Established in 1990, The Hurston is a program of the Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community, Inc. (P.E.C.). Its mission is to provide a place “in the heart of the community” where the public can view the work of artists of African descent, who live on the Continent and/or in the Diaspora.
The exhibition season begins in September each year and ends in August. Shows typically run three to four months, and since the museum’s founding, each exhibition has featured an opening reception and gallery talk, which are free and open to the general public. Talks are presented by the artist(s), curator or a guest scholar.
There is no set admission to The Hurston; however, donations are appreciated. For group tours, there is a fee and reservations are required.
SIGINIFICANT ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE MUSEUM INCLUDE:
- The Hurston is the only museum within a 400-square mile area where the public can view the visual art of promising, emerging and established artists of African descent.
- Since its founding, the museum has attracted tens of thousands of visitors to the gallery where exhibitions of the work of nearly 50 artists have been presented.
- The museum has developed an increasingly aggressive partnership with art institutions in the area, including the Orlando Museum of Art and the Cornell Museum of Fine Arts at Rollins College, in mounting exhibitions of some of the finest pieces of contemporary African American Art.
- During the 1998-1999 exhibition season, the museum featured the works of four legendary African American artists – Samella Lewis, John Biggers, Elizabeth Catlett and William Pajaud.
- The museum was awarded funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, in support of the 2006 – 2007 exhibition season.
- The Hurston has presented two season-long exhibitions of historical material
- The museum was awarded a Conservation Assessment Program (CAP) grant to begin strategic planning for a new museum facility.
The Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community, Inc. (P.E.C) is the sponsor of The Hurston. Established in 1988, P.E.C. is a membership-based, tax-exempt historic preservation organization, whose mission is:
-To enhance the resources of Eatonville, Florida, which is the oldest incorporated African American municipality in the United States and the hometown of writer, folklorist and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston.
-To educate the public about Eatonville’s historic and cultural significance
-To use the community’s heritage and cultural vibrancy for its economic development
The board of directors is comprised of well-regarded Central Florida business, civic and governmental leaders as well as residents of the historic Eatonville Community.
P.E.C. also organizes and presents the annual Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities, held each January in Eatonville, Florida.
P.E.C. Board of Directors
Thomas S. Kornegay
Chairman/CEO, TeKontrol, Inc.
Marie-Josè Francois, M.D.
Community Relations and Outreach Coordinator
Community Health Centers
Tadayuki (Tad) Hara, Ph.D.
Associate Dean of Administrative & Finance
UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management
Winfred “Chad” McKendrick
Regional Vice President – Financial Services
Immediate Past President:
President, JRI, Worldwide, Inc.
Carol M. Bresnahan, Ph.D.
Vice President for Academic Affairs
Office of the Provost
Ava K. Doppelt, Esq.
Allen, Dyer, Doppelt, Milbrath & Gilchrist, P.A.
Alberta Wells Godfrey
Retired Elementary School Principal
Reginald B. McGill
City of Orlando – Office of the Mayor
Director of Constituent Services
Ernestine E. McWhite
McWhite’s Ironing Service