About Us

The Old Dillard Foundation (ODF) was established  in 1994 to support the Old Dillard Museum, originally called “The Colored School” through programming, fundraising and advocacy.

The Old Dillard Museum is a part of a century of education and culture in Fort Lauderdale’s African American community. The Old Dillard Museum is a historical landmark and education center operated by Broward County Public Schools. It has served as an important focal point of education and culture for Fort Lauderdale’s African-American community since its construction in the early 20th century.

Built on land purchased from Fort Lauderdale pioneers Frank and Ivy Stranahan, Old Dillard was the city’s first school for African-American students in 1907. It is named for Dr. James Hardy Dillard, a prominent philanthropist and educator.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the museum’s goal is to promote the heritage of the first national African-American landmark in Broward County by preserving the building and its contents, providing enriching exhibitions and cultural activities, and supporting educational opportunities related to Black history. The organization also seeks to integrate cultural and educational programs with the heritage, revitalization and development of Fort Lauderdale’s historically African-American Sistrunk corridor.

In 2015, ODF Foundation Board made the decision to expand its footprint in Broward County and was part of the Destination Sistrunk Pilot. Sistrunk Boulevard is the historical heartbeat of Fort Lauderdale’s oldest Black community, best known as the site of the area’s hospital for Blacks during segregation.

Destination Sistrunk:

  • Supports the entire Sistrunk neighborhood, both Broward Municipal Services District and the City of Fort Lauderdale.
  • Establishes Sistrunk as an emerging Cultural District that will leverage and bring innovation to multiple County and City economic, tourism, transit, cultural and workforce development programs and initiatives.
  • Includes over 60 historic & heritage sites, over 15 public and private cultural facilities, the Sistrunk Artists in Residence Program, the STEP UP Apprenticeship Program, and the new RISE Center for Art, Design, Research, Development & Technology.
  • Since piloting began in 2015, Destination Sistrunk has engaged over 4,000 individuals through over 60 different events and activities including classes, concerts, seminars, and workshops.

As a result of the success of this pilot, ODF became a formal partner and a lead agency in the process to make the Sistrunk Corridor an official part of the cultural tourism of Broward County.

The partnership with the Housing Authority of the City of Ft Lauderdale, (HACFL) led to the new location at 821 NW 12th Terrace, The ODF Arts and Heritage House, located in the Historic Sistrunk Corridor.

Our Community Connections

Old Dillard Foundation Partners

Broward County Cultural Division

Broward County Public Schools

Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau

Housing Authority of City of Ft Lauderdale

Flair Solutions

Westside Gazette

Collaborating Organizations

Association of American Cultures

Communities of Promise

Dillard Center for the Arts Foundation

Equality Florida

Ft Lauderdale Historical Society

The Links, Incorporated

Northwest Federated Women’s Club

Old Dillard Museum

On Call Leadership

People of Color Caucus

Save Our Boys – Haitian Heritage & Cultural Arts Celebration

Sistrunk Artists in Residence

South Florida Association for the Study of African American History and Life (ASALH)

Strachan House

The Elks Lodge Project

Thou Art Woman

Trailblazers of Broward County


Our 2019-2020 Funding Sources

Community Foundation of Broward

Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau

Private Donations

Guidelines and Facility Request Forms

ODF Use of Property Etiquette
ODF Facility Use Request

Social Media





Programs and Services

Programs and Services

Destination Sistrunk Tours and Events

Jazz Concerts

Multi-Disciplinary Arts Classes and Workshops

Volunteer Recruitment and Engagement

Programs for Life-Long Learning for Active Older Adults

Museums and Cultural Heritage

Kwanzaa Celebration

Florida Emancipation Day Celebration

Juneteenth Celebration


Art and Public Health



Curriculum Guides


Advocacy for the Arts and People of Color