Museum Grants for African American History and Culture support activities that build the capacity of African American museums.
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Museum Grants for African American History and Culture
Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) will create a public art program that will use art, sound, and visuals to chronicle the past and present day narratives of historic African American spaces in Biddleville and the Beatties Ford Road Corridor in Charlotte, North Carolina—home to JSCU. The project team will create four interactive, outdoor mobile “pop-up units” incorporating original soundtracks using oral histories to capture the past and present sounds of Biddleville by infusing gospel, jazz, hip-hop, and other pieces to appeal to a multi-generational audience.
The Clark Atlanta University Art Museum will support its goal to be a center for the presentation and critical study of African Diaspora art by furthering its Black Optics Artist Residency program. Building on an exchange with the Musée Schoelcher, a cultural institution located in Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, the museum will invite Guadeloupean installation artist Minhia Biabiany to develop an exhibition and programming that involves sharing her work and expertise with faculty and students at the university and with broader Atlanta communities.
The Studio Museum in Harlem will launch a two-year inventory project to uncover, document, and increase accessibility to its collections. The museum's collections include over 2,500 works by over 800 artists working in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, photography, video, installation, and performance. The museum will increase its curatorial capacity by hiring a dedicated collections database administrator, who will work with collections staff, art handlers, and a consultant to implement project activities.
The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History and Culture will produce an online archive of interviews highlighting the significant achievements and everyday lives of African Americans in Maryland. The project will reactivate an oral history studio that was equipped with recording equipment when the museum first opened. Museum staff will work with two interns to research and update an existing collection of over 100 oral histories, and an Advisory Committee will help to identify new interview prospects.
The Malcolm X Memorial Center will strengthen its partnership with the local school district by developing a curriculum to enhance student learning in African American history. The museum will engage a curriculum writer to develop three lesson plans for Omaha Public School District students in grades 6-12. The consultant will work with museum staff, local teachers, and professors at the University of Nebraska at Omaha Black Studies Department to reproduce relevant historical materials and incorporate them into the classroom lessons.
Morgan State University will implement a comprehensive interpretive project based on archival collections documenting the life and work of Ellen Irene Diggs, the first African American woman to earn a doctorate in anthropology. Multiple university departments will collaborate to organize and analyze the collections. The project team of staff and consultants will implement an internship program for more than 40 undergraduate and graduate students and volunteers, focusing on archival research, preservation, and anthropology.
The Appalachian African American Cultural Center will improve the care of its collections, while developing the skills and capacity to sustain its work to preserve and interpret the history of an eight-county region in the coalfields of Southwestern Virginia. In partnership with a regional archivist, the center will catalog and rehouse its collections. The center will create finding aids and partner with the University of Tennessee Knoxville's School of Information Sciences to digitize items, standardize project metadata, and format them for public access through an online platform.
The Association of African American Museums will continue to strengthen its organizational effectiveness by expanding member services and assessing the impact of recent capacity building efforts. The association will work with two student interns to assess member services in response to a 2017 National Needs Assessment and to identify additional needs that have developed over time. A consulting firm will assess the organization's success in implementing strategic plan goals over the past three years.
The Indiana University South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center will implement a stakeholder-driven planning process to enhance the city's African American Landmark Tour, which highlights the history of the African American experience in South Bend and the northern Midwest. The project will integrate archival materials from the museum's collections into the tour and add technology to facilitate public discourse.