Middle Georgia’s black historical landmark is moving.
"We’re moving because we actually out grew the site where we were," says Jeffrey Bruce, the Tubman African-American Museum’s Curator. "It’s an institution that was founded to explore and celebrate the culture and history of African American people."
The grand opening for the new museum on Cherry Street will be on May 16. The museum’s new building features a dome as a major focal point and has nearly 49,000 square feet of space.
According to Bruce, the extra space will provide a display area for more exhibits.
"There’s lots of objects that have never been seen, have never seen the light of day," he says."We have an African American art collection that is contemporary art kind of studio academic type art, but also visionary art and folk art."
Movers have already started placing art work into the new building. One of little Richard’s pianos is on long term loan to the museum from the Georgia Music Hall of Fame Foundation.
"They shared some of their collections with us," he added. "So that when we opened up our space we could bring some of those stories back into the community."
The new building seats more than 300 people for special events, according to the museum’s Special Events Group Sales Manager, Harold Young.
"I’ve already contracted several events that will be held at the Tubman, weddings and class reunions," says Young.
Bruce says more than 20,000 people visit the museum annually and he is expecting more.
"We want to be a resource not just for Macon, but for Georgia the whole southeastern United States," added Bruce.
Construction on the new Tubman African-American Museum began in 2002.
The new museum was built using federal funding, along with money from the state, local government, and several organizations. Nearly 12 years and 17 million dollars later, it will open for business. Admission is expected to increase from $8 to $9 for adults, according to Bruce.