Black Belt Museum launches “The Secrets of the Black Belt” window exhibit
Renovating the McMillan Bank Building
The University of West Alabama’s Black Belt Museum has launched its new window exhibit series in downtown Livingston.

Located just north of the Sumter County Courthouse Square and across the street from the Bored Well, the Black Belt Museum is an emerging regional museum currently under construction. The building was once home to Sumter County’s McMillan Bank.

The first floor of the building is anticipated to open by the Summer 2016. The mission of the Museum is to collect, preserve, exhibit, and interpret the landscape and rich history of the Black Belt of Alabama and Mississippi.

“The rotating window exhibit will be a way for the public to engage with the Museum as we work towards opening,” said Dr. Tina Jones, executive director of UWA’s Division of Economic Development and Outreach where the Museum is housed.

The first window exhibit, The Secrets of the Black Belt showcases photographs, textiles, and artifacts from the collections of the Black Belt Museum and the Black Belt Archives representing the history, culture, natural history, folklife, and industry of the people in the Black Belt region of Alabama. Featured items showcase each unique aspect of our region, individuals can gaze through the window to see a cross section of life, past and present.

“We wanted this first window exhibit to portray the life and heritage of the people in the Black Belt and display a broad range of the Black Belt’s history, including the mosasaur jaw from the Cretaceous period, the end of the Age of the Dinosaur. If you came to the Science Saturday’s Jurassic World event, you got a look at a complete mosasaur skull! ” said paleontologist James Lamb. The exhibit will be on display through December 15. The Black Belt Museum expresses its appreciation to its co-sponsor, Black Belt Archives and Archivist Amy Christiansen, Archaeologist and Assistant Professor of Anthropology Dr. Ashley Dumas, AmeriCorps VISTA Emily Boersma and Public Relations Specialist Gena Robbins for their knowledge and creation of the exhibition banners along with the greater staff from the Division of Economic Development and Outreach on UWA’s campus.

For more information on the exhibit or the Black Belt Museum, contact James Lamb at (205) 652-3725/ or Brian Mast at (205) 652-5528/ Find the Black Belt Museum on Facebook and use #blackbeltmuseum on Instagram and Twitter.

When completed, the outside of the building will be returned to an appearance appropriate to the early twentieth-century Livingston courthouse square. The restored facade will feature two exhibit windows for attractive changing exhibits. The west portion of the downstairs will be an all-purpose assembly area suitable for children’s programs, public meetings and small exhibits. The east portion will house the exhibits, featuring long-term exhibits devoted to the art, history, archaeology, and natural history of the Black Belt. The upstairs will contain offices, exhibit preparation areas, storage and collection rooms. It will also include a modern conference room for professional and community meetings.