Prince George’s African American Museum to Showcase Local Art Students (Release, May 4, 2015)

Prince George’s African American Museum to Showcase Local Art StudentsCultural Education Program to Unveil Art Projects from Four Area Prince George’s County Schools

For Immediate Release, May 4, 2015

(North Brentwood, MD) Throughout the month of May, Prince George’s African American Museum & Cultural Center’s (PGAAMCC) Cultural Education Passport Program will unveil student art history projects from four area Prince George’s county schools — Hyattsville Middle School, Oxon Hill Middle school, Northwestern and Suitland high schools.  All the projects are based on African American history, art, and culture.

PGAAMCC’s Cultural Education Passport Program is a partnership with the Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS). Since 2011, PGAAMCC has served over 20 PGCPS, sharing county-wide educational programs that promote African American history, culture and art.  This umbrella of innovative school and youth programs consists of Early Keepers, an early childhood program in arts and culture; Museum-In-A-Box, in-class presentations and workshops, based on museum exhibits; and Culture Keepers, a high school after school program.

This school year, students in the Culture Keepers program read and were inspired by the poem The Battle of and for the Black Face, by Nikky Finney.  This powerful poem explores the experience of Black men and boys throughout American history from slavery to the present.  The poem was commissioned by the Clarice Smith Center for Performing Arts at the University of Maryland as part of a series entitled, “At War with Ourselves”. Culture Keepers exposes students in Prince George’s county to African American history, culture and art, and helps them create and produce original artwork based on their interpretations and personal experiences.

“We are moved by the expression of our young artists in the Cultural Education Passport program”, says Chanel Compton, Director of Education, PGAAMCC, “we know drawing upon inspiration and guidance from history is powerful and will provide them the tools and a path that will help them throughout life.”

The unveilings at the PGAAMCC and Goethe Institute are open to the public.  At the PGAAMCC May 7th event students from both participating high schools will share their personal stories about being in the Culture Keepers program and discuss their projects inspired by Nikky Finney’s poem – “Battle of and for the Black face”.  Ms. Finney will also be in attendance.

  Public Exhibitions

 Art exhibit at Goethe Institute, May 5, 2015 at 6pm

The Goethe Institute Washington organizes and supports cultural events that present German culture abroad and that further intercultural exchange. Resident German artist Paula Doepfner has worked with students in the Culture Keepers program at Suitland High Schools to create artwork that captures students’ yearlong research of Black History from the poems they wrote.  Selected student artwork will be showcased.

PGAAMCC Culture Keepers Unveiling Events, May 7, 2015, 7pm – 9pm

Culture Keepers from Suitland and Northwestern High Schools will present their artwork and experiences to the public.  A panel discussion with student artists and Nikky Finney will explore the impact of the Culture Keeper program and how the focus on Black history and art projects have impacted their experiences in both learning history and expressing it through art.

 Invitation Only Events

Oxon Hill Middle School Quilt Unveiling

May 11, 2015 6pm-7pm

Students at Oxon Hill Middle School worked with PGAAMCC teaching artist, Shaymar Higgs to create a series of quilt patchworks that represent Prince George’s county black history and themes of academic leadership.

Hyattsville Middle School Mural Unveiling, May 19, 2015 6pm-7pm

Students at Hyattsville Middle school worked with PGAAMCC teaching artist, Adrienne Gaither to create a large scale mural.  Students explored Black and Latino history and were inspired by graphic design and artists Aaron Douglas and Diego Rivera in creating the mural.


For more information about Cultural Education Passport Program or the events, please contact Chanel Compton, Director of Education at or (301) 809-0440.

The Prince George’s County 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 and culture. PGAAMCC is open Tuesday thru Saturday 10am-5pm.  Admission to the museum is free.  For more information call (301) 809-0440, email, or visit the Museum’s website at