Thursday, January 20, 2011

Black History Month Programs Announced- Downtown Fort Wayne

History Center Announces Programs for Black History Month

The George R. Mather Lecture Series continues on February 6, 2011 at the History Center in Fort Wayne with a presentation by Doris Yerger on 20th Century African-American Women’s Clubs.

The Sunday Lecture Series is sponsored by The Dunsire Family Foundation. All programs in this series are free to the public and begin at 2 p.m. at the History Center, 302 East Berry Street.

Originally from Hope, Arkansas, Mrs. Yerger  moved to Fort Wayne in 1947, retiring from General Electric after 25 years. She continued her education at the University of St. Francis and earned a degree in Social Work. She served as a volunteer for Lutheran Social Services, the Women’s Bureau and other local agencies. She has been a member of the Ultra Art Club for over 35 years.

The Ultra Art Club celebrates its 100th year in 2011. One of the few intellectual outlets for local African-American women of its day, the Ultra Art Club was originally formed as a way to teach its members appreciation for the arts, etiquette, fashion, and entertaining, but more importantly how to serve their community. 

Throughout much of the 20th century, associations and clubs comprised of African-American women played a singular role in providing its members the opportunities to share their ideas, better themselves, and give back to the community.  Over the generations, the Ultra Art Club evolved into a vibrant force for promoting arts and culture, and compelling academic advancement.

For many years the Ultra Art Club has maintained a vibrant youth advancement program, offering assistance for education in the fine arts to elementary students and college scholarships to high school students.

Saturday, February 12, 2011 at 2 PM, the History Center will be the site of a free panel discussion in collaboration with the African/African-American Historical Society and Museum. The title of the program is “Two Years Later: The State of the Presidency, Mr. Barack Obama”.

Edward Mitchell will serve as moderator and panelists will be Eugene Butler, Herbert Hernandez, Winfield Moses, Jr. and Emery McClendon.

A newly created blog by the History Center, “History Center Notes and Queries” is available at The blog supplements the Mather Lectures and the History Center’s publications such as the “Old Fort News” and provides information for those wishing to know more about our community as they explore the museum and other historical sites in the city and county. New posts to the blog can also be found via the History Center’s Facebook page.

For more information, contact the History Center at (260) 426-2882 or visit the website at