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Banneker-Douglass Museum Hosts First Community Forum

Unit of Governor’s Office on Community Initiatives Seeks Feedback To Inform Future Programming and Exhibitions

ANNAPOLIS, MD –  Banneker-Douglass Museum (BDM) hosted a Community Forum on September 14, 2019. This event brought together museum professionals, community leaders, and stakeholders to envision future initiatives at the museum. The day consisted of a tour of the museum’s current exhibitions: Deep Roots, Rising Waters; Verda’s Place; and Doing the Work. The tour was followed by facilitated dialogues, break-out sessions, and surveys providing critical feedback to inform future programming and exhibitions. The forum is already delivering useful feedback that will enhance the Maryland Commission on African American and History and Culture visibility, and increase youth programming, community dialogues, and trainings.

“As we continue an aggressive two-year fundraising campaign to raise $500,000, it is critical that we utilize opportunities such as this forum to assess museum operations,” said Chanel Compton, Executive Director of the Banneker-Douglass Museum. “We plan to introduce these forums as part of the ongoing culture at BDM to empower our staff and visitors. With the insights and knowledge we continue to gain from our partners, we can ensure the funds we utilize support programs and exhibitions that matter most to Marylanders.”

The data collected during this forum will be included in a report that is to be presented to the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture, which operates the museum. Participants were selected as experts in their fields who could offer insights related to expanding collections, curating exhibitions,  increasing visitorship, and improving overall museum operations. Invitees included Vedet Colemen-Robinson, Association for African American Museums; John Kille, Anne Arundel County Trust for Preservation, Inc.; Jeanette Marxen, Historic Annapolis; Skye Bailey, Anne Arundel County NAACP; Monica Montgomery, Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center; Paulette Carroll, the Stanton Center; Johanna Doty, Anne Arundel County Public Library; Delegate Julien Ivey, District 47A, Prince George’s County; and Carol Benson, Four Rivers Heritage Area.

“I could easily envision how much farther this Museum can go if it gains the appropriate resources,” said Carol Benson, Executive Director, Four Rivers Heritage Area. “My advice was, ‘Aim high! You are a treasure within our community and you can extend your impact to the state and to the nation.’”

“The staff at the Banneker-Douglass Museum is doing a tremendous job of staying true to its mission, as well as continuing to elevate their impact and relevance within Annapolis, the State of Maryland, and throughout the nation,” said Vedet Coleman-Robinson, Executive Director, Association of African American Museums. “I do not doubt that BDM will continue to create strategic partnerships and find new collaborators and funders so their goals and aspirations can be fulfilled to the highest measure.”

Banneker-Douglass Museum will host the next Community Forum on March 2, 2019. To help preserve Black history in Maryland, donate to the Banneker-Douglass Museum Foundation by clicking here.

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