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Dr. Porchia Moore in Conversation with Dr. Tonya Matthews, Director of IAAM and Dr. Frank Martin

April 29, 2021 @ 5:00 pm - 8:30 pm

On Thursday, April 29th, 2021 at 5:00 pm DST, The I. P. Stanback Museum & Planetarium and South Carolina State University’s Department of Social Sciences will host the fourth event in the series, On Being A Citizen: The Role of Museums & Public Education This virtual event will require pre-registration and will be delivered via Zoom featuring three distinguished panelists, Dr. Tonya M. Matthews, President and CEO of the new International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina in conversation with critical race theorist, Dr. Porchia Moore, an Assistant Professor of Museum Studies, The University of Florida, and artist/ educator, South Carolina State University alumna (’2018), Zaire McPhearson, a recent graduate of the Masters in Fine Arts program at Duke University.


The purpose of Thursday’s program is to discuss how Museums may help shape access for American citizens to the educational benefits of public discourse. Discussion of the diverse, aesthetic, social, cultural, and political issues confronting contemporary American society will be presented and assessed.


With substantial experience in their respective fields, the program’s panelists will discuss the impact of Museums upon their own lives and career choices, and consider the role of the American museum in shaping cultural narratives. Issues of identity, public educational access, and awareness of local, national, international, and African diasporic cultural resources will be explored. Panelists will be asked to offer opinions regarding how museum collections may be employed in advocating for and amplifying voices marginalized by master-narratives of history. Questions pertaining to how and why we may memorialize the past (as well as for whom this memorialization is undertaken) will be presented. Interrogation of the idea of the role of museums in support of equity in American society will be addressed.


About our panelists:

A former student intern at The I. P. Stanback Museum & Planetarium at South Carolina State University, Zaire McPhearson completed her terminal Masters in Fine Arts degree at Duke University in the Spring of 2020. Her highly innovative thesis exhibition, A Fall from Grace, was a study in intersectional engagement with the interpretation of culture and community employing the tools and vocabulary of visual art. The exhibition used both sculpture and photography to investigate a family trauma of faith based in interviews of McPhearson’s grandmother, great –aunts and relatives, which has been described as “a love letter to black womanhood.”. McPhearson has worked with the ConNECKTed Project of the Charleston Rhizome, which seeks to forge meaningful, collaborative, and mutually beneficial relationships between artists and community small business owners. Even prior to her graduation from South Carolina State, McPhearson has exhibited with Charleston’s MOJA Festival as well as the annual, nationally significant Art Fields exhibition held in Lake City, South Carolina.


A graduate of The University of South Carolina with a Ph. D. in Library and Information Sciences, and holding a graduate certificate in Museum Management from USC;s McKissick Museum, Dr. Porchia Moore is Assistant Professor and Department Head of Museum Studies at the University of Florida. She has served as Consulting Curator and Inclusion Catalyst at the Columbia Museum of Art. Columbia, South Carolina and is a conceptualist of The Inclusive Museum Movement, Dr. Moore is one of the architects of Museums and Race, serving in addition as advisor to Museums as Sites for Social Action, and is the co-creator of The Visitors of Color Project. A frequent presenter at professional conferences, including The American Alliance of Museums, Museum Computer Network (advancing digital transformation in museums), The Association of African American Museums among other organizations, Dr. Moore is a leader in opening conversations on inclusion and diversity within the Museum field.


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A graduate of Duke University with an undergraduate degree in bio-medical and electrical engineering, Dr. Tonya Matthews, completed her graduate work in biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins University. She began her museum career as a program manager with the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore, MD. Dr. Matthews has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of The Michigan Science Center which grew to serve more than 300,000 children. A major proponent of STEM education and special initiatives for young women to become involved in STEM research and professions, Dr. Matthews launched the Girls In Real Life Sciences Program (acronym GIRLS) when she served as Vice-President of The Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal. Prior to becoming Associate Provost of Inclusive Workforce Development at Wayne State University, she founded the STEMinista Project (a word-play on the term Feminista!) a national initiative to encourage middle-school girls to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Dr. Matthews is currently President and CEO of The International African American Museum in Charleston. In addition to these extraordinary credentials as an engineer and scientist, Dr. Matthews is also a published poet and spoken word artist, whose compelling TEDx talk on Sound and Ideas, explores the application of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principal and selective human hearing in creating impact in spoken word.


Dr. Frank C. Martin, II, Director of the I. P. Stanback Museum & Planetarium (AAAM member) will moderate the discussion.


April 29, 2021
5:00 pm - 8:30 pm