Upcoming Exhibition: Chocolate Cities Exhibition Series

Chocolate Cities Exhibition Series:

The History, Legacy, and Sustainability of African American Urban Enclaves

An Artistic Exploration of History and Social Justice

The Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center (PGAAMCC) is proud to present Chocolate Cities: The History, Legacy, and Sustainability of African American Urban Enclaves. This year-long series of exhibitions and programming will examine African American self-sustained enclaves throughout the United States, focusing specifically on Washington, DC and Prince George’s County, MD.

The term Chocolate City has historical significance in Washington, DC. Coined in the 1970's by local radio personalities and made popular by the funk band Parliament, the term did not solely indicate the color of the population but also the vibrant communities and cultural pride among its residents. For Deejay Bobby “The Mighty Burner” Bennett, Chocolate City “was the expression of  DC's classy funk and confident Blackness;" it was about being Black, proud, and in power.  Not only were Black people the majority, but they also had strength within the city through politics, business ownership, music, and culture. Now, during a time of dramatic demographic and cultural shifts, PGAAMCC’s Chocolate Cities Exhibition Series will explore the legacy of and track the continual changes within the nation's capital and Prince George’s County.

Chocolate Cities will feature three exhibitions featuring Washington, DC and Prince George’s County based artists and youth: Chocolate Cities Group ShowSacred Cows: Works by Imar Hutchins, and Culture Keepers Presents: Chocolate Cities Youth Exhibition.  These exhibitions will run in conjunction with PGAAMCC’s two permanent exhibitions – Sharing Our Stories: Treasures from Our Collection, a display of objects from the Museum’s Collections and Footsteps from North Brentwooda photographic exhibit celebrating the history of Prince George’s first African American Incorporated Township, North Brentwood.  PGAAMCC Executive Director Chanel Compton states, “As Prince George’s County towns and municipalities evolve and diversify, it is ever more important to keep local history and culture preserved.  Prince George’s County is a model for Black mobility, and our Museum is actively preserving that history of community leadership and ingenuity for new generations of innovators.” PGAAMCC will host a monthly series of Chocolate Cities public programs at the Museum for audiences of all ages and backgrounds. This exhibition program series is in partnership with Chocolate Redux, an arts and social justice non-profit located in Washington, DC.

 

Chocolate Cities Group Exhibition - February 8, 2017-September 26, 2017

Chocolate Cities Group Exhibition is a multidisciplinary art exhibition highlighting the changing cultural and economic landscape of Washington, DC and Prince George's County, MD through the eyes of local artists.  In the past decade, Washington, DC has dramatically changed due to population growth, gentrification, and government policy. It is no longer the same Chocolate City that the funk band Parliament referred to in the 1970s, but it still remains distinctively DC. The work included in this exhibition seeks to open up a discourse on gentrification, cultural sustainability, and economic growth in a way that recognizes individual experiences as well as collective memory. Through an examination of the history of Chocolate Cities, and an interrogation of current challenges such as economic segregation and gentrification as a form of cultural castration, this exhibition will open up a discourse on historical legacy as well as methods of sustainability in the face of a rapidly changing cultural and economic landscape. Chocolate Cities Group Exhibition is curated by Martina Dodd and showcases original works by featured artists:  Tim Davis, Lloyd Foster, Lionel Frazier, Sheila Crider, Michael Booker, and Larry Cook.

 

Sacred Cows - February 8, 2017-May 19, 2017

Imar Hutchins’ portraits are not only adorned in elaborate jewelry and colorful symbolism, but also cloaked in honor. Inspired by the reverence bestowed upon cows in India, Hutchins’ latest series of collage and mixed media work – Sacred Cows – offers unique commentary on the treatment of Black people in America. Through the blending of species, cultures, and belief systems, the artist calls attention to the parallels and paradoxes of sacred cattle and exploited chattel. Sacred Cows is curated by Martina Dodd.

 

Culture Keepers: Chocolate Cities Youth Exhibition - June 2, 2017-September 26, 2017

The Chocolate Cities theme takes lead in the Museum’s teen after-school program, Culture Keepers. Students in the program are currently researching historically African American counties, neighborhoods, and cities - locally and nationally. Under the guidance of PGAAMCC’s Scholar-in-Residence and Teaching Artists, Culture Keepers students will create artwork based on their findings, which will to be featured as an exhibition at the Museum in June.  PGAAMCC Education Coordinator Dr. Synatra Smith states, “Our Students, who come from all walks of life and ethnic backgrounds, are very excited about the Chocolate Cities theme this year; they get to learn about Black history and culture through a contemporary and creative lens. For example, we just led a presentation about the Netflix show Luke Cage and explored the significance of an African American bulletproof superhero charged to protect a historically African American community: Harlem.  They loved the presentation and post-discussion because it incorporated their pop cultural interests into engaging scholarly discourse.” In partnership with Prince George’s County Public Schools, the Culture Keepers after-school program takes place weekly at three school sites: Suitland, Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr., and Northwestern high schools.

