The first dwelling of Nina Simone no longer has to fear the bulldozers or excavators that threatened to destroy it by 2017. She was rescued narrowly by new york artists that came together to save this modest building of wood, in Tryon, North Carolina, where has grown up the singer, one of the greatest voices of jazz and soul.

two years ago, Adam Pendleton, Rashid Johnson, Ellen Gallagher, and Julie Mehretu have paid out of 95,000 dollars to buy the house. Its owner, Kevin McIntyre, a former director of economic development, had already invested $ 100,000 in a renovation project but could not provide any expenditure. “When I learned of the existence of this house, I had the feeling that it was urgent for me to ensure that she would not disappear”, explained Rashid Johnson in the New York Times in 2017.

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A collection of funds that saved the house.

there’s a little, the four artists, who had not sufficient funds to finance the restoration, have found support from the National trust which has declared the house a “national treasure” in 2018. Together they have launched a campaign of funding of usd 25,000 on Inegogo to repair the roof, and rehabilitate the three parts that make up the building. On the 28th of July last, thanks to many generous donors, the goal was fulfilled. Taking advantage of this momentum of solidarity, a new ceiling has been set at: $ 50,000. With this money, the National Trust For Historic Preservation hopes to be able to deepen the restoration work to restore the mansion a tourist attraction and cultural.

Several artists have greatly contributed to this fundraiser, including actress Issa Rae ( Insecure) and the rapper Talib Kweli, who have sold items belonging to them to feed the pot. With all the money already raised, the work should not delay to start. “The spaces dedicated to the history and heritage of the people of colour, particularly women, are far too rare,” says the singer John Legend.

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Nina Simone: The high priestess of soul

Born in this house located at Tryon, North Carolina in 1933, Nina Simone has become one of the greatest icons of the soul and the fight against discrimination. And it is precisely in this house that Eunice Waymon played his first notes on the piano, especially during religious services. This is Muriel Mazzanovich, who spotted the talent of the young girl and who gave him his first piano lessons. It is also in this area that his fight against racial discrimination has begun.

Then 11-year-old little Simone, which was to occur in a local library refused to play as his parents, who had to cede their place in the first rank of spectators whites to go sit at the back of the room, had not returned to their original place. A strength of character that was to become the engine of his music and his life.