TRANSFORM THE BUILDING
TRANSFORM THE CITY
When the Ku Klux Klan Auditorium opened in 1924, then located at 1006 N. Main Street, Fort Worth had one of the largest KKK memberships in the United States and the building was the KKK’s
headquarters in Texas. The brick behemoth was designed and located to intimidate Northside Black, Hispanic, and immigrant residents returning home from the city center.
Transform 1012 N. Main Street (T1012) is a non-profit coalition of local arts, grassroots, and service organizations as well as pro bono partners and individuals working to transform 1012 N. Main
Street into The Fred Rouse Center for Arts and Community Healing. The T1012 Board models a pluricultural and shared leadership approach to acquiring, programming, and managing The Fred Rouse Center. This coalition ensures that the building will be led and programmed by representatives of the cultural groups that were targeted for violence and economic marginalization by the KKK,
thereby returning resources to these communities.
The T1012 leadership continues to speak and listen about the project among its constituency members, the larger Fort Worth community, nationally, and internationally. Given the rapid growth of Fort Worth—it is now the 12th largest city in the US, larger than San Francisco—as a leadership team we are “reassembling” the city by returning power to these groups and making 1012 N. Main Street a site of memory, a place for the whole city to come together to grapple with this history and build a way forward together.
In addition, we are making public our process of building a leadership culture that is intentional and co-created, not defaulting to one culture or colonial norms, in the hopes that it will inspire other such projects locally and nationwide.
“As a Fort Worth native, an African-American man, and as
an elected representative for many of the African-American residents of Fort Worth, I believe that it is vital that we preserve these types of spaces so that future generations
understand our history. The strong light of truth can help prevent the repetition of the dark episode in our history.”
- Congressman Marc Veasey (TX-33)
The project has received widespread support including Fort Worth and Texas chapters of the NAACP, Congressman Marc Veasey (D-TX), National Trust for Historic Preservation, City of Fort Worth leadership, local clergy, local arts organizations, faculty from Texas Christian University and the University of Texas-Arlington, President of Minnesota College of Art and Design, Curator of Jewish Museum of Milwaukee, and the International Coalition for Sites of Conscience, of which we are a member. Early funders included: Atmos Energy, as part of their Fueling Safe and Thriving Communities initiative; the Ford Foundation; MASS Design Group; The National Endowment for the Arts; Rainwater Charitable Foundation; and Tecovas Foundation as well as over 100 individual donors.
In October 2021, T1012 received Urban Land Institute of Dallas-Fort Worth’s 2021 Next Big Idea Award, recognizing innovative ideas that can positively impact the region’s quality of life.