PGAAMCC is honored to introduce our

In Residence fellows!

 

khadijah in colombiaKhadijah Z. Ali-Coleman,
Scholar in Residence

Khadijah Z. Ali-Colemanis a doctoral candidate in the Higher Education/Community College Leadership Program at Morgan State University.

She received her MA in Mass Communication/Media Studies at Towson University and her BA in Interdisciplinary Studies (African-American Studies and Mass Media) with a minor in Writing from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Her research focuses on dual-enrollment and early access with her dissertation focusing on homeschooling and community college preparedness. She has also engaged in research and practitioner work focused on arts-integration and high impact learning practices. She is a 2019 Fulbright-Hays scholar and serves as a Prince George’s County African American Museum and Cultural Center teaching artist.  She also teaches courses in Communication Studies and Fine and Performing Arts at Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) and Montgomery College. She is founding director of the multi-disciplinary arts companyLiberated Muse Arts Groupwhich she has led since 2008.

In 2016, she was awarded a Prince George’s Community College Foundation Impact Grant used to create the Mid-Atlantic Media Arts and Communication Conference which led to her founding the organizationStudent Media Online.

In addition to her work as an educator and journalist, Khadijah is a producing playwright and performance artist. As a performance artist, she served as a poetry host at the flagship Busboys & Poets location in Washington, DC from  2015-2018 and curated multiple performance programs throughout the Washington DC and Baltimore area.  She is a recipient of a 2015 Maryland Arts State Arts Council Individual Artist award and is a 2012 Prince George’s County Social Innovation Fund Forty Under 40 awardee in the Arts & Humanities. She was selected as an inaugural Quadrant Playwright by Theater Alliance in 2019. She coaches other creatives, helping them birth their creativity, through her brand The Creative Midwife.

Khadijah is excited to have an arts and culture home at PGAAMCC. She looks forward to have a place where her expertise in interdisciplinary studies can be shared through art exhibits, community programs, and multi-disciplinary presentations. Already loving her work as a teaching artist, Khadijah looks forward to broadening her role with the museum community.

Contact Khadijah: ambassador@pgaamcc.org

 

Jessica Hebron,
Education Fellow In Residence

Jessica “Culture Queen” Hebron, a proud native of Prince George’s County, MD, is an award-winning educator, author, entertainer and consultant who holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Education and African-American Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is the newly appointed Education Fellow-In-Residence at the Prince George’s African-American Museum where she has also served as the museum’s first early childhood and elementary curriculum writer, trainer and program facilitator teaching African-American history through arts integration to over 10,000 students throughout Prince George’s County Public Schools since 2011. For ten years Jessica most affectionately known by her stage name “Culture Queen” has owned and operated her own company Culture Kingdom Kids, LLC, where she has performed and produced innovative children’s performances, festivals, workshops, and professional development programs for diverse audiences from primary school to Yale University, The Kennedy Center, the Atlas Performing Arts Center, museums including the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture, the National Children’s Museum, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African-American History and Culture, the Black History Museum of Virginia and of the Prince George’s African American Museum; and non-profit organizations like The National Park Service, Prince George’s Parks and Recreation,The Campagna Center, Kaiser Permanente, and Girls For A Change. In addition to her extensive work with theaters, museums, schools and nonprofits, she’s also the Children’s Program Coordinator and Children’s Cultural Literacy Ambassador-In-Residence for six Busboys and Poets restaurants across Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC.

Jessica was a featured speaker at TEDxRVA; and a lead screenwriter on TED-ED ’s animated educational film on Malian King Mansa Musa which to date has received over 4 million views. She released her first children’s music album ‘I Like the Me I See!’ in 2016; and her first picture book with the same title in 2019. She can also be seen starring in a Youtube series entitled “Black History Live with Culture Queen” which brings to life the biographies of inspiring African queens through music and poetry.

Jessica has been recognized with the “40 Under Forty” Award for Education by the Prince George’s County Social Innovation Fund, “Alumnus of the Year” Award by the Prince George’s County Public Schools’ Board of Education; and is the proud recipient of the Africa Access Award for Excellence In Children’s Programming, the Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Community Leadership Award, and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. “Women’s History In the Making” Award.

Culture Queen’s work is featured on numerous media outlets including the nationally syndicated show “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, The Laura Coates Show on Sirius XM, Fox 5, NBC, ABC’s “Good Morning Washington”, Youtube, 93.9 WKYS, The Washington Post, Billboard Magazine, Baltimore’s Child, Richmond Family Magazine and Red Tricycle. To learn more about her work, follow her on social media @ImCultureQueen on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Contact Jessica: education@pgaamcc.org

 

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MissChelle Renee,
Performing Artist In Residence 

