Negro Fine Arts School
Marker Text: Twenty years before the integration of the Georgetown Public School District, a progressive music professor and her three students embarked on a program to explore a new musical teaching theory and give African American children a chance to learn music. In the fall of 1946, Southwestern University professor Iola Bowden Chambers and her students began teaching piano lessons to children in the African American community. Through the cooperation of the Georgetown school board, the First Methodist Church of Georgetown and the Christian Student Association of Southwestern University, the Negro Fine Arts School was funded and championed.
During the school’s existence, the First Methodist Church, which housed the school, welcomed over 200 students through its doors who participated in the program. The school expanded to provide voice and art lessons, produced a recital at the end of every year, and provided scholarships to its students. The scholarship program provided assistance for every year the recipient was enrolled in college. The school also produced several distinguished alumni who pursued degrees in music and taught other young aspiring musicians.
The Negro Fine Arts School not only provided musical avenues and self esteem for its students, but opportunities for other community members to interact with African Americans and to understand the injustice of racial segregation. The Negro Fine Arts School introduced children to the universal language of music and helped pave the way for peaceful school integration that would begin in 1965. (2009)
Marker No: 16262
Aluminum 27 x 42 Subject Marker
Location: 410 East University Avenue, Georgetown