On Thursday, Sept 27, the John G. Riley Center and Museum presented their annual membership reception. The reception occurs once a year as a celebration to the birthday of John G. Riley.
The event was held at the outside of the museum and Riley house which was open to the public.
A welcome was given at the start of the event followed by a 30 min “business session” orchestrated by Attorney Eddie Williams and Knight law. The projections of expansion and business ventures of the museum and acknowledgments were briefly explained to the public.
“As an employee and native of Tallahassee, I’m overwhelmed with excitement for the future projections of our historic landmark,” said Shaqueria Howard, membership and communications officer at the Riley center, “The best part about this for me is knowing I will have a part in transitioning the museum into even greater heights with the consistent help and support from our community.”
Immediately following was the pre-release of the book, “The Proctors, A Prominent African American Family Oral History Publication” on behalf of the Riley Signature Publication and their respected contributors. During this time, guests were encouraged to pre-order a copy of the book (predicted to be officially released in November 2018).
Announcements were also shared to the public of the newly elected board members and officials of the center.
Founder, CEO, and Executive Director of the Riley Center, Althemese Barnes, presented her goal to increase the membership by 600 at the next membership reception in 2019. Barnes also announced the community benefits of the museum.
The Riley house has a branch of research that contributes to creating more resources for the Tallahassee community.
“My day to day task is to operate with quality and identify, preserve, document, and promote the history of African Americans,’ said Barnes, “It is very important for us to support our community institutions especially in the arts, history, and cultural area.”
Barnes encouraged students to take advantage of the internships offered by the Riley house. The opportunity is open to all majors and offers up to 20 hours a week.
She concluded the announcements with a brief history of the Riley house; it was built in 1890 and stands as the only Central Administration Office for the ‘Florida African American Heritage Preservation Network.’
The event concluded with a closing announcement from a sponsor from the membership reception Grant Capelouto.
“I can’t begin to tell you how appreciative myself and my family are to be fortunate to be a part of the legacy of entrepreneur, businessman, and family man Mr. Riley,” said Capelouto, “We look forward to all the great things this historic monument does soon and will continue to support, Thank you.”
Both the museum and Riley house are open Mon-Thur from 10am-4pm, Fri-Sat from 10am-2pm, and closed on Sunday’s.