Leslie Prince Raimond has been an advocate of cultural and heritage celebrations and a promoter of the arts in Kent County, Maryland for more than 30 years. Executive Director of the Kent County Arts Council (KCAC) since 1991, Leslie’s work has made a major contribution to the community in all areas of the arts.
In March 2011, Leslie invited the community to become “Friends of the Grand Army of the Republic” – an all-inclusive fundraising effort to acquire and restore Sumner Hall. Her vision was to create a world-class center that honors the local African-American culture and the county’s Civil War heritage. Intensive local fundraising demonstrated community support that was used to leverage sufficient additional local and outside funding to make Leslie’s vision a reality.
Now known as Sumner Hall, G.A.R. Post 25, Inc. received its 501(c)(3) tax exempt status on May 4, 2011. From then until July 2015, Sumner Hall was a major project of the KCAC, with Leslie serving as its chief operating officer. In the year following its official public opening in June 2014, KCAC funded a wide range of programs, exhibits, and activities at Sumner Hall, which re-introduced this treasured historic venue to the community. On July 1, 2015 a new Board of Directors assumed leadership of the organization, independently of the KCAC. We are grateful to Leslie for her vision, leadership and continued support.