Dunham Site Gets $100K Grant For Repairs, But Utility Payment Looms

Oct 30, 2013

An East St. Louis museum dedicated to late choreographer and civil rights activist Katherine Dunham is getting a $100,000 state grant for fix-ups, but an unpaid utility bill could cast the site into darkness.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports administrators of the landmark need to pay St. Louis-based Ameren $486 by Thursday to keep the lights on. Dunham considered East St. Louis her adoptive home. She pioneered a dance technique combining Caribbean and African styles. She died in 2006 at age 96.

The museum board's president on Tuesday accepted the $100,000 state grant. It will be used to fix the chimney, upgrade the soffit and fascia, and replace at least two of the five heating and cooling units.

More: Check out St. Louis Public Radio's Erin Williams' report on Katherine Dunham's legacy in East St. Louis and the condition of the museum - along with Dunham's former homes.