Resolution J1240-2013

Honoring Dr. James and Margaret Cunningham upon the occasion of their designation for special recognition by the African American Cultural Center of the Capital Region, Inc. on April 18, 2013

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  • Apr 17, 2013: ADOPTED
  • Apr 17, 2013: REPORTED TO CALENDAR FOR CONSIDERATION
  • Apr 12, 2013: REFERRED TO FINANCE

Text

LEGISLATIVE  RESOLUTION  honoring Dr. James and Margaret Cunningham upon
the occasion of their designation for special recognition by the African
American Cultural Center of the Capital Region, Inc. on April 18, 2013

WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Legislative  Body  to  pay  tribute  to
those  individuals  of historic and artistic significance whose creative
talents have contributed to the cultural enrichment of  our  communities
and our Nation; and
  WHEREAS,  Attendant to such concern, and in full accord with its long-
standing traditions, this Legislative Body is justly proud to honor  Dr.
James and Margaret Cunningham upon the occasion of their designation for
special recognition by the African American Cultural Center of the Capi-
tal  Region, Inc., at its Gala Event on Thursday, April 18, 2013, in the
Swyer Theater at the Egg, Albany, New York; and
  WHEREAS, Dr. James and Margaret Cunningham are  being  recognized  for
their  lifelong  dedication  to  promoting  the contributions of African
Americans to American arts and culture as founders of the Hamilton  Hill
Arts Center in Schenectady, New York; and
  WHEREAS,  Dr. James and Margaret Cunningham have worked together since
their marriage in 1943 to make the world a better place; they have chan-
neled their prodigious talents towards making a difference in the  world
of  arts  and  culture, the education system, the civil rights arena and
the mental health field; and
  WHEREAS, Margaret Cunningham is a teacher, painter  and  potter  whose
interest  in  the arts led her to found two organizations that thrive to
this day: the Hamilton Hill Arts Center and Black Dimensions in Art; and
  WHEREAS, When it was first established, the Hamilton Hill Arts  Center
provided  primarily African American inner-city children in Schenectady,
New York, exposure to arts and culture and opportunities to  build  self
esteem; today, it has expanded to offer arts and cultural experiences to
the entire Capital Region; and
  WHEREAS,  Black Dimensions in Art, which also operates in Schenectady,
focuses on bringing renowned African American  artists  to  the  Capital
Region,  while  encouraging  young  artists  to  find an audience in the
region; and
  WHEREAS, At the age of 93, Margaret Cunningham co-authored  and  self-
published  INTEGRATING  DELMAR,  which describes her family's efforts to
find decent housing at a time when blacks were relegated to the  ghetto;
and
  WHEREAS,  A  patron  of  the  arts,  Dr. James Cunningham is a retired
physician and psychiatrist who was the first Black psychiatrist  in  the
Capital  District;  for  many  years  he  focused on issues of community
mental health, and was a much sought  after  expert  witness  in  trials
relating to mental health; and
  WHEREAS,  Dr.  James  Cunningham worked as a volunteer with the Albany
NAACP on housing issues, drawing attention to the impact  of  state  and
local  policies on the African American community in the Capital Region;
and
  WHEREAS, Dr. James and Margaret Cunningham have  a  long  and  storied
history  of  compassionate and deep civic engagement, from raising funds
to support the Student Non-Violent  Coordinating  Committee  during  the
civil rights movement, to serving on the boards of directors of numerous
nonprofit groups; both remain vitally interested in their community; and
  WHEREAS,  Dr.  James  and  Margaret  Cunningham  are known as a family
centered couple, whose definition of family included not  only  extended
family  but  also  many other youngsters in need of loving attention and
support; and

  WHEREAS, It is most fitting that we take time to celebrate artists and
those who support the arts within the great State of New  York,  and  to
cherish and give thanks for our American freedom, the only atmosphere in
which  artists can truly create and in which art is truly the expression
of the soul; now, therefore, be it
  RESOLVED,  That  this  Legislative  Body pause in its deliberations to
honor Dr. James and Margaret  Cunningham  upon  the  occasion  of  their
designation  for  special  recognition  by the African American Cultural
Center of the Capital Region, Inc., on April 18, 2013; and be it further
  RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to Dr. James and Margaret Cunningham.

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