 

Chocolate Cities Exhibition Series Public Programs:

Opening Reception

Friday, February 10th, 2017

6:30-9pm

 

Well Rooted:  Black Townships in Prince George’s County

Sunday, February 26, 2017

2-4pm

 

Black Wall Street: Pathways to Community Wealth

Saturday, March 11, 2017

2-4:30p

 

Chocolate Cities Artist Talk

Thursday, March 16, 2017

6-8pm

 

Designed for Decay:  Unpacking Environmental Racism

Thursday, April 6, 2017

6-8pm

 

First Fridays with Chocolate Redux

Friday, May 5, 2017

7-9pm

 

Family Day: A Taste of Chocolate City

Saturday, July 1, 2017

2-6pm

 

Culture Keepers Opening Reception and Panel Discussion

Thursday, June 1, 2017

6pm-9pm


Artist Spotlight: A Legacy of Service Rush Baker Exemplifies a New Generation of Artists in Prince George’s County

North Brentwood, MD (December 27, 2016) – Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center’s most recent exhibition, Through Their Eyes – Art, Education, and Influence, features works by some of today’s most prominent visual artists, all of whom honed their skills in the Prince George’s County CVPA (Center for Visual and Performing Arts) Programs at Suitland and Northwestern High Schools. Rush Baker IV, one of the exhibition’s featured artists, is a testament to the impact of arts education in the County. As a native Prince Georgian and the son of the current County Executive, Baker is deeply connected to Prince George's past as well as its future. From his contributions as a renowned visual artist to his work as Assistant Director of the Brentwood Arts Exchange, Baker’s dedication is equal parts creativity and public service.

Baker credits his experiences as a student in Suitland High School’s CVPA Program as the catalyst for his later career. This year, Suitland CVPA marks its 30 year anniversary and has shaped careers of many of today’s known talent such as J. August Richards of ABC’s Notorious and Daniel Harder of Alvin Ailey Dance Company. Baker states “These programs – from dance and theater to TV production, graphic design, and the visual arts – attract young talent and cultivate a love and respect of our chosen professions from an early age,” Baker reflects. “I definitely came out of the program with a bit of a head start.”

Baker’s artistic reach has since expanded across the country. After earning a BFA from Cooper Union and an MFA in Painting/Printmaking from Yale, he has gone on to be featured in exhibitions from Los Angeles to New York City. But it was Baker’s experiences in the Suitland High School CVPA program that provided him with the foundation for his future achievements. “[The CVPA] experience made us all much better artists than we were coming in,” Baker says, “and I can’t ever thank them enough for that. I attribute [the CVPA] experience to helping to get me into Cooper Union’s BFA program and later going on to Yale… The rigorous formal training I received early on gave me the tools down the road to push the boundaries of my practice.”

Now, as an artist whose work is rooted in giving back to the community, Baker has truly come full circle. In hindsight, he realizes that his CVPA teachers exemplified what it means to be an artist that not only creates, but also gives back.

“It’s worth mentioning that all of my teachers [had] art practices of their own, and teaching us was truly a labor of love,” Baker says. “It was not something they had to do, and we can all agree that there are easier professions… Looking back, their commitment to us and to public service inspires me to this day.” Led by the example set by his CVPA teachers and his family’s legacy of service to the County, Rush Baker IV exemplifies a new generation of Prince George’s artists in service. To promote and connect Prince George’s artist community, particularly artist alumni from Prince George’s CVPA programs, PGAAMCC will host an artist and creative community networking event: New Year, First Friday – CVPA Edition; Friday January 6th, 2017, 6pm – 9pm.

Through Their Eyes – Art, Education, and Influence: Creative Expressions Inspired by Prince George’s County CVPA Alumni will be on display at PGAAMCC through January 21st, 2016. Join us for our final Through Their Eyes program: New Year, First Friday – CVPA Edition; Friday January 6th, 2017, 6pm – 9pm

The Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center is recognized nationally and internationally for its innovative approach to the documentation, interpretation, preservation, and presentation of local and regional African American history, art, and culture. PGAAMCC is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10am-5pm. Admission to the museum is free. For more information, call (301) 809-0440, email programs@pgaamcc.org, or visit the Museum’s website at www.pgaamcc.org.


