Retired Mayor Lorraine Morton and Shorefront executive director Dino Robinson cut the ribbon at Shorefront’s grand opening. Some 15 years after its beginning, the magazine and repository of North Shore African American history is now at home in the Weissboro-Holmes Family Focus Center.Photo by Evanston Photographic Studios

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The Shorefront Legacy Center welcomed more than 100 people to its grand public opening on Nov. 13. After seven years of planning and a move in May 2009, Shorefront celebrated its new gallery and research and archive room in its new location in the Weissbourd-Holmes Family Focus Center, 2010 Dewey Ave.

Playwright Ebony Joy served as emcee for the event. Poet Parneshia Jones recited “Legacy,” a poem she presented to Shorefront. Artist Alan Hyde showcased four paintings for the Shorefront gallery. Executive director Joi-Anissa Russell thanked the numerous grantors and the membership base for their generous support over the last decade; founder Dino Robinson gave a brief history of the organization and its programs and activities and acknowledged the dedicated work of the board of directors and advisers.

From its beginnings in 1995, the grass-roots research initiative grew to include traveling exhibits and two publications before the group became known as Shorefront and incorporated as a non-profit in 2002. The work of Shorefront includes the publication of the Shorefront Journal, which has attracted dozens of writers, larger exhibits, lectures and youth programs.

Shorefront’s archives – manuscripts, books, the history of the African American communities on the North Shore – now occupy more than 80 cubic feet. The Legacy Center is open from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m Thursday and Friday and  from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.