PGAAMCC on NBC4: The Importance of Black Art

NBC News4's Molette Green spoke with local artists from our current exhibition, Preston Sampson,  Chanel Compton, PGAAMCC board member  and Executive Director of the Banneker-Douglass Museum and Will Watson, an MFA candidate from the Maryland Institute College of Art to discuss the importance of black

art.https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/News4-Your-Sunday-The-Importance-of-Black-Art_Washington-DC-477850103.html


Washington CityPaper: 'A Museum Goes Beyond Its Walls to Teach Prince George’s County’s Rich History'

PGAAMCC was featured in Washington CityPaper, article by Laura Irene.

Through its education efforts and programming, the Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center strives to be a pillar in its community.


Museum Closed on July 4th

PGAAMCC will be closed on Tuesday, July 4th in observance of Independence Day. We will reopen and resume our normal hours on Wednesday, July 5th. 

 

 


A New Addition to PGAAMCC!

PGAAMCC's sculpture garden will be transformed into an outdoor performing arts space for film screenings, outdoor concerts, and community gatherings. Thank you Neighborhood Design Center for the amazing design and the Prince George's Redevelopment Authority for the continued support and vision. In summer 2017 we will also expand and beautify our parking lot. Get Ready for a new look!

 

See the New Plans

 

 


Museum Closed on Tuesday 3/14

Due to inclement weather, PGAAMCC will be closed on Tuesday, March 14, 2017.


A Day Without a Woman

#ADayWithoutAWoman

PGAAMCC is closed today in recognition of the hard work, literal blood sweat and tears women have shed to push a new generation forward. We honor our ancestors and community leaders who have paved the way for us. #love #libation #womanhood #harriettubman #lillianbeverly #gwendolynbritt #eleanortraynham #portiapittman 

 


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.