FORT WORTH, Texas — The Fort Worth City Council unanimously approved a resolution to help fund the National Juneteenth Museum, but with one caveat.
After months of community input, the future historic site will feature more than just history.
"The narrative around all things Juneteenth, compounded by the fact that this is going to be in a neighborhood that needs these type of resources," said Jarred Howard.
Resources for a Fort Worth southside neighborhood coming back to life.
A rendering shows the museum's bursting star-shaped roof. Inside drawings show an atrium. There will also be a Mrs. Opal Lee display, a sit down restaurant, a 250 seat theatre, specialty cuisine shop and opportunity for small business owners.
"There will be a business incubator inside the development," Howard said. "So, we'll be providing resources for entrepreneurs to develop there, to hone their craft."
The $70 million-dollar project will draw thousands to Fort Worth. City Leaders have pledged $15 million as the final investor, which means the other $55 million will need to be secured before getting city money.
The conditional investment comes as no surprise to Howard.
"I think that's proven leadership, quite frankly," said Howard.
The leadership from Howard, while juggling a full-time job and family, is an assignment he takes seriously. Fort Worth is his home, so having a national destination in the city is extremely important to him -- especially since Opal Lee, the "Grandmother of Juneteenth," is at the heart of the project.
"So, the energy and the synergies around the fact that she owns that property is really exciting to us," said Howard.
Organizers for the National Juneteenth Museum will soon add a community level to the capital campaign to raise money for the project. Philanthropists, corporations, Fort Worth natives and business investors are all welcome to be part of funding.
Howard and his team are also excited about the opportunity each and every Fort Worth resident will have to also become investors into the museum.
Right now, the goal is to break ground later this year or at the start of next year at the latest. The grand opening goal for the National Juneteenth Museum grand opening is in 2025.