AARCH was originally formed in 2001 by Bill Lee (1928-2004), an African American educator, former Frederick City Alderman, and community leader. As a result of the efforts of the Frederick Historic Sites Consortium of the Tourism Council of Frederick County to preserve the local history and culture of African Americans, AARCH became a viable organization. Bill Lee’s vision to create a Heritage Center focused on the African American experience became the aspiration. AARCH seeks to engage the wider community to share the richness of the culture, despite the challenges of slavery, the Jim Crow era, and beyond. We provide the opportunity to visit classrooms, speak at public forums, provide exhibits of photos and artifacts for libraries/organizations, rehabilitate African American cemeteries, celebrate our Living Treasures (90+-year-old African Americans) with an annual banquet, and host a Family History Fair. We have partnered with Hood College and FCPS to provide student participation. We proudly produced a documentary, “The Tale of the Lion”. Recently the City of Frederick chose AARCH to occupy the space at 125 East All Saint St. to open our Heritage Center, a dream, a hope long-held. The Center will provide exhibits, research rooms, film/theatre space, and areas for community events/programs.
Building a Heritage Center