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  • Jennifer Jewell

A LOVE STORY: BRENT LEGGS & THE AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURAL HERITAGE ACTION FUND


FOODSCAPING - with Brie Arthur. Photo courtesy of Brie Arthur, all rights reserved.
 

 

 

This week a Valentine of sorts for the world of land and cultural care. In the midst of Black History Month, we’re in conversation this week with Brent Leggs, Senior Vice President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Executive Director of the Trust’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, whose mission focuses on telling the full American story.

Launched in 2017, Action Fund makes an important and lasting contribution to the American landscape by preserving sites of African American activism, achievement, and resilience. Through this preservation effort—the largest ever undertaken in support of African American historic sites—the Action Fund works to tell the full American story.


The Action Fund holds a vision of preservation serving as a potential path for equity, and the fund is actively working to preserve the landscapes and buildings of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Historic Black Churches, of the Washington Rosenweld Schools, as well as the homes and gardens of cultural icons such as Madame C.J. Walker, musicians John and Alice Coltrane, singer/songwriter Nina Simone, and Harlem Renaissance poet and gardener Anne Spencer.


The Action Fund is also partnering with community members in Akron, Ohio on re-creating a public plaza space to preserve the historic activism of once-enslaved abolitionist and author, Sojourner Truth, who delivered her “Ain’t I a Woman” speech in Akron in 1851.

 

This is a very personal but also universal love story and conversation about the heritage and history held in our places, and the importance of that fullness to all of us.He shares his personal love story with this cultivation of heritage and care.



Listen in!


Images courtesy of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. All rights reserved.



You can follow the African American Cultural Heritage Foundation on line at: https://savingplaces.org/african-american-cultural-heritage;



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JOIN US again next week,when we lean into another favorite winter activity in the northerly climates: tending to our houseplant family members and indoor gardening. We’re in conversation with Jane Perrone, host of the On The Ledge Podcast, and author of “legends of the leaf: Unlocking the secrets to help your plants thrive”. That’s next week, right here, listen in.


 

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Thanks to a generous matching grant from the Catto Shaw Foundation for 2024, all of your donations to Cultivating Place go directly toward helping us meet that match! All contributions help – go to the support button at the top of every page at Cultivating Place.com to chip in. Thank you in advance for supporting this program you love to grow with.



 


 

Thinking out loud this week....


Doesn’t this conversation and this work strike you as a perfect Valentine for a better world? Wow.


So how you holding up to winter - and the general state of our world where you are? You hanging in there?


With the ongoing dirges of war, injustice, economic insanity, environmental insanity and despair all in an election year here in the US – how do we hang in there? I’m not sure – we try to show up, we try to live up to what we can do where we are, from our gardens on out.


Here the winter light, winter temperatures, and winter weather hold me for their normalcy, their seasonal dependability even with a tiny sliver of spring showing through on some days when a morning is frosty but the mid day sun warms us and late day light is gentle – highlighting the tiny little pipevine teapots popping out on their pale green vines in the woodland; the tassles on the alders are spangling the creekside riparia like garland; the first wave of manzanita has past, but the second wave is out in full right now – clusters of little crisp white bells shining against white-green leaves, hosting the earliest of the bumble bees here, their deep resonant buzz letting us know they are there.


And sometimes that’s all we need – to know that they – our longtime friends and companions are here, showing up on cue, and we are here, and we’ll keep showing up on cue. That’s what gardeners do. We get out there, we greet the days, we greet our plant and animal friends.


And we keep growing. It reminds me how rich life is, and how abundant the everyday miracles, and how all we need is always right



 

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The CP team includes producer and engineer Matt Fidler, with weekly tech and web support from Angel Huracha, and this summer we're joined by communications intern Sheila Stern. We’re based on the traditional and present homelands of the Mechoopda Indian Tribe of the Chico Rancheria. Original theme music is by Ma Muse, accompanied by Joe Craven and Sam Bevan.


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