lease for a 3,200-square-foot facility on the corner of Carroll and All Saint’s Streets. Ideally situated near the Frederick Visitor Center, the Delaplaine Arts Center, and the Sky Stage, the AARCH Society Heritage Center adds another prominent destination for heritage tourism.

The Heritage Center will include permanent exhibit space, a multi-purpose area suitable for theater/meeting space, and research and archival facilities. It will showcase local artifacts and feature first-hand accounts of Frederick’s living treasures, local African American residents 90 years old or older. Planning is underway, targeting a grand opening in 2023.

Help Build Our Future Here.


Greenmount Cemetery Memorial Dedication

Frederick Health and the African American Resources, Cultural Heritage Society dedicated a monument in honor of the historic remains recovered from Greenmount Cemetery and reinterred at Fairview Cemetery on October 25. These remains were discovered during recent construction operations at Frederick Health Hospital. Read the Frederick Health and AARCH Society press release here.

West All Saints Street


2022 Historic Walking Tours

Join us for our 60-90 minute unique walking tour as AARCH tour guides take you on an informative exploration of local history on All Saints Street and the surrounding area. Gain insights into the culture, contributions, and customs of this historically African American community. Learn about the cultural and historical importance of the neighborhood that was the center of the African American community until the early 1960s.

See Schedule, Details, and Register Here


In Gratitude: State Awards $50,000, Frederick Community Grants

In July, AARCH Society received a $50,000 grant from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, which will help support exhibit design for the planned African American Heritage Center. The grants are for heritage tourism projects and activities in the state. “Our administration is proud that this funding will allow for 107 projects to move forward and congratulate Maryland’s Heritage Areas and their tourism partners for their support in changing Maryland for the better,” said Maryland Governor Larry Hogan. AARCH Society is also extremely grateful for the ongoing support of the Frederick community, which continues to embrace our Mission and our goal to open the Frederick African American Heritage Center in 2023. Read the full article here.


AARCH Collection Move & Organizing Is Underway!AARCH Society Archive boxes on shelves

The AARCH Society has taken another important step forward in David Key’s vision of creating a permanent home showcasing Frederick County’s African American history, culture, and contributions. In May, volunteers moved more than 80 percent of the AARCH Collection into a space in the Federated Charities Building on South Market Street in Frederick. Read the full story and volunteer to help AARCH Society make history here!


Meet the AARCH Society Leadership Team

Protean Gibril

Protean Gibril, a member of the Board of Directors and chair of its Growth and Development Committee, became AARCH Society’s new President in 2022. A U.S. Air Force veteran and Senior Analyst and Brand Manager for a federal agency, Protean has over 35 years of experience and leadership in strategic planning and achieving organizational goals and business transformation/process improvement efforts. Protean graduated from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. She has served as Vice President for Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Western Maryland Chapter. 

In July 2022, AARCH Society welcomed Niya Yeboah to our Board. An analytical chemist, Niya is a Senior Scientist, Reference Standards, with the United States Pharmacopeial Convention, where she has worked since 2004. Meet the AARCH Society
Board of Directors

open book with logoAARCH Reads knows that storybooks have the power to awaken children to both the glories and the challenges life presents. AARCH Reads presents lively video recordings of storybook readings that explore the culture, history, and beauty – and the challenges – of being Black. AARCH Reads stories are geared to children but will resonate with listeners of all ages in many settings, from children in elementary school classrooms to families seated around the kitchen table. Currently, AARCH Reads is featured in a display at the Walkersville Public Library. Learn more at AARCH Reads.

Exciting News! Ausherman Family Foundation Grant

In May 2022, AARCH Society received a $25,000 grant from the AushermanAusherman Family Foundation logo Family Foundation. The funds will be used in support of operations as we continue our work in the community and our goal to open The African American Resources and Cultural Heritage Center in downtown Frederick in 2023.

“Ausherman Family Foundation is proud to support AARCH Society in keeping with our Vision to make Frederick County a thriving community of vibrant spaces and places,” says Leigh Adams, Executive Director of the Foundation. Read the full article here.


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AARCH Society     PO Box 3903     Frederick, MD 21705