This fundraiser is to make immediate and necessary repairs and improvements to The Camden Shoe Shop & Quilt Museum, which is owned and directed by Betty Anderson and pays homage to Anderson's parents and grandparents along with their hometowns of Camden and Gee's Bend, Alabama. While Betty is working towards getting 501 (c)3 nonprofit status at the museum, Black Belt Treasures has agreed to serve as a fiscal agent, recognizing the valuable cultural heritage the museum is helping to preserve.
The entire roof received hurricane damage in 2020, causing major leaks within the museum, damaging the ceiling and walls and putting the museum collection at high risk of irreversible damage. Estimates and plans for a new metal roof have been secured by a regional contractor, and will be addressed first in order to provide a safe display area for the museum collection. In an effort to eliminate further damage, prevent humidity and climate issues, and provide a comfortable environment for tour guests and students on field trips, the museum needs an HVAC system. Additionally, we are seeking funds to remove a tree that is rubbing against the roof and may cause future damage, assist with making her pubic restroom ADA compliant, and properly securing the building by replacing the main double doors and purchasing a video security system.
The Camden Shoe Shop & Quilt Museum offers guided tours, personally led by Betty, who not only entertains each and every guest with her captivating stories, but also educates citizens and tourists about local and regional history, quilting, civil rights, and more. The museum includes a display of regional historic quilts, photographs, artwork, period clothing, and historic documents and relics, along with her father's (Joe Anderson) historic shoe repair equipment, which date to the late 1800's. Betty Anderson's mother (Marie Coleman Anderson) and grandmother (Minder Coleman) made most of the quilts on display by hand in Gee's Bend, and they date from 1920 to 2001 - when Marie Coleman Anderson quilted the "911 Quilt".
The Museum is visited by small and large tour groups throughout the year, has been written about in newspapers and magazines across the state and southeast, and highlighted on shows such as Absolutely Alabama and Simply Southern TV. The museum is walking distance from historic downtown Camden's shops, eateries, and historic district, and a block from Black Belt Treasures Cultural Arts Center, where Betty is an Artist in Residence and has a studio for making her Gee's Bend Lye Soap and her Gee's Bend Women dolls.
While Betty is working towards getting 501 (c)3 nonprofit status at the museum, Black Belt Treasures has agreed to serve as a fiscal agent for the Camden Shoe Shop & Quilt Museum. Donations to this fundraiser are tax deductible, as allowed by law. 100% of donations received will go toward the repairs and improvements listed above and any fees incurred.
If additional funds are raised through other means (grants) the total funds needed will be adjusted.
Betty says "Thanks to everyone who contributes towards this project that is not only near and dear to my heart, but important to the community, state, and in preserving the history and stories inside these walls."