Preserve, celebrate & share.
Our mission is to preserve, celebrate, and share the cultural, artistic, and historical heritage of African Americans in Sarasota and beyond. At every step of the decision-making process, we will prioritize actions that align with our Vision, Mission, and Values. We recognize that we have access to substantial community resources and partnership opportunities, and we will leverage these to the fullest extent possible. Our ultimate goal is to improve the economic vitality and livability of Newtown, while also preserving and sharing the rich history and culture of African Americans in our community and beyond. We believe that creating opportunities for enlightenment and learning, as well as entrepreneurial opportunities, will be key to achieving these objectives. Additionally, we are committed to empowering the community to actively participate in all aspects of our work, ensuring that our achievements are sustained and perpetuated for years to come.
The time is now!
This is our moment.
Join our Movement.
Sarasota, a city rich in African American history is a pivotal location in the narrative of civil rights activism. The achievements of Black activists during the transformative Civil Rights Movement has positioned Sarasota alongside iconic destinations as a significant node on the U.S. Civil Rights Trail. The Sarasota African American Cultural Coalition, Inc. (SAACC) recognizes the importance of this moment and our objective is to amplify the remarkable legacy of resilient and trailblazing pioneers who shaped Sarasota’s foundation.
SAACC is committed to sharing their courage, dignity, and determination. If ever there was a time to do so, it is now!
We’ll illuminate the history and heritage of visionary leaders at the historic Leonard Reid House through leadership and mentoring training, African American history talks, performances, demonstrations and festivals.
This is the start of a broader vision to expand the arts, culture and history center’s footprint. Future plans call for the construction of a new and larger facility adjacent to the Reid House.
A center for all time & all people.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this 1,400 sq ft house was built in 1926 in Sarasota’s earliest African American community, Overtown, which Leonar Reid helped to establish. The Reid House will be transformed into a new arts, culture and history center that will host exhibits about Black life and history. It will have performance space for Black artists and offer public programs and classes in drawing, painting, photography, writing, health and wellness, leadership and entrepreneurship.
calendar of events
Join us to remember and honor victims of racial terror at the Unitarian Universalist Church. There is an overflow area.
To watch the live-stream at 11 a.m. Saturday Feb. 24, please visit
Feb - apr
Experience the Tampa Bay Civil Rights historical exhibit, showcasing a compelling narrative from February 12 to April 15, 2024. For further details, please reach out to (813) 419-0454.
Donate — you'll be matched!
We have the green light to receive matching donations through the Louis & Gloria Flanzer Philanthropic Trust. The organization will provide matching donations of 100% between $5 and $500 from each household per month. For instance, if you give $100, SAACC will receive a total of $200. The donation is tax deductible.
Mail a check to the Louis & Gloria Flanzer Philanthropic Trust, 1266 First Street, Suite 1, Sarasota, FL 34239. Note in the memo: SAACC.
If you prefer donating online, follow the instructions at this link: https://flanzertrust.
Select “Sarasota African American Cultural Coalition” under “Choose your recipient.” Enter contact information. Select the charity from the drop down menu. Click “Submit Your Information to Proceed” then “click here” to finalize the donation through PayPal. Enter the amount — if it’s a monthly donation, check the box. Enter the donate with PayPal bar or donate with Debit or Credit Card. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.
Thanks to our wonderful
The City of Sarasota ● Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation ● Frank & Katherine Martucci ● Gulf Coast Community Foundation ● Sarasota County Community Foundation ● Selby Foundation ● Individual Donors ● Volunteers
SAACC stands as a testament to the power of preserving history while inspiring a more inclusive and equitable future for all.
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of trailblazing pioneers!
Vision of SAACC
The creation of a physical center in or near Newtown is a central component of SAACC’s vision. This center will be the hub from which the organization will develop programs that promote and celebrate the creative and cultural assets of Sarasota’s African American community. We envision collaborative partnerships with local, regional, state and national arts, history and cultural institutions.
Staff and Board
VICKIE OLDHAM M.F.A.
President and CEO
Vickie Oldham M.F.A. is president and CEO of the Sarasota African American Cultural Coalition, Inc. SAACC’s goal is to open an art center and history museum. The precursor of this historic preservation initiative is “Newtown Alive.”
WASHINGTON HILL, M.D.
Chairman of the Board
Dr. Hill is Founder of the High Risk Pregnancy Program at SMH and Chair of the Sarasota African American Cultural Center, Inc. (SAACC) Board of Directors.
REV. BROCK H. LEACH
LAWRENCE A. MILLER, PH.D.
CHARLES E. WILLIAMS
vision and mission
We envision Newtown as a thriving epicenter of cultural and economic vitality. SAACC seeks to impart knowledge, ignite understanding, appreciation, and unity in the community and the region that is experiencing dynamic growth and transformation.
To preserve, celebrate, and share the rich cultural, artistic, and historical heritage of African Americans in Sarasota and beyond.
In making decisions, we will strive for actions that will:
- be consistent with our Vision, Mission and Values
- leverage our considerable community resources and partnership opportunities
- contribute to improving the economic vitality and livability of Newtown
- contribute to the preservation and sharing of African American history and culture in Newtown and beyond
- create opportunities for enlightenment and learning
- create entrepreneurial opportunities
- empower the community to actively participate
- sustain and perpetuate current achievements and future successes
GOAL 1: Establish a historical and cultural center in or near Newtown that will contribute to revitalizing the community.
Objective 1: Establish a temporary site initially.
Objective 2: Establish a permanent site.
GOAL 2: Establish a range of programs that celebrate the longstanding African American presence in Newtown, Overtown and Sarasota, that facilitates learning, and encourages a shared experience.
Objective 1: Develop a programming and exhibits plan for the initial year.
Objective 2: Develop long-range programming and an exhibits plan.
GOAL 3: Increase community awareness about Newtown, Overtown and the efforts to preserve its history and culture.
GOAL 4: Establish lasting and sustainable collaborations and partnerships with arts, historical and cultural organizations that will support continued success of the coalition and its work for the Newtown community.
GOAL 5: Develop a long range, sustainable funding strategy that will include business revenues, fundraising events, grants, earned income and donations.