Welcome to Sumner Hall!  Located in historic Chestertown on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, this is one of two existing African American G.A.R. buildings still standing in the United States. Built circa 1908 and fully restored in 2014, it serves today as a museum, education site, performance stage, social hall, gallery, and community center.  Sumner Hall is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, funded by donations and memberships.

“All we say to America is, ‘Be true to what you said on paper.’ If I lived in China or even Russia, or totalitarian country, maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they hadn’t committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of the press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right” – Martin Luther King Jr.

View the Vigil

Opening Prayer: click here  Ben Kohl & Bishop Tilghman: click here

NOTICE OF CLOSURE – DUE TO THE PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS, SUMNER HALL IS CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.  CONTACT US (info@sumnerhall.org) WITH ANY QUESTIONS.  OUR PROJECT STAFF AND SEVERAL OF OUR VOLUNTEERS WILL BE WORKING REMOTELY.

Legacy Day 2020 Goes Virtual!  We are bringing the festivities to you at home this year because your safety is our top priority. Honoring outstanding African American Athletes of Kent County was our planned 2020 theme. We look forward to celebrating this in August 2021 when it should be safe to gather together as usual. The Legacy Day Committee is adapting to this new reality by making several programs available via Sumner Hall’s Website, Facebook, and YouTube channel in August 2020. Tune in for (1) a video previewing next year’s salute to our Outstanding African American Athletes; (2) a Genealogy Presentation via Zoom, by staff members of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History, focused on conducting genealogical research on African American ancestors; and (3) a live streaming special featuring DJ Real so we can party and dance to soulful music while observing physical distance in this COVID – 19 Era. For more information: click here

SACRJ’s Feed the Children and Elderly Initiative! Eleven weeks ago SACRJ led a collaboration of dozens of organizations to distribute 12,600 breakfast bags and 500 Easter baskets to children, 3,300 bags of groceries to seniors (including over 1,000 chef-prepared meals), 1200 pizzas and 930 gallons of milk to the community. This work was conducted by over 150 volunteers from throughout Kent County who logged in 5,000 hours of volunteer time. The initiative has raised more than $60,000.00 in private donations and grants to support the purchase of food. Contact SACracialjustice@gmail.com for more information and click here to donate to this cause. To learn more about the current status of the project: click here.  

FACE MASK CHALLENGE! Seventy-five volunteers in the Face Mask Challenge have made and distributed 5,000 masks since March 15, 2020. Health care workers, community volunteers, folks working in restaurants and stores, and others in the community are protecting themselves and others thanks to this initiative. The “Mask Bank” contains some extras – ready for those who need them.  And, if you are downtown and need a mask: “visit the “Mask Tree” in Memorial Park and select one! To learn more about this project: click here.

Ordinarily, Sumner Hall is open each Saturday of the year from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm and on Wednesday mornings from 9:00 am until noon – unless otherwise noted here on our website. We are pleased to open the museum other times by appointment. Contact us at info@sumnerhall.org to arrange a visit.

 

Our current exhibition is Spirits Rejoice by Kyle Hackett.