Black Belt Treasures launches website

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 17, 2005

CAMDEN-Two weeks after opening to a packed house the new Black Belt Treasures building in Camden has continued to see success.

John Clyde Riggs, Executive Director of the Alabama-Tombigbee Regional Commission and an instrumental part in making the building possible, said they have seen a steady stream of visitors from all over.

“It has been really exciting,” Riggs said. “We have really gotten a good reaction. So far, people from 14 different states have come by.”

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For years Riggs and others dreamed of putting the building together. Riggs said their goal was to showcase the talent that lies within the Black Belt.

“We have really gotten a positive reaction,” Riggs said. “Everyone has been so surprised at the quality of the items made in the Black Belt. We have really gotten some good feedback.”

Riggs said this weekend would be another big step in the new buildings progress. Sen. Jeff Sessions and State Treasurer Kay Ivey were expected to visit Friday. This morning, they will also launch their new website

When the facility was built the contributors expected nothing but the best. Riggs said they have gotten this and more.

“We are doing very well,” Riggs said. “We are actually exceeding my expectations and my expectations were pretty high.”

Riggs said their hope had been t display the talent and beauty of the Black Belt and allow outsiders to also enjoy this. He said so far, people are making full use of the new facility.

“It has been great because we have had visitors from the Black Belt, outside the Black Belt and all over the United States,” Riggs said. “We just want to continue to show people the beauty and richness of the Black Belt.”

When the facility opened Riggs said his hope was the success generated by the Camden facility would translate into other buildings across the 17 Alabama counties that make up the Black Belt.

Riggs said they have only touched about 20 percent of the artists and craftsmen in the area and hoped to allow others to put their work on display.