October 1st, 2013
Governor Pat Quinn
Illinois State Capitol
207 State Capitol
Springfield, Illinois 62706
Dear Governor Quinn:
Black Metropolis Convention & Tourism Council (BMC&TC) a 501c3 not-for-profit Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) for the historic Bronzeville community, supports the proposal to designate the Black Metropolis Heritage Area as a National Heritage Area through the National Park Service. This national designation will be an important recognition of the unique and valuable assets of Chicago's mid-South Side communities. (www.blackmetropolisNHA.com, www.cmap.illinois.gov/bmnhac).
As a heritage tourism development business operating in the historic Bronzeville community, we are a constant driver for continued upwardly mobile progress, development, promotion, and economic empowerment successes in our community. Many of Bronzeville's businesses are historically significant to the story of the Black Migration and the growth of Chicago's mid-South communities. We welcome the opportunity to work collaboratively alongside the Black Metropolis National Heritage Area Commission and the residents of Bronzeville, toward a National Heritage Area designation (http://www.jstor.org/stable/4127618).
The designation as a National Heritage Area holds so much potential for the Bronzeville area. Education on the triumphs and struggles of Bronzeville's residents over the past 100 years (1916 - 2016), creation of partnerships among new and existing organizations and initiatives, increased economic development and destination tourism activity and fostering community pride among the mid-South Side communities, all serve as a catalyst for supporting the work of the Black Metropolis Heritage Area Commission and their journey to National Heritage Area.
BMC&TC doing business as the Bronzeville Visitor Information Center (BVIC) is currently contributing volunteer staff time, pro-bono incubator office space, community outreach and technical assistance to the Black Metropolis National Heritage Area designation campaign. BVIC is working with the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children, Active Transportation- Go Bronzeville cycle infrastructure campaign, Centers for New Horizons and the Chicago Department of Transportation on implementing a 'Walkable Communities campaign" and to activate a "bottom-up" Neighborhood Plaza implementation strategy at the Gateway to the Black Metropolis National Heritage Area, on the North East corner of 35th & Martin Luther King Drive.
Business owners, residents and stakeholders of the Bronzeville community have always known of the rich cultural and historic characteristics of our community, a National Heritage Area supplies an additional platform to share that richness with the Chicago region, the State of Illinois and the nation.
BMC&TC and BVIC are pleased to support the Black Metropolis National Heritage Area Commission in their pursuit of the Black Metropolis National Heritage Area and are supportive of the positive benefits it will bring to our region and the State of Illinois.
Harold L. Lucas
Black Metropolis Convention & Tourism Council
Bronzeville Visitor Information Center
3501 South Martin Luther King Drive, Suite One East
Chicago, Illinois 60653