FORT MYERS, FL (June 8, 2018) – An award-winning student documentary featuring McCollum Hall will have a public showing at 6:00 p.m. on June 12, 2018, at the Williams Academy Black History Museum, 1936 Henderson Avenue in Fort Myers. Student documentary-makers Faye Cole and Elena Dent will be in attendance.
With the encouragement of their teacher Dr. Jesse Bryson, Fort Myers High School students Cole and Dent created the short film featuring interviews, documentation and historic photos. The Lee County Black History Society provided historic photos and the Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) supplied information on the history of the building. Interviews feature former Lee County Commissioner Melvin Morgan, CRA Advisory Board Members Kirk Beck and Ron Weaver, and CRA Interim Executive Director Michele Hylton-Terry.
The documentary won the National History Day Competition for the Lee County School District, and is competing for recognition at the state level. The premiere is being presented by the Lee County Black History Society in conjunction with the Williams Academy Black History Museum.
McCollum Hall is a popular local historic treasure. Built in 1938, it was the local stop on the Chitlin Circuit, the nickname given to segregated venues where famous African American artists and entertainers performed. Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, B. B. King, Count Basie, and other great talents brought world-class entertainment to Fort Myers in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. Following decades of disrepair, McCollum Hall already has received an exterior renovation, and proposals are being solicited to bring about the final phase of restoration.
McCollum Hall is located on the Corner of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and Cranford Avenue, at 2701 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, Fort Myers, Florida 33916.
Visit www.leecountyblackhistorysociety.org or the Lee County Black History Society’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Lee-County-Black-History-Society-261618027185566/ for information about the showing, or call 239-321-7100.
About the Lee County Black History Society
The Lee County Black History Society (LCBHS), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, seeks to preserve and commemorate cultural and educational contributions made by both locally and nationally-known Black people. LCBHS seeks to unite the local community in celebrating and promoting positive thought about Black people in the minds of citizens of Lee county and surrounding areas. The Lee County Black History Society is located in Roberto Clemente Park at 1936 Henderson Avenue, Fort Myers, FL 33916.
About the Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA)
The Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency was created in 1984 by the City of Fort Myers, Florida, under Florida Statute Chapter 163, to formulate a plan and strategy for the revitalization of the downtown River District. The Fort Myers CRA has continued to grow, and redevelopment areas have been added throughout the city. Today, the Agency oversees 14 different redevelopment areas within the Fort Myers city limits. The Fort Myers CRA, along with the City’s Community Development Division, prepares plans for the revitalization of each area and coordinates the implementation of the plan’s recommendations. Tax Increment Funds (TIF) generated by each area, combined with other funding sources, are used to upgrade the public infrastructure and to stimulate redevelopment in the same area where it was generated. The Fort Myers City Council members, sitting as the Community Redevelopment Agency, oversee the Agency’s divisions and their operations. The Fort Myers CRA office is located at 1400 Jackson Street in the Downtown River District.