PGAAMCC 10 Year Anniversary Birthday Party

We stand at the intersection of possibilities, realities and transformation as we kick off our 10th anniversary, championing community uplift and conscious raising around the black experience. Our vision is to be recognized as a national and international model for innovative documentation, interpretation, presentation, and preservation of Black American history, art, social justice and culture locally and globally. We are on a mission is to celebrate and inspire the community through the cultivation, preservation, and presentation of the cultural and artistic contributions of African Americans in Prince George’s County, Maryland and beyond. ‘We are A Home for Black Excellence!’

Come celebrate with us! Toast to 10 years with Cake & Ice Cream! Featuring and Exhibit Opening: Deeply Embedded by Tawny Chatmon, a Mural Unveiling and Artmaking, Community Treasure Chest workshop, PGAAMCC Annual Recap and Members Mingle.

Over the 10 years we have accomplished major milestones such as, establishing a student exchange passport program to Cuba, serving over 2,000 students, building an outside pavilion, presenting dynamic artwork that reflects the creative talents of Black artists from the DMV and hosting some of the biggest festivals in the county. We are proud to be your local cultural center and want to share our story with you. We are excited for another 10 years serving our community in Prince George’s County.

 >>>>>>>Get Tickets HERE<<<<<<<<


PGAAMCC Welcomes New Artist-in-Residence Vanessa R. Williams

PGAAMCC Welcomes New Artist-in-Residence

Vanessa R. Williams

Article By Khadija Pounsel

 “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.”

 

Catharsis: Spirit Leaves a Mark on view through Fall 2019 at PGAAMCC.


PGAAMCC Welcomes New Cultural Ambassador Vance “Head-Roc” Levy

PGAAMCC Welcomes New Cultural Ambassador Vance “Head-Roc” Levy

Article by Khadija Pounsel

“Our lives have value,” says Vance “Head-Roc” Levy on a hot and humid August day in North Brentwood, MD. The genre-crossing 20-year music veteran with his entrepreneurial approach (he executive produced all 6 of his solo albums) who continues to work with his critically acclaimed award-winning funk/rock/soul band GODISHEUS (gotta-see-us) has stepped into a new role −  Cultural Ambassador for Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center (PGAAMCC) in North Brentwood, MD.

Head-Roc speaks warmly of his ties to Prince George’s County: his family was a part of the exodus of African Americans who moved from Washington, DC to Prince George’s County in the early 1980s; he attended Prince George’s County schools, and has lived in Hillcrest Heights, Marlow Heights and Temple Hills. “I began to understand and connect the national significance of local Black history, anchored on our educational development, with much happening along the Route 1 Corridor. Included in that education is learning that PGAAMCC’s existence was championed by the late Honorable Gwendolyn Britt,” the mother of his fellow Infinite Loop member John Britt.

Inspired by the work of the late senator, “The Route 1 Corridor is where I’ve been led to be active in my arts and social engagement pursuits. I have been meditating on a way to become more involved along the Gateway Arts District,” says the Crossland High School graduate. “I even share the same barber with some proud and involved citizens of North Brentwood – often engaging them in discussions on how to create/attract more attention to the cultural corridor and business that will benefit the community.”

As PGAAMCC kicks off a 10th anniversary campaign, Vance is joining the momentum to launch a new cultural offering - Underground Railroad: Bazaar Under the Stars. The endeavor he is spearheading will bring a festive spirit of shopping, celebration and diaspora vibes, featuring a curated selection of vendors, food, and crafts in the museum’s outdoor pavilion (3rd Fridays throughout the fall 2019). The event name nods to Route 1 as a historic North/South route pathway and to the railroad that runs just behind the museum. Underground Railroad: Bazaar Under the Stars Designed to be a vibrant and lively destination where people can pick up a bite to eat, enjoy a bit of retail therapy, and jump start the weekend with neighbors, future friends and fellow County residents. Most importantly the event will feature a ‘community spotlight’, with neighborhood living legends and local icons, nominated by their community, being honored for their contributions. “I am optimistic and dedicated to the work necessary that will attract an increased and sustained interest in the cultural and artistic excellence of Black Americans with roots and of contribution to Prince George’s County, Maryland.”

