The Liberty County Convention and Visitors Bureau received a $4,000 grant while hosting the Georgia Department of Economic Development Tourism Division officials July 10-11 to get an inside look at Dorchester Academy, which is included in the statewide trail highlighting the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Liberty County Chamber/CVB CEO Leah Poole said the grant will fund an as-yet-determined project to enhance visitor experience.
“Since Dorchester Academy is a part of the Georgia’s Footsteps of Martin Luther King Jr. Trail, we just wanted to offer technical assistance by bringing a very selective list of team members that potentially could help with future planning for Dorchester,” said Cindy Eidson, tourism product development director for the state.
“Everyone was thrilled about this opportunity to visit Dorchester and to work along with the Dorchester board and the Liberty County CVB to help offer ideas regarding opportunities to enhance the visitor’s experience.”
In addition to Eidson, present for the tourism resource team visit was Jeanne Cyriaque, African American heritage consultant; Melissa Jest, Historic Preservation Division African American Programs coordinator; Tina Lilly, Georgia Council for the Arts grants program coordinator; Lisa Love, Georgia Department of Economic Development Tourism director; and Cheryl Hargrove, Georgia Department of Economic Development Tourism program manager for the coast.
The group will return in the fall with a report on next steps for Dorchester Academy. This report will be presented in a public meeting at the site.
“It was truly an honor to have these ladies, each an expert in her own field, here in Liberty County to facilitate potential growth at one of our historic sites,” Poole said. “Dorchester Academy played a vital role in the U.S. civil rights movement, and they are very interested in helping our community tell that story well.”