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Cultural Center celebrates 20 years

WINTON – The C.S. Brown Regional Cultural Arts Center and Museum held its 20-year anniversary Saturday in Winton.

The center, which was once known as Waters Normal Institute and later as Calvin S. Brown High School, was funded by the North Carolina State General Assembly and is the first of its kind.

The center opened its doors in 1986 with a mission to preserve and promote the rich heritage of Black-Americans and their contributions to the state, nation and world through the performing and visual arts.

The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation later contributed a grant to the center for operating and programming expenses.

The C.S. Brown Center houses work from local and state artists as well as dozens of artifacts from West Africa.

Several former C.S. Brown students, faculty and staff were in attendance Saturday along with North Carolina District 4 Senator Robert Holloman to watch a host of speakers and performers to celebrate the center’s history.

Members of the Hertford County High School Drama Club performed a tribute that included singing and dancing of the World II era.

Several youngsters from First Baptist Church in Murfreesboro performed praise dance selections at the affair, which was emceed by Jesse Dickens.

A special tribute was made to Reverend James Andrew Felton, who led the efforts to have the campus restored and made into a historical site.

The center is listed in the National African American Culture Tour list and the North Carolina Arts Council’s historic sites listing.