Fund Raising Difficulties Close Afro-American Cultural Center

Depleted capital and an unsuccessful fund raising campaign will prevent the Harvard-Radcliffe Afro-American Cultural Center (HRAACC) from resuming operations next fall, Executive Director Imani Kazana said yesterday.

The board of trustees decided in February that the $10,000 raised through the center's own sources was insufficient to meet the minimal $30,000 budget needs.

HRAACC is eligible for fund raising help from Harvard, but does not receive any direct financial assistance from the University.

Kazana said the Harvard fund raising office had been uncooperative and had given her the names of only three potential donors for this year.

Henry F. Colt Jr., director of University development, said yesterday that his office has spent more time on the HRAACC fund raising this year than on any other project.

He said he gave names of eight potential donors to Kazana, and attributed the poor response to a change in peoples' priorities.

Previous Donors Dissatisfied

He said that many previous donors felt they had received insufficient information on how their money was spent. He added that this was the fault of the HRAACC staff before Kazana's arrival.

The center is now liquidating its remaining assets to meet operating costs until June and to pay all debts to the University, Kazana said.

"We are trying to redefine our position as a cultural institution directly related to the University, not as an independent corporation as we are now. Hopefully, we will then qualify for direct University support," Kazana said.

Colt said that any cultural center will find foundation grants scarce.

Chase N. Peterson, vice president for alumni affairs and development, said yesterday that all fund raising was difficult because of the downturn in the economy and bad conditions in the stock market.

Kazana said she is uncertain about the reaction the center's closing will bring, but said that it would be a blow to the Harvard black experience.