By Cameron Lee
July 2, 2019 (Updated)
Nearly a year ago in June, Nina Simone’s childhood home in Tryon, North Carolina was designated as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
In 2017, after the three-room, 660-square-foot home had fallen into bad condition on the open market, a group of artists purchased the house. The owners: painter Adam Pendleton, sculptor and painter Rashid Johnson, abstract painter Julie Mehretu, and collagist Ellen Gallagher are now working with the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund to raise funds for its preservation.
#NinaSimone is literally one of the most important Black American artist we had. Join me and @savingplaces to preserve Nina Simone’s legacy by restoring her childhood home – donate here https://t.co/jjWMUIZBkX ✊🏾🖤 pic.twitter.com/jCF7hOTz68
— Noname (@noname) July 1, 2019
A new crowdfunding campaign by The National Trust is now underway and being supported by some big-name musicians and celebrities like John Legend, Mahershala Ali, Noname, Issa Rae, Talib Kweli, and many more. “Spaces devoted to the history and legacy of people of color, especially women of color, are far too few in America today,” Legend said in a press release. “Preserving places like the Nina Simone childhood home will help keep her powerful story alive.”
You can make donations to the campaign and also buy newly designed Nina Simone merchandise like T-shirts, pins, prints and postcards with artwork by North Carolina-based artist Dara Coulter.
*Update: The North Carolina Arts Council and the North Carolina Museum of Art will celebrate the life of Nina Simone on Saturday, August 17 in Raleigh, North Carolina. The event will feature a performance by Lisa Simone, Nina’s daughter and all proceeds will go towards saving Nina’s childhood home.
Learn more about The National Trust’s Nina Simone crowdfunding campaign.