AMERICUS, Ga., Feb. 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Habitat for Humanity International and the One Sumter Economic Development Foundation today closed on a deal that will give way to Americus’ largest community park. Slated to break ground in April, the park will include a 35,000 square foot amphitheater – one of the largest in the region, a dog park, a children’s playground and lots of open space.
“The park’s location in city center helps bring life to the design, which is intended to foster and infuse a sense of vibrancy, cultural awareness, connectivity and engagement in the community,” said Alicia Ledbetter, executive director of the One Sumter Economic Development Foundation. “We hope it will become a key music and arts destination across the region that will shape and define Americus for generations to come.”
The new park was most recently home to Habitat for Humanity International’s Global Village and Discovery Center (GVDC), which permanently closed its doors in 2020 at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The GVDC was an outdoor museum built in 2003 that was created to help educate people about the global need for adequate housing. Visitors could take a self-guided tour around the park and explore varying life-size types of housing structures commonly found in developing nations. During the first year of operation, Habitat welcomed two of the museums most famous visitors, President Jimmy Carter and Stephen Colbert, who was filming on-location for the Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
One Sumter decided to name the music and art park after Reverend Pearly Brown, an influential guitarist and singer pegged as one of America’s last great street performers of the post-civil rights era. Blind from birth, Brown’s family relocated from Abbeville, Georgia to Americus when he was a young child.
Brown’s unique sound—holy blues—and mastery of the bottleneck portion of his six-string resonator guitar helped create a sound that would later influence various musical genres spanning gospel, blues, country and traditional African American folksongs. Undeterred by his disability, Brown performed in cities across Georgia. He was one of the first Black musicians to perform at the Grand Ole Opry and Carnegie Hall. For his musical contributions, Brown was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2010.
“Naming the park after Pearly Brown was a no brainer,” Ledbetter said. “He brought the community together with the gift of music and we believe the park will help carry that legacy forward.”
About One Sumter Economic Development Foundation, Inc.
The One Sumter Economic Development Foundation, Inc., is a 501(c)3 nonprofit founded to enhance and support economic development activity in Sumter County, Georgia. One Sumter represents a community-wide initiative to support and enhance economic activity in Sumter County. One Sumter invests in four key priority areas: economic and community development; education and workforce development; leadership development and regional sustainability; and entrepreneurship and talent development. Launched in 2014 as an ambitious capital campaign to support the work of the community’s existing economic development efforts, the One Sumter Economic Development Foundation, Inc., was birthed as a partnership between the Sumter County Development Authority and the Sumter County Chamber of Commerce.
About Habitat for Humanity
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity found its earliest inspirations as a grassroots movement on an interracial community farm in south Georgia. Since its founding in 1976, the Christian housing organization has since grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in more than 70 countries. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit habitat.org.
SOURCE Habitat for Humanity International
Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/habitat-for-humanitys-global-village-and-discovery-center-to-become-6-acre-community-music-and-art-park-301758437.html
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