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Historic Savannah Foundation awards Kiah House RFP to the Galvan Foundation and the City of Savannah

The Galvan Foundation and the City of Savannah have agreed to purchase the Kiah House in the Cuyler-Brownville Community. Their proposal includes working with the African Diaspora Museology Institute to “establish a Kiah-inspired creative arts program that embraces the community and its future, and thus reinstate its status as an important community asset.” Full renovations are estimated to cost $1.2M. (The City’s portion of that cost will be subject to the approval of the City Council.)

“We are immensely pleased with the acquisition of the Kiah House by the Galvan Foundation and the City of Savannah,” said Gloria Williams, President of the Cuyler-Brownville Neighborhood Association.

Artist and owner Virginia Kiah remodeled her long-time residence in 1959 to include a museum. After Mrs. Kiah’s death in 2001, the home fell into disrepair. Seeking to save the historic landmark, the Historic Savannah Foundation (HSF) purchased it last year and administered the RFP process that led to choosing Galvan Foundation and the City as partners to purchase and renovate the property.

“If there was such a thing as ‘my wildest dreams coming true,’ this might be the closest thing to that happening for me,” said Dr. Deborah Johnson-Simon of the African Diaspora Museology Institute.

“Kiah House once stood as a bold lesson in fortitude and a beacon for all of Savannah,” said T. Eric Galloway, Galvan President. “We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Historic Savannah Foundation, the City of Savannah, and the African Diaspora Museology Institute to invest in Cuyler-Brownville by rebuilding this historic institution.”

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