To make Eatonville an internationally-recognized cultural tourism destination for the arts and culture throughout the African Diaspora, with special emphasis on the multi-disciplines as represented in the life and work of Zora Neale Hurston
The Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community, Inc. (P.E.C.) is a non-profit/tax exempt historic preservation organization whose mission is to enhance the resources of Eatonville, Florida, hometown of writer, folklorist and anthropologist, Zora Neale Hurston, who popularized the community as “the oldest incorporated African American municipality in the United States;” to educate the public about Eatonville’s historic and cultural significance; and to use the community’s heritage and cultural vibrancy for its economic development.
On December 7, 1987 some 200 persons from Eatonville and other areas of Orange County organized the Association to Preserve the Eatonville Community (P.E.C.). The organization was incorporated in March 1988 and was granted 501 (c) (3) status in September 1989. During its first year, P. E.C. was primarily an advocacy organization, focusing on preservation strategies including an historic survey of the Town and supporting the opposition of a “community-busting” road-widening project.
Early on P.E.C.’s founders recognized that historic preservation had to be coupled with vibrant programs in the arts and humanities, and that they must focus on educational excellence if they were to be successful in their mission of conserving the precious heritage and cultural resources extant in Historic Eatonville.. Thus, the P.E.C. initials of the organization’s name also became the descriptive tags for its three core areas of programs and services:
Over the years, P.E.C. has developed programming in all three areas that is acknowledged statewide, regionally, and nationally for its quality. It has garnered funding in increasing levels from federal, state, and local governmental entities; and from foundations, corporations, and businesses. Additionally, it has developed multiple/multidisciplinary partnerships with local institutions, agencies, and other civic and arts organizations; and has received numerous awards/recognitions for achievement.
P.E.C., having celebrated three decades of service, focuses on (1) stabilizing its infrastructure in order to ensure longevity and (2) redoubling its efforts to utilize the arts and culture as a catalyst for economic development in Eatonville.