More than $1,000 raised at concert to preserve musician photos in Kinston

KINSTON, NC (WITN) - A concert in one Eastern Carolina city raised more than $1,000 to preserve photo posters of influential African American musicians in its downtown.

The Kinston community held a concert Sunday night to preserve photos of influential African American musicians that were vandalized earlier this year.

Supporters say the money from the concert will help protect the photos from future vandals.

The concert brought in more than $1,000 and featured a number of performers.


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An Eastern Carolina city, known by many as the Birthplace of Funk, is working to raise money to preserve photo posters of influential African American musicians in its downtown.
 
Pride of Kinston Executive Director Leon Steele said, "We have all these great legends from Kinston and we don't need to see this kind of disrespect."
 
The Kinston community has raised enough money to restore the photos but supporters want to make the displays more secure so they're organizing a concert to raise the additional funds.
 
More than half of the 35 pictures lining Queen Street were removed. They were put there as Kinston's Downtown undergoes major construction.
 
Lessette Kornegay who goes by Lessette on stage is a gospel and soul singer/songwriter born and raised in Kinston. Both her portrait and her father's picture were torn down and small shreds left behind.
 
"The piece symbolizes to me that you know, broken, but yet the music has got to go on. We will not be moved,” said Kornegay.
 
The photos of the musicians in Lenoir County were put up to beautify the downtown area in storefront windows still needing renovations.
 
Supporters say it also sheds light on Kinston's musical past and the restoration is now an opportunity to do more to preserve its past.
 
Musician Dean Daughety and other performers are organizing a benefit concert to raise more money to make sure the new displays will be protected from future vandals.
 
"You can't overstate enough how important these tributes are... It's important that we look at this history and realize not only do we have a lot to be proud of now in Kinston but we've always had a lot to be proud of," said Daughety.
 
The concert is on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Red Room in Kinston and features eight different acts. The show is a family-friendly concert and is free for anyone under 17 but costs 20 dollars a person for adults.