Tag: African-American museums

Philadelphia Resident Vashti Dubois Turns Home into Museum Dedicated to Black Women

Museum founder and proprietor Vashti Dubois (photo via metro.co.uk)

by Adam Smith via metro.co.uk

There is a museum like no other in Philadelphia. You would not have heard it, it is not listed anywhere and there are no signs from the motorway. Only the hand carved wooden sign in the garden hinted that the Victorian house was not like any other home in the world – and the woman who opened the door had the smile of someone who knew she was about to amaze you.

For years Vashti Dubois was sick of not seeing any images of black girls or women in museums and art galleries, so three years ago she decided to do something about it. The 56-year-old turned her house into The Colored Girls Museum, celebrating everything about black women and their place in the universe. Standing in the hallway, which screams with colour due to every inch being painted, she said: ‘If things ain’t right you got to make them right, and if you can change things, you gotta change them.’

After opening one room to the public, she decided to turn her bedroom, the bathroom, the kitchen and her son’s bedroom into art galleries. Dubois said: ‘There are a lot of museums about a lot of different things, so we thought there should be one about the colored girl because there are no places that look at their experiences. We want to show who she is in her day-to-day life as a sister, a lover, a friend, an artist, a victim. We want to show that if there were no coloured girls, the system would collapse.’

As well as the museum’s collection of artefacts, paintings, dolls, textiles and sculptures, artists take over rooms and spaces for art installations. At first Dubois sought the help of artists she knew personally – but word soon spread, and soon she was being contacted by some of the world’s best upcoming artists.

To see related video, click herehttp://metro.co.uk/video/lack-female-images-exhibited-led-woman-create-gallery-1502225/?ito=vjs-link

And unlike most museums, this is personal. There are no walking tours headsets, no bored-looking security guards, and not a gift shop in sight.

So to enjoy culture for culture’s sake in Vashti’s home felt like an honor.

The Colored Girls Museum is a memoir museum, which honours the stories, experiences, and history of black girls. And it is Vashti’s story too.

She said: ‘Colored girls are an important part of the universe. You see us walking down the street. Everyday colored girls. You walk past us, but here we are in all of our extraordinary splendor doing the things that we do to make this world a great place to live.

‘We aren’t all Michelles (Obama) and Beyoncés. But look at how we are holding everything together for families across the world.’

The Birmingham Girls at The Colored Girls Museum. (Picture: TCGM)

When visitors arrive, Vashti explains to them that she started collecting paintings and sculptures three years ago after a personal tragedy. Then she takes them a tour of the house.

‘She distinguishes herself by exclusively collecting, preserving, honoring, and decoding artifacts pertaining to the experience and “her story” of colored girls,’ Vashti said.

Continue reading “Philadelphia Resident Vashti Dubois Turns Home into Museum Dedicated to Black Women”

National Museum of African-American History and Culture is Sold Out Through March 2017!

Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture (NMAAHC)

article via eurweb.com

To say the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is on everybody’s bucket list is an understatement. Put it like this. If you were planning to visit the new museum, unfortunately you’re going to have to wait until 2017.

Yep, it’s that popular. The museum has sold out tickets through March of 2017. Admission is free, but date-specific tickets are required for entry.

The museum opened in Washington, D.C. in September, and officials initially expected around 7,000 visitors per day.  Nearly 30,000 people visit the museum daily.

There are only two ways you can gain entry:  Go to the museum website and try to obtain a 2017 pass or line up outside the museum to try for a “day of” pass.

To read full article, go to: New African-American Museum is Sold Out Thru March, 2017!

Microsoft Donates $1Million to New Museum of African American History & Culture

National Museum of African American History and Culture (photo via http://cdn.archinect.net)

article via eurweb.com

Microsoft Corp. has donated $1 million to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opens this fall after five years of construction.

“The stories, art and culture of African Americans are vibrant and important narratives in our nation’s history,” said Fred Humphries, corporate vice president of U.S. government affairs for Microsoft. “Microsoft is proud to support the museum and bring these perspectives to life in a powerful and enriching experience.”

Other recent donations include $1 million from the Alfred Street Baptist Church, a $10 million gift from David Rubenstein, $1 million from MGM Resorts International and $1 million from Altria Group.

The Museum of African American and History and Culture will be the Smithsonian’s 19th museum.  It will open to the public Sept. 24 with 11 inaugural exhibitions covering major periods of African American history, including the slave trade, segregation, the civil rights movement, the Harlem Renaissance and the election of the nation’s first African American president.

To read more, go to: http://www.eurweb.com/2016/03/microsoft-donates-1m-to-new-museum-of-african-american-history-culture/

National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis Completes $27.5 Million Renovation, Reopens Today


MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Lorraine Motel in Memphis holds a historic place in world history.  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated there on the hotel balcony near his room on April 4, 1968.  The site is now home to the National Civil Rights Museum and today, Saturday April 5, the museum will re-open to the public after $27.5 million of renovations.

“This museum after 22 years needed to be updated,” said Faith Morris, the museum’s director of marketing, governmental and community affairs. “[It] needed more technology, needed to be more engaging to a younger generation so that folks could really be a part of what the movement was about.”

The museum officially opened in 1991 and incorporates not only the historic motel, but the building across the street where James Earl Ray is alleged to have fired the fatal shot.

One new exhibit chronicles the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the economics of slavery in America from 1619-1861.  There is an entire exhibit space dedicated to the ‘Black Power’ movement and its influence on policy and culture.  Old exhibits have been enhanced with more audio/visual aids, touch screens and films touching on the different eras of the Civil Rights Movement.

Museum leadership said the renovations and fundraising efforts were critical to keep pace with the “2014 museum consumer.” The campaign to raise funds started in 2008 but because of the economic collapse, organizers regrouped in 2010 when conditions improved.

“People no longer want to walk through museums and experience a book on a wall,” said Beverly Robertson, the museum’s president. “When we opened in 1991, that was OK – because that was the museum experience. But times change. Technology changes.”

Robertson said it took “countless miracles” to raise the money and convince the museum’s board that the technological overhaul was necessary for the NCRM to thrive for many years to come. She said she is pleased with how well design teams, scholars, researchers and her staff adapted to the changing times.

“It’s a transformative experience,” Robertson said. “It’s an experience [visitors] won’t get anywhere else because it talks about the seminal events of the movement and it does it in ways that allows this history to resonate with those who are 8 years old or 80.”

article by Todd Johnson via thegrio.com