Marian Anderson Residence Museum gets a boost after hard year

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Marian Anderson Residence Museum is not only a Philadelphia treasure, but a national treasure. But it's been an extremely hard year for the museum and its organizers.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation just announced $3 million in grants to 40 spots across the country through its African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund.

One of the recipients is Anderson's treasured 19th century three-story house at 762 South Martin Street.

The pandemic shutdowns have been crippling for the arts, but then, a natural disaster struck.

"We experienced during the peak of the pandemic, a horrible flood disaster that struck the museum," said Jillian Patricia Pirtle, the CEO of the National Marian Anderson Museum and Historical Society. "It left three and a half feet of standing water in the facility and caused chaos and innumerable damage."

The flood caused more than $200,000 that is needed in emergency repairs and the loss of priceless artifacts and Anderson's personal effects.

This $75,000 grant will help with structural repairs, but they're also hoping Anderson's city will step in too.

"We are hoping that the community will stand with us and will step in and be there for us, just as Marian Anderson was there for Philadelphia and for the nation and for the world," Pirtle said. "She was representative of peace, a representative of hope, a representative of freedom and justice and music."

This museum also supports young artists and musicians.

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