In the 1970’s when the St. Joseph’s AME Church congregation moved to a new church home, the original structure became the catalyst for the formation of the St. Joseph’s Historic Foundation (SJHF). The Foundation was incorporated in 1975 with the intention of preserving the embellished old sanctuary and adapting it for cultural and civic events. SJHF’s mission is to preserve the heritage of the old Hayti community, and to promote the understanding of and appreciation for the African American experience and African Americans’ contributions to world culture. The church complex, renamed the Hayti Heritage Center, is listed on the register of national historic landmarks. Many descendants of the original residents of the district once known as “Black Wall Street” frequent the Center along with other Triangle area residents.
The Foundation’s goals are to consistently present the very best in quality cultural arts programs related to the African American experience, promote cross-cultural understanding between isolated communities, and foster intercultural support. We accomplish our mission by providing enlightening and enriching programs in cultural arts and education. The St. Joseph’s Historic Foundation/Hayti Heritage Center continues to be an agent of social change with a long-term commitment to utilizing the arts as a tool to bring communities together and establishing common ground between the races. The Foundation is committed to providing the local community and patrons-at-large with the country’s leading African American artists, theater productions, and programs that define history and traditional techniques, and ceremonial, social, sacred, and contemporary works.
Programming has always been the core asset of the Foundation’s services. There are a number of anchor programs that solidify the Foundations uniqueness as an arts presenter across the Triangle, state and country. These anchor programs intermix local, regional and national artists thus providing a rich mix of quality cultural arts programs for all ages and socioeconomic demographics.
For more information about giving opportunities contact the Development Office at 919.683.1709.
Join the growing Hayti family of contributors whose donations support the preservation and restoration of the St. Joseph’s AME Church.