KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Details on the future Kalamazoo Black History Museum were finally unveiled on Monday.

Leaders, including museum chairman Rev. William Stein, are working to either purchase land or find an existing building in the downtown area.

“We have found several locations that we’re interested in. We’ve already begun the process of reaching out to those organizations,” Stein said.

Plans include a two- or three-story museum with exhibits, a chapel, conference rooms and a performing arts theater. It will also have a classroom and learning lab for education programs.

Stein says they aim to have the museum as a destination tourist attraction that educates, entertains and inspires.

“It is a duty of all of us to begin the process of training the next generation so that they will be able to pass it on,” Stein said.

A mission statement for a proposed Black history museum in Kalamazoo. (Feb. 14, 2022)
A mission statement for a proposed Black history museum in Kalamazoo. (Feb. 14, 2022)

State Rep. Julie Rogers, D-Kalamazoo, says the museum will be a great way to look back while moving forward.

“I think it’s important to uplift – whether we’re talking about Moses Walker, Dr. Charles Warfield or Cal Street, who integrated the first Kalamazoo Public Schools – we have so much to learn and so much to remember,” Rogers said.

Organizers say $30 million is needed to fully finance the project — something Rogers is confident they’ll be able to do.

“This community has demonstrated over and over…that we have a lot of philanthropy in this town,” Rogers said.

If there is enough funding, the ribbon is expected to be cut on Juneteenth (June 19) 2024.