 

For more information on upcoming PGAAMCC 10th anniversary

www.pgaamcc.org/10th

 


Open Mic

Open Mic with Lady Di. Come share a night of poetry with us. All are welcome.

Get Tickets Here


Sunday Scholar Brunch

 

07/21, the weekend closes out with a special Sunday Scholar Brunch catered by Chef Teo, and our featured scholar, Hair Therapist, Dr. Afiya Mbilishaka.

Cost: $25

Get Tickets HERE


#SUPERnatural Hair Festival

07/20, Saturday is the official #SUPERnatural Hair Festival welcoming ALL Black artisans and vendors, Hair & Makeup Demos and Mythbusters, and Tasty Food options 2-8pm, all leading up to Supernatural: The Play, which touches on the intricacies of black women’s diverse hair experiences, 8-10pm.

Cost:

  • Festival only, Early Bird sale (ends July 10) //$8
  • Festival only, General Admission//$15
  • VIP all inclusive Festival, Play + #TeamNatural swag bag //$20
  • play (only at the door)
  • VIP at the door//$25

Art Therapy Day

Get Tickets HERE

Friday kicks off Art Therapy Day, which includes workshops centered around expression, health, wellness, and mindfulness practices that target our communities of color.

Cost: FREE ($8 suggested donation + gain entry to Jazz Vesper)

The evening concludes with a Jazz Vesper under the summer sky with the featured exhibitionist, artist, and singer, Vanessa Williams.

Cost: $8

 


PG Power Moves!

GET TICKETS

Calling all Power Movers to our monthly artful networking event that features: a live performance, an art auction, an atmosphere of networking and fellowship, as we acknowledge notable people of color who live, work, and play in Prince George’s County or the DC Metropolitan area. We have our finger on the pulse of the progressive professional.

Come to discuss your latest projects and make new connections with artists, culture keepers, politicians, and cross-disciplinary practitioners. We encourage your to bring your business cards & any other information you'd like to share.

We give respect and honor to the people paving the way for the region, celebrating
those who have shown outstanding impact or influence. The PG Power Mover will be honored during the event and speak to the audience about their past, present and future power moves.

Honoree: Omar Eaton-Martinez M. Ed.

Omar leads the Prince George’s County Historical Resources, which include historical house museums, an aviation museum, the Black History Program and archaeological parks. He also oversees the programming of those sites with an emphasis placed on preserving, sustaining and enhancing these resources as well as engaging and building communities through education, outreach and innovation. Most recently he managed the interns and fellows program at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History (NMAH). He builds coalitions that support diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion. Omar has worked at the National Park Service, the Office of the National Museum of the American Latino Commission, NASA and he also was a K-12 teacher in NYC and DC.

Currently is a part-time PhD student in American Studies at University of Maryland, College Park

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) is a bi-county agency serving Prince George's and Montgomery counties in Maryland with parks, recreation, and planning. M-NCPPC's Department of Parks and Recreation in Prince George's County provides quality recreation programs, facilities, and services for residents and visitors. We also operate and maintain more than 27,000 acres of parkland throughout the county, including land developed to provide parks, picnic areas, athletic fields, historic sites, community centers, and recreation facilities. In an effort to maintain the county's natural beauty, a large percentage of the land has been left undeveloped to serve as buffers and to provide natural open spaces.

Twitter: @oeatonmartinez


Juneteenth More than A Month Festival! Thank you for supporting PGAAMCC!

Over the course of our 4 day innaugural #MoreThanAMonth Juneteenth festival, approximately 1000 people joined in the festivities as our grassroots outreach grows and cultural programming expands. Thank you for choosing to celebrate Juneteenth with PGAAMCC. In the footsteps of our great heroes that paved the way we honored their legacy and dedication to uplifting our Black communities. We sang, we danced, we cried, we uplifted and we shared. We are 'A Home for Black Excellence'. Our More Than a Month Festival highlighted the brilliance, talent and creativity of our African American community in Prince George's County and the DMV. Special thanks to our program partners; Jess Be Creative, Creators Coallition, Onustees, participating artists, and our vendors. See more pictures here.

