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Festivals, Fairs & Special Events

Wabash Y Open House & Black-owned Market

The Renaissance Collaborative, Inc. (TRC) invites you to the historic former Wabash Y for a unique Black History Month celebration that will be a fusion of an open house, small Black-owned vendor market, and history exhibit. Admission is free thanks to a sponsorship from EF Design Group, a Black-owned creative marketing and print services firm based in Chicago.

Guests will be allowed to freely roam the two floors of the building where they can observe archival photos and speak with volunteers who will share the deep history of the Wabash Y. Carefully selected small Black-owned business vendors will be strategically placed to tie the past to the present and encourage local investment.

Black History Month has its origins at the Wabash Y as the site where Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (1915) and announced the first Negro History Week (1926). During the Great Migration, the building served as the unofficial orientation center for new African Americans migrating from the South to the North seeking a better way of life by offering temporary accommodation, job placement, and other services. Once the heart of Black civic and social activity, the Wabash Y closed in 1981. TRC was formed by four Bronzeville churches in the 1990s to save the building from demolition and preserve the history for future generations. Today the historic building houses The Renaissance Apartments, helping formerly homeless adults rebuild and improve their lives.


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