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Blackwell School receives Tillapaugh Public History Fund grant

June 29th, 2017 under Community
(Blackwell School Alliance photo) The Blackwell School, in its early days.

(Blackwell School Alliance photo)
The Blackwell School, in its early days.

MARFA – The Blackwell School Alliance has received a $10,000 grant from Tillapaugh Public History Fund, a fund of Permian Basin Area Foundation, to partially fund the development of a historic structure report for our adobe schoolhouse, in accordance with Texas Historic Preservation Guidelines.

The Blackwell School Alliance is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving resources associated with the Blackwell School, once a segregated school for Marfa’s Mexican-American children. The cornerstone of the Alliance’s mission is the historic building located at the corner of S. Abbott and W. Waco Streets in Marfa.

The Blackwell School served hundreds of Hispanic children up to ninth grade. The school closed in 1965 with the integration of Marfa schools.

In the 10 years that the Blackwell School Alliance has existed, former students have raised thousands of dollars to stabilize the building, including a complete re-plaster of the building’s façade and installation of new windows. Now that immediate repairs are done, the Alliance can make a long-term plan to completely restore the building. The Historic Structure Report is that road map to restoration.

“We, the former students, have been working very hard for a long time to save this history. It is nice to have not only the money, but the recognition that this history is important. We are grateful to these donors for their generosity,” says Blackwell board member and former student Jessi Silva.

Dr. J. Tillapaugh was a distinguished professor of history and a founding faculty member at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. He also has maintained ties to the Marfa community for many years. He remains a tireless advocate for the role of public history in education and community engagement. Permian Basin Area Foundation is a leader in community philanthropy that supports organizations across West Texas, including Marfa and our surrounding communities.

The story of the Blackwell School is more than a Hispanic story, more than a Marfa story: it is part of our American story. The Blackwell School Alliance invites everyone to visit the Blackwell School and get involved: as members, volunteers, donors, and guests. The Blackwell School is open every Saturday from 10am to 4pm.

For more information, visit www.theblackwellschool.org or contact Gretel Enck at 432-295-3359.

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Story filed under: Community » Education

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