UStreet to the Cotton Club x Black Culture Panel Discussion

We brought the U Street to the Cotton Cub to Prince George’s County. Local talents, Krislynn Perry, Nigel Rowe and Reenie Codelka on piano played hit tunes, such as: Minnie The Moocher, I've Got The World on A String, Stormy Weather, Ain't Misbehavin' & More!

We also enjoyed a panel discussion on the importance of Black holidays and Black traditions, Black education and its connection to our tradition, history, and liberation, educational equity in schools. The ‘For the Culture’ conversation moderated by Tamara Jade with Andre Taylor, Elena Branker, Jahari Shelton, Marcus Cook, Jessica Randolph, Billy Sanders & Tony Keith.

The Observable Universe

Our Observable Universe panel discussion, moderated by Sinatra Smith, was an intimate conversation about time travel, returning to the motherland and Black music as a connective force across time and space. In this disucssion we collectively illustrated an alternate universe, how we would function, what parts of our culture we would bring, which parts would be left out, and why.

We also enjoyed the DMV Youth Art Pop Up gallery 'Voices' with EYL 365 Project teaching artists, students and collaborative projects. ‘Voices’ displayed work from “Enjoy Your Life” (EYL) 365, a grass-roots art project whose mission is to engage youth by exploring the creative process as they grow to understand society, their roles within it, and their capacity to change society through civic youth engagement, advocacy and arts initiatives. The artwork centered on mental health, community, social, and economic empowerment and self reflection.

Summer Solstice Fashion Show

Thursday was a day of Black beauty, creativity and expression.  Our fashion show featured artist Quest Skinner who brought vibrant, colorful, decadent, and transformative designs to PGAMCC. Her style is “influenced by seeing ourselves as a full spectrum of colors, shapes, and spirits. The clothing collection is West African, Apache, and modern infused fabrics with lines that flatter all shapes and sizes”.

We were so happy to have dancers in our space. We enjoyed a performance by Alexis Miller with dancers Faith Kelly, Jasmine Ventura, and Marya Wallace from Dance Institute of Washington. They performed to a song remixed to Maya Angelou’s Ain’t I A Woman that empowered our audience’s.

Block Party

Photos by: Rodney Norman of @laphoric

Our culminating event was our Block Party. Program partners Onustees, Jess Be Creative and Creators Coalition brought dynamic performances and panelists to our space. We had workshops and incredible vendors. PGAAMCC was buzzing with activity. Inside our gallery we had a pop-up exhibition by EYL 365 and our Community Treasure Chest. Community Treasure Chest will continue all summer, register HERE. Outside we had fun for all ages with a Dino sprinkler, jump ropes, double dutch, sidewalk chalk, bouncing balls, face painting and the I'm Bookd Box mobile book store. We were so honored to close out the day with a special performance by Mosaic Theater Singers hailing from Detroit Michigan. They graced our space with vibrant songs of Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, gospel, African hymns and hit music from every genre influenced by the African Diaspora. Black History and culture never looked so good at PGAAMCC.

Thank you so much for being a supporter. We are excited to bring more dynamic programming to Prince George's County, illuminate, inspire and empower audiences. Stay tuned for more!

We want to hear your ideas as we work to constantly shape the museum to meet your needs and interests. We are 'A Home for Black Excellence' and your feedback is welcomed. This survey will take approximately 5 minutes.

Click here to take the survey!

 


PGAAMCC Block Party

GET TICKETS

Sat. June 22, 12-7pm FREE You are invited to the cookout!

PGAAMCC, Creators Coalition, JessBeCreative, On Us Tees, and Museum Hue, bring to you a Block Party for the whole family! Music, Games, Trivia, Food, Vendors, and Live Art will fill PGAAMCC’s parking lot and outdoor pavillion. And if you can’t take the heat come inside and experience our 3 galleries, with exclusive talks with artists and community leaders on Education, Wellness, and Financial Literacy.

***All tickets sold at the door***