African American Center for Cultural Development (New Location Pending)
The former AME church that housed the center in 2016.
The interior space of the center while it was at the church.
Historical artifacts on display at the center's former location in the AME church.
Backstory and Context
The center moved into the former church in June of 2016 and quickly converted it into their new home. It has become a living place for cultural development and uses the building’s space to display over 100 years of historical African American historical artifacts to include photos, art work, and news clippings. It offers both guided and self-guided walking tours of African American history within Olean. Stops on the tour include the Olean House and Russell’s Inn. However, the highlight of the tour is Sarah Johnson’s house, a former slave who escaped to freedom prior to the Civil War and went on to become one of Olean’s most prominent African American citizens.
The center also becomes a coffee house the first and third Fridays of every month and hosts a poetry and writer’s workshop every Wednesday. Additionally, the center offers music and educational programs. Finally, the center also hosts various workshops, retreats, music festivals and a speaker’s series. The center is only open by appointment and for special events. Please call or visit their website for details.