In 2014, the Whitneyville United Church of Christ faced a dilemma. The small church had a dwindling congregation, and an expensive property to take care of. They wanted to stay in their traditional home, but lacked the resources to maintain it or assist other community members with using it. Whitneyville residents, Tamberlaine Harris and Jennifer Brosious stepped up to seed and fund the creation of a community center on the property - one that would sustain the building and allow the church to remain there, even after selling the property.
Initial Executive Director, Robert Sheiman, worked with Laine and Jen to design and start the prototype project of the Whitneyville Cultural Commons, a community resources center. A place where social infrastructure was available for all community members to access in a way where the social infrastructure would perpetuate its own existence through self-sustaining use. With the help of Whitneyville resident and nonprofit consultant Deirdre Dolan, Robert started a nonprofit organization in 2015, built its program services from the ground up, and purchased the historic landmark, all the while maintaining it so that the Whitneyville United Church of Christ could continue worship in their traditional sanctuary.
With grit and luck, the Whitneyville Cultural Commons grew to financial sustainability over the next five years, and was able to show off its community resources center as a prototype for providing social infrastructure for diverse community members across cultural backgrounds. During the pandemic of 2020, the Whitneyville United Church of Christ decided to end in person meeting and dissolve their congregation. As a final gesture of support and thanks, they donated the remaining balance of the mortgage they had written to the WCC to purchase the property, to the WCC on their dissolution. A tremendously generous gesture of trust in the WCC to preserve and maintain the legacy that the WUCC had created.
We are always looking for additional board members, advisory committee members, and more volunteers to assist with the Whitneyville Cultural Commons. If you’re interested, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire.
We preserve and enhance places of communal and historic value by providing public spaces, tools, and knowledge as shared resources to support thriving community — socially, culturally, and economically.
We envision a future where every community has valuable resources preserved for perpetual public use, with just and equitable access to enhance the quality of life for all.
Preserve Historic Spaces
Steward historic properties in our trust with a commitment to preserving buildings and natural environments as part of the cultural landscape of the site.
Develop Social Capital
Nurture communal relationships as host to diverse civic forums, public and private social events, and spiritual and cultural traditions.
Champion Artistic Creation
Cultivate, celebrate, and showcase artistic endeavors of all kinds.