TRANSFORM 1012 N. MAIN STREET ACQUIRES KU KLUX KLAN KLAVERN NO. 101 AUDITORIUM IN FORT WORTH

The building purchase marks a watershed moment in transforming a space once dedicated to hate into a space of community healing, liberation, and reparative justice.

Transform 1012 N. Main Street (T1012), a Texas-based, non-profit coalition of local arts, grassroots, and service organizations as well as pro bono partners and individuals, is proud to announce the purchase of the former Ku Klux Klan Klavern No. 101 Auditorium in Fort Worth. The acquisition, which served as the driving force behind the formation of the T1012 coalition in 2019, signals a momentous step in the movement toward transforming the building, once a monument to hate and violence, into The Fred Rouse Center for Arts and Community Healing, a space of truth, reconciliation, and liberation for the nation.

The purchase of the building was made possible by a generous grant from the Rainwater Charitable Foundation and the mobilization efforts of the T1012 Founding Board, a pluri-cultural, shared leadership collective of eight local organizations: DNAWORKS, LGBTQ SAVES, Opal Lee Foundation, SOL Ballet Folklórico, Tarrant County Coalition for Peace and Justice, The Welman Project, Window to Your World, and the 1012 Youth Council. Project funders also include: Atmos Energy, as part of their Fueling Safe and Thriving Communities initiative; the Ford Foundation; MASS Design Group; The National Endowment for the Arts; and Tecovas Foundation.

“I envision a crossroads where all of Fort Worth can gather; where every cultural group feels a sense of belonging, of being seen, represented, and listened to; where we celebrate the richness of our individual cultures freely and openly; and where repairing past harm and damage leads to greater respect and appreciation, creativity, and love—of self and one another,” said Daniel Banks, Ph.D., Board Chair and Co-Founder/Co-Artistic Director of DNAWORKS, a founding organization of T1012.

The Fred Rouse Center for Arts and Community Healing will honor the life and memory of Mr. Fred Rouse, a Black butcher who was lynched by a White mob in Fort Worth in 1921. With this reparative justice project, T1012 seeks to return resources to the communities that were targeted for marginalization and violence by the KKK. Adaptive reuse plans include transforming the space into a vibrant cultural hub with: a state-of-the-art performance space; arts training and programming; services for underserved and LGBTQ+ youth; exhibit spaces dedicated to social justice and civil rights; a makerspace and tool library for local DIY classes; meeting spaces for racial equity and leadership workshops and community events; an outdoor urban agriculture and artisan marketplace; and affordable live/work spaces for artists- and entrepreneurs-in-residence.

“As a child, my family lost our home to 500+ people, and I don’t know if they were Klansmen or what they were, but they didn’t want us in the neighborhood,” said community and Juneteenth activist and Founding Board Member Dr. Opal Lee. “I want people to know that they can work together, live together, play together — and this building personifies that to me.”

Founding members of the T1012 board include Daniel Banks (DNAWORKS), Vanessa Barker (The Welman Project), Freddy Cantú (SOL Ballet Folklórico), Ayesha Ganguly (Window to Your World), Sharon Herrera (LGBTQ SAVES), Jacora Johnson (1012 Youth Council), Dr. Opal Lee (Dr. Opal Lee’s Foundation), Adam McKinney (Tarrant County Coalition for Peace and Justice), Román Ramírez (SOL Ballet Folklórico), and Taylor Willis (The Welman Project).

T1012 is a proud member of The International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, a global network of historic sites, museums, and memorials dedicated to promoting and protecting human rights in different regions of the world. Additional partners include J.L. Powers & Associates, MASS Design Group, The Projects Group, Saira Jasmine Concepts, SpawGlass, and United Way of Tarrant County.

ABOUT TRANSFORM 1012 N. MAIN STREET

When the Ku Klux Klan Auditorium, located at 1012 N. Main Street, opened in 1924, Fort Worth had one of the largest KKK memberships in the United States and the building was the KKK’s headquarters in Texas. The brick behemoth was designed and located to intimidate Northside Black, Hispanic, and immigrant residents returning home from the city center. Transform 1012 N. Main Street (T1012) is a non-profit coalition of local arts, grassroots, and service organizations as well as pro bono partners and individuals working to transform 1012 N. Main Street into The Fred Rouse Center for Arts and Community Healing. The T1012 Board models a pluri-cultural and shared leadership approach to acquiring, programming, and managing the Center. This coalition ensures that the building will be led and programmed by representatives of the cultural groups that were targeted for violence and economic marginalization by the KKK, thereby returning resources to these communities. The project has received more than 100 declarations of support and has been featured in Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Fort Worth Magazine, D Magazine, Christian Science Monitor, KERA-NPR, NBC-5, Spectrum News, and through AP Wire. In October 2021, T1012 received Urban Land Institute of Dallas-Fort Worth’s 2021 Next Big Idea Award, recognizing innovative ideas that can positively impact the region’s quality of life. For more information, visit www.transform1012.org.

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