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Negro Leagues Baseball Museum launches campaign for new home

We could see a new home for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum as the organization has launched fundraising efforts at the historic Paseo YMCA site, fueled by a $1 million gift from Bank of America.

The plan would see a new home for the museum at a site including the historic Paseo YMCA, where Andrew “Rube” Foster and other owners established the Negro National League in 1920. The $25-million campaign would build a new 30,000 square-foot facility. This funding will enable the NLBM to provide the latest technology that will be used to promote diversity, inclusion, and equity.

The new state-of-the-art facility will be built adjacent to the Buck O’Neil Education and Research Center (BOERC), to be housed in the former Paseo YMCA. With help from the anchor grant, the new NLBM, in combination with the BOERC, will create a “Negro Leagues Campus” that will become the gateway into Kansas City’s famed Historic 18th & Vine District. This will be a catalyst for economic growth in a vastly underserved, predominantly African American community. 

The bank’s support will allow the NLBM to expand programming, create dynamic interactive displays, house a gallery to showcase new exhibitions, feature a larger gift shop, and include a more expansive archival and storage space. 

“Thanks to the generosity and continued support of Bank of America, the future of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum begins today,” said Bob Kendrick, museum president, at a release announcing the plan. “Our growth from a one-room office to becoming America’s National Negro Leagues Baseball Museum has been an amazing journey. Now, we’re building an organization that will continue to preserve and celebrate the triumphant story of the Negro Leagues but also fortify our position as one of the nation’s most important civil rights and social justice institutions,” Kendrick said. 

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