Macomb set to build culture center in honor of C.T. Vivian

Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 6:09 PM CDT
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MACOMB (WGEM) - In honor of civil rights leader C.T. Vivian, Macomb is set to build a center for civic and social engagement.

C.T. Vivian Project of Macomb President Byron K. Oden-Shabazz said the facility will be built on the grounds of Vivian’s boyhood home near North Mechanic and East Adams streets.

Oden-Shabazz said the property was acquired through the Vivian family, and can be used as an education tool.

“We gather in certain spaces, so I thought why not build something dedicated to his legacy that will address communal issues,” Oden-Shabazz said. “This can really develop our children from a cultural standpoint because that’s something our children don’t really get locally.”

The facility will include historical artifacts, a small library and kitchen among other things.

Oden-Shabazz said it will take $3 million to build the facility.

He said the project is being funded through donors and other fundraisers.

He also said he hopes to receive support from a bank in Chicago.

Oden-Shabazz is hopeful that the center will be built by July, 2024, in time for what would have been Vivian’s 100th birthday.

In the interim, professional artist and WIU Art Department retiree Michael Mahoney is contributing to the cause by painting a mural in Vivian’s honor.

The mural will depict Vivian’s life.

“I discovered that I’m dealing with an incredible man, a lot of courage, and so I was more than pleased to be able to do this mural and take iconic moments from his professional life his public life.”

Mahoney said the mural will be complete by July 30.

At that time, the mural will be unveiled in honor of what would have been Vivian’s 98th birthday.

Oden-Shabazz said that he is meeting with a bank in Chicago for more financial assistance.

He said the C.T. Vivian Project of Macomb is accepting donations that can be made to the Macomb Foundation and dropped off at Macomb City Hall.

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