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African American Museum

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NEWS
September 12, 2007 | By Vernon Clark INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The African American Museum in Philadelphia is set to receive a $3 million grant from the City of Philadelphia, officials announced yesterday. "This is a great gift for this museum at this time," said Ramona Riscoe Benson, president and chief executive officer of the museum at Seventh and Arch Streets in Center City. "It will allow us to make this building more appealing to visitors. " Riscoe Benson said the grant was the largest in the history of the museum, which opened in 1976.
NEWS
December 31, 2012 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Staff Writer
As he placed a kinara on display at the African American Museum in Philadelphia Saturday, Mlanjeni Nduma paused to correct a child confused by the wooden candleholder's resemblance to a menorah. "No, it's not Hanukkah. It's Kwanzaa," Nduma, who was leading a Kwanzaa celebration at the museum, told the boy. "People say that all the time. " Though Kwanzaa dates to the mid-1960s, the seven-day celebration of African American culture, heritage, and family born out of the black nationalist movement still is unfamiliar to many people, Nduma said.
NEWS
September 14, 2001 | By Stephan Salisbury INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Terrie S. Rouse, president and chief executive of the African American Museum in Philadelphia, has resigned after four years leading the city's largest black museum, at Seventh and Arch Streets. Carol Lawrence, who runs the city's Office of Arts and Culture, will act as an interim museum director until a permanent successor to Rouse is found. Rouse's resignation came as a surprise to the museum community, although rumors of friction between Rouse and the museum board, headed by chairman Carl E. Singley, have circulated for some time.
NEWS
March 14, 2005
EIGHT MONTHS AGO, the African American Museum in Philadelphia was close to collapse. Years of inconsistent leadership, financial instability and a disengaged board of directors had left the once-proud art institution on its knees, begging for help. Only a $135,000 advance from the city's annual $300,000 allotment kept the museum afloat. The crisis was serious; without major changes, the museum dies. Last week, the museum's new leadership announced a six-month "recovery plan" to bring more money, improved management and greater visibility to the 29-year-old museum.
NEWS
October 15, 2014 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Staff Writer
No punches are pulled on the top floor of the African American Museum in Philadelphia. No blinking. No turning away. Greeting the visitor are 15 life-size cement figures shackled together. Bits of twine, fabric, and stick weave through their stony skin. Men, women, and children are bound together, chained to a wooden pallet - goods ready for shipment. Visitors can wander through the silence of sculptor Stephen Hayes' installation, Cash Crop , listening to the unspoken but very visible history of slavery filling the gallery.
NEWS
January 23, 2006 | By Vernon Clark INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Bolstered by a new leader and a financial-recovery plan, the African American Museum in Philadelphia is digging its way out of debt and hoping to regain its financial footing. The 45,000-square-foot museum, which features more than 750,000 African and African American artifacts and other historic and cultural items in four galleries, was nearly $500,000 in the red in 2004. Last year, the debt was down to $201,000. "We hope that by the end of the calendar year we will have all our debts satisfied," Romona Riscoe Benson, president and chief executive officer of the museum, at Seventh and Arch Streets in Center City, said in a recent interview.
NEWS
August 16, 2004
THE African American Museum in Philadelphia is in trouble. So what else is new? Rather than be a beacon for black art and history, the venue at 7th and Arch has become a conservatory of poor governance and frustration. In July, Harry Harrison, the museum's 14th executive director in 28 years, quit. This after he had to lay off staff and beg the city for a $150,000 advance on the annual $300,000 allotment it gives to the museum. The city gave $135,000. According to a 2002 audit, the museum had a $160,000 deficit, though the city and state ponied up $1 million, nearly half the museum's annual budget.
NEWS
August 2, 2012 | By Vernon Clark, Inquirer Staff Writer
With the presentation of a small blue box, the African American Museum in Philadelphia received a giant national treasure Tuesday as it was lent the Congressional Gold Medal bestowed on Rosa Parks, known as the mother of the modern civil rights movement. "We could not be more honored than to have this piece of history here with us at our own African American Museum in Philadelphia," Mayor Nutter said of the medal, the highest civilian award bestowed by Congress. It was given to Parks in 1999.
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ENTERTAINMENT
September 17, 2016 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
In the big, ongoing festival of American culture, the National Mall in Washington is the main stage. Ever since the Smithsonian Institution erected its imposing stone castle there in 1855, the linear park has been assembling an all-star lineup of museums and monuments that collectively tell our nation's story. The mall has even managed to find room for events that happened abroad, like the Holocaust. And yet, a fundamental part of the American story, one that informs almost everything that happens in our country, has largely been left out of the mix. That omission will finally be rectified Sept.
