The Kent Cultural Alliance fully supports Minary’s Dream Alliance’s continued, uninterrupted use of the Frank M. Jarman American Legion building on American Legion Road in Chestertown. Minary’s Dream Alliance (MDA) has been renting the property to fulfill its mission of providing a safe place for mentorship programs and events for adolescent children and their families, a place for a widely popular and extraordinarily well run food program providing groceries to vulnerable seniors and families during the pandemic, an event space for summer learning programs co-sponsored by Washington College and the Kent Cultural Alliance, a place for our veterans to meet, and a place for the continuation of the American Legion blood bank which has been meeting at this property for years. The use of this building has not changed in 60 years, and it will still be the same: A place for people to meet and families to gather together.
Remarkably, it took MDA only three months to raise enough funds to purchase the building from The American Legion as its permanent home. We salute the leadership of MDA for this herculean task, and we are humbled by their deep impact on our community in only 14 months since its founding!
At the eleventh hour, a group of neighbors made a litigious effort to block an African American community center that is meant to help all of Kent County’s marginalized residents and youth. Part of the mission of the Kent Cultural Alliance is to connect communities through sharing conversations. Throughout our recent history in Chestertown, African American lives have been hindered by prioritizing the comfort and will of white residents, with little regard to what that may do to our black community. We believe blocking MDA will add to that unfortunate history. The message from these neighbors isn’t We have some concerns and we would like to work together as a community to address them. The message appears to be We don’t want you here. Historically this is not a new message, but we hope that Chestertown will continue its recent work in reconciling with the past and not repeating it, by not letting the preferences of a small few outweigh the future benefit of many.
The Kent Cultural Alliance is proud to partner with MDA as we have overlapping missions to provide programming to the greater Kent County community, and we look forward to co-hosting events at their new home on American Legion Road. The possibilities are endless when organizations and members of our community work together. It’s what neighbors do for one another. Please stand with our friends at Minary’s Dream Alliance and show your support at the planning and zoning appeals hearing on July 19th, 7pm, 400 High Street.
Jason Claire is the President of Kent Cultural Alliance Board and John Schratwieser is its Director
On behalf of the Board