Orlando’s Pulse nightclub – the site where the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history took place on June 12th, 2016 – is set to become a memorial and museum. As NPR reports, club owner Barbara Poma announced the plans on Thursday.
“This must and will be a healing initiative, one that I believe will inspire supporters who share our vision and understand the sacred responsibility to which we have been entrusted,” Poma said at a news conference.
On June 12th, 49 people were killed and nearly 60 more injured when gunman Omar Mateen opened fire in the nightclub, which was popular among Orlando’s LGBT community.
In December, Poma had announced she wanted to create “a sanctuary of hope” on the site and opted to step away from a proposed $2.25 million deal that would have sold the venue to the city to create a memorial.
On Thursday, Poma detailed some of the plans. She said the non-profit onePULSE Foundation, a “community-driven effort,” will manage the funds, construction and maintenance for the memorial and museum. It will also provide community grants to care for the survivors and victims’ families and endow scholarships for each of the victims who died. The foundation’s board members include Lance Bass and retired NBA Player Jason Collins.
Poma added that the museum would “showcase historic artifacts and stories from the event.” She said she hopes to open the memorial in 2020.
With the anniversary of the tragic event approaching next month, the city of Orlando will remember the victims during its “Orlando Love – Remembering Our Angels” event. It will take place at the city’s Lake Eola park the night of June 12th and will feature performances by Olga Tañón, one-time Voice contestant Sisaundra Lewis, the Orlando Gay Chorus, the From Broadway With Love Choir, the CFCA Choral Group, the Orlando Firefighters Pipes and Drums and more. Poma and Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer will speak at the event.