This Holiday Season Enjoy A Day at the Museum!

 

National History is Tremendous - Local History Matters too!

Exploring national history is tremendous, but learning about local African American heroes and sheroes is just as impactful.  As you are planning your holiday schedule with family and friends, enjoy a day at the museum learning about local African American History and Culture.  The Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center has a series of exhibits and tours for the entire family to enjoy!  Schedule your tour today or stop by during our Gallery hours: Tuesday-Saturday - 10am-5pm. 

 

History Exhibitions

Sharing Our Stories: Treasures From the Museum’s Collection is an exhibition featuring art and artifacts from the Museum’s collection.  The exhibit features a variety of donated objects since the Museum began its collection program in 2011.  Through this program the Museum has collected over 1,000 objects including the call letters from Radio One’s headquarters building when it was located in Prince George’s County to the papers of an African American Soldier in World War I.  At its core this exhibition is a collection of stories and objects about the rich history and culture of Prince George’s County and its residents.

 

Footsteps from North Brentwood is an exhibition about Prince George’s County’s oldest African-American incorporated town. The exhibit was presented by the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Museum in 1996 and features information, documents, pictures, interviews, and memorabilia about the history of North Brentwood. The exhibition was donated to the Museum in 2010 and the content of the exhibit was organized by the North Brentwood Historical Society.

 

Arts Exhibitions

Through Their Eyes-Art, Education and Influence:

Creative Expressions Inspired by Prince George’s County CVPA Alumni

October 12, 2016 -January 31, 2017

Showcases the work of select alumni of the Center for Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) Programs at Suitland and Northwestern High Schools. “Through Their Eyes” celebrates the achievements of our County’s brightest artistic talents while also advocating for arts education as an integral part of the learning process.

 

Note: We will be Closed Saturday December 23rd


Trip to Cuba Press Release

North Brentwood, MD (Dec. 1, 2016) – Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center (PGAAMCC), in conjunction with the Office of the County Executive Rushern Baker, visited Cuba, from November 15th- 20th to promote business international opportunities and artist exchanges for Prince George’s County.  Chanel Compton, PGAAMCC Executive Director, took part in this delegation, and spoke with local Cuban artists and cultural organizations such as UNEAC and the Cuban Ministry of Culture.  PGAAMCC looks forward to partnering with local organizations and agencies such as the Prince George’s Humanities Council, who also attended the Delegation, to foster connections with Cuban artists and arts organizations and build towards future partnerships, specifically within the Museum’s Education Department.

The Prince George’s African American Museum & Cultural Center is committed to promoting the process of cultural exchange as it relates to the African Diaspora and artistic expression. In 2014, PGAAMCC created and facilitated a year-long cultural exchange project in partnership with Museu Afro in Sao Paulo, Brasil. Through this exchange, PGAAMCC’s teen after school program, Culture Keepers, collaborated with the Museum's Afro’s program for local youth, Onarin Koja, to create works of public art and promote cross-cultural communication. It was a transformative experience for everyone involved in the program. PGAAMCC is committed to developing more Diasporic cultural exchanges for our youth and local artists, and we are excited for the opportunity to develop such partnerships in Cuba.


#Giving Tuesday- Honor Your Mentor This Holiday Season!

This year, on Tuesday, November 29, 2016 through the Holiday Season, you can participate in #GivingTuesday by honoring a mentor through the gift of a donation to the Museum.

When you donate, PGAAMCC will send your special message via email to your mentor to inform him or her of your gift in their honor. All donations are tax deductible and you will receive a receipt via email. The opportunity to give your gift in honor of your mentor will run throughout the Holiday Season.

Visit our click & pledge page to make a donation in honor of your mentor https://co.clickandpledge.com/sp/d1/default.aspx?wid=123402

PGAAMCC Executive Director, Chanel Compton says “PGAAMCC believes in the legacy of those who have paved the road for us. I hope that local residents will join the #GivingTuesday movement and make a donation to the Museum in honor of that special individual in their life that has contributed to his or her success.”


Act Now! Help Build Our Future

Act Now! Help Build Our Future To celebrate Maryland's 152nd year of emancipation during the month of November, the Prince George's African American Museum & Cultural Center is offering one final opportunity to enjoy a Lifetime Membership at the Museum for a contribution of only $152.00.  Become a Lifetime or Annual Member Today!

