Dew Drop Inn Receives $50K in National Grant Funding

NEW ORLEANS — On June 13, the Dew Drop Inn announced it will receive $50,0000 in funding from the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, a program from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The music venue and hotel in Central City, which hosted shows from stars like Ray Charles and Little Richard in their heyday, is being restored. It is scheduled to open in the fall of 2023.

The grant funding will support the development of historic exhibits.

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“We are grateful to the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund for its support of the Dew Drop Inn and our dedication to telling stories of African American achievement and resilience,” said Curtis Doucette, the venue’s owner and developer. “This funding will allow us to cement the Dew Drop Inn’s legacy, not only through outstanding entertainment, but also through a commitment to history, culture and community.”

In addition to a music venue, the Dew Drop Inn will include 17 hotel rooms, each paying tribute to a person who had a special connection to the Dew Drop Inn. The recent award by the National Trust for Historic Preservation will “help make that dream a reality,” said Doucette.

“The Action Fund’s investment in and celebration of 40 historic African American places illustrates our belief that historic preservation plays an important role in American society,” said Brent Leggs, executive director of the fund and senior vice president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “The history embodied in these places is emblematic of generational aspirations for freedom, the pursuit of education, a need for beauty and architecture, and joys of social life and community bonds. That’s why the Action Fund believes all Americans must see themselves and our shared history in this year’s grantee list if we are to create a culturally conscious nation.” 

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The Dew Drop Inn is one of 40 sites to receive a total of $3.8 million in grant funding to advance preservation activities for historic places that represent African American cultural heritage. 

In all, the Action Fund will distribute more than $91 million. Since 2017, it has received a total of 5,638 funding proposals requesting $655 million. Since 2018, it has supported 242 grantee projects through its investment of $20 million.

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