Sorry for this late posting on the opening of the Mosaic Templars Museum this morning -- been out and about. I'd guess 350 people showed up for the ribbon cutting of this museum of black Arkansas history, 20 years in the making. Ellen Carpenter, 92, charter member of the preservation board founded to save the building and make it into a museum, told the crowd the original building -- built by the African-American fraternity and insurance company -- and Dreamland down the street were where the black community congregated. "We went to church, too, but you couldn't do at church what you did here," she said. (Dreamland was the famed music hall where so many greats of the early 20th century played.) Carpenter, repeating, "We made it, we made it," cut the ribbon and the huge crowd, which included a Templars group from Barbados decked in ribbons, filed in.
Brian Chilson captured crowd, the ribbon cutting and the scene below from the interior, visitors looking at a headstone engraved with the Templars insignia.