ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – The Elmira Center for Cultural Advancement (ECCA) is a not-for-profit corporation seeking to engage community members in learning about African American arts and culture.
ECCA’s mission is to build a sense of connection with Elmira and surrounding communities and to revitalize a struggling neighborhood.
“We are interested in focusing on a community culture, and particularly, culture associated with the African American diaspora because one of the things that we’d like to do is perhaps rebrand some of the cultural connection in this area and also tell people that we have a long history of contributions to the culture of Elmira by African-Americans,” said Dr. Christa Heyward, the Executive Director of ECCA.
In the future, ECCA plans to have space where community members can learn about African American arts and culture.
In addition, there will be exhibitions by visiting artists, a gallery store, and a space for artists to be inspired.
“I have done some research about how some communities have managed to move out of a post-manufacturing, post-industrial economy into new economies and the way that a lot of cities and communities that have been successful at it is by identifying their particular niche and building up either a commercial or a tourism economy, or by identifying some type of business economy specific to them,” said Heyward.