The Gullah Museum of Hilton Head Island is non-profit organization that was established in 2003 to preserve Gullah history, culture, customs, traditions, language, stories, songs and structures on Hilton Head Island. The growth of historical and cultural tourism in the Lowcountry has brought increased interest in Gullah/Geechie history and culture. Beaufort, Charleston, Colleton and Jasper counties have thousands of school-age children who could benefit from visits to a museum displaying objects used by Gullah/Geechee families in daily life before the bridge from Hilton Head Island to the mainland was built in 1956. With population and commercial growth accelerating, it is a challenge to preserve the history and culture of the area. The preliminary research for the Gullah Museum of Hilton Head Island includes a complete business plan; a detailed report prepared by the Savannah College of Art and Design; recent photos of the site; a diagram from the Bluffton-based landscape architectural planning firm, J.K. Tiller and Associates, Inc.; drawings done by the Beaufort Historical Foundation; and architectural plans by Square Feet Architects. The initial cost was $35,000.00 to bring the “The Little House” to the permit stage as part of Phase One. The capital campaign was launched in January of 2009 and is still in progress. The plan is to include this house and a new museum building to create the Gullah Museum of Hilton Head Island. The site is large enough to accommodate a visitor/welcome center, with a large meeting room that will also serve as a Gullah art gallery; a garden; a Praise House; and other structures. Various other organizations have been involved in this effort, including the Town of Hilton Head Island, which approved the project, and the Historic Beaufort Foundation. Hilton Head Area Home Builders Association members have graciously donated their time, talent, and materials to the preservation of “The Little House”. expogullahThe Gullah Museum of Hilton Head will host the 2015 Gullah Geechee Cultural Tourism Expo to assemble stakeholders in the local, national and international tourism industry and provide context for Gullah culture as an emerging leader of the cultural tourism sector. The cultural tourism expo will showcase the traditional arts, foods and craft, community and spiritual, experiences available throughout the Sea Islands and coastal plains from Cape Fear, North Carolina to St. Augustine ,Florida. The three-day event will include group meetings, social and cultural events, workshops and field trips, while the exhibit spaces will be open for two days to travel trade and one day for consumers.