If you haven’t been to CAAM recently, I encourage you to make certain that a visit is on your itinerary this summer. We’re free to the public, offer art-making workshops tailored for all ages, and have two fantastic new exhibitions now on view: Oh Snap! and Reflections on the Self.
When you do visit, you’ll notice that we’ve installed some stunning new visual elements that help define what this museum is about and what it offers. Naima Keith, who joined CAAM earlier this year as our Deputy Director of Exhibitions and Programs, worked with a designer to create five enormous floor-to-ceiling banners. They highlight the fact that CAAM is free to the public, they describe its mission and collections, and they honor several African American icons who have made significant contributions in the arenas of art, literature, and music. So as you approach the museum, you’ll be greeted by the image of world-class assemblage artist Betye Saar, and once you enter CAAM’s Courtyard, you’ll see portraits of Ella Fitzgerald, Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, and visual artist John Outterbridge. These banners are breathtaking and serve to embellish the building beautifully and subtly. We are very proud of the way they look and we believe they will enhance your experience at CAAM.
In May, Hillary Clinton came to CAAM for a campaign event, sponsored by Congresswomen Maxine Waters and Karen Bass, for invited local elected officials and community leaders. Los Angeles City Council President, Herb Wesson, was also in attendance along with former Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne Burke. This event received national media coverage and required substantial coordination with the campaign’s Secret Service detail. We are thankful that the team managing the Secretary’s campaign for President thought of CAAM as the event’s venue. By the way, you may not be aware that CAAM’s Conference Center and Courtyard are available for bookings for private and special events. If you have an event on the horizon and are looking for a suitable venue, please consider CAAM. (For rental information and pricing, call 213.744.7535.)
We also hosted our annual Heads Are Turning, Children Are Learning literacy event in May, which attracted a wonderful gathering of nearly 300 kids and their families. This celebration of the written word is designed to encourage reading and make it fun. All the kids enjoyed a full day of art making, storytelling, and face painting, and it was wonderful to see them having such a great time.
On Friday, June 10th, CAAM hosted a public viewing of the memorial service and funeral for Muhammad Ali. The event received coverage on KABC-TV during that evening’s news broadcast. Click on the video to view KABC-TV's coverage.
There are many great things in store for CAAM that I’ll share with you in future issues. In the meantime, enjoy the summer months and make sure you pay us a visit!
Using Metro, it’s easy to plan a visit to CAAM. As of May 20th Metro’s Expo Line, which you can take to all museums in Exposition Park, now travels to the beaches of Santa Monica. For more information and to plan a trip using Metro, please visit https://trips.metro.net/tm_pub_start.php.
We look forward to seeing you.
George O. Davis, Executive Director
California African American Museum