Tuesday, July 24 | 5:30pm at The Strand Theatre; reception immediately following at CMCA
$15 CMCA members; $20 non-members
Each year, CMCA presents a lecture by one of today’s most distinguished contemporary cultural voices. The 2018 CMCA Distinguished Lecturer will be Mr. Lonnie G. Bunch III, Founding Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), the only national museum devoted exclusively to African American life, history, and culture.
One of the nation’s leading figures in the museum community, Director Bunch will speak on “The Challenge of Building a National Museum.” Established in 2003 by an Act of Congress, the National Museum of African American History and Culture opened to the public on September 24, 2016. Located on the National Mall in a stunning contemporary building designed by architect David Adjaye and his team, the NMAAHC encapsulates the powerful narrative of African-Americans and their significant journey to and within the United States.
“What’s clear is that the museum has struck a nerve,” says Director Bunch. “It’s become an important symbol, an important metaphor, an important pilgrimage site.” As the 19th member of the Smithsonian Institution, the NMAAHC has attracted more than 2.1 million visitors in its first year of operation.
Under Director Bunch’s leadership, the museum has collected and exhibited thousands of artifacts, collaborated with conservationists, historians, and other museums, created noted public programs, and unified a community with an important mission. As an educator and historian, Director Bunch is a widely published author and has lectured extensively both nationally and internationally. His books include the award-winning “Call the Lost Dream Back: Essays on Race, History and Museums,” and “Memories of the Enslaved: Voices from the Slave Narratives.” In 2017, for the World Economic Forum’s blog Agenda, he wrote, “America, Slavery and how Museums can help to heal Fractured Societies.”
Artist and scholar Dr. David C. Driskell, whose striking painting, “Behold Thy Son,” is on view in the NMAAHC’s Visual Arts Gallery, will introduce Director Bunch. Dr. Driskell is a longtime summer resident of Falmouth, Maine. His work was the subject of a critically acclaimed solo exhibition, Renewal and Form, at CMCA in Spring 2017.
“We are incredibly honored to have Director Bunch as our 2018 Distinguished Lecturer,” says CMCA Director Suzette McAvoy. “As a leading voice in the global cultural community, Director Bunch speaks to the important role of museums as catalysts for change and understanding in the 21st century. His is a timely message we are all eager to hear.”
CMCA acknowledges Dr. David Driskell and Eddie and Sylvia Brown for their generous support and assistance in arranging Director Bunch’s visit to Maine.