Exploring History and Culture in Central Minnesota – The Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery
February Event Series:
February 6, 13, 20 online via Zoom
Register at www.rethos.org/classes
Free and open to the public
Minnesota African American Heritage Series to Be Hosted Online By Four Area History Museums
Central Minnesota has a rich African American heritage. In honor of Black History month, the Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery (MAAHMG) will present programming for the February event series, “Exploring History and Culture in Central Minnesota.” The series, a partnership project of the Benton, Sherburne, Stearns and Morrison County historical societies, brings unique programming from highly acclaimed Minnesota museums to central Minnesota. The project seeks to foster greater understanding and awareness of cultures that have been and continue to be part of Minnesota and its history.
This year’s event series will take place via Zoom on the first three Saturdays in February (February 6, 13, 20). Each Saturday will feature a special presentation from the Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery (MAAHMG) covering a different aspect of the state’s African American heritage. The museum, a private nonprofit founded in 2018, works to preserve, record and highlight the achievements, contributions and experiences of African Americans in Minnesota (www.maahmg.org).
The first program in the series, “A Conversation with the Cofounders of the Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery (MAAHMG),” will take place on February 6th. The program will feature museum cofounders, Tina Burnside and Coventry Cowens, discussing how the museum was founded, its mission, exhibitions and programs. The discussion will talk about the role the museum plays in being the only African American history museum in the state of Minnesota. The event will be held from 11 a.m. to noon and include a Q&A session.
“The Role of the Arts and Artists in Social Justice Movements” will take place on February 13th. This program will feature a combination of videos and panel discussion. Participants will view two videos created by MAAHMG – the making of the Black Lives Matter mural and Un-Heard, followed by a panel discussion with artists, Melodee Strong and Joe Davis. The panel discussion will be moderated by Georgia Fort and will include the Black Lives Matter mural in Minneapolis, public art, and the role that artists have played in the fight for racial justice in the Twin Cities, particularly after the killing of George Floyd. The panel will discuss how art can bring about social change and spur people to action. The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and include a Q&A session.
The final program in the series, “Save the Boards to Memorialize the Movement,” will take place on February 20th. The program will consist of a conversation with Leesa Kelly and Kenda Zellner-Smith who joined their organizations and are collaborating with MAAHMG to collect, preserve and archive the plywood art murals that were created after the killing of George Floyd. Leesa and Kenda have collected over 500 boards from Twin Cities businesses. An outdoor exhibition of the plywood board murals is being planned for May 2021. Hear about what motivated them to start this project, how they joined forces and why preserving these artworks is important to the Black community. The event will be held from 11 a.m. to noon and include a Q&A session.
The event series is free and open to the public. Registration is required. To register for one or more of the programs, visit the Rethos website (www.rethos.org/classes). For more information, contact the Morrison County Historical Society at 320-632-4007, the Benton County Historical Society at 320-253-9614, the Sherburne History Center at 763-261-4433, or the Stearns History Museum at 320-253-8424.
The February 2021 event series is sponsored by Sourcewell and Rethos: Places Reimagined.