KANSAS CITY, Kan. — From its roof to the stairs, walking room to room, you can see the Old Quindaro Museum is in need of a massive makeover.
All of the needed repairs add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Money the museum doesn’t have.
“We’ve been trying to just keep the lights on. That doesn’t do any of the repair work because we haven’t had enough to do the repair work. We’ve just been blessed. By the grace of God, we still have a roof over our heads for a few minutes,” Old Quindaro Museum Historian Corranzo Lewis said.
The museum houses historical artifacts from Quindaro’s African-American community. But Lewis fears the roof, along with the community efforts, will soon collapse.
“Everybody’s been talking about trying to help or doing something. But so far, they haven’t put their finances where their mouth is,” Lewis said.
That’s why KCK native and Grammy-nominated music producer Joseph Macklin, better known as Jo Blaq, is stepping in.
He’s hosting a music showcase, “Raise the Roof for Quindaro,” in August. It’ll feature local talent, and some of the money raised at the event will help pay for museum repairs.
“To see people come together, and we (don’t) know our history — and I’m guilty of this. Just me digging in and learning more and more about the history of where I’m from. It just paints a better picture of legacy, and it’s enriching,” Jo Blaq said.
While Jo Blaq’s trying to help preserve KCK’s rich history, he’s also trying to ensure the people living there have a bright future.
“That’s what I’m here to do is pay it forward,” he said. “That’s why I’ve been going back and forth between Kansas City and LA. It’s important for me for the next generation to give them a chance.”
Along with the five local artists Jo Blaq is featuring, he will also bring in some of his friends from LA, like Evan Ross.
The showcase will be held Aug. 17 at the VooDoo Lounge. Tickets are available now through Ticketmaster.