Jefferson County, Alabama

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Jefferson County Commission Approves More Than $2.6 Million In ARPA Funding To Assist Organizations In the Civil Rights District With Tourism Projects

Jefferson County Commission approved $2,691,642 in Federal ARPA Funding to Organizations in the Civil Rights District to improve Civil Rights Tourism today.

The following organizations will receive funding for specific projects that will improve not only the physical facilities based on lessons learned from COVID 19, but the Civil Rights District’s ability to attract tourists in the future. The funds come from Jefferson County’s federal ARPA allocation.

16th Street Baptist Church - $900,000to fund work associated with the creation of a Visitor and Educational Building. The church is expected to break ground at its 150th anniversary in April of 2023 with estimated completion by Sept. of 2024.

*   Urban Impact, Inc. - $320,895.60 – to aid in the creation of a culinary incubator within the National Civil Rights Monument and4th Ave. Business District and provide access to capacity building and business development for entrepreneurs.

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute - $900,000 to fund work associated with hiring a full-time curator to inventory exhibits, develop content, and implement updates. BCR also plans to modernize existing exhibits and boost outreach by creating a traveling exhibit.

* Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame - $407,506.80 – to create original exhibit content, restore historic textiles to feature in existing and new museum exhibits. It will also aid the organization in being able to continue its regularly scheduled programming in the Carver Theatre for Performing Arts through its Jazz Greats educational and exposure program.

* St. Paul’s United Methodist Church - $101,261.40to help fund a museum-quality tourist center. The exhibit will feature pictures, letters, newspaper articles, and videos to make the past come to life. The project is expected to be complete by February 2025.

 Historic Bethel Baptist Church - $61,980.40 – to aid in expanding its interpretative programs and tour experience by transforming the basement area into an augmented virtual reality tour for all guests.

In total, Jefferson County received $127 million in ARPA funding. The funds must be obligated by the end of 2024 and expended by the end of 2026. In addition to this allocation, the Commission has allocated:

  • $4 million to mental health and substance abuse programs
  • $13 million for household support programs
  • $45 million for clean water and storm water projects