Association of African American Museums Receives a $1 Million Grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

MEDIA RELEASE: September 30, 2021, WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Association of African American Museums (AAAM) has received a grant of $1,000,000 over four years to solidify its administrative capacity and enhance its programming for the field of African American museums. As part of a four-year
strategic plan responding to a National Needs Assessment, AAAM will be positioned to address three critical areas that are of concern and interest according to the assessment, which includes an accreditation or certification program, collaboration for traveling exhibitions, and security issues for staff, building, and collections, which was one of the highest needs based on the responses from study participants.

“We expect to bring lasting benefits to the African American museum field through the continued generous support of The Mellon Foundation,” said Vedet Coleman-Robinson, Executive Director of the Association of African American Museums. “The Association is now in a great position to impact the field with the solid foundation of the highest number of members to date in the organization’s history. As the needs of the field have grown, member institutions and museum professionals continue to look for support and resources through AAAM, and it is even more vital that assistance is given to sustain the field.”

“This transformational gift from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation provides AAAM with critical resources and support to expand organizational capacity in significant ways and make an even greater impact. This generous support from the Mellon Foundation is a marker signifying continued growth of the Black museum field,” said LaNesha DeBardelaben, Board President of AAAM.

Located in Washington, D.C., AAAM is a non-profit member organization established to support African and African American-focused museums nationally and internationally and the professionals who protect, preserve, and interpret African and African American art, history, and culture.

Established as the single representative and principal voice of the African American museum movement, the Association seeks to strengthen and advocate for institutions and individuals’ interests committed to preserving African-derived cultures. AAAM’s services enhance those museums’ ability to serve the needs and interests of persons of African ancestry and those who wish to know more about the art, history, and culture of African-derived cultures.