Venus Williams joins group working to restore music icon Nina Simone's NC childhood home

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Tuesday, March 28, 2023
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Tennis star Venus Williams is adding her name to the growing list of celebrities trying to help preserve the North Carolina childhood home of music icon and activist Nina Simone.

The 650-square-foot house is located in Tryon, NC where the music legend was born in 1933.

Tiffany Tolbert, the senior director of Preservation of the African American Culture Heritage Action fund tells ABC affiliate WLOS she hopes the site becomes a beacon of inspiration for others.

"I hope that when people come to this site, they will be inspired by learning from her and really envisioning her going from this home in Tryon to the international icon that she is today."

Nina Simone is often called the "High Priestess of Soul."

Preservation work is underway to restore Nina Simone's childhood in Tryon, NC. (Photo: WLOS)

Simone's childhood home sits on Livingston Street, just a few minutes from downtown. A marker near the front door signals it is the birthplace of Eunice Waymon, Simone's birth name.

In 2017, the home was saved from demolition after it was purchased by four artists from New York City. The group is working with the National Trust for Historic Places to restore the historic home.

Construction is slated to begin in fall 2023. A benefit gala at the Pace Gallery in New York City is now planned for May 20.

Preservation work is underway to restore Nina Simone's childhood in Tryon, NC. (Photo: WLOS)

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