African-American Builders of Topeka

Our community has created a living exhibit that highlights the stories of African-Americans in Topeka and Shawnee County. The stories of our community builders do not end here. Our history is made every day!

As you walk through this exhibit you will discover people, their stories and the objects that are important to them. Their experiences help tell the story of our community.

Explore our stories, contemplate the timelines, and hear our StoryCorps interviews. Add your builder story to our community wall and help grow the exhibit.

African-American Builders of Topeka will be on display from January 19 – March 11, 2018.


Related Programs

African American Builders of Topeka: Opening Reception
Friday, Jan.19 | 5:30 – 8:30
Alice C. Sabatini Gallery
Join us as we celebrate the opening of our community driven exhibit “African-American Builders of Topeka” and share stories with your neighbors.

Gallery Tour
Thursday, Feb. 8 | 6 – 7:30
Alice C. Sabatini Gallery
Explore the exhibit with exhibition curator Zan Popp. Together we will discover how this community-driven exhibit was created.

Genealogy and History
Thursday, Feb. 15 | 6 – 7:30
Alice C. Sabatini Gallery
Uncover the wonderful work of genealogy, See how genealogy is the basis of our history and the Builder’s stories with Sherri Camp, Genealogy Librarian.

V.I.P. Builders Reception
Saturday, Feb. 17 | 11 – 2
Alice C. Sabatini Gallery
Join historians Donna Rae and Debra Dandridge as they discuss the ideas of representation and preservation of cultural stories. The Builders featured in the exhibit will be on hand to share their stories as well. This event is sponsored by both The Topeka Chapter of the LINKS, Inc. and Go Topeka.

African Americans in Topeka: A Plan to Prosper
Thursday, Feb. 22 | 6 – 7:30
Alice C. Sabatini Gallery
Local Historian Donna Rae Pearson will present a brief overview of how Blacks came to Topeka before the city was even created. She will highlight the many positive ways Blacks built and shaped Topeka.

Meet with the Builders
Thursday, Mar. 1
This event has been canceled! Please join the Builders on First Friday instead. 

First Friday reception
Friday, Mar. 2 | 5:30 – 8:30
Alice C. Sabatini Gallery
Join us at the Sabatini Gallery for an evening of food and conversations hosted by TopCity Black Business First Fridays.
During the evening there will be a brief presentation on the Black Business District of 4th Street before Urban Renewal. In addition, Tara Dimick of TK Business magazine would like to have a brief community conversation on ways the magazine can support small business efforts.

Find your own Builder’s Story: Genealogy
Thursday, Mar. 8 | 6 – 7:30
Alice C. Sabatini Gallery
Find your own Builder’s Story. Learn how genealogy can help you find and tell your family’s stories.

Zan Popp

Hello, I'm your friendly neighborhood Curator of Exhibitions. I have the amazing job of creating, building and presenting wonderful art exhibits for you at the library's Alice C. Sabatini Art Gallery.