State award for Soul of Second Street Festival gets Danville celebration
Heart of Danville, the Danville-Boyle County African-American Historical Society, and the Boyle County Public Library were recently presented with the the Helen Dedman Excellence in Preservation Advocacy Award in Frankfort.The award recognizes the combined efforts of these organizations to bolster public awareness of the former business district along Danville's Second Street, which was the heart of African-American commercial, social and religious activity. The district was lost in the 1970s when Urban Renewal razed many of the buildings.The celebration came home to Danville last week with a dinner and program on October 20 at the historic St. James AME Church, hosted by Barbara Hulette, a member of Boyle Landmark Trust.
"I am so proud of the collaborative efforts that went into the research and production of Soul of 2nd Street," said Hulette following the event. "I felt that all should be honored with a Danville-Boyle County reception as this has impacted our community so much. It raised awareness for the history of 2nd Street and the importance for all of our history to be recognized."
Georgia de Araujo, Tom Poland, Becky Hatfield, Michael Hughes and Heather Henson.Heart of Danville played a role by collecting oral histories, providing documentation of life along Second Street, and publishing a brochure that won "Best History Publication" from the Kentucky Historical society in 2014."The Heart of Danville and [former director] Bethany Rogers helped make all of this come true," added Tom Poland, Heart of Danville Board President.The Boyle County Public Library also created a photomural with a focus on Second Street.For the celebration, a delicious dinner was prepared by members of St. James, and a skit put on by Joann Brown and Sarah Gray, known as "The Old Sisters" of Woodford County, was enjoyed by everyone."We all had a wonderful evening," said Hulette.Plans are already underway for the 2017 Festival, and those involved are hoping to expand it to a two day event.