Did you know PGAAMCC serves 3,500 children in Prince George's County Public Schools annually?  We accomplish this through our Cultural Education Passport Program, which includes Museum-In-A-Box (in-class museum presentations), Culture Keepers (teen after-school program), and Early Keepers (early childhood program). While these programs deepen cultural understanding for a new generation of children, our Museum also provides year-round access to thought-provoking and locally relevant exhibits that over 2500 visitors will experience in 2017.  If you believe in the empowering impact of the arts and the fortitude that lies within our history, please consider making a contribution to PGAAMCC today!  Become a member or make a one-time or monthly contribution.

 DONATION LEVELS:
  • $25.00 supports one student participating in a Museum-In-A-Box or Early Keepers in-class presentation.
  • $50.00 supports PGAAMCC public programs (i.e. exhibition openings, book readings, film screenings, panel discussions, Black Arts Festival, Family Day).
  • $75.00 supports the presentation of the Early Keepers program in libraries and community centers throughout the County.
  • $100.00 supports gallery exhibitions.
  • $250.00 supports one month of youth-led public arts projects (i.e. murals, neighborhood beautification, community art installations).
  • $500.00 supports one student participating in the Culture Keepers after-school program for one year.

All memberships and donations are tax deductible under law. Memberships are for one calendar year from the date of purchase!

Questions about donation and membership opportunities contact - Amanda Knott, Development Director, development@pgaamcc.org, 301-809-0440 ext. 111.

 


Through Their Eyes: Creative Expressions Inspired By Prince George's County CVPA Alumni

Join us for the opening of our new exhibition:" Through Their Eyes-Art, Education, and Influence-Creative Expressions Inspired by Prince George's County CVPA Alumni." Curated by Pamela Harris Lawton, EdDCTA, MFA,

Through Their Eyes – Art, Education, and Influence: Creative Expressions Inspired by Prince George’s County CVPA Alumni” showcases the work of select alumni of the Visual Arts Programs at Suitland High School and Northwestern High School. Featuring art works and other narrative expressions inspired by curricula, teachers, pedagogical approaches, peer interactions, overall CVPA program experiences, and the schools themselves, “Through Their Eyes” celebrates the achievements of our County’s brightest artistic talents while also advocating for arts education as an integral part of the learning process.

Upcoming events related to this exciting exhibit (Click on each link below for additional info):

 

 

 

 


Dedication Ceremony Watch Party

Join us September 24th at 10 am as we celebrate the opening of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture!

 

NMAAHC Dedication Ceremony will be streamed live
Complimentary brunch and mimosas
Free entry; suggested donation: $5
All ages admitted; must be 21+ to drink

Location: Prince George's African American Museum and Cultural Center

4519 Rhode Island Ave, North Brentwood, MD 20722

Click here for more information


Call for Artists

CALL FOR ARTISTS

Fall 2016 Exhibit: Through Their Eyes- Art, Education, and Influence: Creative Expressions Inspired by Prince George’s County CVPA Alumni”

Duration: October 12- Friday January 20

Submission Deadline: August 31

 

PROPOSALS

 “Through Their Eyes- Art, Education, and Influence: Creative Expressions Inspired by Prince George’s County CVPA Alumni” showcases the work of select alumni of the visual arts programs at Suitland High School and Northwestern High School. We are seeking art works and other narrative expressions inspired by curricula, teachers, pedagogical approaches, peer interactions, overall CVPA program experiences, and the schools themselves.

 

ELIGIBILITY

This call is open to:

  • All artists who are aged 18 years or older.
  • Of African origin/descent
  • Attended or graduated from the Center for Visual & Performing Arts at either Suitland High School or Northwestern High School

Alumni Call for Artists Invite

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Contact Laura Perez, Director of Education and Programs at

301-809-0440 ext 110

lperez@pgaamcc.org


Exploring Black Innovation Exhibit Reception Opening

On June 2, 2016, PGAAMCC held an opening reception for the newest exhibit, 'Exploring Black Innovation: A Collection of Works By Culture Keepers Students from Dr. Henry A. Wise, Jr. and Northwestern High Schools'. This exhibition honors the contributions of Black innovators who have shaped and impacted our world. Kudos to Laura Perez (Director of Education and Programs), the amazing students of the Culture Keepers Program and our very talented team of teaching artists for producing a breathtaking mural, a stunning exhibit and a successful program.