The archives of the Beck Cultural Exchange Center contain thousands and thousands of photographs, books, news clippings, journals, and other ephemera documenting the life and culture of black Knoxville over the past two centuries. Eventually, the Beck Center would like to have all of its records in a searchable online database.
That was the plan until a few weeks ago, when Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett released his proposed budget for the 2012 fiscal year. Burchett has recommended a 92 percent cut in county funding for the Beck Center, from $150,000 to $12,000. The center has a total annual budget of about $300,000 and the loss of so much county money would effectively shut it down.
“We would lose the staff we have,” says Avon Rollins, executive director of the Beck Cultural Exchange Center.
Rollins and Jim Ware, the president of the Beck’s board of directors, say Burchett’s proposal came out of the blue. They say nobody from the mayor’s office ever talked to them about what the center does or what effect a reduction would have.
You can read more in an article in the Metro Pulse web site at http://goo.gl/tvNhw
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