Mosaic Templars Cultural Center | Little Rock, AR

The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center is dedicated to telling the story of the African American experience in Arkansas. The Center’s name is taken from the Mosaic Templars of America [1], a black fraternal organization founded in Little Rock in 1883. The mission of the Center is to collect, preserve, interpret and celebrate Arkansas’s African American history, culture, and community from 1870 to the present, and to inform and educate the public about African American’s achievements – especially in business, politics, and the arts. General admission is free.


Mosaic Templars Cultural CenterPhoto Courtesy of Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau

The Center has permanent, changing, and traveling exhibits highlighting African American life and Arkansas black history and culture from 1870 to the present, including:

  • A Building For The Community – The history of the Mosaic Templars of America Building, which served as an important commercial and community center for African Americans in Little Rock in the early 20th century (pre-World War II)
  • African Americans in Arkansas – The African American experience in Arkansas from 1870 TO 1970.
  • Brotherhood and the Bottom Line – The contributions of Mosaic Templars of America, an African American fraternal organization, to Arkansas African American community.
  • Entrepreneurial Spirit – The rise of the African American entrepreneurial class during the era of Jim Crow.
  • A City Within A City – The significance of Little Rock’s West Ninth Street  as the economic and social center of Little Rock’s African American community.
  • A Living History: Arkansas Black History Hall of Fame highlights the contribution of African-American Arkansans to American history.


The Center also actively collects works of art by African American Arkansans. Beyond just exhibits, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center provides lesson plans and outreach programs for students and teachers. These materials are in great demand by classroom teachers and have closed a gap in the teaching of Arkansas history.

Notes:

[1] The Mosaic Templars was a black friendly society founded by John E. Bush and Chester W. Keatts, two former slaves, in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1883.The Mosaic Templars was an organization that originally provided illness, death, and burial insurance during an era when few basic services were available to black people. By 1900 Mosaic Templars’ industries grew to include an insurance company, a building and loan association, a publishing company, a business college, a nursing school, and a hospital.  By 1905 it had a number of lodges across the state with thousands of members. Its headquarters were housed in a handsome new building that opened in 1913; Booker T. Washington delivered the dedication speech. In the 1920s they claimed chapters in twenty-six states and six foreign countries, making it one of the largest black organizations in the world. However, in the 1930s, the MTA began to feel the effects of the Great Depression and eventually ceased operations. However, a single chapter remains, in Barbados.

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center
501 W. Ninth Street
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: (501) 683-3593
Website: www.mosaictemplarscenter.com
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THE MOSAIC TEMPLARS CULTURAL CENTER ON TWITTER

October 15th, 2014 at 6:45pm
RT @AfroAmHistory: Today in History: The Black Panther Party is founded!... http://t.co/uLno3lfwXZ
October 15th, 2014 at 6:28pm
Our newest exhibit “Freedom! Oh, Freedom! Arkansas's People of African Descent and the Civil War” opens soon! http://t.co/pSEb2nr3co
October 8th, 2014 at 5:05pm
MTCC's godmother! Thanks for keeping her name alive! RT @ScottofSCOTT: LR Cultural Touchstone: Ellen Turner Carpenter http://t.co/p2amnInbiP
October 7th, 2014 at 7:35pm
RT @SchomburgCenter: Author Toni Morrison becomes the first African American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature (1993) #todayinblackhisto
October 6th, 2014 at 9:01pm
Looking for some fun and exciting events to go to this Fall? Check out MTCC's Fall Events! #MosaicTemplars http://t.co/l596m4bDIR

THE MOSAIC TEMPLARS CULTURAL CENTER ON FACEBOOK

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Mosaic Templars Cultural CenterOctober 15th, 2014 at 6:07pm
MTCC is excited to announce that we are officially a month from the opening reception of our newest exhibit “Freedom! Oh, Freedom! Arkansas's People of African Descent and the Civil War”. The exhibit will open November 14 in conjunction with the unveiling of our 2014 Creativity Arkansas collection. We look forward to seeing you in attendance at the opening of these two special events. More details to be announced soon!
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