KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Founded in 1975, the Beck Cultural Exchange Center has been focused on preserving African American history in our area through its museum and being a place where people come together to meet and discuss. Now, the center is expanding its reach in new ways.

Beck has become a research facility for not just scholars in Knoxville but people around the globe. Currently, the center is in the process of digitizing its entire collection.

“Beck has over 50,000 artifacts of history and culture and our goal is to make all of those 50,000 artifacts available for research, for viewing, for understanding, for discussions, for talks,” said Renee Kesler, the Beck Center’s president. “So that our community, our schools, everyone that wants to be a part and learn this history, has immediate access to it.”

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Beck is also expanding physically with the Delaney Museum. The new addition is targeted to open in late 2022. The museum will spotlight Knoxvillians and renowned 20th-century artists Beauford Delaney and Joseph Delaney.