Giving Tuesday has passed, but that shouldn’t stop us from giving back to organizations that do more than just put on a show.
The Marian Anderson Museum & Historical Society was founded by Blanche Burton-Lyles, an accomplished classical concert pianist, to commemorate the legacy of her mentor Marian Anderson. Anderson’s voice helped change the world and is still needed today. Breaking the color barrier as the first African American to perform at the Metropolitan Opera and on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the famous opera singer was one of the most iconic and influential figures in both local (Philadelphia) and American history.
In 1924, Anderson purchased a row home and transformed the basement into an entertainment center because, at the time, African Americans were often not welcomed to go out socially. That home now serves as a museum and a foundation supporting classical artists as intended. Under the executive direction of Jillian Patricia Pirtle, Marian Anderson’s legacy continues on through the historical society and museum.
Like everything else in the world, the Marian Anderson Historical Society faced financial troubles due to the COVID pandemic. But, what they couldn’t prepare for was the damage to the 163 year old building following pipe bursts and flooding. Even despite their strain, the organization continues to push through like the voices of its inducted scholars: Kevin Thompson, Carolyn Coleman, Paula Newberry, Tanisha Anderson, Regina Smith, Ronald Campbell, Martin Hargrove, Terrance Hart, Michael Leland, Gabriel Bey, Zaki Higgins, Lily Kass, Claude Finger, Gregory Greene, and Steven Browne.
See these global artists perform together this coming Saturday, December 19th, for ‘A Classical Christmas,’ A Holiday Concert Spectacular at 4pm via Facebook. You can also show your support with a gift of giving by donating to the Marian Anderson Museum & Historical Society.