Explore the rich history and lasting impact of Black arts education in Washington, DC, from 1900 to 2000, and its enduring legacy for future generations.

black arts education, Washington, DC, 1900-2000, history, legacy Tags: 1. Black arts, Education, Washington, DC

Anacostia Community Musuem A Bold and Beautiful Vision Exhibit

On View: March 23, 2024-March 2, 2025

Outside the spotlight of the nation’s major museums and galleries, and in a longtime segregated school system, African American artist-educators in twentieth-century Washington achieved the extraordinary.

Unified not by a singular aesthetic vision but by a bold and deeply held commitment to inspiring a love of the arts in young people, these artists shared their gifts with their students in the face of the seemingly insurmountable challenges of underfunding, overcrowding, and being overlooked. Some of the country’s most gifted artists taught and were taught in Washington’s educational institutions, from small community centers to university classrooms.

They included such visionaries whose names are today both well-known and not-so-well-known: Elizabeth Catlett, Alma Thomas, James A. Porter, Loïs Mailou Jones, David Driskell, Hilda Wilkinson Brown, Thomas Hunster, and Georgette Seabrooke Powell, to name only a few. This exhibition traces the story of the teachers and students who made Washington, DC a truly unparalleled center for Black arts education.

A Bold and Beautiful Vision features captivating original artworks, rare video footage, and awe-inspiring artistic artifacts, like Alma Thomas’s paintbrushes and watercolor paint set, an early 20th-century lifelike marionette that William Buckner made with his local high school students, original Elizabeth Catlett prints that once hung in the halls of her Washington high school, and Sam Gilliam artwork from the period when he was teaching at McKinley Technical High School. Come see the artwork and hear the voices of the African American artist-educators who enriched the lives of many generations of Washington’s young people and who—along with their students—produced work admired by audiences across the globe.

Anacostia Community Musuem A Bold and Beautiful Vision Exhibit

Join us for the opening weekend celebration!

Join us in celebrating the opening of our newest exhibition, A Bold and Beautiful Vision: A Century of Black Arts Education in Washington, DC, 1900 – 2000. This opening weekend celebration will feature a variety of family friendly activities such as ​guided art experience, curated panel discussions and an array of hands-on art focused interactives and projects. March 23 and 24 10am-5pm. Registration recommended. (link is external)

Featured programs include

Saturday, March 23, 2024, 11:30am – 1:00pm – Panel Discussion
The Mecca of Arts Education: Howard University’s History and Legacy in the Arts

In conjunction with our newly opening exhibition, “A Bold and Beautiful Vision: A Century of Black Arts Education in Washington, DC, 1900-2000,” this panel discussion will explore Howard University’s rich history and legacy in the arts. Countless Howard faculty and alumni have made an indelible impact across the artistic disciplines over the years, from visual artists like Loïs Mailou Jones and David Driskell to musicians like Dr. Donald Byrd, Roberta Flack, and Donny Hathaway. Join us for a lively and informative discussion with former Howard students from the 1960s and ‘70s as they reflect on their educational experience at the university and on the impact their time at Howard had on their own distinguished careers.

  • Topper Carew (Hollywood filmmaker and co-creator/producer of TV show “Martin” with Martin Lawrence; founder of the 1960s/1970s youth arts organization The New Thing Art & Architecture Center in DC’s Adams Morgan neighborhood; attended Howard 1961-1966)
  • Kinshasha Holman Conwill (founding deputy director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture; former director of the Studio Museum in Harlem; Howard BFA 1973)
  • Keith Killgo, musician and founding member of the jazz-fusion group The Blackbyrds with Dr. Donald Byrd (founder of Howard’s Jazz Studies Program)
  • Sylvia Snowden, renowned visual artist; Howard BFA ’63 and MFA ’65

Sunday, March 24, 2024, 1:00pm – 3:00pm – Guided Art Experience with Lex Marie

Ms. Lexis Jordan, the artist known at Lex Marie (b. 1992: Prince Georges County, MD), is a multidisciplinary artist who creates paintings, sculptures and installations that reflect her individual experiences yet encompasses the experiences of many in the African diaspora. Marie often uses found objects with sentimental value to put a physical form to past memories and present challenges many African American children face. Art materials available for use while supplies last.

Opening Weekend Takeaways available while supplies last. Food available for purchase.

#BlackArtsEducation #WashingtonDC #LegacyofArt

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