Maryland-based singer-songwriter MissChelle Renée has an extraordinary way of illuminating her audience with “love, light, and life.” At a young age she knew music was her fate, when at her grandmother’s church she realized that out of all the instruments she saw and heard, the voice was the only one in the body; the only one that was free. Those early passions for singing and writing grew into an eclectic musical background in Opera, Jazz, R&B/Soul and “The Church.” MissChelle Renée invites you into a fusion of her classically trained, soul-music brained experience. Merging the spirit with substance is what she aspires to do in similar paths of those she is influenced by most like Kierra Sheard, Jhene Aiko and SZA. Though still emerging, she started off strong with her debut performance at World Café Live, in Philadelphia, and since then she has graced the stage at signature DMV music venues like Busboys & Poets, Smith Public Trust & Velvet Lounge. Her love of art & aesthetics also come into play as she curated sets & shows at galleries and pop-up shops. After a successful release of her debut single “CROWNS,” and EP, “MastHERpiece,“ she recently released a music video and two new singles “Down” and “Cycles.” MissChelle Renée is working on new music to be released next month, and you can expect to see her in more live performances and curated shows this year. 

Three words come to mind when I envision my service to the upcoming program year: Intersection, Innovation, and Introspection. The aim of my artistic offering is to bridge the gap for individuals of varying interests and backgrounds, provide them a space to retreat and create new realties from the status quo, and to give them a space to reflect on love, light, and life while setting new intentions as we journey through the New Year. I am extremely humbled to join the PGAAMCC as its new Performing Artist-In-Residence. I have lovingly called Prince George’s County “home” for 27 years, and this new opportunity is truly a revolving gift. As a PG county native, I am well-versed as a resident, yet still emerging as an artist from this community. I joined PGAAMCC first as a volunteer, and couldn’t stay away, so I had to find a way to become more involved in order to still serve the space but also involve my artistic passions. This exposure lends me a space to grow and exercise my creative aspirations while giving my community a regular space to enjoy the performing arts through varying musical disciplines. I’ve performed places such as World Café Live, in Philadelphia, and signature DMV music venues like Busboys & Poets, Smith Public Trust & Velvet Lounge, but no place has brought such a multi-dimensional experience as this museum, and I can’t wait to be a part.

PGAAMCC is steadfast in its mission as a “home for Black Excellence,” and one of my favorite traits of this “home” is that it shapeshifts to fully support the needs of its patrons and the diverse programming hosted each season. The vast nature of Blackness runs deep and wide, and I admire PGAAMCC’s ability to emulate that through continuous aesthetic changes and unique event choices. I am grateful to share this similar quality of being adaptable and multi-faceted, as a performing artist. I sing opera, jazz, pop, R&B (to name a few) with capabilities to sing in 4 foreign languages. My talents have taken me throughout the DMV, and the United States, but also abroad to places like Hawaii, and Italy. I feel great pride in knowing that as I serve you and the PGAAMCC I will be able to share my diverse experiences with you.

As a “CreatHER” (a woman that creates, innovates, curates, and radiates artistic vision) I will assist the museum to enhance the already rich programming with musical collaborations like jam sessions, spiritual encounters infused with music, and monthly-themed repertoire surrounding topics like: black love, sisterhood, new year/new beginnings, the black family, spring and summertime. I’m looking forward to giving my gifts to this institution, and to you. I look forward to meeting you, and hope you enjoy my events.

Cheers,

MissChelle Renee

Screen Shot 2019-12-18 at 1.39.07 PMVanessa Williams,
Artist In Residence 

“This is where I live, where I feel safe, comfortable, free to do what I want within reason, not rushed, not forced. I can just be me in an artist’s capacity,” says Vanessa R. Williams of her new post as artist-in-residence of the Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center (PGAAMCC) in North Brentwood, MD. As she sits before an easel painting the finishing strokes of a portrait of the late South African president Nelson Mandela, the Prince George’s County resident is in her element. “I just like making art. If someone wants to come and sit and watch, that’s great.” And watch they do – students and adults alike approach to watch and ask her questions.

Holding conversations is just what the Howard University graduate, children’s book illustrator, and former elementary school art teacher envisions for the residency. “I want it to be meaningful. I see children and students here. It is a place where I can share my love of reading aloud. It’s a welcoming place. In the same vein I was welcomed here.”

“I have two ways to speak: singing or drawing/painting.”  As a gospel singer, Williams has toured with Richard Smallwood and Vision and the Black church figures prominently in her work. Having painted for 25 years, Williams wrestled with having enough creative confidence to think her paintings worthy of display. That all changed when she came to an Art of Business event at PGAAMCC. The exhibition Catharsis: Spirit Leaves a Mark, running through the Fall at PGAAMCC, features her vibrant work in all its glory: Black women, Black church, music, and African symbols. “The opening of Catharsis was really special. Prince George’s County is home to some really great, alive, contributing people,” says Williams before she names some of the Prince George’s County residents who attended the opening, including composer and pianist Richard Smallwood, piano manufacturer Warren Shadd, music director Vince Evans, and songwriter Raymond Reeder.

Of PGAAMCC, Williams is clear – “I felt at home immediately. I am determined that people know it’s here. I want it to be a place where people know doors are open to listen, create, study. It is my hope that it becomes a home for other people. I want the next artist to know if you are a resident, native of Prince George’s County, we want to see you or hear from you.”