Harry Lennix, known by fans as Assistant Director Harold Cooper on The Blacklist, is giving back to the Chicago community. Lennix will help turn a warehouse in South Side Chicago into a “two-theater complex” to hold the Congo Square Theatre Company and a new museum that celebrates the legacy and involvement of the Black community in the performing arts, according to the Chicago Tribune. The new performing arts/museum will be named the Lillian Marcie Center, influenced by Lennix’s mother Lillian and Lennix’s mentor Marcella “Marcie” Gillie.
The project was a recipient of a loan by the Chicago Community Loan Fund: Fifth Third Bank. Lennix has attained the building with partners Keith Giles, Aaron Giles, and Mike Wordlaw. TaRon Patton, previous director of Congo Square, helped Lennix pick the perfect building to house a theater company close to Lennix’s heart. A nonprofit organization has been created to help fund the museum, but what remains is raising money to redesign the building into a museum, black box theatre, and mainstage. A virtual AAMPA (African American Museum of Performing Arts) launch is set to take place in January.
Here is what Lennix said about the bringing life and arts to South Side:
‘“I want to find a means to archive the collective history of Black Americans in the performing arts. There is no institution that celebrates or houses that. And that is what the African American Museum of Performing Arts will do.”
If you’re heading to the South Side of Chicago, make sure to check out the Lillian Marcie Center’s progress! Don’t forget to check out Harry Lennix on The Blacklist when it returns on January 22 on NBC.