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A. Grace Lee Mims

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Information about A. Grace Lee Mims

Profile image of A. Grace Lee Mims

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Radio Host
Vocalist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
None
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
7/17/1930
Birth Location:
Snow Hill, Alabama

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Radio Host
Vocalist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
None
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
7/17/1930
Birth Location:
Snow Hill
See how A. Grace Lee Mims is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Radio host and vocalist A. Grace Lee Mims was born on July 17, 1930 in Snow Hill, Alabama to musicians Arnold W. and Alberta Grace Edwards Lee. Mims graduated valedictorian from Snow Hill Institute, which was founded by her grandfather. She went on to attend and graduate from Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia, and later received her M.L.S degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

Upon graduation, Mims married Howard A. Mims. She was also hired as a librarian in Detroit, Michigan before moving to Cleveland, where she worked at several branches of the Cleveland Public Library. Mims was employed as head librarian at Glenville High School for ten years, where she coordinated the Black Arts Festival, established the most extensive collection of books on African American history and culture in the State of Ohio, and helped found the first Afrocentric lecture course in the Cleveland Public Schools. In 1976, she created and became hostess and producer of “The Black Arts” on WCLV-FM, Cleveland’s classical music radio station. From 1980 to 2010, Mims produced and hosted WCLV’s “Artslog,” a daily five-minute show of interviews. Also in 1980, she was hired as a voice teacher at the Cleveland Music School Settlement.

Mims has served as soprano soloist at Fairmount Presbyterian Church, as soloist with the William Appling singers, as well as throughout the Cleveland area. She was a member of The Cleveland Orchestra Chorus and Chamber Chorus under Robert Shaw, and performed with The New York Bass Violin Choir. In addition, Mims has recorded two albums: “Spirituals,” a solo record, and “A Spirit Speaks” with her family’s jazz-folk ensemble, The Descendants of Mike and Phoebe.

Mims has received numerous honors, including an honorary doctorate of music from Cleveland State University in 1999. In 2007, she was the honoree of the Greater Cleveland Chapter of The National Coalition of the 100 Black Women, Inc., and a recipient the Cleveland Arts Prize Martha Joseph Award in 2011. Mims has also served on many arts-related boards, including the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Orchestra's Community Project, the Cleveland Arts Prize Committee, the Western Reserve Historical Society's Black History Archives and The Rainey Institute. Mims and her husband ran the Cleveland Hampton Institute Alumni Scholarship program for over thirty years.

A. Grace Lee Mims was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 14, 2014.

See how A. Grace Lee Mims is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Grace Mims' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Grace Mims lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Grace Mims discusses her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Grace Mims talks about her maternal grandfather's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Grace Mims attempts to remember the founding date of Snow Hill Normal and Industrial Institute
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Grace Mims talks about her mother's childhood experiences as a piano prodigy
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Grace Mims talks about the John Work Coral in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Grace Mims shares the story of her parents' elopement in the early 1900s
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Grace Mims briefly describes her father's early work history
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Grace Mims discusses her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Grace Mims traces her father's career path from Spelman College to Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Grace Mims talks about her parents' love of jazz and classical music
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Grace Mims talks about how her parents' careers influenced her upbringing
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Grace Mims talks about her childhood family's band
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Grace Mims describes her parents' personalities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Grace Mims talks about her siblings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Grace Mims describes Snow Hill Normal and Industrial Institute and the surrounding neighborhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Grace Mims talks about the origin of her home town's name
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Grace Mims briefly describes the demographics and business culture of her home town and the surrounding area
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Grace Mims shares how church and college shaped her musical influences and knowledge
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Grace Mims describes how music influenced her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Grace Mims describes how African Americans have shaped American music
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Grace Mims compares and contrasts the Negro spiritual and gospel music
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Grace Mims talks about influential Negro spiritual composers
  • Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Grace Mims discusses how her teachers and parents influenced her decision to go to college
  • Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Grace Mims shares how her teacher influenced her to become a librarian
  • Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Grace Mims recalls rarely traveling outside of her hometown during her childhood
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Grace Mims shares memories of her grandfather
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Grace Mims talks about Mary McLeod Bethune and other well-known African Americans who visited Snow Hill Normal and Industrial Institute
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Grace Mims talks about her grandfather's autobiography
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Grace Mims describes her academic accomplishments at Snow Hill Normal and Industrial Institute, and the school's influence on the surrounding community
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Grace Mims describes her extracurricular activities in high school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Grace Mims discusses her experiences at Hampton Institute
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Grace Mims talks about the early years of her marriage and her career
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Grace Mims describes her experiences at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Music School Settlement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Grace Mims describes her work as a librarian and her work on the Eusi SiKuki Festival in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Grace Mims talks about her husband's, Howard Mims' role in the Black Studies Movement and the importance of African American history and culture
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Grace Mims describes the area surrounding Glenville High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Grace Mims talks about her civic involvement in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Grace Mims talks about performing with the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Grace Mims talks about her family's singing group, The Descendants of Mike and Phoebe, part 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Grace Mims talks about her cousin Donald Stone
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Grace Mims talks about performing with her family's band, The Descendants of Mike and Phoebe, part 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Grace Mims talks about hosting "The Black Arts" program on Cleveland's WCLV-FM classical music station
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Grace Mims describes her nephews, filmmakers Spike Lee and Malcom D. Lee
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Grace Mims briefly discusses her radio show "Arts Log"
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Grace Mims talks about support of the arts
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Grace Mims shares her thoughts about contemporary music
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Grace Mims talks about performing with the William Appling Singers
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Grace Mims talks about performing as a soprano for the Fairmount Presbyterian Church
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Grace Mims describes teaching at the Cleveland Music School Settlement
  • Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Grace Mims discusses her philosophy about teaching and music
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Grace Mims reflects upon her career and her legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Grace Mims describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Grace Mims reflects upon her lack of desire to write a book about black music
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Grace Mims talks about individuals who share her musical philosophy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Grace Mims describes her influence on the future of classically-trained musical artists
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Grace Mims discusses the life and legacy of her late husband Howard A. Mims
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Grace Mims shares how she wants to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Grace Mims describes her photographs