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Carl Maxey Center celebrates Re-Opening

Pastors C.W. Andrews, Happy Watkins and Amos Atkinson play dominos with Ethan Mendoza-Pena, right, during a game afternoon at Carl Maxey Center.     Photo courtesy of Sandra Williams

By Sandra Williams

The Carl Maxey Center (CMC) will reopen its building at 3114 E 5th Ave. in Spokane's East Central neighborhood with a five-day celebration from Sept. 13 to 17. The 1920s building that houses the African-American focused cultural center was closed in early 2020 to begin a four-phase remodel process.

Phase 1 of the remodel wrapped up earlier this year, but COVID's impact on the nation's supply chain delayed the arrival of an electrical component to complete the final inspection the last week of August.

A soft opening was held in late February. 

"I am excited that we are finally able to announce the official reopening our remodeled Carl Maxey Center for the community. It's been a long time coming," said executive director, Sandra Williams. "This is only the beginning. We continue to seek contributions for work that still needs to be done on this multi-year project, but we're off to a great start thanks to support from donors and the Spokane community."

The center is a neighborhood cultural center, a gathering place and a community-based nonprofit that provides programs and services to address needs of Spokane's African-American/Black community. 

It is a resource for communities of color in Spokane and the greater Spokane community, creating opportunities for residents to gather, interact, celebrate, network, share experiences, discover resources, receive services, gain support and make connections in an environment that is uniquely African American, Sandra said.

Each day of the Grand Re-Opening, the center will highlight programs and services.

Festivities begin at 4 p.m., Tuesday, with a ribbon cutting followed by an open house from 4:30 to 6 p.m., featuring the works of local artist Bertoni Jones-Bey, and a dominoes competition from 6 to 8 p.m.

The focus on Wednesday is on health and wellness. The Carl Maxey Center partners with Molina Healthcare, Amerigroup and Red Cross of Spokane to host a community health clinic and wellness fair from 4 to 8 p.m.

From 5 to 8 p.m., Thursday, there is a Black Business Reception to celebrate Spokane's Black business owners and entrepreneurs and launch the Black Business & Professional Alliance of Spokane.

The focus from 7 to 8:30 p.m., Friday is on Black Culture. The Carl Maxey Center's 5th Avenue Spotlight will feature Alethea and Friends in a concert.

The Grand Re-Opening celebration will culminate with a partnership between the center and Fresh Soul Restaurant for a community barbeque and soul food cook-off from 2 to 6 p.m., Saturday.

For information, call 795-1886 or visit


Copyright@ The Fig Tree, September, 2022