It’s our pleasure to announce that the 30th annual African World Festival is coming home to the Museum that birthed it: the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History! This August 17 through 19, attendees will experience a proud, new tradition – the color, vibrancy, and cultural pride of AWF, all on our very own doorstep.
The decision to move the Festival was not made lightly. A major factor was that Hart Plaza simply could not provide some of the necessary amenities it had in the past. We are confident that we made the right move; after all, for many years Midtown Detroit has been home for traditions such as Noel Night, Dally in the Alley, and the Festival of the Arts. In fact, Midtown’s long history of supporting successful events is matched in this case with the expertise of AWF director Njia Kai, who’s worked on many of Midtown’s events as well as others throughout the City.
More importantly, though, the move allows us to easily overcome one of our previous marketing challenges – connecting African World Festival with The Wright Museum in the minds of festival attendees. This year, there will be no mistaking the connection, as the cultural celebration extends outwards from the Museum to the surrounding area. Stay tuned for updates on the 30th annual African World Festival – a proud, new tradition in Midtown Detroit!
Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney
We’re delighted with our newest exhibition, Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney, organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum and featuring over 140 works by this critically and popularly acclaimed illustrator of children’s books. His imaginative watercolors come alive, on the walls, in strategically placed storybooks, and in animated format on iPads integrated into the exhibit. The stories themselves will jump off the pages and into the hearts and minds of children of all ages this July at the Jerry Pinkney Celebrity Children’s Book Fair. On Saturday and Sunday, July 28 and 29, Mr. Pinkney, his wife and noted storyteller and writer Gloria Jean Pinkney, and other authors will be showcased at this fun-filled event featuring arts and crafts, book giveaways, appearances by characters from the stories themselves, and so much more! It will be a fabulous chance to meet and hear from Jerry Pinkney, experience the Children’s Discovery Room, and most importantly, instill a love for the written word in young and old alike.
As you may have heard, needed operational support from the City of Detroit continues to be diminished for The Wright Museum (which is, in fact, city-owned) and other deserving cultural institutions. It is during these tough times that everyone is called upon to help secure the future of this museum – a place that sparks creativity in the minds of our children and helps us reconnect with a pride and legacy that has sometimes been forgotten.
We appreciate how many of you have stepped up to support the work of the Museum. We thank Jon Barfield and Vivian Carpenter, who recently hosted a fundraiser that raised $100,000. We appreciate their leadership, and are grateful to everyone who supported the event.
We ask that you think about what you can do to help the Museum to fulfill its mission and service to the Community – and we will work to insure that the service we provide is, and will continue to be, worthy of that support. From upcoming exhibits such as Visions of Our 44th President and Inspired Minds: African Americans in Science and Technology, to programs like the Financial Literacy Project and Camp Africa summer camps, to the ongoing Voices of the Civil War online video series, our work continues undaunted, and unabated.
The Museum is an oasis in the sweltering summer of our hectic, everyday lives. Whether visiting and attending events, volunteering, or becoming a member or donor, there are many ways, and so many more reasons, to “dive in!” Talk to us about how you can be a part of the mission and magic that is the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.