NEWS
September 12, 2016 | By Kristin E. Holmes, Staff Writer
Anneesah Smith stepped onto the stage of the African American Museum in Philadelphia on Saturday as the role model she never had. The college administrator grew up in Germantown with no one in her community to show her how to navigate the world as a gay African American Christian. So Smith, who came out when she was 25, pledged to be that example for other young women. She does it daily as the LGBTQA services coordinator at West Chester University, and she did it this weekend as cochair of the Creating Change conference, the national convention of the National LGBTQ Task Force, which will meet Jan. 18 to 22 in Philadelphia.
NEWS
July 17, 2016 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Staff Writer
Elizabeth Dunston Nolan, 97, the daughter of North Carolina sharecroppers, who worked at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and for her church, died Saturday, July 9, at Saunders House in Wynnewood of complications from an earlier fall. Mrs. Nolan, of West Philadelphia, was born in Franklin County, N.C., the eighth of 12 children of James and Harriett Dunston. In a sharecropper family, everyone was expected to work, she told her own daughters. She and her siblings cared for the animals on the property and picked vegetables, cotton, and tobacco.
NEWS
July 16, 2016
Police on Thursday were investigating a threat to bomb the African American Museum in Philadelphia during the Democratic National Convention here this month. The museum, at Seventh and Arch Streets in Center City, received a threatening letter Thursday and reported it to police. Chief Inspector Joseph Sullivan, who oversees homeland security for city police, said detectives were investigating. Museum officials could not be reached for comment. - Robert Moran
NEWS
June 18, 2016 | Staff
KIDS 6 p.m. Friday, Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse , 3500 Reservoir Dr. $10. 215-765-4325. Wee ones get a chance to get wack and whirl in tie-dyed onesies as the third annual children's festival gets underway with the first of three concerts this summer. On the bill: Lucy Kalantari, playing her 1920s hot-jazz ukulele tunes, and divine kindie-rock diva Joanie Leeds. - Michael Harrington 9:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, Brandywine River Museum of Art , 1 Hoffman's Mill Rd., Chadds Ford.
NEWS
May 27, 2016
"Arresting Patterns": Perspectives on Race, Criminal Justice, Artistic Expression, and Community Through Sept. 11 at the African American Museum in Philadelphia, 701 Arch St. $14. Open Thursday-Sunday. Town hall discussion June 25. 215-574-0380, aampmuseum.org
NEWS
May 27, 2016 | By Stephan Salisbury, Culture Writer
In one of Theodore Harris' collages, now on view at the African American Museum in Philadelphia, bursts of red bleed over a printed ballot form, stickers and images layer the surface: U.S. Out of Iraq Now, Does Praying Do Any Good?, Stop Executions, the Death Penalty Is a Hate Crime. At the center of this jittery, violent triptych, beneath a plume of exploding, cascading black, is an image of Malcolm X. Harris' piece is called The Ballot or the Bullet , a very direct reference to Malcolm X's famous 1964 speech: "It's time now for you and me to become more politically mature and realize what the ballot is for; what we're supposed to get when we cast a ballot; and that if we don't cast a ballot, it's going to end up in a situation where we're going to have to cast a bullet.
NEWS
March 20, 2016 | By Clark DeLeon
The Most Interesting Man in the World died on a Friday, which is just another Christian coincidence in the story of Joe Tiberino, whom I spoke to for the last time about a week after he had risen from the dead. "I was sitting right here when I died the first time," he said from an upholstered armchair in his second-floor bedroom in the family home in West Philadelphia, the heart of a multi-rowhouse enclave that could be called an artists' colony because everyone who lives there becomes an artist sooner or later.
NEWS
February 24, 2016 | By Kristin E. Holmes, Staff Writer
Harvey Spencer Sr. wasn't thinking about strategic plans, boards of directors, or long-term fund-raising when he suggested to a few friends that they start a museum. Spencer, 88, a retired landscaper from Langhorne, was worried only about who would pick up where Walter Jacobs Jr. had left off. Jacobs, a historian and collector who devoted decades to chronicling Bucks County's African American heritage, had just died. What, Spencer fretted, would become of his mission? "I want to let people and their children know what blacks have done," Spencer said.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 25, 2014 | By Monica Peters, For The Inquirer
Enjoy spooktacular sounds and artistry, in your favorite costume, Saturday at the Philadelphia Orchestra's Halloween Fantastique with Cirque de la Symphonie at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. The orchestra will perform 10 pieces including Danny Elfman's Batman movie theme. Other featured works include Adam Glaser's "March of the Little Goblins," French composer Hector Berlioz's "March to the Scaffold" from Symphonie Fantastique , and Rimsky-Korsakov's "Dance of the Tumblers" from The Snow Maiden . Cirque de la Symphonie will perform acrobatic dance, and kids are encouraged to come in their Halloween costumes.
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