Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spirit of the Pearl Makes its Way to the SW Waterfront

In Sunday's The Washington Post, there's an article about The Pearl Coalition, an organization that wants to help tell the story of The Pearl, a 65-foot Chesapeake Bay Schooner that was chartered by free blacks in a failed attempt in 1848 to transport slaves to freedom from the District. The Pearl Coalition is in the process of rebuilding The Spirit of the Pearl, a replica schooner that will soon make the journey from El Salvador to the Southwest Waterfront. According to The Pearl Coalition's website, some of the educational programs planned around the Spirit of the Pearl include:
  • Green Jobs
  • Workforce Development
  • Shipbuilding and Carpentry Apprenticeship Program
  • Tour Guides (The Pearl Underground Railroad)
  • Media Arts Program
  • African American/ DC, Maryland and Virginia History Education Curriculum (School Literacy Focused Programming)
  • Volunteer Coordination
The Pearl Coalition has raised half of the $300,000 necessary to complete repairs of the vessel before moving it to DC. Their goal was to have the ship brought to the Southwest Waterfront by April 15th, the anniversary of the escape. As a part of the redevelopment of the Southwest Waterfront by the Hoffman-Struever team, a cultural use must be included. Another cultural use under consideration by the development team is a Navy Museum. Above is a rendering of the redeveloped Southwest Waterfront, which includes a schooner, from the Southwest Waterfront website.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great story. Can't wait for it to dock in our neighborhood!

Anonymous said...

The schooner in El Salvador isnt gonna make it to the DC area its captain made sure of that when he ran it aground on a sand bar destroying its ability to manuver along with other issues of dry rot and it not being an american made vessel it can not be used in the chater trade other than six pack work
Its also funny its main contributor is also board member and the boats captain